Former TNA leader R. Sampanthan passes away

R. Sampanthan - TNA

Former Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leader R. Sampanthan passed away at the age of 91.

He reportedly passed away while receiving treatment at a private hospital in Colombo on Sunday (June 30).

Rajavarothiam Sampanthan (R. Sampanthan) was one of the longest-serving MPs, with decades of experience, and served as the Leader of the TNA for several years.

A veteran Tamil politician and prominent figure in the country’s main Tamil alliance, Ilankai Tamil Arasu Kadchi (ITAK), his political career spanned six decades, beginning with his first stint in the Sri Lankan parliament in 1977.

Sampanthan was the incumbent MP for Trincomalee District and had served in five parliaments since 1977.

A lawyer by profession, Sampanthan had led the Tamil National Alliance since 2001. He was a Member of Parliament continuously from 2001 until his death in 2024 and previously served as an MP from 1977 to 1983 and from 1997 to 2000.

He was the Leader of the Opposition from September 2015 to December 2018.

In April this year, Parliament granted the former TNA leader and Trincomalee District MP three months’ leave from attending Parliament sessions as he was receiving medical treatment.