Veteran Tamil civil servant Sangaravel passes away

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 11 June 2008, 23:53 GMT]
Veteran civil servant and renowned social worker Poopalapillai Sangaravel, former Additional Government Agent of Batticaloa passed away Monday night in London, succumbing to heart failure four days before his 79th birthday. He is remembered with gratitude for his committed, relentless and yeoman service to the people of the Eastern Province for a long time. He was a well-wisher of TamilNet and readily helped it on many occasions with consultancies related to the Eastern Province. TamilNet joins the multitudes of mourners in paying tributes to him and conveying condolences to his bereaved family members.

Poopalapillai Sangaravel
Poopalapillai Sangaravel
(13.06.1929 - 09.06.2008)
The funeral will be held on Sunday, June 15th, between 1:00 and 3:00 p.m., at the Hendon crematorium, Holders Hill Road, Millhill, NW7 1NB.

Born on 13th June 1929 at Periyakallaa’ru in Batticaloa, Mr. Sangaravel had his early education at Sivananda Vidyalayam, Batticaloa. He later went to study at Jaffna Central College from where he entered the University of Ceylon, Peradeniya, and graduated in Agriculture.

He became a member of the Ceylon Administrative Service, the predecessor of today’s SLAS and served as District Land Officer in the Trincomalee, Vavuniya and Mannaar districts before becoming the Additional Government Agent of Batticaloa. For short spells he also worked as Additional GA at Puththa'lam and as Deputy Director in the Ministry of Finance and Development.

As Secretary of the University College, Batticaloa, in its incipient days between 1983 and 1986, his contribution to develop it as the Eastern University of Sri Lanka is very well remembered and appreciated.

He was coordinator for UNDP in the NorthEast Province when the provincial administration was created and left it due to compelling situations in 1990 to settle in UK.

Mr. Sangaravel’s career was a typical example of political and ethnic victimization by Sri Lankan state, carried out by successive governments. Despite his seniority and long service as Additional GA, he was never made as Government Agent because he was seen as one committed to serve the oppressed Tamils of the Eastern Province. The fact that he was the elder brother of the TULF MP for Paddiruppu, Mr. P Ganeshalingam was another reason for his victimization. The times were such that the land and the people he loved could not receive the full benefit of his potentiality, experience and humane qualities.

When he left Sri Lanka he availed his house for the use of a charity organization for the blind, called Tharisanam.

His commitment to suffering people didn’t keep him quiet in UK. He was involved in refugee work through the organization TRAG (Tamil Refugee Action Group). He was also responsible for organizing a conference, Agni of the East and at the time of his demise he was chairman of the Tamil Relief Centre, Edmonton, UK. He used to voice strongly against the de-merger of the North-East Province.

Mr. Sangaravel is survived by his wife Sivagnana Soundari, and seven children, all living in UK.


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