Late Honourable Mr. A. Sabapathy was born in the year 1853 in Thalaiyali a small village which lies within Vannarpennai and Kokkuvil. Mr. A. Sabapathy was a man of many parts - a giant among the personalities of his time. He was a prominent educationist who was one of the founders of Jaffna Hindu College and other affiliated Hindu Colleges. This act of his served many Hindus from becoming Christians for the sake of education. He was one of the richest men of his time in Ceylon. And a philanthropist who helped anyone who came to him for help. He held virtual monopoly of the Malayalam tobacco trade.
As a politician he was President of the Jaffna association and member of Ceylon Legislative Council during British rule. He was a journalist par excellence editing the Hindu Organ for about 25 years. His duels with Armond De Souza of Times were Legendary. He was also a fighter for human rights during the difficult days of British rule.
On his father's side were a succession of wealthy chettiars beginning with Veerappan Chettiar who came to this country in the late 18th Century. His son Murugan Chettiar who migrated from Araly to Vannar pannai. Murugan Chettiar had four children three sons and one daughter. The eldest son Govindan went to United Kingdom to study medicine and returned to Ceylon as a surgeon. Dr. Covington as he came to be known after his return to Ceylon settled down in Batticaloa. Dr. Covington married in Batticaloa and his family became the leading family in Batticaloa. One of the main roads in Batticoloa is named after him.
Arunasalam Chettiar ( Mr. Sabapathy's father) called Periya Chettiar) the second son settled down in Thalayali. He established prosperous businesses and was a wealthy Importer and exporter trading with countries like India, Burma and Malaysia. He used to regularly ship goods in his own ship to Burma.
He married daughter of Sithamparapillai who traces his roots to the Pillais of Thirunelveli in India.v Mr. A. Sabapathy married Sinnamma, daughter of Mr. And Mrs. Saravanamuthu Udayar. Mr. Saravanamuthu Udayar of Vannarpannai East and acting Maniyagar of Jaffna. Mr. Saravanamuthu's wife is from the famous historical clan of Iru Marapum Thooya Thaninayaga Mudali who came to Jaffna with the Chola Kings. When she married Saravanamuthu Udayar, she came in a Palanquin and retinue if servitors.