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Singapore says senior statesman Rajaratnam dead at 90

Written by: Staff
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SINGAPORE, Feb 22 (Reuters) One of Singapore's best-known politicians, S. Rajaratnam, has died at the age of 90, the city-state said today.

Along with Singapore Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew, now 82, Rajaratnam was a founding member of the dominant People's Action Party that has controlled the government since the former British colony's first full general elections in 1959.

Sri Lankan-born Rajaratnam served 29 years in the island republic's cabinet, including stints as foreign minister and deputy prime minister, retiring from politics in 1988.

''We mourn S Rajaratnam's death as we remember his profound contribution to the nation. Singapore has lost a giant,'' Singapore's Foreign Affairs Ministry said in a statement.

The statement did not give the cause of death but local media said Rajaratnam died of heart failure.

Rajaratnam, a former journalist, was also seen as a driving force behind the formation of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations regional grouping.

REUTERS SHR RK1829

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