Thursday, August 11, 2011

He was a giant of a man - eloquent, generous and the perfect story teller.

Dear Jeyasankar

This is very very sad news. Please feel free to use the following words if useful:

Prof Sivathamby was one of the most impressive academics I ever had the pleasure to meet in Sri Lanka. He was a giant of a man - eloquent, generous and the perfect story teller. He introduced me to the history of Tamil theatre and demonstrated how important it was to the island of Sri Lanka and also what it had to offer to the arts community internationally.

I remember with great affection visiting his apartment in Colombo and him describing the different movements of Sri Lankan political and cultural life. He had seen the positives and also the many tragedies of the situation in Sri Lanka. But he continued to be committed to seeing the best in people.

I was privileged to have travelled to Jaffna, Trincomalee and Batticaloa during the years between 2000 and 2005 and he was always asking questions about the theatre work that I saw in those areas. Always acutely interested in what was happening now - and always open to hear about the different types of theatre.

Professor Sivathamby was a teacher to many - and I was very lucky to be his student. Professor - you will be missed. Thanks for the dosai, thank you for the tea, thank you for welcoming me to your house - and thank you for your inspiration.

Jeya - please could you let me know when the funeral will be and if there will be any memorial event?

And please send my regard to his family.


James Thompson
In Place of War
School of Arts Histories and Cultures
University of Manchester