Professor Sivasubramaniam Pathmanathan is a Sri Lankan Tamil historian, academic, author and current chancellor of the University of Jaffna.He was educated at Jaffna College. After school he joined the University of Ceylon, Peradeniya from where he received a BA special degree in history in 1963.
Pathmanathan joined the University of Ceylon, Peradeniya in 1963 as an assistant lecturer in history. He was promoted to lecturer (1969), senior lecturer (1975) and associate professor (1981).In 1969 he received a Ph.D in South Asian history from the University of London. He was also a visiting lecturer of history/Hindu civilisation at the University of Ceylon, Colombo (1970-72) and visiting lecturer of history University of Sri Lanka Vidyalankara campus (1975-77). He joined the University of Jaffna in 1986 as professor of history, serving until 2004. He returned to the University of Peradeniya as professor of history in 1995, serving until 2006. He was head of the Department of History at Peradeniya between 2001 and 2002. He was a visiting professor at the University of Cologne’s Institute of Indology and Tamil Studies (2003-04) and Uppsala University (2004). He retired in May 2006.
After retirement Pathmanathan became an emeritus professor of history at University of Peradeniya. He was a visiting professor at Eastern University, Sri Lanka (2007-08) where he helped establish the Hindu Civilisation discipline.In 2008 he served as a consultant in Hindu studies at the South Eastern University of Sri Lanka. He later became chancellor of the University of Jaffna.
Pathmanathan has served in various positions including vice chairman of the University Grants Commission (1994-99) and a member of the National Education Commission (1991-2001). He was a consultant to the Ministry of Hindu Affairs between 2002 and 2003.