C. Sittampalam

Cathiravelu Sittampalam (Tamil: கதிரவேலு சிற்றம்பலம்; 13 September 1898 – 3 February 1964) was a Ceylon Tamil civil servant, politician, Member of Parliament and government minister.

C. Sittampalam

சி. சிற்றம்பலம்
C. Sittampalam.jpg
Minister of Posts and Telecommunication
In office
Succeeded byV. Nalliah
Minister of Industries, Industrial Research and Fisheries
In office
Preceded byGeorge E. de Silva
Succeeded byG. G. Ponnambalam
Member of the Ceylonese Parliament
for Mannar
In office
Succeeded byV. A. Alegacone
Personal details
Born(1898-09-13)13 September 1898
Died3 February 1964(1964-02-03) (aged 65)
Alma materSt. Peter's College, Cambridge
ProfessionCivil servant
EthnicityCeylon Tamil

Early life and familyEdit

Sittampalam was born on 13 September 1898.[1][2][3] He was the son of A. Cathiravelu, a proctor and member of the Jaffna Local Board.[1] He was educated at Jaffna Central College and Royal College, Colombo.[2][4] He won many prizes at Royal College including the English Essay Prize, the De Zoysa Science Prize and the Mathematics Prize.[2] Aged 15 he passed the Senior Cambridge with first class honours and distinction in mathematics.[1][2] After school Sittampalam joined St. Peter's College, Cambridge on a science scholarship and graduated with a degree in mathematics.[1][2][5]

Sittampalam was a member of a distinguished family. His brother C. Ponnambalam and brother-in-law C. Casipillai were Mayors of Jaffna.[2] His uncle A. Canagaratnam was a member of the Legislative Council. His great-uncle V. Casipillai was a crown proctor and one of the founders of Jaffna Hindu College.[2]

Sittampalam married Kamalambikai.[1] They had four daughters (Devalakshmi, Pushpalakshmi, Yogalakshmi, and Mallikalakshmi) and one son (Arjuna).[1]


Sittampalam was called to the Bar from Middle Temple.[1][2] He joined the civil service in 1923 and served in various positions including Assistant Government Agent and District Judge.[1] He later left the civil service and practised as an advocate.[1]

Sittampalam stood as an independent candidate in Mannar at the 1947 parliamentary election. He won the election and entered Parliament.[6] He was persuaded to join the United National Party led government and on 26 September 1947 he was sworn in as Minister of Posts and Telecommunication.[7][8] He was made Minister of Industries, Industrial Research and Fisheries after George E. de Silva was unseated by an election petition.[8]

Sittampalam was re-elected at the May 1952 parliamentary election but lost his cabinet position.[9] He was defeated at the 1956 parliamentary election by the Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi (Federal Party) candidate V. A. Alegacone.[10]

Sittampalam died on 3 February 1964.[1] In February 2004 Sri Lanka Post issued a commemorative stamp of Sittampalam.[2]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Arumugam, S. (1997). Dictionary of Biography of the Tamils of Ceylon. p. 198.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Stamp to honour Cathiravelu Sittampalam". Daily News (Sri Lanka). 26 February 2004. Archived from the original on 26 May 2005.
  3. ^ "Directory of Past Members: Sittampalam, Cathiravelu". Parliament of Sri Lanka.
  4. ^ "C. Sittampalam". Sittampalam Family History.
  5. ^ Martyn, John H. (1923). Notes on Jaffna - Chronological, Historical, Biographical. Tellippalai: American Ceylon Mission Press. p. 332. ISBN 81-206-1670-7.
  6. ^ "Result of Parliamentary General Election 1947" (PDF). Department of Elections, Sri Lanka. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 September 2015.
  7. ^ Rajasingham, K. T. "Chapter 12: Tryst with independence". Sri Lanka: The Untold Story. Archived from the original on 3 January 2002.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  8. ^ a b "First cabinet had only 14 ministers". The Sunday Times (Sri Lanka). 23 September 2007.
  9. ^ "Result of Parliamentary General Election 1952" (PDF). Department of Elections, Sri Lanka. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 September 2015.
  10. ^ "Result of Parliamentary General Election 1956" (PDF). Department of Elections, Sri Lanka. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 September 2015.