How Prabhakaran killed his opponents

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By 2017-02-17

ELMO GOONERATNE

Velupillai Prabhakaran, at the young age of 17, shot dead Alfred Duraiappah at a Hindu kovil in Nallur. Duraiappah was a Christian married to a Hindu doctor, a niece of G.G. Ponnambalam who was a lawyer and politician. Ponnambalam was also the founder of the Tamil Congress.

All leading Tamil politicians and lawyers of the Jaffna Peninsula joined Ponnambalam's Tamil Congress which demanded equal rights for Tamils. Most of the leading politicians and lawyers with the ash pottu on their forehead and dressed in verti and cotton banians shouted for the 'Fifty-fifty' demand in Jaffna while the Tamils who lived in Colombo 7 were dressed in the best of Western attires, travelled in limousines.

The Tamil Congress political cry did not last long when the feeble-looking S.J.V. Chelvanayagam, a Christian in western attire, broke away from Ponnambalam's Tamil Congress and formed the Federal Party with a majority of members of the Tamil Congress joining it.

Ponnambalam

Ponnambalam, a Queen's Counsel and a Tamil politician who had the majority support of the Jaffna people even lost his Parliament seat in Jaffna to a Federal Party candidate.

During this period the Wellalas were the most powerful group in Jaffna. They were the high caste people who looked down upon the lower caste people. There was no difference between the Tamil Congress and the Federal Party where the Wellalas were concerned. They were educated, rich and powerful. The low caste Tamil people had no place in both the political parties. The Federal Party nominated G. Nalliah to the Senate, but I personally know how he was treated. Nalliah once told me when all the big shots were having lunch, he was served separately. "They gave me brinjal knowing very well that I was a diabetic." I saw him eating separately.

There was no place for low caste Tamils in both parties in the Eastern Province as they were controlled by the Wellalas.

After the killing of Duraiappah, low caste youth of the North rose against the Wellalas. They were led by Prabhakaran from Valvettithurai, the stronghold of the low caste Jaffna Tamils.

Killing spree

The killing spree which started in the North forced all leaders of the Federal Party and Tamil Congress to flee to India and Western countries seeking protection.

Prabhakaran's Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) took control of the North and East. Some Wellalas returned to the North while others settled down in Colombo. Some of them still visit the North wearing the vertis and with ashes on their foreheads.

With the coming of Sampanthan as the head of the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF), the Tamil people in the East remain silent while the low caste youth of Jaffna have started organizing themselves in the North backed by the Tamil Diaspora operating in West Australia, Canada, Europe and America.

Prabhakaran established himself as the supreme leader of the LTTE and launched the Eelam war. His guerilla outfit had planes, ships, arms and ammunition, well trained youth in India and the Middle East. Indira Gandhi gave the LTTE all the support as she had a plan to invade Sri Lanka. Canada, America, England and Germany extended support to Prabhakaran to establish Eelam.

While the low caste youth were engaged in fighting for Eelam, the well-to-do youth went into hiding.

Guerrilla outfit

The majority of Tamils who supported Prabhakaran later migrated to affluent countries in the West. They sent part of their earnings to Prabhakaran to realize his dream. Eventually, Prabhakaran had a powerful guerrilla outfit to fight the Army.

How did the Eelam war start? Who is to be blamed for the war? These are the questions everybody asks. S.W.R.D.Bandaranaike's 'Sinhala Only' policy was opposed by the Marxists and Tamils as well. Later the government tried to satisfy the Tamil by bringing in the Bandaranaike-Chelvanayagam Pact. Later Prime Minister Dudley Senanayake came to an agreement with Tamil parties to set up District Councils.

Bhikkhus and extremist elements in the country openly revolted against the Bandaranaike-Chelvanayagam Pact and District Councils. There were many behind the scene activities backed by foreign powers.

During the regime of Sirimavo Bandaranaike the government introduced a system of standardization of marks and district quotas for the entry to universities which brought down the percentage of Tamils entering the science faculties to 43 from 83 in 1969 and 14 from 25 in 1975. This led to great frustration and disappointment among the educated Tamil youth in the North who used pressure on the Tamil leadership to fight for a separate State.

Vadukoddai session

However, the situation changed in May 1976 when the TULF proclaimed at the Vadukoddai session that they would not be satisfied with anything less than a separate Tamil State comprising the North and the East to be called Tamil Eelam. The resolution called for the establishment of the Tamil independent sovereign secular socialist of Tamil Eelam. A large number of youth connected to Prabhakaran attended the meeting.

Amirthalingam was the Leader of the TULF at that time when the resolution was passed. But the tragedy was that those who anchored the Tamil Eelam cry were no longer among the living. All of them were killed by the followers of Prabhakaran.

In 1977, Amirthalingam became the Leader of the Opposition. After the killing of Duraiappah the TULF leaders tried to compromise with the Prabhakaran's group, which openly stated that Eelam could be achieved only through armed struggle.

After the killing of Duraiappah the LTTE groups started collecting funds all over the world for the purchase of arms and training in guerrilla warfare in India. The Indian Government extended financial help and training facilities for training youth in South Indian camps. Meanwhile, Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her own bodyguard.

PLO camps

While Yasser Arafat trained LTTE cadres in PLO camps, Prabhakaran launched a massive propaganda campaign in various countries where Tamils lived.

In Asian countries, Prabhakaran's main complaint was to tell the Asian people that his campaign was similar to that of Subhas Chandra Bose, the Indian leader who had joined the Japanese Army against the British. Subhas Chandra Bose died in a mysterious plane crash.

Mahattaya led many delegations in place of Prabhakaran to have talks with former President R. Premadasa. Subsequently Prabha suspected Mahattaya to be an Indian RAW secret service spy and tortured him to death.

Prabhakaran who was supposed to be a follower of Bose was a great follower of Clint Eastwood the Indian 'the one shot' cow boy.

He apparently practised the way Eastwood shot. Eastwood shot dummies, but Prabhakaran got real people murdered.

Prabhakaran got Anton Balasingham, a Tamil married to an Australian woman, as his deputy. Balasingham first worked in the Tamil Daily 'Virakesari' and then the British High Commission as a translator before he migrated to England and joined the LTTE first as its spokesperson and later as Prabhakaran's trusted deputy. His real name was Anton Xavier, a devout Catholic.

Uma Maheswaran

Prabhakaran became a leader of Tamils all over the world and began to eliminate all his rivals. First he got rid of his first deputy Uma Maheswaran, the man who helped him to form the LTTE. Prabhakaran formed charges to eliminate Maheswaran. One allegation was that Maheswaran had an illicit love affair with an LTTE woman cadre. After Maheswaran left him and formed his own party, Prabhakaran got him killed in Colpetty. Then Prabhakaran surrounded T. Sri Sabaratnam's house and killed him when the latter formed his own party known as Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization (TELO).

Meanwhile, Pathmanathan formed the Eelam People's Revolutionary Liberation Front (EPRLF) in Tamil Nadu. Prabhakaran's men walked into his office in broad daylight and killed everybody in the office.

Former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated by Suba, a Tamil young woman, at a political meeting. It should be noted that Prabhakaran killed all the Tamil leaders in Sri Lanka, leaving none to oppose him. But South Indian leaders such as Karunanidhi, Vaiko, M.G. Ramachandran and Annadurai supported him financially. Ramachandran, a Sri Lankan born South Indian film idol and subsequently the leader of ADMK became the Chief Minister and helped Prabhakaran with funds to strengthen the LTTE. Even the other Tamil film idols openly supported Prabhakaran with a lot of financial aid. One such person was Jayalalithaa, the mistress of M.G. Ramachandran, who became the Chief Minister and died mysteriously.

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