from the Booklet of Sangam’s 26th Annual General Meeting in 2003, when Mr. Rajaratnam was given a Lifetime Achievement Award:
Mr. J.M. Rajaratnam, a graduate of University of Ceylon, was the winner of a five year open government Scholarship for studies in Accounting in the UK. He was the CEO and Chairman, Board of Directors of Singer Company’s operations in Ceylon, was transferred to the US head office and appointed Vice President of Finance and Accounting of the International Group of the Corporation. Mr. J.M. Rajaratnam has been included in the Marquis Who’s Who in America.
After his retirement, he works as a Consultant to the World Bank, Member of the Roster of Experts on matters related to transnational corporations of the United Nations and a Member of the US Executive Volunteer Service Corps.
Mr. J.M. Rajaratnam, who has been advocating the Eelam Tamil cause with governments and international bodies, has published “Tamils of Sri Lanka — The quest for human dignity” issued by the Tamil Information Center of UK. He has been a long time member of Ilankai Tamil Sangam, is a past President (1990-1991), and has spoken at various conventions in the USA, Canada, the UK and India on the Tamil Eelam cause.
from Sangam’s obituary notice sent to members:
It is with deepest sympathies we inform you that Mr. J.M. Rajaratnam former president of Ilankai Thamil Sangam (1990, 1991) passed away on Monday June 16th in New Jersey. Mr. J.M. Rajaratnam was an icon for generosity and compassion among Tamils from Ilankai residing in the United States. A lifelong Tamil activist, Mr. Rajaratnam has voiced his support for the Tamil people in Ilankai throughout his life. His contribution to alleviate the suffering of Tamils was immense. Mr. Rajaratnam from Alvai, Point Pedro was an old boy of Hartley College and Central College. Mr. J. Rajaratnam is survived by his wife Rajeswari Rajaratnam, 5 children and numerous grandchildren.
Biographical Information of Late Mr. J.M. Rajaratnam
Born in Point Pedro, Ceylon (Sri Lanka)
Education: Hartley College, Jaffna Central College. Ceylon University
Professional – Fellow Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants (England & Wales)
Lecturer, Jaffna Central College.
Senior Auditor, Ford Rhodes & Thornton (Chartered Accountants)
Chief Accountant, Brown & Co. Group.
General Manager, Singer Company (Ceylon)
Asia Region Vice President, Singer sewing Co. Group.
Founder Member & President of London Tamil Sangam
President, Ilankai Thamil Sangam USA
Founder Member & Vice President World Tamil Organisation
Founder Member-Tamil Welfare & Human Rights Committee USA
Chairman of the Rajaratnam Charity Foundation
RAJARATNAM–J.M., Loving husband of Rajes, father of five, and grandfather of ten. J.M. Rajaratnam passed away at the age of 86. He was born in Alvai, Sri Lanka and attended Hartley College before graduating with honors in Chemistry from the University of Ceylon. He proceeded to England on scholarship and was 5th in the world as a Chartered Accountant. He later became Chief Financial Controller of Browns Group and then General Chairman of Singer (Sri Lanka) before being promoted to head Singer’s Asia operation. Mr. Rajaratnam then led in philanthropy in Sri Lanka, enhancing education, healthcare, and women’s rights. He was recognized by Stanford’s Who’s Who list and by Illankai Tamil Sangam for the Lifetime Achievement Award. We will memorialize his legacy at Barrett Funeral Home in Tenafly, NJ at 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 21.
Published in The New York Times on June 20, 2014