Ambalavanar Vaidialingam

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A. Vaidialingam
Personal details
Ambalavanar Vaidialingam

(1915-05-25)25 May 1915
Araly West, Jaffna District, Sri Lanka
Died5 August 1988(1988-08-05) (aged 73)
NationalitySri Lankan
Political partyCommunist Party of Sri Lanka
Alma materJaffna College
University College Colombo
Emmanuel College, Cambridge
ProfessionPolitician & Teacher

Ambalavanar Vaidialingam (25 May 1915 – 5 August 1988) was a founder member of the Communist Party of Sri Lanka. and a candidate for the Vaddukoddai Electoral District in the 1952, 1956 and 1960 (March) and 1960 (July) general elections. [1]

A Vaidialingam studied at Jaffna College, read mathematics at Ceylon University College and won a scholarship[2] to Emmanuel College, Cambridge, UK. As a student in Britain, Vaidialingam joined the British Communist Party along with fellow-students from Sri Lanka like Pieter Keuneman and P. Kandiah, who were his contemporaries[3]. They took an active part in the student movement, as well as in anti-imperialist and anti-fascist activities. The League against Imperialism, The India League and other anti-imperialist organisations were among those in which young Vaidialingam worked. He also made contact with S. A. Wickramasinghe, who was in London at the time acting as the representative of the newly-formed Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP) in the U.K, and himself joined that party.

Returning to Sri Lanka in 1939, he took an active part in the LSSP. In 1940, S. A. Wickramasinghe and other members (including Vaidialingam) were expelled for following a pro-Communist International line when the LSSP was evolving in a Trotskyite direction. The expelled members formed the United Socialist Party, which evolved into the Communist Party of Ceylon (later Sri Lanka) in 1943.

In 1944 Pieter_Keuneman Keuneman and A. Vaidialingam submitted the Communist Party Resolution and an accompanying memorandum to the Working Party of Ceylon National Congress proposing an option for self-determination and contiguous regions where feasible for all the nationalities in Ceylon to be considered in a post-independent Ceylon constitution[4]. However, this was not accepted and the Constitution_of_Sri_Lanka#Former_constitutions_of_Sri_Lanka when enacted was a unitary constitution. The Communist Party Resolution has been subsequently cited by M._A._Sumanthiran in the Constitution reforms debate in the Sri Lankan Parliament in 2017[5].

After working in Colombo for several years as a full-time member, Vaidialingam was sent to Jaffna by the party to help the development of the movement there. He found employment as a teacher and was one of the leaders of the teachers’ trade union in the north. He unsuccessfully stood for election as a CP candidate in the Vaddukoddai constituency in the 1952[6], 1956[7] and 1960 (March)[8]and 1960 (July)[9] general elections.

In 1984, he resigned from the CPSL Politburo on grounds of ill-health and reduced his political involvement.

The life of Comrade A. Vaidialingam was marked by birth centenary celebrations in Trinity Centre, London E12 in 2015. Further biographical details can be read in the booklet produced to accompany this [10][11][12]


  3. Keuneman, Pieter (April 1976). "A life of devotion to the People's Cause" (PDF).{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. "Wayback Machine" (PDF). 2015-09-24. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 2020-08-01.
  7. "Wayback Machine" (PDF). 2015-09-24. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 2020-08-01.
  8. "Wayback Machine" (PDF). 2015-07-12. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 July 2015. Retrieved 2020-08-01.
  9. "Wayback Machine" (PDF). 2015-09-24. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 2020-08-01.

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