“இத்தலைவனின் சொற்களில் ஆவேசமும் உண்டு அன்பும் உண்டு. நிதானமும் உண்டு தீர்க்கதரிசனமும் உண்டு. ‘உள்ளத்தில் உண்மையொளி உண்டாயின் வாக்கினிலே ஒளியுண்டாம்” என்று அன்று பாரதி பாடிய கவிதைக்கு இத்தலைவன் இலக்கணமாக விளங்குகிறான்…”
From the Introduction:
The end of the Second World War spawned many liberation struggles in the Afro-Asia regions. Before the war, the European colonial powers, for administrative convenience, had amalgamated small countries and distinct regions into single administrative units t1e consideration for their racial and cultural sensitivities and histories.
In the island of Sri Lanka too, the British amalgamated the Tamil and Sinhala Kingdoms – which until then had been treated as separate entities by the earlier Portugese an Dutch rulers – into one unit. When independence was granted in 1948, they handed the administration of the whole island to the Sinhalese in Colombo.
For decades, political and peaceful campaigns by the Tamil people for the restoration of their rights were answered with discrimination, intimidation and military oppression by the Sinhaia forces. Ultimately the Tamils resorted to an armed liberation struggle. From this ultimate stand by the Tamils for their self preservation and dignity; rose the Man of Destiny, Prabhakaran.
From Visionary to Leader
Valvettithurai was a famous part of the last Jaffna Kingdom which existed from the early 131 Century to the 171 Century. It was here that Prabhakaran was born on 26`n November 1954. His parents, Veluppillai of Thirumeniyar and Parvathy, daughter of Nagalingam of Pt. Pedro, were bath from orthodox, affluent families. Veluppillai was a Lands Officer for the Sri Lankan Government. Prabhakaran was the youngest of their four children.
“I was brought up in an environment of’strict discipline, from childhood… Great store was laid by personal rectitude and discipline. My father set an example through his own personal conduct… “
His education at Chithambara College in Valvettithurai was nonedescript and he was an average student. He loved history and read avidly of the lives of great leaders like Alexander the Great and Napoleon. The Indian nationalist leaders, Subhas Chandra Bose and Bhagat Singh, were to become sources of inspiration to him. It was the norm for children of affluent families in Jaffna to continue their education in English in preparation to go abroad or to join the Government Service. However, the young Prabhakaran was different.
He became highly sensitive to the harassment and intimidation of the Tamils by the Sinhala armed forces even as a child. The 1958 anti-Tamil riots left him deeply disturbed.
“…I heard horrifying incidents of haw our people had been mercilessly and brutally put to death by Sinhala racists. Once I met a widowed mother, a friend of my family, who related to me her agonizing personal experience of this racial holocaust. A Sinhala mob attacked her house in Colombo. The rioters set f ire to the house and murdered her husband. She and her children escaped with severe burn injuries… When I heard such stories of cruelty, I felt a deep sense or sympathy and love for my people…” As told to Anita Pratap, Sunday Magazine, March 11-17 1984
The discriminatory policy of standardisation which deprived Tamils of fair university and employment opportunities angered him even as a Year 10 student. He and fellow students joined the Tamil Students Organisation (Thamil Maanavar Peravai). Instead of addressing their grievances, the Government arrested and tortured these students. This only served to fuel the indignation of the young Prabhakaran.
In 1972, at the age of 17, he gathered his colleagues and formed the resistance movement, ” Tamil New Tigers “, the members coming from friends and relatives. The Movement grew into an armed Liberation movement and changed its name on 5 May 1976 to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.
Prabhakaran stressed adherence to a strict code of conduct as the main criteria for membership into the LTTE. When asked once who were his beacons, his reply was characteristic:
“Nature is my friend, Life my philosopher and History my guide.”
History is full of tales of men who rose to meet the need of the time. Here was one such Man; the time of need had come for the Tamil people for such a man. Today, to his followers he is the inspiring object of devotion and respect, their `Annai’.
To the Tamil people in the north and east of Sri Lanka and to the hundreds of thousands of Tamils flung all over the globe, he is the unquestioned Leader, simply, their `Thalaivar’.”