Veteran Sri Lankan Tamil leader Sampanthan passes away – The Hindu

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Veteran Sri Lankan Tamil leader Rajavarothiam Sampanthan, who dedicated his political life to pursuing a just solution to the island nation’s Tamil question, passed away in Colombo late on Sunday. He was 91.

Mr. Sampanthan, of the Ilankai Tamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK), was a sitting MP from the eastern Trincomalee district, and led the Tamil National Alliance, the main grouping representing Tamils of Sri Lanka’s war-hit north and east. He was Leader of the Opposition between 2015 and 2018.

A parliamentarian for nearly half a century, Mr. Sampanthan was a bold and relentless voice in the House. Since the end of the civil war in 2009, he tirelessly demanded equal rights for Tamils, within a ‘united, undivided, indivisible’ country. Trained as a lawyer, he based his arguments for a political solution on Sri Lanka’s constitutional history and the many promises that the southern Sinhalese establishment made in the past but failed to keep.

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