Royal People

A dedication to those wonderful people who served Royal Primary School & Royal College, in Sri Lanka, since 1835, and, who will be remembered for their committment, sincerety and unselfishness.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Sir Ponnambalam Arunachalam

Sir Ponnambalam Arunachchalam CCS (September 14, 1853- January 9, 1924) was a tamil political leader of Ceylon.

His father was Arunachalam Ponnambalam and mother was Sellachchi. He was the third son of their parents and the brother of Sir Ponnambalam Ramanathan who was another famous Ceylon tamil leader. He had three sons, Arunachalam Mahadeva, Sivananthan Arunachalam and Arunachalam Ramanathan.

He was one of the first Ceylonese to enter the Ceylon Civil Service which he did in 1875. He was appointed Registrar General in 1887. He showed his eminence in all the positions he held. His scientific compilation of the National Census Report in 1911 was a masterpiece. The introductory report contains “the most luminous dissertation on the ethnological, social and economic conditions of the Island”. On his retirement from the Public Service in 1913, he was Knighted in recognition of his distinguished service to the country. He was also nominated by the Governor to a seat in the Executive Council.

He was the first Ceylonese to be elected President of the Ceylon Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society. As President of the Saiva Paripalana Sabai he took much interest in Hindu Cultural matters. He was the first person to start agitating for a University for Ceylon (one of the Halls of residence at the Peradeniya University was named Arunachalam Hall, in 1951). The Ceylon Reform League was founded in May of that year with Sir Arunachalam as Chairman. This led to the formation of the Ceylon National Congress later in 1919. He died at Madurai on 9th January 1924, while on a pilgrimage worshipping at the Hindu Temples in South India.

Books Written
Sketches of Ceylon History; Studies (1906)
A Digest of the Civil Law of Ceylon, Census Report of 1901.
A Revel in Bliss (1895).
A Few Hymns of Manikka Vachaka and Thayumanavar (1897).
Studies and Translations from the Tamil
Studies and Translations, Philosophical and Religious (1937)


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