A memorial to mark the 19th death anniversary of the former ITAK MP for the Amparai District, Ariyanayagam Chandranehru, was held by the Tamil National People's Front (TNPF) on Friday.
Chandranehru hailed from Thirukkovil, Amparai. He was named after two leading Indian independence activists admired by his father – Subhas Chandra Bose and Jawaharlal Nehru. He was the son of K. A. W. Ariyanayagam (Arappor Ariyanayagam), one of the founders of the Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi (ITAK).
Chandranehru joined the public service, working at the fisheries department, he later worked as an officer on a Maldivian ship. In the mid 1980s when he returned home he was arrested under the Prevention of Terrorism Act and detained at Boosa prison. His incarceration increased his aspiration to achieve a separate Tamil state through the armed struggle.
Chandranehru was killed when paramilitaries ambushed and massacred a team from the LTTE’s political wing travelling through army-controlled territory in February 2005. At the time he was travelling with E. Kousalyan, the LTTE political wing leader for Batticaloa-Amparai.
The group were attacked by gunmen, at the time thought to be Sri Lankan soldiers but later linked to Karuna’s paramilitary, while travelling back to the East from Vanni after a meeting about tsunami rehabilitation efforts.
Chandranehru was the only Tamil parliamentarian for Amparai district at the time and was vocal about the Thirukkovil massacre and the suffering caused to his constituents by the STF. The LTTE conferred the title Maamanithar (great human being) on Chandranehru.