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Home >Tamils - a Trans State Nation > One Hundred Tamils of the 20th Century > Mudaliyar C. Rasanayagam
One Hundred Tamils of the 20th Century
[Nominated by V.Thangavelu]
"Mudaliyar C.Rasanayagam was born on 22nd October 1870. He was educated at S.Thomas College,
Colombo and entered the Clerical Service in 1889. He functioned mostly as an Interpreter in
the Law Courts. In 1920, he was promoted and the titular
rank of "Mudaliyar" conferred on him. Later in 1923, he was promoted to the Ceylon Civil Service. He then commenced to function at the Jaffna Kachcheri till his retirement in 1929.
Afterwards he devoted himself fully to research work on the History of Ancient Jaffna.
It is said that at one time he employed as many as eleven scholars from India at his house to carry out studies of old manuscripts. All the ancient "ola manuscripts" collected by him were carefully deciphered and scrutinised.
He proceeded to London and perused the ancient manuscripts of Kailaya Malai and Yalpana Vaipava Malai in the Museum archives. These are two ancient works on the History of Jaffna. He published the text of the earlier work, with his notes .
In 1926 he published his much valued work entitled Ancient Jaffna, which has been the only available book in English, on the specific subject, for years. Even to day it is a basic standard source work and a masterpiece. A second edition of this valuable book has now been published and copies are available in the book shops.
This was followed with a work on Kadirkamam in 1930 and History of Jaffna in Tamil in 1933. A History of Jaffna during the British period was published in 1934. A collection of Tamil Documents in the Archives was selected and translated in 1937.
He encouraged Tamil studies in many ways. He urged Kula Sabanathan to edit and publish the Yalpana Vaipava Malai, adding explanatory notes. The venerable Mudaliyar passed away on 17th January 1940." (from S.Arumugam's Dictionary of Biography of the Tamils of Ceylon - published here with permission)