Sittampalam Family History
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Dr. H. W. Tambiah was a highly eminent judge and academic renowned for his scholarship. Mr. P. Navaratnarajah, referred to below, was one of the most eminent lawyers in Sri Lanka, and so was Mr. S. Sharvananda. From the letter below included in the memorial booklet published as part of the ceremonies following her death, it can be seen that Pushpa showed promise of a brilliant legal career, but unfortunately illness struck her down at an early age.
Pushpa had an outstanding command of the English language, both written and spoken. She was trained in elocution speech and drama and had the highest qualifications possible from Trinity College of Music and Drama in London. In the final decade of her life she spent her time teaching English to children free of charge in Jaffna, where she had settled down.
52, 5th Lane
Colombo - 3
23, February 1992
I had the pleasure of working with Miss Pushpalakshmi Sittampalam who assisted me in my researches. Her father was Mr. C. Sittampalam, Minister of Posts and Telecommunications in the First Cabinet of Sri Lanka, one of the ablest Ministers in Parliament. He was very well known and respected.
I regret that Miss P. Sittampalam has passed away at a comparatively early age of 48. She passed out as a graduate in law and an advocate and also took oaths as an Attorney-at-Law. She helped me in my researches. She had a brilliant mind and helped me in many matters in which I required help. After qualifying she worked with me, Mr. P. Navaratnarajah Q.C. and Mr. S. Sharvananda, Retired Chief Justice and presently Governor of the Western Province Provincial Council. Thereafter she proceeded to Jaffna with a view to practising and looking after family affairs. Unable to proceed with her legal career due to the prevailing conditions there and the state of her health, she did much social services for which she was much appreciated.
Dr. H. W. Tambiah Q.C.
The following also appeared in the memorial booklet published on Pushpa’s s death.
Mr. Tiruchelvam was an eminent lawyer and politician who was a close friend of Arjuna Sittampalam at school and knew Pushpa very well. He became one of the leading lawyers in Sri Lanka. His father was a prominent cabinet minister.
Pushpa Sittampalam has been known to me for many years and her death deeply shocked and grieved. Pushpa came from an illustrious family which had achieved distinctions in the public and intellectual life of this country. Pushpa had inherited many of the intellectual qualities which had enabled her family to achieve distinction.
She was however simple, informal in her ways and kind, considerate and supportive to her friends. She had a clear mind, capacity to grasp difficult ideas easily and to express herself effectively. She displayed a great courage in combating a cruel and debilitating disease. Although Pushpa was not able to realise fully her early promise, and she had to encounter many hurdles in life, she left deep impressions on all those who knew her and who valued her.