Leader V Prabakaran’s Heros day speech 1996

We cannot be subdued

Maha Veerar Naal Address
மாவீரர் நாள் – National Heroes Day
National Heroes Day – November 27, 1996

During our long journey towards liberation we have crossed rivers of fire. It is our commitment to our cause that sustained us during these violent upheavals. The cause we have charted to fight for – the right to self-determination of our people – is right, fair and just. From the beginning up to now, we are resolutely committed to our cause. Our cause is our towering strength. It is because of our firm commitment to our cause that we have our importance, individuality and history”

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 My beloved people of Tamil Eelam,

Today is a day of veneration. It is on this day we venerate and pay our respects to our heroes who adorn our temple of freedom as thousands of shining flames of liberty.

Today is not a day of mourning to weep for the dead nor a sad day to plunge into sorrow. Today is the sacred day of our martyrs.

Today we remember and venerate our fighters in our hearts who have sacrificed their precious lives for a noble cause. Today we salute them for their heroism and supreme sacrifice.

The price we pay for our liberation in terms of great sacrifices is invaluable. The sacrifices made by our heroes for the cause of our people to live with dignity and sovereignty are unparalleled in the history of the world. An epic of heroism unique in history has been created on our soil.

The freedom struggle of the Tamils has been a raging inferno for a long time. Several forces have joined hands with our enemy in a continuous effort to extinguish this fire of freedom. As a consequence, we have been facing various crises and set-backs at different times. We are compelled to struggle alone against formidable forces without support or assistance from anywhere. Therefore, the price we pay for our freedom is immense. It is our martyrs who have paid with their lives to protect and preserve the flame of national freedom.

During our long journey towards liberation we have crossed rivers of fire. It is our commitment to the cause that sustained us during these violent upheavals. The cause we have charted to fight for the right to self-determination of our people is right, fair and just. From the beginning up to now, we are resolutely committed to our cause. Our cause is our towering strength. It is because of our firm commitment to our cause we have our importance, individuality and history.

The higher ideals of other Tamil groups could not withstand the political upheavals that swept Tamil Eelam. But no force could break our will.

The Indian military occupation of Tamil Eelam posed a major challenge to our determination. At that historical conjuncture when we were hard pressed by the military supremacy of a world power, we fought with fierce determination without giving up the cause. During that dangerous situation, determination became our ultimate weapon. It was by that moral power we were able to confront a great military power of the world.

We are now facing a new challenge, a new war of aggression. Our historical enemy, Sinhala Buddhist Chauvinism, has taken institutional form in the guise of Chandrika’s regime and has been conducting a genocidal war against the Tamil nation.

Having mobilised the full military might of the Sinhala nation, it has occupied the historical lands of the Tamils in the North.
The central strategic objective of this aggressive war was to destroy the military strength of the LTTE by utilising several divisions of troops and massive fire power. But the Sinhala army has failed to achieve this military objective.

The grand strategy of the army was to unleash large scale conventional modes of battles in the Jaffna Peninsula, a territorial region surrounded by sea and extremely disadvantageous to us geographically. The plan was to bog us down in the Peninsula and to destroy our military potential. We were aware of this nefarious strategy.

Subsequently we organised a counter plan to fight back effectively the advancing columns and make strategic movement of our forces so as to preserve our military strength from annihilation. As a consequence, the strategic objective of the armed forces in the battles of Jaffna turned out to be a fiasco.

In the conduct of the war it becomes a necessary condition for a liberation movement practising the art of guerrilla warfare to make strategic withdrawals and to loose areas of control. This cannot be categorised as a military defeat but can be regarded as a temporary set-back. By preserving our military power and our determination, we could launch counter offensive operations at any place and at any time chosen by us when the right objective condition prevails. By such manoeuvres we could inflict heavy damage on the enemy’s military power and even regain lost territories.

This strategy is best exemplified at the battle of Mullaitivu where we inflicted heavy casualties on the army and recaptured the territory. This success was possible because we retained our military power.

This aggressive war that has been launched in the guise of a “war for peace” and as a “war for the liberation of the Tamils” has seriously disrupted the peace of the Tamils, reduced them to refugees, as subjugated people, destroyed their social and economic existence and brought them intolerable suffering. Though the Government of Chandrika has been cheating the world with its theory of peace, in practice it is conducting a brutal war against the Tamil people.

Jaffna Peninsula has been transformed into an open air prison. Having dismembered the region into different security zones with defence bunds, barbed wire fences and innumerable check-points, this famous historical land of the Tamils has been brought under the rule of military terror.

The incidents of arrests, detention, torture, rape, murder, disappearances and the discovery of the disappeared in mass graves reveal that a covert genocidal policy is practised in the army controlled areas.

The military atrocities occurring in the occupied areas and the anti-Tamil persecution taking place in the South have exposed the real racist face of the Government. Compared to previous Sinhala Governments, it is Chandrika’s regime which has inflicted a deep wound in the soul of the Tamil nation.

From the beginning we realised the Government of Chandrika would not do justice to the Tamils nor would it resolve the Tamil national problem. We were deeply dismayed when her Government adopted an intransigent and bellicose attitude during peace talks with the LTTE. The talks ended inconclusively when the Government refused to grant even meagre concessions to the urgent day-to-day needs of the Tamils and gave primacy to the interests of the military establishment.

Since the Government believed in military supremacy, in military approaches and in a military solution, it did not treat the peace talks seriously and deliberately created conditions for the failure of the negotiating process. From the beginning until today the deepest aspiration of this Government is to achieve military hegemony in the Tamil homeland and to subjugate the Tamils under military domination.

This approach pre-dominated by militarism and chauvinism has complicated the ethnic conflict and firmly closed the doors for peace. It has aggravated the armed conflict. It has seriously disrupted the Sri Lankan economy. In totality, Chandrika’s Government has been caught up in an insurmountable crisis. The international community is now beginning to realise that Chandrika’s “war for peace” is not only destroying the Tamil national life but also plunging the entire island into a major catastrophe.

To distract the world’s criticism from her hard-line military approach and for the escalation of the war, Chandrika is sending peace signals. While issuing statements that she is prepared for talks with the LTTE through third party mediation she has also laid down ridiculous conditions that we should surrender arms before talks. No liberation movement with self-respect could accept such humiliating conditions.

Having unleashed an intense propaganda campaign categorising our liberation movement as a “terrorist” organisation and our freedom struggle as “terrorism” this Government is making every effort to ban our organisation locally and abroad.

Furthermore, the Government is making massive military preparations to escalate the war and issuing statements that the LTTE would be wiped out within next year. In these circumstances, we have grave doubts about Chandrika’s peace gesture. We are not opposed to peace, nor are we opposed to a resolution of the conflict by peaceful means.

We want an authentic peace, a true, honourable, permanent peace, a condition in which our people can live with freedom and dignity in their own land without external coercion determining their own political life. We have grave doubts whether the forces of Sinhala-Buddhist chauvinism will allow such a peaceful life to the Tamil people.

Chauvinistic Sinhala Governments committed to repression and military solutions will not resolve the Tamil national problem by peaceful means. Historically the Tamils have learned this lesson. We do not believe that Chandrika’s regime, which is the guardian and the political representative of Sinhala-Buddhist chauvinism will bring authentic peace to the Tamils by resolving the ethnic conflict. Because of this distrust we sought third party mediation.

We have made statements a year ago, calling for international mediation if possibilities of peace talks arise in the future. At that time, the Government of Chandrika did not favourably consider our suggestion. Instead, it escalated the aggressive war in the North, intensified the ethnic conflict and undermined the conditions of peace.

The Government may entertain a notion that it has gained military hegemony by the occupation of Tamil lands and that this position could be used as a mode of pressure to its advantage in the peace talks. As far as we are concerned, peace talks under such conditions cannot be free and equal.

We cannot expect justice from a Government that attempts to barter the rights of our people with military power as its trump card. It is for this reason, we want peace talks to be held in a congenial environment free from the pressure of military aggression. Our position is that political negotiations should be preceded by creating conditions for de-escalation, withdrawal of troops and normalcy. We are prepared to talk and reach an agreement on these issues.

We do not expect Chandrika’s Government to accept our just position. For years the forces of Sinhala-Buddhist chauvinism believed in and practised a policy of military domination and oppression. Chandrika’s regime too, is functioning under the shadow of military power. Therefore we have serious doubts whether Chandrika’s Government will give up the policy of military domination and resolve the conflict on the basis of moral power and justice.

We cannot gain our rights by pleading with the Sinhala rulers. We must fight and win our rights. History has not recorded any liberation struggle that has won without fighting, without bloodshed, without death and destruction, without sacrifices.

Therefore let us struggle. Let us struggle facing set-backs as challenges and victories as inspirations, let us continue to struggle with confidence under any difficulties and hardships. Let us struggle with unfailing determination until we drive the occupation army from our soil, until we achieve the liberation of our nation.

Let us remember and venerate our martyrs today with a solemn pledge that we will wipe the tears of our beloved ones who are suffering under military occupation and repression.

Leader V Prabakaran’s Heros day speech 1995

We cannot be subdued

Maha Veerar Naal Address
மாவீரர் நாள் – National Heroes Day
27 November 1995

This is our land, the land in which we were born, grew and live, the land which bears the foot prints of our forefathers, the land in which our culture and history are rooted…The LTTE will not participate in peace negotiations imposed at the point of a gun …This is the message we wish to address to the Chandrika regime”

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My beloved people of Tamil Eelam,

Today is Martyrs’ Day, a sacred day in which we cherish the memory of our heroes who have sacrificed their precious lives for the cause of the freedom of our nation.

Our martyrs have died for the liberation of this land so that our people could live in our land with freedom, dignity and security.

This is our land, the land in which we were born, grew and live, the land which bears the foot prints of our forefathers, the land in which our culture and history are rooted.

Our martyrs have died for the objective that this land should belong to us. They have died for the cause of liberating this land from the shackles of alien domination and transforming it into an independent sovereign nation.

In the sacred war of liberating our homeland our heroes have made supreme sacrifices which cannot be described in words. Extraordinary deeds never before happened in the history of the world have taken place in this land, for the freedom of this land. The ideal dream, the spiritual yearning of those thousands of martyrs who have created this heroic legend will be actualised one day.

Today the war of aggression against our land by the enemy has reached a phenomenal scale. Having mobilised all its military power and having utilised all its national resources, the enemy has launched a massive invasion on the Jaffna soil.

Our traditional land of ancient historical glory is being systematically destroyed by the enemy’s firepower. The intense shelling that rains down unabatingly has wiped out the face of Jaffna. The fundamental objective of this war of aggression is to destroy the economic resources and the cultural heritage of Jaffna thereby uprooting the national life of the people.

This war is not, as the government claims, against the LTTE. This war is against the Tamil people, against the Tamil Nation. The objective of this war is to destroy the Tamil Nation. This racist war of Sinhala chauvinism has a long history.

It has been going on before the birth of the LTTE. It has started by Chandrika’s father. Now, Chandrika’s government has given total expression to this racist war. The strategic objective of this war is to annihilate the national identity of the Tamils by destroying their life and property and their land and resources.

Wearing a peace mask and pretending that she was committed to a peaceful resolution of this conflict, Chandrika was able to cheat the Sinhala people and the world and assumed political power. Having taken the reins of power she staged a drama of peace negotiations. We extended our hands of friendship seeking a peaceful solution to the Tamil National question. To promote the peace process, we released the prisoners of war as a gesture of goodwill. During the peace negotiations we neither put forward stringent conditions nor rigid demands.

We requested Chandrika government to lift the economic embargo and the restrictions on travelling and to create conditions of normalcy. We requested the government to alleviate the suffering of our people who have been subjected to extreme difficulties without the basic needs of life.

But Chandrika government was not prepared to concede even these meagre concessions. As the talks prolonged fruitlessly for over a period of six months we realised an important fact – that Chandrika government was not interested in peace nor in a peaceful resolution of the conflict. Since primacy was given to military concerns throughout the negotiations it became very apparent to us that Chandrika regime was seriously considering the military option.

The monumental scale in which the invasion has been launched on Jaffna amply illustrates the politico-military objective of the government. The strategy aims at the encirclement and occupation of the densely populated vital area of the Tamil homeland and to proclaim to the world that Jaffna society is ‘liberated’. But this strategy of Chandrika government has turned out to be a disaster since the people of Jaffna city and Valigamam region evacuated the area before the encirclement of the army.

This massive exodus has demonstrated the fact that the people of Jaffna, in a unanimous stand, have expressed their opposition to the government war effort and absurd reasons attributed to it. This mass exodus has impressed upon the Sinhala Nation and the world that the Tamil people are no more prepared to be subjected to Sinhala state administration and that the people and the LTTE could not be separated. Therefore, Chandrika regime has failed to achieve the political objective behind the Jaffna offensive.

We are relieved that our people have safely escaped from the military siege and the political trap behind it, yet we are deeply sad about the enormous suffering and pain they are subjected to as a consequence of this mass displacement. It distresses us deeply that our people have had to vacate their traditional villages where they lived for centuries and leave their houses, lands and property and become destitutes.

Yet, we consider such tragic experience and suffering as a tremendous contribution by our people to the cause of national emancipation. This mass exodus proclaims to the world that our people are determined to live as free beings with self-dignity and that they are prepared to face any form of suffering to be independent rather than subjecting themselves to the domination of the aggressor.

The Sinhala military devils may hoist victory flags in depopulated Jaffna which has been reduced to rubble. The Sinhala chauvinistic gangs in the South may light crackers in jubilation assuming that they have captured the kingdom of Jaffna. Chandrika may send peace signals believing that military hegemony has been achieved. In these circumstances we wish to make it absolutely clear that as long as the Sinhala army is occupying Jaffna the doors for peace will be firmly closed.

The LTTE will not participate in peace negotiations imposed at the point of a gun subjecting itself to military pressure. This is the message we wish to address to Chandrika regime. It will be nothing other than political stupidity if Chandrika government thinks that it can bring about peace and political settlement by occupying Jaffna and uprooting hundreds of thousands of people.

The invasion of Jaffna is a gigantic historical blunder made by Chandrika regime. As a consequence of this act the Colombo government has closed all avenues for peace and plunged the entire island into grave conflictual situation.

There is absolutely no truth in claims made by the government controlled media that the LTTE has suffered heavy casualties and that it has been weakened by the offensive on Jaffna. In the battle of Jaffna, we have neither suffered heavy casualties nor been weakened. It is the armed forces that have suffered more casualties than the LTTE.

We have fought efficiently within our capability against huge military formations with formidable manpower and firepower which advanced along a geographical terrain advantageous to them. Though we fought under extremely difficult and dangerous conditions we did not suffer heavy casualties. Neither our manpower nor our military structure is affected in anyway.

The army’s strategy to entice us into a conventional war to destroy our manpower did not work. In the battle of Jaffna we faced a set-back. It is a temporary set-back. We faced serious set-back during the Indian military occupation. But we were not defeated. In the end, it was the Indian army which faced defeat. Therefore, today’s set-back will turn out to be a victory tomorrow.

Sri Lankan army has over-stretched its feet on the Jaffna soil. It is not a difficult task to conquer territories by mobilising large formations of troops. But it will be a difficult task to hold the territories captured. This is the historical reality faced by the aggressive armies all over the world. The Sri Lankan army will soon learn this historical truth.

Sri Lankan state is attempting to determine the political destiny of the Tamils on the basis of military power. It assumes that it can impose an inadequate solution on the Tamils by military hegemony and territorial aggression. Such a military solution underlies Chandrika’s conception of ‘war for peace’.

Any Tamil with self-dignity will not accept such a solution. To frustrate this government’s scheme and to advance our liberation struggle, we are left with only one alternative. We have to strengthen our military structure and intensify our struggle. It is only by strengthening the military power the Tamils could freely determine their political destiny. It is only by strengthening our military power we could live with security; we could gain our lost territories; we could return to our homes as free men.

The task of building the military power of the Tamil Nation has become the inevitable historical necessity today. This is crucial for the survival of the Tamil Nation. Our Nation has been forced into a necessity to struggle for survival. The young generation of Tamils cannot escape from this national duty, from this call of history. Any delay in this task will endanger the existence of our Nation. Therefore, I call upon the younger generation to join our liberation movement without delay. The earlier the youth join our movement the quicker we can achieve the objectives of our struggle.

We call for the support and solidarity of the world Tamil community at this critical time when we are faced with a genocidal war all alone without any external assistance. We appeal to the people of Tamil Eelam living abroad to champion the cause of our struggle and assist us in all possible ways.

On this sacred day when we remember our martyrs who have sacrificed their lives for national freedom and attained historical immortality, let us pledge to commit ourselves to the cause for which thousands of our freedom fighters laid down their lives.


Leader V Prabakaran’s Heros day speech 1994

We cannot be subdued

Maha Veerar Naal Address
மாவீரர் நாள் – National Heroes Day
27November 1994

We are a movement fighting for liberation. We are not an ordinary group which stands abjectly in askance of concessions…Our goal is that we should live with honour peace, safety and freedom in our home soil, our own soil which historically belongs to us. This is our national aspiration.”

My beloved people of Tamil Eelam,

“We celebrate this day as the holy day on which we worship in the temples of our heart our dear fighters who gave up their lives, sacrificed their lives for the noble ideal that our people should achieve freedom and live in freedom with dignity and honour and the right of self government.

Our country has paid an incalculable price for the sake of liberation. This land has turned into a battlefield and a river of blood has flowed on this soil. Our warriors are dying even today for the sake of liberation. All those thousands upon thousands of tombstones on this soil stand demanding liberation as their goal. The figures of the great warriors whom we encounter on roads, street corners, and walls appear as witnesses to liberation.

A great political change has taken place in Sri Lanka. A new government has come to power with a new approach and a new mandate. When the Chandrika government extended its hand for peace we grasped it with friendship. We participated in talks without preconditions or imposing any constraints. As these talks began in the first stage we gave precedence to the problems faced by our people.

The Sinhala army does not appear to like finding a solution to the problem of the Tamils through peaceful means. The uncompromising hard line, military activities and war preparations of the army show this truth.

It does not appear that even the Chandrika government has not given up the military approach. The government does not want to act against the army’s hard line. The government is not prepared to bring any pressure on the army. Under such circumstances it is not an easy matter to create an atmosphere for peace or normalcy.

Therefore, if the government has a true and honest interest in the path of peace it should be easy only if the armed forces are also led on that path.

Stopping war activities removing the economic embargo, opening the passage for transport, removing the ban on the maritime zone, and resettling refugees all depend on the position of the army.

We stand not as an obstacle on the path for peace. We have not closed the doors of peace. We are prepared for peace. If talks take place again we will take part in them. We desire that a solution should be found first to the daily problems faced by our people.

If the Chandrika government has to secure the trust and goodwill of our people, it should first find a solution to their immediate problems and create an atmosphere for peace and normalcy in the homeland of the Tamils.

Our movement which fought for long, shedding blood, has taken the struggle to higher stage – to the point where it has established structures of self-rule.

Today we stand on a very strong and solid foundation. We should never forget that the people who laid this strong foundation were our great warriors.

The Sinhala government is interested in (developing) negotiations with us because we stand on a strong base as a powerful force.

We will assist the Chandrika government if it takes steps to find a peaceful solution to the national problem of the Tamils.

If proper proposals for autonomy are put forward we are prepared to examine them.

My Dear Tamil people!

We are a movement fighting for liberation. We are not an ordinary group which stands abjectly in askance of concessions.

Our goal is that we should live with honour peace, safety and freedom in our home soil, our own soil which historically belongs to us.

This is our national aspiration. We ask for a solution which will fulfill this national aspiration. Only such a solution can be permanent. Only that will create a lasting peace.

Until we get that solution, we should stand as one people rally round as one nation, with unflinching firmness.

We shall take an oath on this national day, on this day when we remember in our hearts, our warriors who laid down their lives for the liberation of our nation, that we will firmly stand by our goal.

As we light the lamps in the ‘warriors’ resting ‘ abodes’ which are the temples of freedom, we shall take this oath as a gift to their souls ‘ aspirations.

The thirst of the Tigers is the homeland of Tamil Eelam!


Leader V Prabakaran’s Heros day speech 1993

We cannot be subdued

Maha Veerar Naal Address
மாவீரர் நாள் – National Heroes Day
27 November 1993

We are fully aware that the world is not rotating on the axis of human justice. Every country in this world advances its own interests. Economic and trade interests determine the order of the present world, not the moral law of justice nor the rights of people. International relations and diplomacy between countries are determined by such interests. Therefore we cannot expect an immediate recognition of the moral legitimacy of our cause by the international community… In reality, the success of our struggle depends on us, not on the world. Our success depends on our own efforts, on our own strength, on our own determination.”

My Dear Beloved People of Tamil Eelam

Today is Heroes’ Day, the day in which we remember our Departed heroes, who are the historical architects of our national freedom movement.

Today, we cherish in our hearts the memories of our heroes who have transformed our nation from the conditions of bondage and servitude into a realm of liberty where a fierce struggle for liberation is being fought. It is our martyrs who have internationalised our inalienable right to a homeland with the dictum that ‘our land belongs to us’.

Heroes Day is not a day of mourning nor a day of weeping and lamentation. It is a day of national resurgence, a day we pledge and commit ourselves to the emancipation of our nation.

Our heroes have sacrificed their lives for a just cause. Their demise does not constitute an ordinary event of death. Rather, their death signifies a profound spiritual aspiration for national freedom.

Our martyrs die in the arena of struggle with the intense passion for the freedom of their people, for the liberation of their homeland and therefore the death of every martyr constitutes a brave act of enunciation of freedom.

From the tombs of the dead martyrs who lie in rest in the womb of our soil rises the cry for freedom. This cry for freedom is the articulation of the will and determination of more than 6000 martyrs which underlie the motive force behind our struggle.

The history of our liberation war continues as blood spilling politics. From the birth of our movement until now, within the space of this lengthy struggle though we have encountered innumerable problems, trials and tribulations we have not deviated from our basic political ideal. We are firmly convinced that the creation of an independent sovereign state of Tamil Eelam is the only and final solution to the Tamil national question. Our position is well known to our enemy and to the world.

The Tamil political parties which obtained the mandate from our people for the establishment of an independent state and the Tamil armed groups who pledged to fight an armed struggle for political independence have already given up their cause and betrayed the Tamil people. It is only our liberation movement that continues to abide by the principles to which it is committed.

We are fully aware of the Himalayan impediments that we have face in achieving the objective of an independent Tamil state. We are also aware of the forces that are opposed to our objective and how they would respond.

We are also aware of the modes of intervention that might arise from the hegemonic designs of the regional power and from the strategic objectives of the super powers. Whenever such interventions occurred we courageously faced those challenges. We stood by our principles even when we were pushed to the brink of destruction. We were not shaken by the violent storms unleashed against by dominant forces.

We are standing on a strong moral foundation. We are fighting for a just cause. Our political objectives conform with international norms and principles. Our people are eligible for the right to self determination. They have the right to statehood. Under international law this right cannot be denied. We must be firm in the cause of our struggle because truth and justice are on our side. Only when a people are firmly and resolutely committed to their cause can they win their freedom.

We are fully aware that the world is not rotating on the axis of human justice. Every country in this world advances its own interests. Economic and trade interests determine the order of the present world, not the moral law of justice nor the rights of people. International relations and diplomacy between countries are determined by such interests. Therefore we cannot expect an immediate recognition of the moral legitimacy of our cause by the international community.

But at the same time we must agitate for that recognition. The world is constantly changing and there will be unexpected changes. At a particular conjuncture the international situation might change favourably to us. At that time, the conscience of the world will be conducive to the call of our just cause.

In reality, the success of our struggle depends on us, not on the world. Our success depends on our own efforts, on our own strength, on our own determination. The moral legitimacy of the cause alone will not lead to victory. We must be strong, firm in our convictions and skilled in the art of war.

Our enemy, the Sinhala chauvinist regime is not prepared to resolve the problems of our people on the basis of justice and fair play. The Sinhala government wants to resolve the problem through the means of violence. Because of the ruthless militaristic approach of the Sinhala racist regime the Tamil ethnic problem continued unresolved for the last 40 years.

Leader V Prabakaran’s Heros day speech 1992

We cannot be subdued

Maha Veerar Naal Address
மாவீரர் நாள் – National Heroes Day
27 November 1992

“The strength of our struggle arises from the fierce determination of our fighters. Their firm commitment and their courage to act without the fear of death are the force and resource of our struggle. The whole world is providing arms and funds to our enemy. We are not begging from the world… We stand firm on our own legs, on our own soil, relying on our own people and fight with our own hands. .. Since we are firmly rooted in our own strength we stand upright without bowing to the pressures of others.”

My Beloved People of Tamil Eelam,

Today is Heroes Day. It is the sacred day when we cherish in our memory those exceptional beings who, by their sacrifice, have made our freedom struggle a heroic epic in the annals of world history.

Our heroes are supreme idealists. They loved their goal more than their lives. They embraced the liberation of their people as the highest goal in their life and they died for that ideal. Freedom is a noble ideal. It is the highest virtue in human life. It is the basis for human progress and development. It is freedom which gives meaning and wholeness to life. The yearning for freedom arises as the deepest aspiration of the human spirit.

For thousands of years, since the birth of civilisation, human beings have been struggling for freedom. They were struggling to emancipate themselves from the structures of oppression. The innumerable struggles, revolutions and wars that erupted on the face of this planet for centuries are none other than the manifestations of the human passion for freedom.Human beings enslave human beings. They destroy each other. They exploit each other. Man has become the foremost enemy of man. Righteousness is undermined when one infringes on the human world.

As a consequence contradictions emerge in human relationships in the form of caste, class and race. As long as there is oppression and injustice, as long as there are people deprived of freedom, there will be liberation struggles. This is the law of history. The motor of history is propelled by the human will to freedom. As a section of people belonging to the oppressed masses of the world, we too are engaged in a struggle for liberation. Above all the national liberation struggles, our cry for freedom is heard louder in the world arena. Our liberation struggle is unique. It has its specific characteristics and is structurally different from other freedom struggles.

In our homeland, in the course of our struggle, extra-ordinary sacrifices have been made which have not taken place anywhere, at any time in the history of the world. I can proudly say that none can equal our martyrs in their dedication, deep commitment to the goal and tremendous courage that transcends the fear of death. Such magnificent qualities have enabled them to create an unparalleled legend of heroism. Our struggle evolved through these remarkable feats of self-sacrifice, has become a guide and a driving force to the oppressed people of the world.

The strength of our struggle arises from the fierce determination of our fighters. Their firm commitment and their courage to act without the fear of death are the force and resource of our struggle. The whole world is providing arms and funds to our enemy. We are not begging from the world. We do not depend on anybody. We stand firm on our own legs, on our own soil, relying on our own people and fight with our own hands. This is the specificity of our individuality. Since we are firmly rooted in our own strength we stand upright without bowing to the pressures of others.

Today, our liberation struggle is situated in a complex historical conjuncture faced with new challenges and new crises. Our enemy, having firmly closed down the doors of peace, has embarked on a course of escalating the war. The Government is not prepared to put forward any substantial proposals to resolve the Tamil national question.

This year the war has intensified on an unprecedented scale. We were able to work out new strategies and stepped up our military assaults to foil the offensive plans of the enemy. As a consequence, the enemy suffered heavy casualties more than ever before in the history of the war. We have impressed upon the enemy that this land of ours will not tolerate the incursions of an aggressor.

In spite of the fact that the enemy has suffered set-backs in the war front and faced serious economic crisis as a consequence of the war and in spite of the realisation that the LTTE cannot be defeated militarily, the Sri Lankan regime has not given up its militaristic approach. The Government is primarily concerned with modernising the armed forces, escalating the war of aggression and to seek a military solution.

From the strategy of the Government we must be quite clear about one thing. That is, there has been no change in the hegemonic attitude of the Sinhala-Buddhist chauvinism to dominate and rule over the Tamil nation by armed might. As long as the Sinhala nation is buried in the mud of racist politics, we cannot expect a fair and reasonable solution from the Sinhalese ruling class. Our people should realise this bitter political reality.

Our freedom struggle continues for more than forty years amidst tensions, turmoils and crises. Our struggle has taken different forms at different times, from non-violent Gandhian agitations to armed resistance movement. Yet our cry for justice and fair play has not touched the conscience of the Sinhala nation.

The profound suffering of our people, the tragedies they faced in the form of death and destruction, the tears of blood they shed from their anguish, have not touched the compassion of the Buddhist nation.

Our enemy is heartless and committed to war and violence. His objective is to destroy our homeland. We cannot expect justice from the magnanimity of his heart. What can we do in these circumstances?

We have no alternative other than to continue our struggle, to continue to intensify our struggle.

We are not warmongers who love violence. In actual fact, spiritually, we love peace. We want a permanent, stable and honourable peace. It is because of this reason that in spite of this bloody war, we are keeping the doors of peace open.

We have not closed down the path of peace. We have no such intention. One day, when our enemy knocks at our doors of peace, we will extend the hand of friendship.

But our enemy is committed to violence. Therefore, he has imposed an unjust war on us. Today, the enemy’s armed forces have come to our doorstep and are beating war drums. They are bent on devouring our land and to destroy us. He is prepared to shed any amount of blood in this genocidal war.

In this most difficult and critical situation what can we do? Have we got any alternative other than to fight to protect our land and our people? We have to struggle and win our freedom. Freedom is not a commercial commodity that can be bargained. It is a sacred right that can be won by shedding blood.

Let us continue to struggle. Let us continue our journey towards freedom in spite of the obstacles and sufferings we may encounter. Let us continue to struggle so that the sacrifices made by our martyrs and the blood spilled by our people will not be in vain. We have already encountered so many challenges, so many dangers and so many crises in the course of our struggle.

Nothing and nobody can deter us any more. Let us continue our struggle with determination. History will be our guide and truth shall be our witness. Our martyrs are the pillars of our freedom movement, whose blood enriches the history of our freedom struggle, whose ideal makes our struggle supreme, whose sacrifices shape the formation of our nation, whose memories make our determination stronger. We salute our martyrs who are the architects of the freedom of our nation.


What the United States told Ranil about Prabhakaran in 2002


What the United States told Ranil about Prabhakaran in 2002
as reported by the Sinhala owned Sri Lanka Island in 2007

23/24 April 2007

“In 2002, after the Cease Fire Agreement had come into force, the United States Pacific Command carried out a comprehensive assessment of the LTTE and the Sri Lankan Armed Forces at the request of the US Department of Defense.

The result of this study was a top secret report, which was signed by Peter W.Rodman on behalf of the International Security Affairs desk of the US Department of Defense. Copies of this report were given only to the then Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremasinghe, the Defense Minister Tilak Marapone, and the Secretary Defense Austin Fernando. The then President Chandrika Kumaratunga, and the cabinet were kept in the dark about this study. What follows are verbatim extracts from this report….

The leader and founder of the LTTE, Velupillai Prabhakaran, is often described as a megalomaniac.
Comment by tamilnation.org Megalomania (from the Greek word μεγαλομανία) is a psychopathological condition characterized by delusional fantasies of wealth, power, or omnipotence – often generally termed as delusions of grandeur. A comparison of two leaders – ‘delusion and grandeur’  -

“I have always believed that this land was placed here between the two great oceans by some divine plan. It was placed here to be found by a special kind of people – people who had a special love of freedom and who had the courage to uproot themselves and leave hearth and homeland and come to what in the beginning was the most underdeveloped wilderness possible..” US President Ronald Reagan, Remarks at the Opening Ceremonies of the Statue of Liberty Centennial Celebration in New York, New York July 3, 1986  quoted in Place: A Short Introduction – T. Cresswell 2004)

“Pirabaharan is not a small man. He is the leader, a charismatic leader of the LTTE. His life is very precious. And a very simple man. No bullshit about him. His wife lived with three saris – one she wore, one she washed and one was ready to wear. That is all. They never drank Coca-Cola. They offered us Coca-Cola, but never drank it themselves. They drank that goliwala soda… Pirabaharan spoke to me in English many a time. He appeared well-read…. they [the LTTE] were very cordial. They would take me anywhere. I had lot of time for them…” Major General Harkirat Singh, Indian Peace Keeping Force’s First Commander in Jaffna

He is practically worshipped by Tiger cadres, who have been inculcated with Tamil nationalist propaganda.

Comment by tamilnation.org  “Inculcated” with Tamil nationalist propaganda…

“..We have for the last 25 years made every effort to secure our political rights on the basis of equality with the Sinhalese in a united Ceylon. It is a regrettable fact that successive Sinhalese governments have used the power that flows from independence to deny us our fundamental rights and reduce us to the position of a subject people. These governments have been able to do so only by using against the Tamils the sovereignty common to the Sinhalese and the Tamils. I wish to announce to my people and to the country that I consider the verdict at this election as a mandate that the Tamil Eelam nation should exercise the sovereignty already vested in the Tamil people and become free.”  Statement by Gandhian Tamil leader S.J.V.Chelvanayakam after winning the by-election for the Kankesanturai Parliamentary seat, held belatedly on 7 February 1975, two years after he had resigned the seat to seek a mandate for Tamil Eelam

“He died like Moses himself without reaching the promised land but the vision he saw, he leaves behind as the heritage and challenge to his people.” - Rt.Rev D.J. Ambalavanar at the funeral of Gandhian Tamil Leader S.J.V.Chelvanayagam, April 1977

Prabhakaran has insisted that all LTTE soldiers wear a cyanide capsule around their necks, maintaining that it is better to commit suicide than be captured alive by the enemy.

Comment by tamilnation.org

“As far as I can tell most ordinary Tamils support the Tigers, not necessarily because they like them, but because they like the Sri Lankan – or Indian – armies less. The Tigers are ruthless and authoritarian but they are not corrupt – they don’t tolerate stealing, bribery or rape, things other armies are famous for. In fact they are perceived as being single minded in their defence of Tamils. They are so disciplined that when captured, they swallow cyanide capsules that they carry with them at all times, rather than risk revealing anything under torture. Professor Marshall Singer before US Congress Committee on International Relations Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific Hearing on Sri Lanka November 14,1995

Though Prabhakaran is aware that the United States publicly condemns the LTTE’s terrorist campaigns, he continues his efforts to win sympathy from the United States. For this reason, the United States has some leverage with him. However, if the perception of the United States as a direct supporter of Sri Lanka’s armed forces against the LTTE persists, Prabhakaran’s susceptibility to US influence will decrease or vanish completely.

Velupillai Prabhakaran is the unchallenged dictatorial leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) terrorist organization. Prabhakaran exerts tight control and discipline over the LTTE, which fights for the establishment of an independent homeland, referred to as “Eelam,” carved out of the northern and eastern portions Lanka. He is worshipped as a cult-like figure because of successful indoctrination processes and effective political propaganda campaigns.

Comment by tamilnation.org

 .. I was left with the impression that the LTTE was the expression of popular Tamil sentiment and could not be destroyed, so long as that sentiment remained… Our unit and formation commanders too came under the mental hypnosis of the LTTE. They would graphically explain how well entrenched the LTTE was in the minds of the people, how ungrateful people were to us, how elusive the LTTE was, how perfect it was in the midst of the people and in its actions, how effective was its grip over the public and so on – virtually admitting that it was an impossible task and all our endeavours were pointless. Lieutenant General S.C. Sardesh Pande, IPKF Divisional Commander, Jaffna

Prabhakaran’s mind-set, personality, ideology, objectives, and outlook dominate and resound through the structure and organization of the LTTE. Prabhakaran’s call sign is Hotel Alpha, his location is referred to as “one-four,” and his nom de guerre is Karikalan.

Prabhakaran, born on 26 November 1954, comes from a typical middle-class Tamil family with four children, including a brother and two sisters. He and his family reside in the northern town of Valvettithurai (referred to as VVT). VVT’s inhabitants were servants (Prabhakaran’s father was one), traders, fishermen, or simply smugglers because of the winding seacoast and close proximity to India, Prabhakaran’s parents currently live in Tamil Nadu, India, and his siblings live overseas. In 1984, Prabhakaran met and subsequently married a fellow activist, Madhivathini, who was on a hunger strike protesting Sinhalese treatment of Tamils. They have two children: a son, Charles Anthony, who is named after a former LTTE leader and a daughter, Dwaraka, who is named after one of his bodyguards.

When Prabhakaran was a child, his father demanded absolute discipline from him and his siblings. Prabhakaran was a quiet boy who was devoted to his family and friends, assisting family during religious functions and dutifully running errands for neighbours and relatives. He earned average grades in school. As a teenager, Prabhakaran was shy with girls and was known to be always restless.

Prabhakaran’s introduction to politics and to the Tamil-Sinhalese conflict came from listening to his father’s oft-repeated discourses on the worsening ethnic relations in the country and laments on the fate of Tamils. Prabhakaran subsequently became fascinated with Subash Chandra Bose, the Indian nationalist who preferred to resist British rule through ‘Militancy’ rather than subscribe to Gandhi’s doctrine of nonviolence. His favourite of Bose’s slogans was “I shall fight for the freedom of my land until I shed the last drop of blood.” Prabhakaran was also intrigued with the military exploits of Napoleon, the teachings of Swami Vivekananda, the Hindu epic of the Mahabharata, Tamil history books, and Phantom comics, often imagining himself to be a legendary warrior.

Comment by tamilnation.org

“..The pocket money that my parents gave me I spent on books. I got a lot of satisfaction and pleasure in reading new books. There was a book shop in my village. It became my habit somehow or the other to buy all those valuable books there and read them. It is through books that I learnt of the heroic exploits of Alexander and Napoleon. It is through my habit of reading that I developed a deep attachment to the Indian Freedom struggle and martyrs like Subhash Chandra Bose, Bagat Singh and Balagengadhara Tilak… The Indian Freedom struggle stirred the depths of my being and roused in me a feeling of indignation against foreign oppression and domination.The racial riots which erupted in Sri Lanka in 1958 and the agonies that the Tamils had to endure as a result were the factors that impelled me to militancy…” How I became a Freedom Fighter – Velicham Interview,1994

Though Prabhakaran was quiet and was regarded as a good listener, he was easily excitable and found it difficult to contain himself when discussions arose over Tamil politics, the ancient Tamil kingdoms in India and Sri Lanka, and the possibility of an armed struggle like that of Bose. He soon became involved in student activist groups. His political activism eventually forced him to go underground in 1973 and to cut off family ties.

Prabhakaran cites Sinhalese discrimination against Tamils and the 1972 constitution (which declared Sinhala the only official language of the country and Buddhism the state religion) as factors that inspired him to become a rebel at age 18. As Tamil militancy emerged in the 1970s, Prabhakaran began to prepare himself for the battles that he perceived lay ahead. It is said that he had a natural ability with firearms and as a marksman; in any case his skills in these spheres were self-taught. As a measure of physical endurance, he would tie himself up, get into a sack, and lie under the sun the whole day. Prabhakaran also was known to insert pins into his fingernails. He and his fellow activists relied on temple offerings for food and at times would go hungry, sometimes taking sleep-inducing tablets to ward off their hunger.

Prabhakaran and his gang began robbing banks to help finance their militant quest for a Tamil homeland. Though other rebels robbed banks to amass personal wealth, Prabhakaran’s intentions were purely political. He was a meticulous planner, placing banks under surveillance for weeks and sometimes months before robbing them.

He gradually began to take the leading role in discussing operations, but shared information only on a need-to-know basis. Prabhakaran was very suspicious of new Tamil militant recruits. As a security measure, he kept his meetings with outsiders to a minimum and sometimes did not reveal his identity. Prabhakaran reportedly was very tense and nervous about operations and could not accept defeat. He developed a reputation for losing control if things did not go his way. Even when engaged in friendly physical contests, if Prabhakaran felt he was losing, he would resort to viciously biting his opponents.

Prabhakaran enjoyed skyrocketing popularity in July 1975 after he allegedly assassinated Alfred Durraiappah, the mayor of Jaffna, as the latter paid his respects to a local Hindu temple. Durraiappah was the chief organizer of the northern region, for the SLFP, the current Sri Lankan ruling party, but was regarded by many Tamils as a government stooge. Following the assassination, Prabhakaran became obsessed with his personal security. By 1976, Prabbakaran and a handful of hard-core militants formed the LTTE, a name derived from its, precursor, the Tamil New Tigers, founded a couple of years earlier.

Prabhakaran networked with other Tamil militant groups and leaders, but later eradicated them in order to promote the LTTE as the only true representative of Tamil nationalism that seeks to establish an independent homeland, referred to Eelam. This constitutes Prabhakaran’s sole ideological justification for existence.

Comment by tamilnation.org

“We launched our struggle for self determination and political independence because of the systematic oppression of our people by the Sri Lankan state… It is the Sri Lanka government which has failed to learn the lessons from the emergence of the struggles for self determination in several parts of the globe and the innovative structural changes that have taken place… We are not warmongers who love violence. We want a permanent, stable and honourable peace…. One day, when our enemy knocks at our doors for peace, we will extend the hand of friendship.” - Velupillai Pirabaharan, leader of Tamil Eelam, 1992

In the early years Prabhakaran dabbled with Marxist ideas, but he later became intent on basing the movement purely on Tamil nationalism rather than on Marxist ideology which he views as contributing to the downfall of other Tamil militant groups. Other than Tamil nationalism, no other ideology or military theory has a compelling appeal to Prabhakaran.

Although most LTTE cadres (including Prabhakaran himself) are nominally Hindu the issue of religion plays a negligible part in Prabhakaran’s ideology. Prabhakaran believes that Eelam should be a casteless society, a concept that runs counter to the Hindu perspective.

Comment by tamilnation.org 

On an occasion in London, in 1989, at a discussion with Sathasivam Krishnakumar (for whom the struggle for Tamil Eelam was his life) the conversation turned to the Gita Upadesam. Kittu, as he was affectionately known, commented: “Annai, in the Maha Bharatham, it was Karnan who truly knew his duty. He  was stead fast in his commitment to his friend Duryodhana – he had no doubts about his ‘Nanri Kadan’ and in the end Karnan willingly gave away all his ‘punyam’, knowing that by doing so, he would die.  Karnan knew well his dharma – he did not need a ‘Upadesam’ to clarify his doubts – and so, in the Maha Bharatham, there is no ‘Gita Upadesam’ for Karnan.” Spirituality and the Tamil Nation – Nadesan Satyendra, 10 May 1998

In addition, a number of LTTE cadres, hail from Christian backgrounds. Prabhakaran quietly worships Lord Subramania (or Lord Murugan) a prominent god in the Hindu pantheon. Nevertheless, Prabhakaran is a pragmatist and generally relies on his own will and ability.

Prabhakaran’s local propaganda and recruitment efforts are directed at children and adolescents. Prabhakaran has shown a fondness for children and often engages them in conversation.

This sincerity may encourage the younger generation to be future recruits in the LTTE. Prabhakaran believes that the second generation, of youth exposed to the war will fight better than the first. Of the second generation, he has greater faith in the northern population because it has been subjected to more LTTE indoctrination than its eastern counterparts, who are constantly exposed to Sinhalese and Muslim influences.

Tamil youths, in particular, are attracted to Prabhakaran’s image as a folk hero. A supernatural image has been created of Prabhakaran, and tales abound of the numerous instances where he narrowly escaped death. These escapades and the fact that he has never seen the inside of a jail cell continue to impress youths who stand in awe of Prabhakaran’s achievements in the Tamil struggle for independence. The mysticism surrounding Prabhakaran, reinforced with massive propaganda campaigns, has endowed him with a god-like status and a cult-like following.

Prabhakaran’s emphasis on iron discipline has contributed to the successes of the LTTE. His tight control over the organization, the severe punishments (including execution) he metes out to violators, and his indoctrination of cadres (including the use of a cyanide capsule rather than submit to capture) have made the LTTE’s organization and strategy difficult to decipher.

In terms of self-discipline, Prabhakaran sets an example that other cadres must abide by. He does not consume liquor or smoke tobacco. Tea, coffee, and carbonated drinks are also considered taboo. Sex outside marriage is forbidden and those cadres who violate this code are executed irrespective of seniority or personal loyalty. Gambling and financial dishonesty are also punishable by death. Homosexuality, interestingly, is not; however, it is dealt with by public humiliation.

Prabhakaran emphasizes rigorous training and rehearsals of operations. By the end of the training regimen, a cadre is physically and psychologically, ready for the most demanding combat. Relentless indoctrination is a powerful tool utilized by Prabhakaran to ensure that a cadre is not forced into battle, but willingly chooses to enter the fray and very likely lay down his or her life for the sake of Tamil Eelam. Prabhakaran rarely visits training bases, but studies videos to improve the curricula. Prabhakaran thoroughly examines military successes and defeats so that he may repeat the successes and develop new mechanisms for overcoming failures.

Prabhakaran does not favour democratic processes. Though there is a central committee of the LTTE on paper, Prabhakaran’s word is decisive. Prabhakaran continues to neutralize all competing Tamil groups and individuals, both moderates and militants, who pose any challenge to his leadership and to the LTTE as the sole representatives of the Tamils. When the importance of politicizing the population before taking to the gun was proposed to him, Prabhakaran commented with undisguised contempt, “You intellectuals are afraid of blood. No struggle will take place without killings.”

Comment by tamilnation.org

..Ages ago there was a priest of Baal who thought himself commissioned by the god to kill all who did not bow the knee to him. All men, terrified by the power and ferocity of the priest, bowed down before the idol and pretended to be his servants; and the few who refused had to take refuge in hills and deserts. At last, a deliverer came and slew the priest and the world had rest. The slayer was blamed by those who placed religion in quietude and put passivity forward as the ideal ethics but the world looked on the slayer as an incarnation of God. A certain class of mind shrinks from aggressiveness as if it were a sin…Love is a sacred name, but it is easier to speak of love than to love. The Gita is the best answer to those who shrink from battle as a sin, and aggression as lowering morality…Justice and righteousness are the atmosphere of political morality, but the justice and righteousness of a fighter, not of the priest. Aggression is unjust only when unprovoked; violence, unrighteous when used wantonly or for unrighteous ends. It is a barren philosophy which applies a mechanical rule to all actions, or takes a word and tries to fit all human life into it.”  Sri Aurobindo in The Morality of the Boycott, May 1908

The Liberation Tigers of Eelam (LTTE), or the Tamil Tigers as they are commonly known, is considered one of the most ruthless terrorist organizations in the world.

Comment by tamilnation.org

“The most problematic issue relating to terrorism and armed conflict is distinguishing terrorists from lawful combatants, both in terms of combatants in legitimate struggles for self-determination and those involved in civil wars or non-international armed conflicts. In the former category, States that do not recognize a claim to self-determination will claim that those using force against the State’s military forces are necessarily terrorists. In the latter, States will also claim that those fighting against the State are terrorists, and that rather than a civil war, there is a situation of “terrorism and counter-terrorism activity”….The controversy over the exact meaning, content, extent and beneficiaries of, as well as the means and methods utilized to enforce the right to self-determination has been the major obstacle to the development of both a comprehensive definition of terrorism and a comprehensive treaty on terrorism. The ideological splits and differing approaches preventing any broad consensus during the period of decolonization still persist in today’s international relations. …   Terrorism and Human Rights  Final Report of the Special Rapporteur, Kalliopi K. Koufa,  25 June 2004

Established in 1972, the group went underground 3 years later, after assassinating the mayor of Jaffna city. The LTTE is known for its network of contacts with various terrorist groups around the world.

The militants’ choice of the tiger as their symbol represents not only the ferocity of the animal but also a deliberate contrast with the lion, which has traditionally been a symbol of the Sinhalese people and is depicted on the Sri Lankan flag.

Comment by tamilnation.org

The Chola bronzes are products of the Tamil creative genius during the period that the great Chola dynasty ruled Tamil Nadu during the 9th to 12th Century. The four centuries of Chola rule, is regarded by many as the age of grandeur in the history of the Tamil people. The Tiger emblem of the Cholas inspired both the name of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam as well as the LTTE flag. Renowned for their harmony of form and content, the Chola bronzes speak across centuries – in silence.” South Indian Bronzes –  Chola, Pallava & Nayak Periods

The organization has an elite squad known as the Black Tigers, who conduct suicide missions against military and civilian targets. The Black Tigers have assassinated not only prominent political leaders in Sri Lanka but also the former prime minister of India, Rajiv Gandhi.

Previously, the LTTE was viewed by most Tamil civilians as the legitimate defender of the Tamil cause. Much of its funding came from Tamil expatriates as well as the Indian government. However, in recent years, the LTTE has lost much support from Tamil civilians and has resorted to tactics that instil fear in order to control the Tamil community. External support from Tamil expatriates and the Indian government has also waned and as a result, the LTTE has engaged in drug trafficking to finance its operations.

Ideologically, the LTTE has at times employed Marxist rhetoric to characterize its struggle. However, irrespective of ideology, the creation of an independent Tamil state has remained the movement’s only goal. In pursuit of this objective, the LTTE has been prone to use direct and violent action rather than to formulate principles on which the desired independent state would operate. The LTTE as a whole tends not to be susceptible to US influence, especially given the perception that the United States is actively supporting the Sri Lankan armed forces against the LTTE.

Prabhakaran has not groomed a successor. There are rumours that he is preparing his son to replace him, but there is no meaningful intelligence on his family. He deals harshly with any challenge to his leadership. He has eliminated many LTTE members who have either questioned his authority or have been perceived as a threat. He has always felt that the biggest threat to his survival comes from within the organization.

Since Prabhakaran feels that the main threat to his survival comes from within the LTTE, he is obsessed with his personal security. He is known to sleep with a revolver under his pillow. In addition, the only member of the LTTE allowed to carry a firearm in Prabhakaran’s presence is Soranam, the trusted commander of his bodyguard contingent. When Prabhakaran plans to visit a place, he ensures that extensive preparations are taken for his protection. Over a hundred bodyguard cadres (who do not interact with other cadres) are assigned to protect him. It is reported that there are three rings of 40 bodyguards each surrounding Prabhakaran upon his arrival at a particular destination.

Prabhakaran has gradually created a culture where dissent is absent. His close associates are Thamil Chelvam, head of the political branch; Pottu Amman, head of intelligence; Karuna, head of Batticaloa-Amparai commands;  Balraj, military commander, Soranam, bodyguard commander, Shankar, head of Air Tigers;  Soosai, head of Sea Tigers; Jeyam, special group commander; -and Kumaran Padmanathan, head of procurement. They all merely hold executive posts and carry out Prabhakaran’s dictates. Although Anton Balasingham is considered the ideologue and spokesman of the LTTE, Prabhakaran often sidelines him as well. No one is close enough to Prabhakaran to significantly influence his final decisions. Blind loyalty is the criterion for a close association with him. Prabhakaran’s authority is based on fear and respect.

Prabhakaran is an innovator, improviser, and a technophile. His macabre creativity is reflected in the human bombs, suicide boats, projectiles, and mines the LTTE has been producing over the years.

 Comment by tamilnation.org

“…The concept of tiyakam, abandonment (of life), i.e. a rather specific Indian form of martyrdom, is cultivated by both male and female fighters. A martyr of the LTTE has not chosen like the Christian martyr to suffer in the mind the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. He has taken up arms against the sea of troubles trying to end them by opposing them. The concept of tiyäkam that has its roots in the last section of the Bhagavadgitä was revived in the struggle for independence of India…” On the sacrificial ideology of the Liberation Tigers – Peter Schalk, 1993

Irrespective of the cost, he orders the best equipment for himself and his men. LTTE cadres have used night vision goggles and rocket- propelled grenades (RPGs) to engage Sri Lankan troops. If the desired equipment cannot be procured, Prabhakaran will order improvisation using existing equipment for the designated purpose. He also uses satellite communications with LTTE ships and LTTE cells around the world.

Prabhakaran uses deception as an integral part of his modus operandi. In many cases, he has arranged to visit subordinates or has extended olive branches to political targets to lull them into a false sense of security just prior to their assassination. In tactical operations, Prabhakaran would conduct deception manoeuvres to draw attention away from an intended target. LTTE duplicity often factors into the organization’s public posture. Deceptive guidelines are given to LTTE cadres on how best to answer questions posed by the public and media. Carefully worded guidelines are even provided to the Tamil diaspora over the Internet on how best to respond to questions on the conflict posed by non- Sri Lankans. These guidelines are designed to portray LTTE cadres as freedom fighters pitted against a hostile and ruthless government.

Comment by tamilnation.org

All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near. Hold out baits to entice the enemy. Feign disorder, and crush him. If he is secure at all points, be prepared for him.  If he is in superior strength, evade him. If your opponent is of choleric temper, seek to irritate him. Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant. If he is taking his ease, give him no rest. If his forces are united, separate them. Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected….” Sun Tzu on the Art of War, One of the oldest Military Treatises in the World

Prabhakaran’s mind-set has always been proactive and rarely reactive. Prabhakaran realizes the advantage of seizing the initiative in battle, always exploiting the element of surprise. Retaining the initiative in battle has often favoured the LTTE, both militarily and psychologically.

Prabhakaran is masterful at executing pre-emptive strikes against his enemies. When he perceives a future threat-whether emanating from an individual or a group-Prabhakaran takes the initiative to eliminate it through assassinations, terrorist bombings, or battlefield attacks. Some analysts believe that his actions are also driven by a desire for revenge. The ordered assassination of former Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi is a case in point. Most analysts feel that Prabhakaran perceived a future threat emanating from Gandhi (the redeployment of Indian troops to Sri Lanka to disarm the Tigers) and therefore had him assassinated as a pre-emptive measure. However, Prabhakaran also felt a deep sense of betrayal from Gandhi for reversing India’s policy toward the LTTE, which points to revenge as a motive.

Another example of revenge as a possible motive is the January 1998 bombing of a revered Buddhist shrine in Kandy. This LTTE action was rumoured to be Prabhakaran’s retribution for the Sri Lankan Army’s mass destruction of LTTE gravesites. Prabhakaran’s long-term goal is to break the will of the Sinhalese-led government and thus lead it to accede to his demand for a Tamil homeland. To achieve this end, any and all means are justified in his mind. Prabhakaran is likely to continue assassinating political and military leaders as well as bombing key targets in the economic infrastructure. He views the high political and economic costs his actions impose on the government as doors that lead to negotiations. Prabhakaran uses negotiations as a ploy for the LTTE to rearm and regroup, especially after a series of battlefield defeats.

Prabhakaran’s key strengths:
a) Ability to provide highly effective military training and impart discipline-both physical and psychological-to his cadres;
b) Highly successful propaganda campaigns-both local and international;
c) Image as a folk hero;
d) Meticulous (and effective) preparation for battles and campaigns;
e) Ability to innovate and make use of limited resources;
f) Compartmentalization of information within the organization; and
g) Emphasis on security.

Prabhakaran’s vulnerabilities:
a) Increasing alienation of moderate Tamils;
b) Negative public image as a megalomaniac extremist rather than a freedom fighter;
c) Use of tactics that increasingly instil fear among his Tamil subjects rather than earn him support and sympathy;

Comment by tamilnation.org

“… the army seems not to have studied too well the capability of their main opponent – Velupillai Pirabaharan. Pirabaharan is a ‘military genius’ and his political power has given him an advantage to combat our political and military leaders. He has often outwitted, outmanoeuvred and outclassed our military and political leaders. Why is this so? Today after 18 years of battle, most of the victories, sadly, belong to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and we are continuing to fool ourselves… the man behind the weapon is always more important than the weapon itself and that this has been repeatedly proved by the LTTE forces….Pirabaharan has virtually beaten our forces on land and sea….” Sri Lanka Major General Prasanna Dahanayake in an interview reported in the Sinhala owned Sunday Leader, 6 December 1998

d) Insecurity and lack of trust in his comrades in struggle;
e) Willingness to place innocent civilians (Tamil, Sinhalese, and foreign) in harm’s way; and
f) Intransigence toward accepting anything less than an independent homeland.

So far, Prabhakaran has been careful not to target Americans. At times, he seems favourably disposed toward Americans and has even invited the United States to act as a third party mediator in the conflict.

Though there is no evidence suggesting that Prabhakaran will change this posture, the United States should tread carefully and sceptically in any dealings with Prabhakaran. In the past, Prabhakaran has been known to extend olive branches before striking at unsuspecting targets.

If Prabhakaran views US aid to the Sri Lankan government as making a difference on the battlefield to the detriment of the LTTE, his policy toward the United States could change to one of hostility. In the event of such a policy shift, US military trainers, American diplomats, and American businessmen in Sri Lanka would be likely LTTE targets for assassination. US businesses and property would be likely LTTE targets for destruction. However, any harm to US personnel or property would further tarnish Prabhakaran’s image among western countries and moderate Tamils.

Ultimately, Prabhakaran’s raison d’ etre and legitimacy are predicated on Tamil dissatisfaction with and alienation from the government. As government-Tamil relations improve, Prabhakaran’s popularity among Tamils will fade.

Comment by tamilnation.org

“..After a kidney transplant in Oslo, Bala and Adele settled in London. From there, Bala was much freer to conduct negotiations through Norwegian mediators, and the ground was prepared for peace talks culminating in the full-blown agreement of 2002 negotiated by the new Sri Lankan prime minister, Ranil Wickremasinghe. I recall telling Bala a year before,  of Wickremasinghe’s boast to me: “They want government? I’ll bog them down with government. Barry Gardiner M.P. on Anton Balasingham: Chief negotiator for the Tamil Tigers –  in the UK Guardian, 2 January 2007

As long as Prabhakaran is alive, any peace offers proposed by the LTTE will not be genuine; negotiations will be used as a short-term tactic for the LTTE to rearm and regroup as battlefield defeats increase.

Comment by tamilnation.org

” The US and India may find common cause in weakening the LTTE – but they seek to weaken it in such a way that thereafter each of them may successfully secure their own strategic interests.  And herein lies the conflict – and the difficulty. New Delhi will not support a resolution of the conflict which secures US hegemony in the island. And so it will seek to create Tamil dissidents and build support among them as a way of keeping its foothold in the island. It sought to do so with TELO, it sought to do so with EPRLF and Varadarajah Perumal, it sought to do so with EROS, it sought to do so with Amirthalingam, and now it seeks to so so with Karuna and Anandasangaree. It is within the interstices of this international frame that the struggle of the people of Tamil Eelam to be free from alien Sinhala rule continues under conditions of excruciating agony and suffering . And it is this same international frame which Sinhala Sri Lanka seeks to use to continue its genocidal onslaught on the Tamil people.” Sri Lanka – Tamil Eelam: Getting to Yes – Nadesan Satyendra, 26 October 2006

If LTTE manpower and resources become severely depleted, Prabhakaran may, as a measure of last resort, publicly accept a seemingly long-term political arrangement short of secession, so long as he is able to retain some semblance of power. Again, this would be viewed by Prabhakaran as a temporary situation until he could position himself to confront the government and revert to violence for, the sake of creating an independent Tamil homeland.”




WikiLeaks: Boucher Noted The Difficulty In Reading Prabhakaran

Sri Lanka – LTTE Ceasefire Agreement 22 February 2002

Norwegian Peace Initiative

Sri Lanka – LTTE Ceasefire Agreement
22 February 2002

Full text of the ceasefire agreement signed by the government of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam:

The overall objective of the Government of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka (hereinafter referred to as the GOSL) and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (hereinafter referred to as the LTTE) is to find a negotiated solution to the ongoing ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka.

The GOSL and the LTTE (hereinafter referred to as the Parties) recognize the importance of bringing an end to the hostilities and improving the living conditions for all inhabitants affected by the conflict. Bringing an end to the hostilities is also seen by the Parties as a means of establishing a positive atmosphere in which further steps towards negotiations on a lasting solution can be taken.

The Parties further recognize that groups that are not directly party to the conflict are also suffering the consequences of it. This is particularly the case as regards the Muslim population. Therefore, the provisions of this Agreement regarding the security of civilians and their property apply to all inhabitants.

With reference to the above, the Parties have agreed to enter into a ceasefire, refrain from conduct that could undermine the good intentions or violate the spirit of this Agreement and implement confidence-building measures as indicated in the articles below.

Article 1: Modalities of a ceasefire

The Parties have agreed to implement a ceasefire between their armed forces as follows:

1.1 A jointly agreed ceasefire between the GOSL and the LTTE shall enter into force on such date as is notified by the Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs in accordance with Article 4.2, hereinafter referred to as D-day.

Military operations

1.2 Neither Party shall engage in any offensive military operation. This requires the total cessation of all military action and includes, but is not limited to, such acts as:

a) The firing of direct and indirect weapons, armed raids, ambushes, assassinations, abductions, destruction of civilian or military property, sabotage, suicide missions and activities by deep penetration units;

b) Aerial bombardment;

c) Offensive naval operations.

1.3 The Sri Lankan armed forces shall continue to perform their legitimate task of safeguarding the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka without engaging in offensive operations against the LTTE.

Separation of forces

1.4 Where forward defence localities have been established, the GOSL’s armed forces and the LTTE’s fighting formations shall hold their ground positions, maintaining a zone of separation of a minimum of six hundred (600) metres. However, each Party reserves the right of movement within one hundred (100) metres of its own defence localities, keeping an absolute minimum distance of four hundred (400) metres between them. Where existing positions are closer than four hundred (400) metres, no such right of movement applies and the Parties agree to ensure the maximum possible distance between their personnel.

1.5 In areas where localities have not been clearly established, the status quo as regards the areas controlled by the GOSL and the LTTE, respectively, on 24 December 2001 shall continue to apply pending such demarcation as is provided in article 1.6.

1.6 The Parties shall provide information to the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) regarding defence localities in all areas of contention, cf. Article 3. The monitoring mission shall assist the Parties in drawing up demarcation lines at the latest by D-day + 30.

1.7 The Parties shall not move munitions, explosives or military equipment into the area controlled by the other Party.

1.8 Tamil paramilitary groups shall be disarmed by the GOSL by D-day + 30 at the latest. The GOSL shall offer to integrate individuals in these units under the command and disciplinary structure of the GOSL armed forces for service away from the Northern and Eastern Province.

Freedom of movement

1.9 The Parties’ forces shall initially stay in the areas under their respective control, as provided in Article 1.4 and Article 1.5.

1.10 Unarmed GOSL troops shall, as of D- day + 60, be permitted unlimited passage between Jaffna and Vavunyia using the Jaffna-Kandy road (A9). The modalities are to be worked out by the Parties with the assistance of the SLMM.

1.11 The Parties agree that as of D-day individual combatants shall, on the recommendation of their area commander, be permitted, unarmed and in plain clothes, to visit family and friends residing in areas under the control of the other Party. Such visits shall be limited to six days every second month, not including the time of travel by the shortest applicable route. The LTTE shall facilitate the use of the Jaffna-Kandy road for this purpose. The Parties reserve the right to deny entry to specified military areas.

1.12 The Parties agree that as of D-day individual combatants shall, notwithstanding the two-month restriction, be permitted, unarmed and in plain clothes, to visit immediate family (i.e. spouses, children, grandparents, parents and siblings) in connection with weddings or funerals. The right to deny entry to specified military areas applies.

1.13 Fifty (50) unarmed LTTE members shall as of D-day + 30, for the purpose of political work, be permitted freedom of movement in the areas of the North and the East dominated by the GOSL. Additional 100 unarmed LTTE members shall be permitted freedom of movement as of D-day + 60. As of D-day + 90, all unarmed LTTE members shall be permitted freedom of movement in the North and the East. The LTTE members shall carry identity papers. The right of the GOSL to deny entry to specified military areas applies.

Article 2: Measures to restore normalcy

The Parties shall undertake the following confidence-building measures with the aim of restoring normalcy for all inhabitants of Sri Lanka:

2.1 The Parties shall in accordance with international law abstain from hostile acts against the civilian population, including such acts as torture, intimidation, abduction, extortion and harassment.

2.2 The Parties shall refrain from engaging in activities or propagating ideas that could offend cultural or religious sensitivities. Places of worship (temples, churches, mosques and other holy sites, etc.) currently held by the forces of either of the Parties shall be vacated by D-day + 30 and made accessible to the public. Places of worship which are situated in “high security zones” shall be vacated by all armed personnel and maintained in good order by civilian workers, even when they are not made accessible to the public.

2.3 Beginning on the date on which this Agreement enters into force, school buildings occupied by either Party shall be vacated and returned to their intended use. This activity shall be completed by D-day + 160 at the latest.

2.4 A schedule indicating the return of all other public buildings to their intended use shall be drawn up by the Parties and published at the latest by D-day + 30.

2.5 The Parties shall review the security measures and the set-up of checkpoints, particularly in densely populated cities and towns, in order to introduce systems that will prevent harassment of the civilian population. Such systems shall be in place from D-day + 60.

2.6 The Parties agree to ensure the unimpeded flow of non-military goods to and from the LTTE-dominated areas with the exception of certain items as shown in Annex A. Quantities shall be determined by market demand. The GOSL shall regularly review the matter with the aim of gradually removing any remaining restrictions on non-military goods.

2.7 In order to facilitate the flow of goods and the movement of civilians, the Parties agree to establish checkpoints on their line of control at such locations as are specified in Annex B.

2.8 The Parties shall take steps to ensure that the Trincomalee-Habarana road remains open on a 24-hour basis for passenger traffic with effect from D-day + 10.

2.9 The Parties shall facilitate the extension of the rail service on the Batticaloa-line to Welikanda. Repairs and maintenance shall be carried out by the GOSL in order to extend the service up to Batticaloa.

2.10 The Parties shall open the Kandy-Jaffna road (A9) to non-military traffic of goods and passengers. Specific modalities shall be worked out by the Parties with the assistance of the Royal Norwegian Government by D-day + 30 at the latest.

2.11 A gradual easing of the fishing restrictions shall take place starting from D-day. As of D-day + 90, all restrictions on day and night fishing shall be removed, subject to the following exceptions: (i) fishing will not be permitted on (hereinafter referred to as the SLMM).

2.12 The Parties agree that search operations and arrests under the Prevention of Terrorism Act shall not take place. Arrests shall be conducted under due process of law in accordance with the Criminal Procedure Code.

2.13 The Parties agree to provide family members of detainees access to the detainees within D-day + 30.

Article 3: The Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission

The Parties have agreed to set up an international monitoring mission to enquire into any instance of violation of the terms and conditions of this Agreement. Both Parties shall fully cooperate to rectify any matter of conflict caused by their respective sides. The mission shall conduct international verification through on-site monitoring of the fulfilment of the commitments entered into in this Agreement as follows:

3.1 The name of the monitoring mission shall be the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission

3.2 Subject to acceptance by the Parties, the Royal Norwegian Government (hereinafter referred to as the RNG) shall appoint the Head of the SLMM (hereinafter referred to as the HoM), who shall be the final authority regarding interpretation of this Agreement.

3.3 The SLMM shall liaise with the Parties and report to the RNG.

3.4 The HoM shall decide the date for the commencement of the SLMM’s operations.

3.5 The SLMM shall be composed of representatives from Nordic countries.

3.6 The SLMM shall establish a headquarters in such place as the HoM finds appropriate. An office shall be established in Colombo and in Vanni in order to liaise with the GOSL and the LTTE, respectively. The SLMM will maintain a presence in the districts of Jaffna, Mannar, Vavuniya, Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Amparai.within an area of 1 nautical mile on either side along the coast and 2 nautical miles seawards from all security forces camps on the coast; (ii) fishing will not be permitted in harbours or approaches to harbours, bays and estuaries along the coast.

3.7 A local monitoring committee shall be established in Jaffna, Mannar, Vavuniya, Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Amparai. Each committee shall consist of five members, two appointed by the GOSL, two by the LTTE and one international monitor appointed by the HoM. The international monitor shall chair the committee. The GOSL and the LTTE appointees may be selected from among retired judges, public servants, religious leaders or similar leading citizens.

3.8 The committees shall serve the SLMM in an advisory capacity and discuss issues relating to the implementation of this Agreement in their respective districts, with a view to establishing a common understanding of such issues. In particular, they will seek to resolve any dispute concerning the implementation of this Agreement at the lowest possible level.

3.9 The Parties shall be responsible for the appropriate protection of and security arrangements for all SLMM members.

3.10 The Parties agree to ensure the freedom of movement of the SLMM members in performing their tasks. The members of the SLMM shall be given immediate access to areas where violations of the Agreement are alleged to have taken place. The Parties also agree to facilitate the widest possible access to such areas for the local members of the six above-mentioned committees, cf. Article 3.7.

3.11 It shall be the responsibility of the SLMM to take immediate action on any complaints made by either Party to the Agreement, and to enquire into and assist the Parties in the settlement of any dispute that might arise in connection with such complaints.

3.12 With the aim of resolving disputes at the lowest possible level, communication shall be established between commanders of the GOSL armed forces and the LTTE area leaders to enable them to resolve problems in the conflict zones.

3.13 Guidelines for the operations of the SLMM shall be established in a separate document.

Article 4: Entry into force, amendments and termination of the Agreement

4.1 Each Party shall notify its consent to be bound by this Agreement through a letter to the Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs signed by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on behalf of the GOSL and by leader Velupillai Pirabaharan on behalf of the LTTE, respectively. The Agreement shall be initialled by each Party and enclosed in the above-mentioned letter.

4.2 The Agreement shall enter into force on such date as is notified by the Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs.

4.3 This Agreement may be amended and modified by mutual agreement of both Parties. Such amendments shall be notified in writing to the RNG.

4.4 This Agreement shall remain in force until notice of termination is given by either Party to the RNG. Such notice shall be given fourteen (14) days in advance of the effective date of termination.