Hon Mrs.Vijayakala Maheswaran
Hon.Vijayakala Maheswaran became the first Jaffna Tamil woman to be elected to the parliament from United National Party (UNP), the first female Member of Parliament from United National Party(UNP)to represent Jaffna, and only the first Jaffna Tamil woman minister from ruling Government.
T. Maheswaran (full name Thiyagarajah Maheswaran) (Tamil: தியாகராஜா மகேஸ்வரன்) (10 January 1966 – 1 January 2008) was an ethnic Tamil Sri Lankan Member of Parliament (MP) from jaffna and Colombo. He belonged to the main opposition United National Party and was critic of war against Tamils. He was the former Hindu Affairs minister and a former Member of Parliament for Colombo District, escaped an assassination attempt on the final day of the 2004 election campaign in Colombo. He was assassinated by a gunshot on January 1, 2008 while worshipping at a Hindu temple with his family. Number of other devotees were also injured. The injured gunman has been apprehended and was in police custody in a hospital.
Mrs. Maheswaran contested the 2010 parliamentary election as one of the United National Front's candidates in Jaffna District and was elected to Parliament. After the 2015 presidential election she was appointed Deputy Minister of Women’s Affairs by newly elected President Maithripala Sirisena.
Maheswaran was one of the United National Front for Good Governance’s candidates in Jaffna District at the 2015 parliamentary election. She was elected and re-entered Parliament. She was sworn in as State Minister of Child Affairs on 9 September 2015.
Mrs. Maheswaran was born on 23 November 1972. She is the daughter of Markandu from the village of Kalapoomy on the island of Karainagar in northern Sri Lanka. She was educated at Dr. A. Thiyagarajah Madhya Maha Vidyalayam (Karainagar Hindu College).
Maheswaran is the widow of T. Maheswaran, a Member of Parliament who was assassinated by a government backed paramilitary group, in January 2008. They had three children - two daughters and one son.
T. Maheswaran was born in Karainagar, Jaffna and attended the prestigious St Johns College. He was a successful businessman before becoming a politician with the United National Party. He was one of the first minority Tamil politician to join a majority Sinhalese dominated political party from the south after the commencement of the Sri Lankan civil war. During the UNP rule he was known for not following party regulations regarding voting for emergency regulations. He always voted to rescind it. He was also known for his efforts to high light the Human rights situation affecting the minority Sri Lankan Tamils both in the parliament and to the local media.
Just before his death, his security staff was reduced from 11 to 2 by the government after the budget speech.
He was shot dead by gunman while attending the New Year prayers at Kotahena, Sivan Kovil and later succumbed to his injuries at the Colombo General Hospital along with one Hindu pilgrim who was too attending to the prayers. He had escaped an earlier assassination attempt in 2004. T. Maheswaran's plan to reveal Jaffna situation has led to his murder.
Joseph Pararajasingham and Nadarajah Raviraj were the other parliamentarians who were critical of the war effort who were killed during the years 2006 to 2008.!