She is Dr. Rajini Thiranagama, Faculty of Medicine, University of Jaffna.
Born on February 23, 1954, she was brutally murdered by LTTE terrorists on September 21, 1989, at the age of 35.
At the time of her death, she was the Head Doctor of the Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Jaffna.
Her father is A. Rajasingham, Deputy Principal of Vadukkodei Jaffna College.
Born Rajani Rajasingham, she was born in Jaffna as the second child of a Dravidian Christian family with four daughters.
Like her sisters Nirmala, Sumathi and Vasuki, she also studies in Jaffna College. For a short time, she studied at Chundikkuli Girls College in Jaffna city.
She passed her advanced degree in Biology and entered the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Colombo in 1973.
There she actively contributes to student politics.
She met Dayapala Thiranagama, a student political leader of Kelaniya University at that time. Born in a Sinhala Buddhist family, he studied geography for his graduation.
Breaking all religious and ethnic barriers, she and he got married on 28th August 1977.
She graduated in medicine in 1978 and works as an intern doctor at Jaffna General Hospital.
In 1979, she was working at Haldummulla Hospital.
Later, she joined the Jaffna University in 1980 as a professor of Anatomy at the newly established Faculty of Medicine.
Her elder sister Nirmala, who was a member of the LTTE at that time, joined the LTTE organization.
She treats injured LTTE operatives.
After receiving a Commonwealth scholarship, she went to England in 1983 to study anatomy at the Liverpool Medical College for her post-graduate studies.
There, she launched a struggle for the release of her sister Nirmala, who was arrested in 1982 under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, and against the harm caused to the Tamil people in the north by the Indian peacekeeping forces in the country at that time.
While doing her studies, she also works with women’s and human rights organizations and creates awareness.
Sensitized by the killings by armed groups, she eventually realizes the narrow racism of the LTTE.
After returning to her country, she joins the Jaffna University. It actively contributes to the establishment of the Association of Doctors of Human Rights.
She co-authored the book “The Broken Palmyra”, which contains evidence of human rights violations by the LTTE organization and the IPKF (Indian Peacekeeping Force).
The priceless book written about the violence in Jaffna in the 80s is also being translated into Sinhala under the name “Broken Palm Tree”.
A few weeks after the publication of the book, she was returning home by bicycle after completing her work at the university, when a gunman shot and killed her near her home in Tirunelveli.
Even her two young daughters at home could hear the gunshots.
By that time Dayapala Thiranagamayan had come to Colombo.
Dayapala Thiranagamyan emotionally recalls the moment when a woman whom he had never seen before came to Colombo and informed him of her death.
She was buried on 25 September 1989 at her family graveyard in Nallur.
Later, Dayapala Thiranagamyan wrote that the most bitter, most painful and most difficult journey of her life was her last journey to the cemetery holding the hands of her two daughters.
Born in 1978, Narmada’s daughter now lives in the UK.
Sharika’s daughter, born in 1980, lives in the United States. She is married to Stanford University anthropologist Thomas Blom Hansen.
Sharika Thiranagama’s daughter plays the role of her mother in the documentary film “No More Tears Sister” created by the National Film Board of Canada in 2005.
This post ends with a prediction written by Rajini Thiranagama, the brave daughter who was lost to Akal, as a tribute to her on a day like today.
“One day some gun will silence me and it will not be held by an outsider but by the son born in the womb of this society, from a woman with whom my history is shared. ” ” One day I will be silenced by a firearm. It will not be borne by an outsider but by a son born from the womb of a woman of this society who shared my history with me. “