Appathurai Vinayagamoorthy was a stalwart in Tamil politics. He was a former Parliamentarian and a lawyer.
Born on December 19, 1933 in Sarasalai, Jaffna, Vinayagamurthi is someone who was known to have worked tirelessly for the downtrodden and the helpless.
Vinayagamoorthy received his primary education at the Sarasalai Vidyalayam and then moved on to Driberg College, Chavakachcheri for his secondary education.
In 1953, he entered the Government Clerical Service under the Ministry of Justice. He functioned as a clerk or interpreter in several courts in many parts of the island.
He obtained the LLB degree and enrolled as an Attorney-at-law in 1985 and commenced his legal practice under G.G. Ponnambalam (Jr).
On May 28, 2017, Vinayagamoorthy passed away, leaving a vacuum in the Tamil political sphere. As a person who had lived from the pre-independence era up to the end of the war in 2009, he would have been a source of knowledge in terms of addressing the core issues faced by the Tamils of this country. Whether his expertise and knowledge was used properly is indeed doubtful.
As far as his political career is concerned, Vinayagamoorthy was a long-standing member of the All Ceylon Tamil Congress (ACTC).
He contested as one of the ACTC’s candidates in Jaffna District during the parliamentary election held in 1989.
He failed to enter Parliament after his party lost the polls.
He then had to take over the party leadership in January 2000, after the killing of Kumar Ponnambalam. He then contested as one the ACTC’s candidates representing the Jaffna District at the parliamentary election in 2000.
He was elected and entered Parliament. He however relinquished leadership of the ACTC to Ponnambalam’s son Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam when the latter entered politics in 2001.
Vinayagamoorthy was then an integral part of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), which was formed on October 20, 2001.
The alliance formed by the ACTC, Eelam People’s Revolutionary Liberation Front (EPRLF), Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization (TELO) and Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF).
Vinayagamoorthy contested the 2001 parliamentary election as one of the TNA’s candidates in Jaffna District. He was elected and re-entered Parliament. He was one of the TNA’s candidates in Vanni District at the 2004 parliamentary election but failed to get elected after coming sixth amongst the TNA candidates.
Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam left the TNA in 2010, taking the ACTC with him but Vinayagamoorthy stayed with the TNA. He was one of the TNA’s candidates in Jaffna District at the 2010 parliamentary election. He was elected and re-entered Parliament. He was not chosen to contest the 2015 parliamentary election.