Veteran Eezham Tamil drama artist Kalaapooshanam S.T. Arasu, who was betowed with the highest civilian Maamanithar title by LTTE Leader Velupillai Pirapaharan in 1990, passed away after a brief illness at the age of 89 in Nalloor, Jaffna on Friday. Sivakkolunthu Thirunavukkarasu (S.T. Arasu) received an emotional funeral service, attended by Tamil artists, academics and politicians on Sunday. As a multi-talented creative artist, S.T. Arasu has worked with prominent drama directors of his times and has contributed at various fronts including make-up and music. S.T.Arasu had a keen interest in sculpture and was also a professional photographer.
Sivakolunthu Thirunavukkarasu (28.04.1926 - 17.02.2016)
Born on 28 April 1926, and a former student of St John's College in Jaffna, Mr Arasu has contributed immensely to the development of drama as a communication medium, especially in carrying the messages of self-respect and liberation of Eezham Tamils from all types of oppression.
Attracted by Periyar E.V. Ramasamy’s Self-Respect Movement and the ideologies of C.N. Annadurai from the times when he was living in Tamil Nadu, Mr S.T. Arasu produced dramas oriented with Eezham Tamil heritage carrying forward messages of social and national emancipation among the Tamils in the island.
He was also a committed activist in the late 1950s when Thanthai S.J.V. Chelvanayakam's Federal Party advanced non-obedience struggle for Tamil liberation.
He was one of the first 8 Eezham Tamils to be bestowed with the title of Maamanithar by LTTE leader Mr Pirapaharan at Eezham Tamil Muththamizh Festival held in Jaffna in 1990.
Prominent cartoonist and author of Siriththiran, C. Sivagnanasundaram (contribution in the field of media), Kalaignani A. Selvaratnam (preservation of heritage artefacts) and Poet Kasi Anandan (literary contribution to Tamil struggle) were the other three artists of Eezham Tamils who were bestowed with the highest civil title by Mr Pirapaharan.
Social activists, writers, artists, academics and Tamil politicians paid their last respects to him at the funeral held at his residence at Muththiraich-chanthi in Jaffna. S.T. Arasu was cremated at Chemma'ni cremation grounds on Sunday.
Former Vice Chancellor of Jaffna University Professor N. Shanmugalingan, senior lecturers Dr K. Sithamparanathan and Mr K. Rathitharan addressed the participants on the contributions of Maamanthar S.T. Arasu.