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HomeEditorialVelupillai Prabhakaran is haunting Sri Lankan politics?

Velupillai Prabhakaran is haunting Sri Lankan politics?

In 2010 Pro-LTTE website TamilWin claimed that the body of Prabhakaran belonged to a Sri Lankan soldier showing images of a Prabhakaran look-alike in the Sri Lankan army.

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P Nedumaran, LTTE, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, Velupillai Prabhakaran, Prabhakaran, Sri Lanka
File Photo | Velupillai Prabhakaran

P Nedumaran, the leader of the Tamil Nationalist Movement (TNM) and Ulaka Tamilar Peramaippu (World Tamil Confederation) made a shocking revelation, that Velupillai Prabhakaran, the commander of the defeated terror group, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) is alive, safe and in good health. Although the leader didn’t reveal LTTE Chief’s current location but claimed he would soon make a public appearance. Velupillai Prabhakaran was killed by the Sri Lankan military in May 2009, which effectively ended the Sri Lankan Civil War. Nedumaran believes that the changing global situation and Sri Lanka’s political crisis including the removal of the Rajapaksa government breathed a new lease of life into the LTTE Chief encouraging him to step outside.

On the morning of May 18, 2009 ‘The Tamil Tiger’ Prabhakaran was said to be killed by the Sri Lankan Army for raging a war against the state. The cause of death was believed to be a single shot to the head at close range. Despite the announcement of his death by both the Government and LTTE remnants, certain groups and media have claimed that Prabhakaran survived the war and managed to escape. In 2009 a Tamil website showed an image showing Prabhakaran viewing a news report of his death on TV which was sent to France 24 as proof of his survival. But France 24 noted that the photo appeared to be photoshopped.

In 2010 Pro-LTTE website TamilWin claimed that the body of Prabhakaran belonged to a Sri Lankan soldier showing images of a Prabhakaran look-alike in the Sri Lankan army. The theory of Prabhakaran’s survival is also supported by Tamil Nadu politician Vaiko who claims Prabhakaran would emerge from hiding at the right time. Maybe the same story is now making headlines because the TNM leader believes that Prabhakaran is alive and here to appear soon publically. No one knows how true these claims are but the question to be asked is, why is he brought back in the headlines? What is the motive?

Also read: Sri Lanka Bans Commemoration of Tiger Rebels

Prabhakaran’s biography states that he was influenced by Subhas Chandra Bose and Bhagat Singh, who fought the British Empire. Prabhakaran never developed a systematic philosophy, but did declare that his goal was ‘revolutionary socialism and the creation of an egalitarian society’. His rare interviews, his annual Tamil Eelam Heroes Day speeches and the LTTE’s policies and actions can be taken as indicators of Prabhakaran’s philosophy and ideology. Religion was not a major factor in his philosophy or ideology; the Tamil Tigers’ ideology arose from Marxist-Leninist thought and was explicitly secular.

Prabhakaran is often seen as a martyr to the Sri Lankan Tamil people. His source of inspiration and direction was Sri Lankan Tamil nationalism, and his stated and ultimate ideal was to get Tamil Eelam recognised as a nation as per the UN Charter that guarantees the right of a people to political independence. The LTTE also proposed the formation of an Interim Self-Governing Authority during Peace Negotiations in 2003. Former Tamil guerrilla and politician Dharmalingam Sithadthan has remarked that Prabhakaran’s dedication to the cause of the Tamil Eelam was unquestionable; he was the only man in Sri Lanka who could decide if there should be war or peace.

Prabhakaran explicitly stated that an armed struggle is the only way to resist asymmetric warfare, in which one side, that of the Sri Lankan government, is armed and the other comparatively unarmed. He argued that he chose military means only after observing that non–violent means have been ineffectual and obsolete, especially after the Thileepan incident. Thileepan, a Lt. colonel rank officer adopted Gandhian means to protest against the IPKF killings by staging a fast unto death from 15 September 1987, and by abstaining from food or water until 26 September, when he died in front of thousands of Tamils who had come there to fast along with him. Tactically, Prabhakaran perfected the recruitment and use of suicide bomber units. His fighters usually took no prisoners and were notorious for assaults that often left every enemy soldier dead. Interpol described him as someone who was “very alert, known to use disguise and capable of handling sophisticated weaponry and explosives. He was called a “military genius” by western military experts.

Prabhakaran married Mathivathani Erambu on 1 October 1984. The military spokesman Udaya Nanayakkara said in May 2009 that there was no information about the whereabouts of the remaining members of Prabhakaran’s family. It is thought that the entire family was wiped out; the bodies of Mathivathani, Duvaraga and Balachandran reportedly were found in a bushy patch about 600 meters away from where Prabhakaran’s body was found. It is now alleged that his 12-year-old son was executed. Prabhakaran’s parents, Thiruvenkadam Velupillai and Parvathi, both in their 70s, were found in the Menik Farm camp for displaced people near the town of Vavuniya. The Sri Lankan military and the government gave public assurances that they would not be interrogated, harmed or ill-treated. They were taken into Sri Lankan military custody until Vellupillai’s death in January 2010.Prabhakaran has a sister, Vinodini Rajendaran. With Prabhakaran’s death, the bloody 26-year Sri Lankan civil war ended with little peace in the region.

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Vaidehi Taman
Vaidehi Taman
Vaidehi Taman an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with three Honourary Doctorate in Journalism. Vaidehi has been an active journalist for the past 21 years, and is also the founding editor of an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, and The Democracy digital video news portal is her brain child. Vaidehi has three books in her name, "Sikhism vs Sickism", "Life Beyond Complications" and "Vedanti". She is an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, OSCP offensive securities, Certified Security Analyst and Licensed Penetration Tester that caters to her freelance jobs.
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