Tamil Research Conference Massacre – 10.01.1974

From January 3rd to 10th, 1974, the Tamil people organized the Fourth World Tamil Research Conference in Jaffna to include their language and culture. The then ruling government did not want the conference to be held in Jaffna. The government did not accept this and imposed a series of blockades directly in Colombo and through the Metropolitan Major in Jaffna. Also, the permission of the main halls to hold the conference was denied till the last hour. Many foreign scholars were denied visas to attend the conference.

In spite of these, there was enthusiasm among the organizers and the people to conduct the conference well. Seeing the influx, the government stepped back and issued visas to foreign scholars on a limited basis.



The chairman of the conference committee, Justice Thambaiah, did not want the conference to be held in Jaffna. Therefore, the Tamil Research Conference under the leadership of Prof. Su.Vithyanandhan to step down from the post of President started on the 3rd and lasted until the 10th in Jaffna. It was well held in the courtyard performance. Lakhs of people from different parts of Jaffna. They came to town. No conference held till then had been so successful. On that day, the peninsula was full of festivities.

10th January 1974 was celebrated as the last day. As the final event, the scholars talked about the pride of Tamil and the pride of culture. People clapped and cheered enthusiastically. Finally, while Tamil Nadu Professor "Naina Mohammad" is speaking, Jaffna. They attacked the people who were attending the police conference led by Chief Constable Chandrasekhara for help and also opened fire. Nine civilians died in this incident. Many were injured. Halls were damaged. Jaffna Assistant Superintendent of Police Chandrasekhara who disrupted the conference was later promoted to Superintendent of Police by Sirimavo Bandaranaike.

Details of those killed in the Tamil Research Conference on 10.01.1974:

  1. Velupillai Kesavarajan (Age 15 – Student)
  2. Paramsodhi Saravanabhavan (age 26)
  3. Vaidyanathan Yoganathan (age 32)
  4. Zonpitalis Sigmaringam (Age 52 – Author)
  5. Pulendran Arulpu (age 53)
  6. Rajadurai Sivanandam (Age 21 – Student)
  7. Rajan Devaratnam (age 26)
  8. Chinnathurai Ponnuthurai (Age 56 – Life Vedic Physician)
  9. Chinnathambi Nandakumar (Age 14 – Student)

Note:- The name details of all those affected in this incident could not be obtained.

By: Tamil Genocide 1956 – 2001 Book.