Biography of Appapillai Amirthalingam
Appapillai Amirthalingam (August 26, 1927 – July 13, 1989) was a Sri Lankan politician who advocated separatism for the Tamil regions of the country. He was assassinated by the LTTE.
Amirthalingam became leader of the Tamil United Liberation Front upon the death of S.J.V. Chelvanayakam in 1977. In the 1977 elections he led the TULF to one of its best showings ever, becoming the official Opposition in Parliament.
Throughout his tenure as leader, Amirthalingam was under severe pressure from militant youth groups who believed his parliamentary actions were useless and only armed struggle could achieve justice for the Tamils.
Sinhalese nationalists, in their turn, blamed Amirthalingam for terrorist attacks carried out by the militants.
After the Black July pogroms of 1983, Civil war broke out between the government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
Amirthalingam supported the Indian military intervention of 1987, and a negotiated end to the conflict. It is believed that for this reason the LTTE ordered his assassination.