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Sri Lanka Sikhamani Thamotharam Somasekaram (22 September 1934 – 11 March 2010) was a leading Sri Lankan Tamil geographer and Surveyor General.

Thamotharam Somasekaram

T. Somasekaram.jpg
37th Surveyor General of Sri Lanka
In office
Preceded byE. M. Perera
Succeeded byS. Berugoda
Personal details
Born(1934-09-22)22 September 1934
Died11 March 2010(2010-03-11) (aged 75)
Alma materJaffna Hindu College
University of Ceylon
Fitzwilliam College
Ohio State University
EthnicitySri Lankan Tamil


Early life and familyEdit

Somasekaram was born on 22 September 1934.[1] He was educated at the Jaffna Hindu College.[2][3] After school he joined the University of Ceylon, Colombo from where he graduated in 1956 with a BSc degree.[1][4][5]

Somasekaram married Sathanithi. They had three children (Damayanthi, Jayanthi and Arjun).[6][7]


After university Somasekaram joined the Government Survey Department as an Assistant Superintendent of Surveys.[1][4] A year later he joined Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge in 1958 to study the Part II course in geography, which he completed in 1959.[1] On returning to Ceylon he rejoined the Survey Department.[1][4] He became Superintendent of Surveys in 1967, Assistant Surveyor General in 1971 and Deputy Surveyor General in 1973.[1][4] The latter position made in head of the Institute of Surveying and Mapping.[4]

Somasekaram joined the Ohio State University in 1976 on a United Nations Fellowship, graduating with an MSc in Geodesy and Cartography.[1][4][5]

Somasekaram became Surveyor General in 1991.[1][8] He came up with the idea of the Sri Lankan Atlas and chaired the committee charged with creating it.[1][4] He was awarded the Sri Lanka Sikhamani title, a Sri Lankan national honour, in 1990 for this work.[1]

Somasekaram was president of the Surveyors' Institute of Sri Lanka (1985–87) and the Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science.[1][4][9] In 1998 he was admitted as a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and received an honorary doctorate from the University of Jaffna.[1][4] He was vice-president of the Organisation of Professional Associations of Sri Lanka between 1985 and 1991 and a member of the Canadian Institute of Geomatics.[4]

Later lifeEdit

Somasekaram wrote a number of books after retirement.[4] He died on 11 March 2010.[1][7]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Fitzwilliam Journal 2012" (PDF). Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-05-12. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  2. ^ Somasekaram, T. (23 March 2004). "Memorial for IPKF". The Island (Sri Lanka).
  3. ^ Somasekaram, T. (6 April 2002). "Reconditioning the public service". Daily News (Sri Lanka). Archived from the original on 22 December 2004. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Mahaarachchi, R. (16 May 2010). "Mapping the life of a fine man and outstanding Surveyor General". The Sunday Times (Sri Lanka).
  5. ^ a b "258th Commencement" (PDF). Ohio State University. Autumn 1976. p. 11.
  6. ^ "Dr.T.Somasekaram former Surveyor General of Sri Lanka and Jaffna Hindu College Oldboy passed away". Tamil Sydney. Archived from the original on 2016-03-05. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  7. ^ a b "Obituaries". Daily News (Sri Lanka). 12 March 2010. Archived from the original on 15 March 2010. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  8. ^ "History". Department of Survey (Sri Lanka). Archived from the original on 2014-04-16. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  9. ^ "About SISL". The Surveyors' Institute of Sri Lanka. Archived from the original on 2013-08-05. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
Government offices
Preceded by
E. M. Perera
Surveyor General of Sri Lanka
Succeeded by
S. Berugoda