Dr. Ruwan M. Wijewardena A psychological analysis of Prabhakaran’s factor written by Jayathunge has been unveiled by God’s publishers.
The book also points out the leadership factors of Veluppil Prabhakaran as well as the anti-social characteristics of him. Commenting on the book, consultant Psychiatrist Sarath Panduwawala points out that the author reveals the hidden psychological aspects of Prabhakaran.
Rajiv Gandhi’s IPKF Folly Beginning and the End by Sachi Sri Kantha, May 21, 2010
Simply told, despite the propaganda of New Delhi mandarins and bucket carriers (such as the ‘House of Hindu’ scribes and Indian academics) to New Delhi Brahmins, Rajiv Gandhi was not keen on helping the Eelam Tamils. He acted to guard India’s military interests and the then Congress Party’s political interests. This also partly explains why Mervyn de Silva, among all the Sinhalese, had a ‘soft corner’ for Prabhakaran, and the feature I provide here reinforces this view. While other Sinhalese parties, namely SLFP and JVP, some elements in the UNP including the then prime minister R. Premadasa, the Sinhalese military elements, Buddhist clergy and the jingoist press were vociferous in their anti-India protest, only the LTTE leader stood up to Indian-bullying, in military terms. Dayan Jayatilleka’s piece is also revealing in that while the LTTE got the bum-rap as a spoiler, he shows that the Rajiv-Jayewardene Accord was first spoilt by the grandstanding of Gamini Dissanaiyake (an active proponent of the Accord), who was in his element of racial rabble rousing, and who defended his Sinhala colonization policy by stating that Rajiv Gandhi was made aware of his strategy and Rajiv did not object to it.
The 20th anniversary of Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) returning from Sri Lanka in March 1990 passed by relatively unnoticed. Here is a roundup of basic facts. In 1990, the ruling party in India was not Congress, the ruling party in Sri Lanka was not the SLFP. Both Congress Party and SLFP were in the opposition then. But, Karunanidhi’s DMK party was in power in Tamil Nadu. He boycotted the return of IPKF soldiers, for political reasons. Today, Karunanidhi’s DMK and the Congress Party are allies and form the ruling alliance. Though both Congress Party and SLFP are holding hands now, during 1987-90 phase SLFP strongly opposed the induction of IPKF. The current leader of SLFP, Mahinda Rajapaksa, was a nominal back-bencher without much gravitas, having returned to the parliament in 1989 after a 12 year gap. I cannot find any record that Mr. Rajapaksa deviated from the party line, and welcomed the IPKF in the island. Politics make strange bedfellows, isn’t it? For this reason alone, I should record the beginning and end of Rajiv Gandhi’s IPKF folly.
Many political follies can be listed during the five year period (1984-1989) that Rajiv Gandhi spent as the prime minister of India. Among these, I’d label the induction of IPKF in Sri Lanka as the prime folly. Bofors arms scandal was the second. Propping up Chandrasekhar Singh’s (1927-2007) minority cabinet of breakaway Janata Dal in 1990 and then pulling its political plug at appropriate time on flimsy grounds was the third. Prompting Chandrasekhar to dismiss Karunanidhi’s DMK cabinet in 1991 was the fourth. Prompting the Central Government to dismiss Janaki Ramachandran’s AIADMK cabinet in January1988 was the fifth. The list goes on.
For dissecting Rajiv’s IPKF folly, I have chosen to provide 4 items of archival interest that cannot be conveniently traced now, after 20 years.
Item 1: J.N. Dixit for the official Indian (pro-Rajiv) view,
Item 2: Mervyn de Silva and Dayan Jayatilleka for Sinhalese view,
Item 3: Time magazine feature by Lisa Beyer, for ‘rest of the world’ view, and
Item 4: Prabhu Chawla, for a not-so-flattering Rajiv view.
Prabhakaran Praised by Mervyn de Silva (in 1990) by Sachi Sri Kantha, June 17, 2009
I think that one reason why Mervyn de Silva had an incisive depth on the Sinhala-Tamil conflict was that he mainly viewed Prabhakaran from his lens as a recent product of ethnic tensions and not as the prime cause of conflict. While many pundits and journalists demarcated the year 1983 as the ‘turning point’, Mervyn de Silva traced the origins of the conflict to the British colonial period in 1919 – almost 90 years ago.
Front Note by Sachi Sri Kantha
Mervyn de Silva (1929-1999), the erudite editor of the (now defunct) Lanka Guardian fortnightly, had a keen eye in shifting the kernels from the chaff. June 22nd marks his tenth death anniversary. To pay homage to his memory, I’ve prepared here a signed feature on Velupillai Prabhakaran that he published in his magazine on January 1, 1990. He chose Prabhakaran as the ‘Man of the Decade’, who influenced the events in Sri Lanka and nearby India.
Mervyn de Silva drops quite a few names in this commentary of approximately 1,440 words. While reading this tribute to Prabhakaran, note that the names of those who are currently preening their feathers in glory are missing. Not that they were idling in the 1980s. Guys like Mahinda Rajapakse (b.1945), Gotabhaya Rajapakse (b.1949) and Sarath Fonseka (b.1950) were older than Prabhakaran. But, they were obscure non-entities then and hardly got registered in the eyes of Mervyn de Silva or in his fortnightly journal Lanka Guardian. Two of Prabhakaran’s penchant critiques (Dayan Jayatilleka and Narasimhan Ram) make cameo appearances in Mervyn de Silva’s commentary. While reading Mervyn de Silva’s commentary, you can also note that between 1989 and 2009, Prabhakaran was consistent in his ideals and objective. But such consistency was flaky for his two critics, Dayan Jayatilleka and Narasimhan Ram. It is an open secret that the Sri Lankan politician, identified by Mervyn de Silva in the third paragraph, was none other than the then President R. Premadasa. de Silva’s bottom line was: “Our choice of Prabhakaran as man of the decade is no value judgment. It is a compelling historical verdict based on the turn of tumultuous events…”.
LTTE was a Sri Lankan Tamil politico-military organization which fought a secessionist war with the Sri Lankan Armed Forces from 1983 to 2009.
LTTE fought for a separate nation for Sri Lankan Tamils who dominates North and eastern parts of Sri Lanka.
LTTE was the only separatist movement which was frequently invited by International communities for peace talks.
LTTE was the only militant group which lost 30,000+ fighters in its lifetime.
LTTE was the only group which had Army, navy and Air-Force.
Along with fighting Government forces LTTE simultaneously ran a de-facto state in the areas which were controlled by them. It is/was known as Tamil Eelam.
Tamil Eelam (de-facto state)
LTTE Military divisions
Origin of LTTE(1970–1983)
Civil War (1983–2009)
Rise of LTTE/ Eelam War III (1996–2002)
Fall of LTTE/Eelam War IV (2006–2009)
TAMIL EELAM (1990s to 2009):
Prime Minister and President : Velupillai Prabhakaran
Until 1995 Jaffna was the headquarter of LTTE. But they lost Jaffna in 1995. When they captured Kilinochchi in 1998 it becomes LTTE’s new headquarter and capital.
Image: LTTE’s home-made turbine at the Iranamadu Power Station, Kilinochchi.
At their peak time:
They controlled approximately 67% of coast of Sri Lanka.
They had annual budget of US $200 Million to $300 million. Their main source of income was from expatriate Sri Lankan Tamils.
They had their own Military, Navy and Air-Force.
They had their own Police, Courts, Public Bus services, Immigration/ Emigration offices, Banks, etc.
Tamil Eelam National flag:
Tamil Eelam symbols:
Eruthu paar kodi, Tamil: ஏறுது பாரு கொடி (look the flag is rising) written by Puthuvai Rathinathurai.
Sri Lankan Leopard.
Political division chief:
Image: S.P.Tamilchelvan, chief of LTTE’s political division.
S.P.Tamilchelvan was LTTE’s political chief until 2007. He was also the face of LTTE’s International negotiating team.
After his death in late 2007 Nadesan who was also the chief of Tamil Eelam Police Force(TEPF) was made political chief. Nadesan was the second and also the last political chief until LTTE’s demise in May 2009.
Image: Sri Lanka IGP(Inspector General of Police) Fernando shaking hands with Tamil Eelam Police Force chief Nadesan(R) in 2006.
Tamil Eelam Police Force (TEPF):
Punishments were very severe under the LTTE law. So virtually there was no crimes in Tamil Eelam. Only minor crimes were prevalent. Rapist were punished with death sentence.
Image: Small cells of one of the LTTE Prisons.
Tamil Eelam court:
As the president of Tamil Eelam only Prabhakaran had the power to overturn a death sentence.
Image: Court proceedings against 3 Sri Lankan Policemen(right) who entered LTTE territory without permission.
Tamil Eelam Law College:
Image: LTTE senior leader Tamilchelvan at a law college convocation.
Image: LTTE home-guards patrolling on the streets of Kilinochchi.
Tamil Eelam Transport Board(TTB):
Image: Buses belongs to LTTE’s Tamil Eelam Transport Board.
Senchcholai Illam(Orphanage home for female children):
LTTE had opened several orphanage homes known as Senchcholai illam for orphaned female children who lost their parents due to civil war.
Image: Prabhakaran inaugurating one of the Senchcholai Illam.
Bank of Tamil Eelam:
Thuyilum Illam(Resting place):
Image: One of the LTTE cemeteries with oil lamps during one of the Heroes Day.
2) LTTE MILITARY DIVISIONS:
Image: Prabhakaran explaining an attack plan to his top commanders.
Leopard Commandos (Siruththai Padaai):
Image: Unlike other LTTE units(including black Tigers) which had uniforms with Tigers stripes, Leopard commandos had special uniforms with leopard stripes.
Leopard commandos were elite commandos of LTTE equivalent to special commandos of any state military. They were highly trained to launch precise operations.
LTTE Engineering Corps:
Image: Col.Raju(1961–2002) leader of LTTE’S Engineering Corps.
Image: Underdeveloped LTTE submarine at a War memorial
Image: Armored LTTE truck made for transportation of LTTE VIPs.
Image: This deadly suicide boat was also the brain-child Col.Raju.
LTTE had produced several home-made weapons. Most of them were made of materials available locally.
Charles Anthony Brigade:
Image: Fighters of Charles Anthony Brigade at a military exercise.
Charles Anthony Brigade was the special force of LTTE. It was named after Prabhakaran’s best friend Charles Anthony who died in 1983. Charles Anthony brigade was the first Non-state regiment to win a conventional battle when they won the Second Battle of Elephant Pass in 2000.
Kittu Artillery Unit:
Prabhakaran asked Col.Bhanu to form a special artillery and armor unit. Bhanu formed an artillery unit with the help of artillery pieces captured from army. Later they started to buy artillery guns from black market and assembled them in Sri Lanka.
Image: LTTE fighters of Jeyanthan Brigade.
Jeyanthan brigade was exclusively made of cadres from Eastern province. Even when eastern LTTE chief Karuna revolted against Prabhakaran in 2004 these eastern fighters remained loyal to Prabhakaran (mainstream LTTE).
Jeyanthan Brigade remained one of the elite regiments of LTTE. This Brigade had played vital roles in LTTE’s victories in several battles.
Imaran-Pandian Regiment (Bodyguards of Prabhakaran):
Image: Prabhakaran with his bodyguard Gaddafi. Until 2005 Gaddafi was special commander of Imran-Pandian unit which was specially created to protect Prabhakaran.
Image: One of the bodyguards of Prabhakaran.
Female Tamil Tigers:
Females were recruited regularly by LTTE. It had two exclusive female brigades: Malathy brigade and Sothiya brigade.
Image: Female Tigers of Lt.Malathi Regiment.
Victor Anti-Tank Regiment(RPG Unit):
Kutty Sri Mortar Unit:
Anbarasi Regiment (Anti-aircraft Unit):
Image : LTTE fighter aiming a MANPAD (surface to air missile launcher)
Image: Female Tiger with Anti-Aircraft gun.
Deep Penetration Unit:
Image: One of the early LTTE deep penetration units passing information after returning from behind enemy line. The white arm band helped to avoid friendly fire while returning back to LTTE held areas.
LTTE NAVY (Sea Tigers) :
Tamil Sea Tigers was one of the most effective non-state navies ever formed, inflicting significant damage and heavy casualties on government forces during the Sri Lankan Civil War. Using fast attack craft, human torpedoes and frogmen combined with innovative and bold tactics, the Sea Tigers sank about 30 navy patrol boats as part of the Tamil rebellion to create an independent state.
Image: Sea Tiger chief Col. Soosai.
Image: Female sea tigers.
LTTE was the first and only militant group to field an Air-Force of its own.
Image: LTTE’s Iranamadu Air-strip which is now renovated by the Sri Lankan Government and currently used by Air-Force.
Image: Air Tigers on their maiden flight in 2007
BLACK TIGERS (Suicide Squads):
Black Tigers were most disciplined elite force of LTTE. They had assassinated two top leaders of World: ex-Indian PM Mr.Rajiv Gandhi and President of Sri Lanka Mr.Premadasa.
As suicide attracts empathy Prabhakaran had coined a new Tamil term “thaat kodaai” means self-gift or gifting self. It was also believed that Prabhakaran was inspired by Chevars of Tamil Chera Kingdom who became suicide attacker and defeated the mighty Chola king.
Image: 21 Black Tigers team which was involved in the Anuradhapuram raid in 2007.
Image: Prabhakaran paying homage to the 10 slain Black tigers who raided Government forces’ Vanni SF HQ in 2008.
Image: Infantry Black Tigers widely uses by LTTE commanders to break enemy’s front line formations.
Sea Black Tigers:
Image: Sri Lankan Navy supply ship attacked by sea black tigers in 1991.
Image: Sea Black Tiger on explosive laden suicide boat. These suicide boats were too fast and too low that were almost impossible to detect or shoot them.
Air Black Tigers:
Image: Air Black Tigers Col.Rooban and Lt.Col. Siriththiran who launched kamikaze style suicide attacks on Colombo on 20th February 2009.
TOSIS (Intelligence Unit):
Image: Pottu Amman TOSIS chief 1988–2009.
TOSIS (Tiger Organization Security Intelligence Servic) was LTTE’s intelligence wing and it had very efficient intelligence network. He effectively adopted the techniques of Israel’s MOSSAD and Pakistan’s ISI. They had infiltrated their agents into Sri Lankan Army, Police, important Government offices, etc.
3) ORIGIN OF LTTE :
Sri Lankan Tamils tolerated discrimination for about 30+ years since Independence. But 1970s saw a new generation of Tamil youths who were angry and were in no mood of tolerating discrimination. These youths lost faith in the peaceful agitations by their elders. Suddenly one after another several Tamil groups were emerged.
November 26, Prabhakaran was born.
People who knew him personally said that he was a born leader with charismatic personality. Even as a kid Velupillai Prabhakaran never minded mingling with lower caste children.
As he grew he started to show too much interest in Tamil politics.
Image: Ancestral home of Prabhakaran where he spent his childhood. Now its one of the main tourist attractions in VVT.
Entry into Armed struggle at 15 : Prabhakaran joined the group of famous duo Kuttimani – Thangathurai. Both were elder to Prabhakaran and were from his own village of VVT(Valvettithurai).
TNT (Tamil New Tigers) was founded: Prabhakaran founded TNT group at the age of just 17 with few of close partners.
TYF (Tamil Youth Front) a political organization was formed by Amirthalingam. It had 40+ youth members. But proactively Sri Lankan police started to arrest all its members. TYF was betrayed by their own member. Due to severe torture by police one of the arrested members gave the full list of the TYF members and it’s activities. Police started to hunt all its member. Prabhakaran’s address was also compromised.
Young Prabhakaran narrowly escaped through the back door of his house when police knocked at his front door. From then onwards he started to remain in different hideouts like friends’ and relative’s houses. Later Prabhakaran escaped to India.
Tamil Conference Incident took place when Government forces attacked thousands of Tamil civilians who were assembled there to attend the conference . Policemen shot in the air which broke an electric wire and it fell on the people. 7 civilians died of electrocution. At the end 9 Tamil civilians were killed and 50+ were injured. Instead of punishing those policemen Government promoted them. This incident was one of the important events which led to the rise of Tamil militancy.
Image: Memorial at the site of the Tamil Conference Incident.
This incident increased the anger of Tamil youth. They blamed then Jaffna Mayor Alfred Duraiappah for this tragic incident.
July 5: Suicide of Sivakumaran, a young Tamil Militant. He was involved in a failed Bank robbery and was rounded up by the Sri Lankan Police. To avoid arrest he swallowed cyanide capsule and committed suicide. (He was already once arrested by the Police and gone through a severe torture by them. So after release he started to wear a cyanide capsule around his neck to avoid arrest). He become the first Tamil militant to die for the Tamil Eelam cause. Later Prabhakaran told that it was Shivakumaran’s death which inspired him to make cyanide capsule mandatory for all LTTE cadres.
Same year Prabhakaran returned to Sri Lanka.
1975: Prabhakaran assassinated Jaffna Mayor:
Image: Jaffna mayor Alfred Duraiappah.
Prabhakaran shot dead Jaffna Mayor Alfred Duraiappah at a Hindu temple. Later Prabhakaran claimed that it was his first murder. It was also the first high profile murder of eventual Sri Lankan Civil War. The reaction among tamil people was mixed. Duraiappah was people friendly but he always supported the Government. So after his death most people were happy especially youths.
May 5,LTTE was founded: Prabhakaran renamed TNT as LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam). Uma Maheswaran was made its chief and Prabhakaran become its military commander.
LTTE secretly conducted training in the forest.
Prabhakaran(c) with other Tamil Tigers during the early days of LTTE.
Prabhakaran’s growing domination on LTTE annoyed its members. When Uma Maheswaran was expelled from LTTE he founded his own group PLOTE( People’s Liberation Organization of Tamil Eelam). Most of the members left LTTE and joined Uma’s PLOTE. Only his loyal friends remained in LTTE. Prabhakaran become angry and disappointed. He too left LTTE but rejoined shortly.
Two prominent future leaders joined LTTE:
Soosai was LTTE’s sea Tigers’ chief. He had made LTTE one of the best non-state Navies in the World.
Bottu Amman: (1981–2009)
Young Bottu Amman (L) with Vaiko and Prabhakaran in 1980s.
Bottu Amman was made LTTE’s intelligence wing TOSIS’ chief in 1988. From 1988 to its demise in 2009 he remained chief of both TOSIS and Black Tigers.
June 1, Burning of Jaffna Public Library: On the night of the incident several policemen and paramilitary personnel set fire to the prestigious Jaffna public library. It was seen as the direct attempt of Government to destroy the evidence of Tamil ethnicity from Sri Lanka. Before destruction it had 97,000 books and several irreplaceable manuscripts.
Image: Burnt library
Image: Jaffna public Library after restoration.
October 15, First attack on Sri Lankan Army: For the first time Sri Lankan Army came under attack by the Tamil militants. LTTE attacked an army Truck and killed 2 soldiers.
1982: (Indirect involvement of India)
May 19, Shootout in Madras: LTTE chief Prabhakaran and PLOTE chief Uma Maheswaran were involved in a shootout in Pondy Bazaar in Madras (Chennai). Both were arrested. Due to the interference of TN political leaders they were later granted conditional bail. Uma was asked to stay in Madras while Prabhakaran was sent to Madurai(south TN).
It was the first time that Tamil Nadu(Indian) politicians involved in an Tamil militant issue. Till then Tamil militants were free to roam in Madras or any other part of Tamil Nadu.
November 27, Lt.Shankar become the first LTTE cadre to die in a combat.
Shankar was staying at a LTTE supporter’s house. He went there to pass an information. Suddenly he found himself surrounded by the military. He was able to break the military cordon but not before a bullet hit his stomach. Injured Shankar ran 3 km and reached the nearest LTTE base. There he handed over his pistol to his comrades and fell unconscious because of heavy bleeding. It was LTTE’s code of conduct to avoid arrest and securing the weapon.
At that time LTTE had only 30 cadres and didn’t even had a boat or walkie-talkie. Later Anton (LTTE cadre) was able to transport Shankar to Tamil Nadu in a boat. After leaving him at a safe house with a doctor Anton went to Madurai. There he informed Prabhakaran about Shankar’s condition. Prabhakaran reached the spot and Shankar breathed his last on his leader’s lap.
It was one of those very rare moments when Prabhakaran cried in public.
July 15, Charles Anthony died:
Image: Prabhakaran’s best friend Charles Lucas Anthony aka Seelan
Prabhakaran’s best friend Charles Anthony had been injured in a bank robbery and police station attack. On a tip off Police got his location and injured Charles tried to run as much possible. But finally he gave up and asked his partner to shoot him. He was shot dead by his partner before police could catch him alive.
Prabhakaran named LTTE’s elite regiment as Charles Anthony Brigade. He even named his elder son as Charles Anthony.
July 23, Ambush:To avenge his best friend and comrades’ death Prabhakaran came out with an ambush plan.
Image: Prabhakaran(left) with Sellakili who planned the ambush along with Kittu.
On the night of 23rd July LTTE successfully ambushed an Army Patrol vehicle and killed 13 soldiers. It was the most successful attack carried out by any Tamil militant group at that time. Unfortunately the mastermind of the plan Sellakili got killed in the action.
July 24–30, Anti-Tamil Pogrom : Death of those 13 soldiers triggered the anti-tamil pogrom across Sri Lanka. More than 3000 Tamil Civilians were killed , more than 25000 were injured and properties worth several lakhs were destoyed by angry Sinhala mobs. Mob did all these with the help of the Government. As a result hundreds of angry Tamil youths joined different tamil militant groups especially LTTE.
4) SRI LANKAN CIVIL WAR BEGINS :
Eelam War I (August 1983- July 1987):
Different Tamil militant groups launched attacks on Government forces.
Training in India: The bloody anti-Tamil pogrom, pressure from Tamil Nadu congress leaders and Sri Lanka’s new obsession with other countries forced then Prime Minister of India Mrs. Indira Gandhi to order RAW to train Tamil Militants. Along with LTTE several other groups were also got trained in India.
To protect the identity of LTTE cadres Prabhakaran asked RAW to train LTTE in separate camps.
He asked LTTE cadres not to disclose their real names to RAW. He asked them to register their nom de Guerre with the RAW.
While getting training in India he established a separate International network to buy weapons. He knew India was using Tamil Militants so he wanted to get out of India’s shadow as soon as possible.He himself established his own training camps in Tamil Nadu.
Image: Prabhakaran (3rd from left) at a LTTE training camp in Sirumalai, Tamil Nadu, India.
October 1, Prabhakaran marriage: He got married to Mathivathani at Tirupur, Tamil Nadu. She was a student of Jaffna University. Along with other Tamil girls she was staging a fast-protest. When the conditions of those girls deteriorated LTTE abducted those girls and brought then to Tamil Nadu. There Prabhakaran fell in love with Mathivathani.
Image: Prabhakaran and Mathivathani marriage at a temple.
Prabhakaran established good relationship with Tamil Nadu politicians especially then Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.G.Ramachandran.
Image: Prabhakaran(c) and Col. Shankar having a conversation with M.G.R.
April, LTTE joined ENLF (Eelam National Liberation Front): ENLF was formed in 1984 to unite all Tamil militant groups to fight together against Sri Lankan Army. After staying away from the ENLF for nearly 1 year at last Prabhakaran (LTTE) decided to join it in 12 the April 1985.
Image: From left Sabaratnam(TELO), Pathmanaba (EPRLF), Prabhakaran (LTTE)and Balakumar(EROS).
April/May, Ceasefire: India intervened and proposed a ceasefire. Eelam War I was halted temporarily.
July/Aug , Thimpu Talks: India mediated peace talks held at Thimphu ( Bhutan). Delegations from Sri Lankan Government and various Tamil militant groups attended the talks. But this peace talks failed as both sides refused to accept other party’s suggestions.
Aug 24, Balasingham deported: After Thimpu Talks failed India deported Anton Balasingham, chief spokesperson of LTTE. Along with him two other prominent Eelam leaders Chelvanayagam and Satyendra were also deported. Tension grew in Tamil Nadu as many people protest Central Government’s decision to deport these people.
October, TN Police crack down: Police were ordered to seize weapons and communication equipment from all Militant groups present in the Madras city. Along with other groups LTTE also lost all their weapons and equipments.
Desperate Prabhakaran declared fast unto death. As a result various pro-LTTE parties forced M.G.R. to give back all weapons and equipments. LTTE was more than happy as along with their own weapons they also got weapons of other militant groups.
June 5, Operation Poomalai: Indian Air Force air-dropped several tonnes of food parcels and medicines to Jaffna when the city was under siege by Sri Lankan Forces.
July 5, First Black Tiger attack:
Image: Captain Miller, first Black Tiger
Capt.Miller rammed a small truck full of explosives on a Army base and killed scores of soldiers. He became LTTE’s first black tiger/suicide bomber.
Later every year LTTE observed 5th July as Black tiger day.
Image: Prabhakaran observing Black Tigers day in 2006.
July 29, Indo-Sri Lankan Accord: Indian Prime Minister and Sri Lankan President signed Indo-Sri Lankan Accord. Strangely Tamil militant leaders were not considered. India directly ordered all militant groups to surrender their weapons. Prabhakaran got furious. He directly said “we need India’s support but we never allow India to force their decision on Eelam people.” 29
Image: Signing of Indo-Sri Lankan Accord
Prabhakaran started to sense a threat to his life in India/TN. He knew that Indian Government or Sri Lankan Government could assassinate him to end the Civil War forever. By rejecting India’s biased suggestions he had already angered Indian Government. So he escaped to Sri Lanka. He had done so second time under the watchful eyes of Indian police.
July, IPKF arrived :
From the last July Indian Army started to reach Sri Lanka.
August ,Suthumalai LTTE conference:
Image: LTTE’s Kumarappa addressing the crowd with Prabhakaran and other LTTE leaders present on stage.
Image: Thousands of people gathered to listen Prabhakaran and other LTTE leader’s speeches.
Addressing those thousands of people Prabhakaran declared that trusting India’s promise of protecting Eelam Tamils and LTTE fighters he ( read LTTE) decided to surrender their weapons . But he warned that if Tamil people’s were harassed he would never mind pickings up guns again.
August, LTTE surrendered weapons:
Image: LTTE cadre surrendering his weapon on 15th August 1987 at Jaffna.
Dirty game : Though India, LTTE and SriLanka agreed to follow the Indo-Sri Lankan Accord but they cheated each other on their back.
LTTE : Prabhakaran was secretly eliminating leaders of his rival groups.
India: IPKF was secretly arming LTTE’s rival groups to defeat LTTE if Prabhakaran refused to obey India.
Sri Lanka: Secretly helped sinhalese families in settling down in Tamil areas to unbalance Tamil dominance.
September 26, Theelipan: A Tamil activist on 15th september started a hunger strike to protect the rights of Tamil people. Indian Army commanders not only ignored him but also refused to meet him. After refusing food and water for 12 days he died on 26th September. He died right in front of hundreds of people who had gathered to support him. This incident turns the anger of Tamil people against Indian Army. They felt betrayed
Image: Prabhakaran talking with Thileepan who was observing hunger strike at that time.
October 5, Mass suicide by LTTE fighters: 17 LTTE fighters were arrested by Sri Lankan Navy. Prabhakaran asked Indian Army to get his cadres released. But his request was ignored. Later when Sri Lankan Army tried to take them to Colombo all 17 tigers attempted suicide by swallowing cyanide capsules. 12 (out of 17) cadres died including top LTTE commander Kumarappa and Pulendiran. Prabhakaran felt betrayed now because Indian Army promised to protect LTTE fighters.
Image: Pulendiran(left) and Kumarappa along with other 10(bottom) LTTE cadres who committed suicide. Image published by a pro- LTTE website.
October, LTTE attacked IPKF: Prabhakaran was furious because of the death of Thileepan and 12 tigers. He ordered his commanders to attack Indian Army. After 20 days of bloody battle LTTE was chased out o the Jaffna. In this process 319 Indian soldiers and 1100 LTTE fighters died at the end of October.
October 11–12, Jaffna Helidrop:
Image: Football ground where Indian soldiers were surrounded by LTTE cadres and their sharpshooters. The mission turn out to be the most disastrous mission in the history of Indian Army.
Clueless India: India was clueless about its mission in India. Mr.Dixit was sent to Colombo to convince Sri Lankan President to implement all the promises made in the Indo-Sri Lankan Accord. IPKF was asked to keep fighting LTTE. RAW was asked to keep helping LTTE and convince Prabhakaran to come to negotiation table. All these three things were done simultaneously.When the mission was failed each side blamed the other two sides.
After losing Jaffna Prabhakaran and his troops escaped to Wanni jungles
When IPKF felt that they were about to destroy LTTE they were betrayed by the newly elected Sri Lankan President Premadasa. He ordered Indian Army to leave Sri Lanka. He even ordered Sri Lankan Army to supply arms and cash to LTTE to fight Indian Soldiers.
After showing huge resistance to Indian Army Prabhakaran and his commanders successfully remained 2 steps ahead of IPKF in the Wanni jungles.
Image: Prabhakaran with Gadaffi at an undisclosed location in the forest.
People’s Front of Liberation Tigers (PFLT): A political party was launched by LTTE. Mahattaya was made its president while Yogi become its first secretary.
Image: From left Mahattaya , Prabhakaran and Yogi.
November, 27: 1st Maveerar Naal:
Image: Prabhakaran giving his first Maveerar Naal speech
Prabhakaran was highly impressed by his LTTE commanders and cadres. They had survived 2 years of onslaught by World’s third largest army. So he decided to observe first maveerar naal or Heroes Day to commemorate the fallen Tamil Tigers.
27th November the date on which LTTE lost its first fighter Lt. Shankar was chosen as Heroes Day. Till then LTTE had lost 1307 cadres. Hundreds of LTTE fighters gathered at a secret location in the forest to observe first Heroes Day.
Till then Lt.Shankar’s death(1982) was not made public by LTTE. Prabhakaran did this to prevent exposing Shankar’s family and other LTTE sympathisers to Government forces.
Famous speech: Prabhakaran gave his first Maveerar Day speech and said whoever betrays Tamil Eelam must be killed. He went on saying that in future if he betrays or surrender to enemies his comrades must shoot him at his back.
EELAM WAR 2 (1990–1995)
Once Indian soldiers left Sri Lanka LTTE got control of huge areas in the North and east
Image: IPKF soldiers leaving Sri Lanka in 1990.
Jaffna: Young Tamil Tigers on a patrolling vehicle. LTTE recaptured large areas once IPKF left the island.
October 15–30, Expulsion of Muslims: Tensions grew between LTTE and Muslims in the east. Muslim cadres left LTTE and became Government informants. They refused to follow LTTE rules. Sri Lankan Government used this issue in their favour and deployed Muslim homeguards who massacred Tamil civilians.
Col.Karikalan, the eastern LTTE commander persuaded Prabhakaran to expel Muslims from LTTE controlled areas. So LTTE expelled around 70,000 to 75,000 Muslims from the Northern districts of Jaffna, Kilinochchi,Mannar, Mullaitivu, etc.
Assassinated Rajiv Gandhi: Former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was assasinated by a suicide bomber.
Image: Rajiv Gandhi minutes before his death.
Except the confessions of the accused/convicts no evidence was found which can connect LTTE with the assassination. Till end LTTE never accepted it directly.
July-Aug, First Battle of Elephant Pass:
LTTE launched a deadly attack on the Elephant Pass base. It was the main point linking Jaffna Peninsula with the mainland. LTTE used several armored vehicles with guns on top and plenty of ammunitions inside.
Image: LTTE Bulldozer at the war memorial used during first battle of Elephant pass.
During the battle LTTE was able to surround the base for several days. But they had to retreat because heavy reinforcements reached the base after 18 days.
LTTE commanders Balraj and Soosai guarding a portion of Elephant Pass base temporarily captured by them.
January 16, Kittu suicide:
Image: Kittu former LTTE commander.
Image: Prabhakaran consoling Kittu’s mother.
Kittu and nine other LTTE cadres committed suicide when Indian Navy forced them to surrender. They were travelling on a LTTE ship on international waters miles away from Indian maritime border.
Kittu was Prabhakaran’s childhood friend. He was the overall military commander of LTTE during the First Eelam War. When Prabhakaran was busy in peace talks in India Kittu served as LTTE chief until 1987.
May 1, Sri Lankan President assassinated:
LTTE suicide bomber assassinated then President of Sri Lanka Mr.Premadasa on May day function.
Image: Funeral procession of President Premadasa in 1993.
Nov, Operation Frog/ Battle of Pooneryn: LTTE ran over a Sri Lankan naval base at Pooneryn.
Mahattaya arrested: Deputy LTTE chief Mahattaya was taken into custody by LTTE. He was leaking information to India’s RAW.
Image: Prabhakaran (c) and Mahattaya (2nd from right) with Tamil Nadu politicians.
Image: LTTE rebels patrolling the outskirts of Jaffna.
December, Mahattaya executed: After Mahattaya confessed his crime he was executed. Along with him nearly 250 LTTE cadres who were loyal to him were also executed.
Female Tigers guarding a house at Jaffna.
Battle of Jaffna: LTTE lost Jaffna, Army expelled LTTE from Jaffna. Col.Theepan was the last LTTE commander to leave Jaffna. He and his troops escaped with the help of Sea tigers.
Sri Lanka claimed that LTTE had been eliminated completely. But LTTE spent this time in jungle to regroup, train and increase their ammunition stocks.
RISE OF LTTE:
EELAM WAR 3 (1996–2001):
LTTE had grown in size and were became deadly force. They had 3 operations codenamed Unceasing Waves to capture important Army bases.
Operation Unceasing Waves I : To capture Mullaitivu
Operation Unceasing Waves II : To capture Kilinochchi
Operation Unceasing Waves III : To capture Elephant Pass.
Operation Unceasing Waves I/ Battle of Mullaitivu : LTTE launched a deadly attack on Mullaitivu base. Sea Tigers used its full strength and soon huge fights began both on land and sea.
It was the last base of Army in the Mullaitivu region. So when Army abandoned the base LTTE took control of the whole Mullaitivu district.
Image: Tamil Tigers removing one of the artillery guns from the Army base. LTTE got away with several artillery pieces and huge stocks of ammunition.
September , Operation Unceasing Waves II/ Battle of Kilinochchi:
Image: Brig.Balraj preparing his fighters for the Battle of Kilinochchi.
Image: LTTE cadres entering Kilinochchi on 29th September 1998.
LTTE successfully expelled Sri Lankan Army from the town of Kilinocchi. Later the town of Kilinochchi become LTTE’s headquarter.
Operation Unceasing Waves III/Second Battle of Elephant Pass:
The victory at the Elephant Pass was the most famous in the history of LTTE’s history. They had achieved an impossible mission.
LTTE surrounded the largest Military Garrison and cut off it from outside supplies.
Image: Brig.Balraj preparing his troops for Operation Unceasing Waves 3.
Image: Balraj travels through sea and landed behind enemy lines.
Image: Brigadier Balraj on his way to the A9 highway through the lagoon.For next 30+ days he fought behind enemy lines.
Sea Tigers secretly transported LTTE commander Balraj with 1200 cadres through sea behind enemy lines.
At that time LTTE troops were surrounded by 40,000 Sri Lankan Soldiers, Air Force, etc. He fought 30+ days without any outside help and blocked the A9 Highway until the fall of Iyakachchi( front base) and then Elephant Pass(main base). This came as a surprise to many experts as US military experts had predicted that Elephant Pass was impregnable.
Few thousand Tamil Tigers defeated 17,500 Soldiers and forced them to abandon their largest garrison.
After this victory LTTE were highly motivated and very ambitious about recapturing Jaffna(last main base of Army) and free whole Tamil Eelam from Government forces.
July, Black Tigers raided Bandaranaike International Airport and created a loss of $350 Million to the Government. They destroyed several military and civil air crafts.
One of the destroyed Aircrafts at the Bandaranaike Airport.
This attack was perfectly planned with high level training. They successfully raided the Airport and made sure no passenger or foreign national hurt.
September 26, Assassination of Col.Shankar:
Col. Shankar was one of the few original members of LTTE. He was with Prabhakaran from the early days of Eelam struggle.
He was also the founder of important wings of LTTE :
Frogmen of Sea Tigers
Image: Prabhakaran and Shankar (2nd from right ) inspecting powered gliders with LTTE test pilots at Iranamadu air-strip in early 1990s.
The evergrowing military power of LTTE and their victories over Government forces brought Sri Lankan Government to the negotiation table. In 2002 LTTE signed the ceasefire and finally peace returned to Sri Lanka after a long time.
Image: Prabhakaran signing the historical ceasefire.
Image: LTTE leaders (from right) Prabhakaran, Balasingham, Tamilseivan and Gaddafi at a rare press meet at Kilinochchi.
August 25, Death of Col.Raju: He was in charge of LTTE’S Engineering Corps. He also helped LTTE develop its artilley and armored unit.
His important contributions:
Artilley and armored Units formation
Leopard Commandos(LTTE’s special Commandos)
Col.Raju, LTTE’s chief engineer and commander of leopard Commandos.
March 3 – April 11, split: Eastern LTTE chief Karuna Amman announced split with Prabhakaran. He decided to run a separate militant group in eastern Sri Lanka. But mainstream LTTE brutally neutralized Karuna forces.
Without any choice Karuna joined hands with Government. His betrayal came as a shock to LTTE. His announcement made LTTE lose 4000–5000(approx.) well trained fighters.
Image: Cadres(ex-LTTE) of the breakaway KARUNA faction.
Within few days Prabhakaran forces neutralized Karuna forces. Just like he betrayed Prabhakaran he was betrayed by his own commander Col.Ramanan.
Image: Col.Ramanan one of the few LTTE commanders who remained loyal to Prabhakaran when most of the eastern commanders betrayed LTTE and joined Karuna.
Ramanan not only helped Prabhakaran defeat Karuna forces but also helped LTTE track down eastern LTTE cadres who returned to normal life after the split. Many such cadres were identified and were brought back to LTTE .
December 26, Tsunami:
Image: Damaged vehicles(above) and Train left by Tsunami waves.
Image: LTTE doctor treating a civilian at one of the medical camps conducted by LTTE at Vavuniya in June 2005.
Tensions grew between LTTE and Sri Lankan Government with both sides often violating ceasefire agreement.
Image: Local Tamil civilians taking food items for the LTTE cadres who were deployed in the Tirunelveli FDL in June 2006.
EELAM WAR 4 (2006–2009):
Image: LTTE cadres taking oath before leaving to FDL at Muhamalai.
Image: Tamil Tigers leaving for forward defence lines(FDL) at Muhamalai 2006.
May , EU blacklisted LTTE: Main reasons for banning LTTE:
LTTE intentionally avoided attending several peace talks meetings.
Assassination of Lakshman Kadirgamar, minister of foreign affairs of Sri Lanka in 2005 by alleged LTTE sniper. But LTTE denied their involvement. No evidence was found against LTTE.
Suicide attack on top military commander Sarath Fonseka in 2006. He survived the attack.
July, Closing of sluice gate at Mavil aru:
Image: LTTE closed the sluice gates of Mavil Aru which was supplying water to a region inside Government controlled area.
August 14, Senchcholai Bombing:
Image: Sri Lankan Air-Force dropped 16 bombs on a Senchcholai Orphanage home and killed 61 people including 55 school girls and injured 129 others.
December 14, Anton Balasingham passed away.
The only man who could speak against Prabhakaran was gone. He was a true and loyal friend to Prabhakaran. Now Prabhakaran was left with some headless people who misled him about the changes in International politics.
October 22, Anuradhapuram Air-Force base attack: Sri Lankan Air-Force frequently bombed Tamil civilian areas. As the civilian casualties increased Prabhakaran warned Sri Lankan Government to stop it or face consequences. But Air-Force ignored it. As a result Prabhakaran ordered his black tiger squad and air tiger to simultaneously launch attack on the Anuradhapuram Air Base.
Image: 21 team black-tigers team before leaving for the mission.
Image: Air-Tigers on their maiden public raid to support on ground Black Tigers team.
One of the destroyed choppers during the LTTE raid.
Image: Hundreds of Civilians gathered to pay homage to the 21 Black tigers of Anuradhapuram Raid 2007 in Kilinochchi.
Proved to be one of the most tragic years for LTTE because it lost two of their key commanders.
5th January: Col. Charles was killed. He was the chief of LTTE’s military intelligence wing.
His vehicle hit claymore mine placed by Deep penetration Unit . He was the main person behind Black Tigers’ success.
During 1990s he was sent to South to create secret LTTE base to carry out attacks in the government controlled areas. He was personally involved in many suicide attacks and high profile assassinations. He was one of the few LTTE commanders who were able to stay in Colombo frequently without any suspicions. Later when his presence was known to the Government he changed his base from South to East and launched attacks on Government controlled areas.
He played a vital role in infiltrating LTTE agents in Sri Lankan Army and Police. After his death Black Tigers became just a shadow of their glorious past. They lost the accuracy and failed in many of their last attacks.
Image: Tamil Tigers guarding Forward Defence Line at Mannar, May 2008.
Brigadier Balraj died of heart attack.
Brigadier Balraj was deputy chief of LTTE’s infantry. He was also the most successful LTTE commander.
He was involved in many successful military operations of LTTE. He was the main person behind LTTE’s famous victory in Battle of Elephant Pass 2000. He was well known for his psychological warfare. After his death LTTE failed to win any significant battle and eventually vanished exactly one year after his death.
Even Army commanders considered Balraj’s death as one of the main reasons for the military defeat of LTTE.
Image: Balraj’s funeral procession.
July 5, Last Day:
Image: Prabhakaran lighting the oil lamp during the Black Tigers Day 2008 which turns out to be the last such event.
Fights intensifies towards the end of 2008 :
Image: LTTE team at a front defensive line at Vannerikulam in September 2008.
Image: August 2008 New front defensive line.
Image: LTTE cadres giving stiff resistance to the advancing Army at Akkarayan FDL, October 2008.
NOVEMBER 27, LAST HEROES DAY:
Prabhakaran lighting the “Lamp of sacrifice” for the last time. It become the last Heroes Day of LTTE. They had lost 22,390 cadres till then.
January, Battle of Kilinochchi: LTTE lost Kilinochchi their headquarter/ capital to the army.
March-April: Last major battle of the Civil War Battle of Ananthapuram took place. Army destroyed most of the military units of LTTE .Tamil Tigers lost most of their top commanders. Some of them:
After the death of Brigadier Balraj Col.Theepan became the de-facto deputy chief of LTTE’s military. During the final days of the Civil war he was made the overall military commander of LTTE’s Northern frontier.
He refused to leave his troops behind and killed in the final days of Battle of Ananthapuram. His death was a huge blow to LTTE.
Col.Gaddafi aka Aathavan:
Gaddafi was one of the senior commanders of LTTE. He was Prabhakaran’s bodyguard from 1980s to 2005. When Imran Pandian Regiment was formed in 1992 he become its special commander until 2005.
He was one of the 10 LTTE cadres who were trained by India(RAW) to use Anti-aircraft missiles. He become a specialist in using SAM7 missiles and shot down several Sri Lankan Air-Force planes. He was also killed in the battle.
Image: Prabhakaran’s bodyguard Gaddafi (extreme left) during LTTE chief’s famous speech at Suthumalai in 1987.
May 2009, Final battle:
LTTE fighters along with thousands of civilians were trapped in a small area. Surrendering LTTE commanders and cadres were shot and killed mercilessly.
Nobody(except Army) know how Prabhakaran died and what happened to his wife and daughter.As pber UN study 40,000 Tamil civilians were killed in the last month alone by Army shelling and air-bombardment.
Even after the defeat of LTTE in May 2009, Col.Ram, LTTE’s Amaparai district commander was able to hold his ground in Eastern province. With around 50+ Eastern LTTE cadres he launched minor guerilla attacks on Army for several weeks. Later he too surrendered to Army. At the time of surrender he was the highest ranked LTTE commander alive.
Demise of LTTE and end of the Civil War 2009:
New LTTE chief K.P.(Kumara Pathmanathan) announced that LTTE had decided to silence their guns. Thus brought the 3 decade long civil war to an end.
Image: KP (c) with Prabhakaran, Balasingham and Shankar.
MAVEERAR NAAL or REMEMBERANCE DAY:
Prabhakaran and Tamil Tigers had long gone but they had left a legacy behind them.
Every year from 1989 to 2008 on 27th November LTTE used to observe Heroes Day.
Image: Prabhakaran paying homage to Lt. Shankar and other fallen LTTE fighters during a Heroes Day.
Image: A woman looking at the photo of her daughter who was a member of Black Tiger squad of LTTE.
Image: Family members of fallen Tamil Tigers gathered at one of the LTTE cemetries to observe the Heroes Day.
Image: This year( 2016) also hundreds of Eelam Tamils gathered to observe Maveerar Naal at London
Every year on 27th November Maveerar Naal or Remembrance Day is observed by thousands of Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora in Sri Lanka, USA, Canada, India , Australia and several European countries…
Gopal R, Updated May 30, 2017 · Author has 460 answers and 1m answer views
Comment :Sureshrao S, Lead Engineer – Site Project Controls at Construction –
LTTE – Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(Ezham), தமிழ் ஈழ விடுதலை புலிகள் – Tamil Ezha viduthalai Puligal
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) was one of the many groups that came into existence to fight for Tamil rights. Finally became sole representative of Tamils in terms of Armed Military. It also had Political wing, Their own police, Defacto Tamil state, etc. and are freedom fighters of Ceylon Tamils.
When LTTE is formed??
Formed in 1975 with its base in the northern and eastern parts of Sri Lanka, the group vowed to form a separate state called Tamil Eelam
Why LTTE is formed?
It all began when Sinhalese government put restriction on the entry of qualified Tamils into higher studies. Tamils Not given equal opportunities in Government services, Not given equal rights in society, Compelled to learn Sinhalese and Sinhalese don’t need to learn Tamil etc. after getting independence from British in February 4, 1948.
Fighting for their equal rights politically for more than 20 years, Most of Tamils decided to start armed struggle to get their Rights in 1975.
What is the Aim of LTTE??
They are freedom fighters of Tamils and their wish is to have separate homeland for Tamils in Lanka since Sinhalese government didn’t give them equal rights and opportunities under them.
Till date even after the military defeat of LTTE in 2009, Tamils are not given equal rights in Lankan constitution. This itself will explain the true face of a Sinhalese.
Most of the people who don’t know the history will tell them Terrorists. It is a political game played by Sinhalese government by propaganda.
Now why even India is not pushing for political settlement between Tamils and Sinhalese after military defeat of LTTE is a million dollar question??
The Swiss Federal Criminal Court has given no prison terms to alleged financiers of the Sri Lankan Tamil separatist group Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE). The 13 accused were either given suspended custodial sentences or acquitted.
The court on Thursday said accusations of participation in and support of a criminal organisation did not stand and released all of the accused.
It noted that the hierarchical link between the LTTE and WTCC was not sufficiently established. The judges also felt there was not enough concrete proof to consider the LTTE as a criminal organisation.
While the federal prosecutor Juliette Noto had asked for prison terms of between 18 months and six years for the accused, the court did not oblige. Eight of the thirteen on the docks were acquitted of all charges.
The others were only found guilty of fraud. WTCC’s finance manager and one of the accused who arranged loans from Bank Now (owned by Credit Suisse) on false pretences got a 24-month suspended sentence. The president of WTCC got 21 months while the finance manager’s deputy got 20 months in suspended sentences.
The whole process is estimated to have cost close to CHF4 million (4.03 million) which the federal government will have to bear. In addition to this amount, compensation for those acquitted, as well as lawyers’ fees total to almost CHF5 million. The accused will have to pay part of their lawyers’ expenses provided they have the financial means to do so.
During the eight-week trial, which opened in January and closed in March, the federal prosecutor requested sentences of up to six-and-a-half years in prison. The proceedings cost CHF3.8 million ($3.85 million).
The 13 defendants – 12 Tamils or Swiss citizens of Tamil origin plus one German – were accused of participating in or supporting a criminal organisation, fraud, forgery, money laundering and extortion.
During her indictment, Juliette Noto, a federal prosecutor, described a sophisticated system used by the WTCC to raise funds largely for armed struggle from the Tamil community in Switzerland. The Tamil community in Switzerland was systematically registered and its ability to pay assessed. Families who refused to pay were threatened, she said.
Noto cast the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam (LTTE), who are represented in Switzerland by the WTCC, as a violent movement “whose effectiveness inspired Al-Qaeda”. Showing a picture of the WTCC leader behind a machine gun and images of child soldiers, she enumerated the attacks and crimes attributed to the Tamil Tigers. The prosecutor sought to demonstrate the informed involvement of the accused in supporting and funding the LTTE.
In their pleadings, the defence invoked the legitimacy of the Tigers’ struggle against the Sri Lankan government’s repression of the Tamil minority. They argued that the money collected in Switzerland by the accused for the WTCC was mainly used for humanitarian purposes. The defence also challenged the prosecution of the accused at a time when Tiger resistance was collapsing in Sri Lanka.
During the hearings, the accused spoke at length about the repression suffered in Sri Lanka and the atrocities committed by the security forces. They kept silent when asked about their specific involvement.
The Tamil Tigers fought the Sri Lankan government from 1983 until its defeat in 2009. The movement claimed independence from northern Ceylon, populated mostly by Tamils. This conflict caused the death of some 100,000 people.
Swiss Tamil Tiger trial has cost over $4 million
The eight-week Swiss trial of 13 financiers accused of funnelling money to the Sri Lankan Tamil separatist group Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE) has cost CHF3.79 million ($4 million). The verdict is now expected in June.
The trial of the Tamil Tiger leaders in Switzerland ended Wednesday in Bellinzona. The verdict is expected to be handed down on June 14 by the Federal Criminal Court. Citing the multi-million-franc cost of the trial, Jean-Pierre Garbade, lawyer for the defendants, contested the fact that his clients would have to pay the sum if they were convicted.
The whole process was set in motion in 2009 when the Office of the Attorney General launched an investigation against “unknown persons” for extortion, coercion, money laundering and organised crime.
Then, in 2011, a vast sting operation across various Swiss cantons resulted in the arrest of several suspects who were later released. A year later, a delegation from the Office of the Attorney General and the Federal Office of Police travelled to Sri Lanka to interview around 15 witnesses.
The accused are from Switzerland, Germany and Sri Lanka and are charged with funnelling more than CH15 million to the LTTE between 1999 and 2009. Some are former members of the World Tamil Coordinating Committee (WTCC), which represented the LTTE in Switzerland until 2009, and include its founder, his deputy and the person in charge of finances.
During the trial, federal prosecutor Juliette Noto presented the LTTE as a movement “whose effectiveness inspired al-Qaeda”. Showing a picture of the WTCC leader behind a heavy machine gun, as well as images of child soldiers, she listed the crimes attributed to the Tigers. She said that the accused were fully aware that they were supporting and funding the LTTE and that they used threats to coerce money from the Tamil diaspora.
For its part, the defence stressed the legitimacy of the Tigers’ fight against an oppressive regime. They sought to convince the court that the funds raised by the WTCC from the Tamil diaspora were primarily for humanitarian causes. They also accused the Attorney General of instigating the trial at the behest of the European Union.
After eight weeks, both sides outlined their positions regarding the final outcome. The prosecutor wants a six-and-a-half-year prison term for the WTCC’s finance manager and five years for the WTCC president, his deputy, as well as the organisation’s treasurer. Two of the accused who arranged loans from Bank Now (owned by Credit Suisse) on false pretences – which were then allegedly funnelled to the LTTE – are expected to serve a four-and three-year prison term respectively. The prosecution also called for the remaining defendants – creators of financial structures, collectors of funds and an employee of Bank Now – to serve prison terms ranging from three years to 18 months.
The defence pleaded acquittal and compensation for the defendants.
Around 50,000 people from Sri Lanka live in Switzerland, mostly ethnic Tamils who fled the island’s 30-year civil war that ended in 2009. Many applied for Swiss citizenship and as of 2016 there were slightly more than 28,000 people with Sri Lankan citizenship residing in Switzerland. In 2016, the Swiss government announced it would apply more stringent criteria for granting Sri Lankan nationals refugee status.
Who was the most underrated LTTE commander/ political leader?
I consider Gadaffi aka Athavan aka Viduthalai as one of the underrated LTTE commanders. As he had mostly worked behind the scene he didn’t get the recognition which he deserved. Obviously his contribution to the organization was very well understood by the LTTE leaders within the Organization but outside people knew very less about his actual work.
Image: Gadaffi standing behind during LTTE chief’s historical press meet at Kilinochchi in 2002.
He was the man who worked very hard and laid the strong foundation of LTTE.
But he has been mostly remembered/ known for two things:
Longtime bodyguard of LTTE chief Prabhakaran.
SAM (surface to air missile) specialist.
Bodyguard of the leader:
It was senior commander Ponnamman who identified Gaddafi’s sharp shooting skills and recommended his name to LTTE chief. As a result he went on to serve as the bodyguard of Prabhakaran for a very long time. From 1995 to 2002 he served as the chief commander of Imran-Pandian Brigade which was specifically created to protect LTTE chief.
Image: Gaddafi with LTTE chief.
Gaddafi was one of the 10 LTTE cadres selected by India( RAW ) for anti-aircraft warfare training.
Image: Avro 748 Aircraft similar to the one shot down by LTTE in 1995.
In 1995 within two days LTTE shot down two Avro Planes  near SLAF Palaly Air Base. It was none other than Gaddafi who shot both these planes. It was the first instance in the history of SL Civil War when LTTE used SAM to attack SLAF. Later LTTE went on to shoot down several aircrafts.
This two attacks which killed more than 100 Air-Force personnel including officers had huge psychological effects on the Government Forces and LTTE went on to win most of the battles during Eelam War 3 (1995–2002) .
In the below link video you can watch a LTTE fighter shooting down a MI-24 Helicopter using SAM.
SAM missiles shot down Srilankan Helicopter MI 24.
Chief of LTTE Military Training School:
Gadaffi had contributed more to the organization as the chief of LTTE’s military training School. He went on to build a strong foundation for the LTTE.
Recruiting and training new cadres
Identifying the hidden talent of the young cadres
Feeding confidence into the minds of the young cadres
Grooming future LTTE commanders.
Whenever Prabhakaran asked him he effectively founded many important units:
Black Tigers Unit (Suicide Squad)
Lt.Col. Radha anti-Aircarft Unit ( Bodyguards of Prabhakaran)
Lt.Col.Victor Anti-Tank Unit
Mayuran Sniper Unit
Col.Shankar Deep penetration Unit
Sembiyan Spy Unit
Military Training Schools
Image: Gadaffi presenting prize to winner of LTTE’s sharp shooting competition.
Gadaffi was the one who would provide formal training and instrutions to Cadres who become Black Tigers(both land and sea black tigers)
Black Tigers selected for their specified(final) operations.
Special teams selected for specified operations
Military brigades preparing for offensive and counter offensive operations.
In short along with Prabhakaran and Bottu Amman he was one of the few LTTE commanders who knew exactly what was happening inside LTTE right from black tiger operations to other military operations . He looked after all the trainings across all the three wings of LTTE: Regular land Force, Sea Tigers and Air Tigers. So nothing was hidden from him.
Eg. During LTTE’s counter offensive in 1999 in Wanni he was one of the very few LTTE commanders who knew the strategy. At that time even top LTTE commanders were not told about LTTE’s operations. ( If you didn’t know you can read full details of the LTTE’s Operation Unceasing Waves 3 (1999) operations in the below answer).
Gopal R’s answer to Do you think that Sri Lanka would have won the Eelam War if India, China, Pakistan, and the US did not help them?
During the decisive battle of Ananthapuram 2009 he was one of the many top LTTE commanders trapped inside the Puthukudiyiruppu Region. He was severely injured and knowing that it was impossible for LTTE to move him out of the battle field he bit cyanide vial and committed suicide.
He was promoted as brigadier posthumously.
Battle of Ananthapuram(2009) : Two different theories:
1)Battle of Ananthapuram was a large scale offensive operation which LTTE was planning to halt the rapid advancements of the Government Forces. They say Prabhakaran left the Puthukudiyiruppu region on 27th March 2009. The battle intensified on 29th March and ended on 4th April 2009. Bhanu was the only top commander who escaped the siege on 2nd April. When Army asked them them to surrender hundreds of LTTE cadres refused to surrender and fought till the last. On 5th April Army dig out hundreds of dead bodies of LTTE cadres. Many have committed suicide.
Actually they say after the end of Second World War(1939–1945) nowhere in the World such intense shelling at a small region was ever carried out. Government forces even used chemical weapons. When the Government released the footage it was really gory and sad moment to see LTTE’s legendary commader Theepan lying there with the upper layer of his skin peeled off completely.
2)There was also a parallel rumor that the Battle of Ananthapuram was not a LTTE offensive but a large scale rescue operation to save LTTE chief Prabhakaran who was trapped in the region at that time. It says that Prabhakaran escaped from the region on 2nd April with Bhanu.
Also it seems that so many LTTE commanders and military units were on virtually suicidal mission to save the leader. I am sure they very well knew assembling too many military units at a single area could be suicidal. While they successfully saved the leader but in the process lost most of their fighting capabilities.
While I believe in the first theory but only reason I slighly believe in the second theory is the presence of Gadaffi(in-charge of Prabhakaran’s protection) in the region. Most probably he was there to protect the leader and later due to the intensity of the battle unable to escape with the leader.
As LTTE is no more just like plenty of other rumors/secrets of SL Civil War we will never know if it was an Offensive or rescue operation.
Image: Top LTTE leaders (from left) Tamilchelvan, Gaddafi, Prabhakaran, Soosai, Shankar and Tamilendhi during a Heroes Day observation.
He may or may not be alive but he was the backbone of LTTE’s strong foundation.
So I consider Gadaffi aka Aathavan as LTTE’s best man on the said field on the lines with: Land battles: Balraj( Theepan will also come very close), Sea Battles: Soosai, Intelligence wing : Pottu Amman, Intelligence Field commander ; Charles, Engineering : Raju, Military Training: Gadaffi.
17 years ago, on April 22nd, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) hoisted their flag in the heart of what was once one of the most fortified military garrisons in South Asia. The fall of Elephant Pass, described as “impregnable” by a US army officer who visited the garrison months earlier, established the Tigers as the only non-state military force in the world today capable of complex manoeuvre war fighting.
Infantry formations and crack commando units of the LTTE overran the sprawling Sri Lanka army base complex straddling the gate way to Jaffna on 21 April.
On its southern front facing the LTTE’s military formations, the garrison was fortified heavily with three main lines of defence, in the Elephant Pass lagoon, its beach and on the land by the coast. These were reinforced with miles of concrete and steel structures, minefields, layers of concertina, minefields and beds of deadly spikes.
The Sri Lanka army had carefully studied the loopholes and weaknesses in the defences of its camps in Pooneryn (November 93), Mullaithivu (July 96), Kilinochchi (September 98) which the Tigers had exploited when they overran these garrisons; and with advisory input from US and British militaries planned and built a formidable system of fortifications to hold the strategic gateway to Jaffna.
The Battle of Aanandapuram was a land battle fought between the Sri Lankan Military, 58 Division, 53 Division and Task Force 8 and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) for the control of the last stronghold held by the LTTE. This battle is a part of the Northern Theater of Eelam War IV during the Sri Lankan civil war. The battle was fought in the Aanandapuram area of Puthukkudiyirippu AGA Sri Lanka.
Since the start of the northern offensive in 2008 the Sri Lankan Army had been steadily progressing on multiple fronts. As the LTTE had limited men and firepower, it was gradually withdrawing towards the North East part of the country. Finally they were confined to a small littoral strip of territory located between the A-35 highway (Paranthan-Mullaitheevu road) Nanthikadal and Chalai lagoons on one side and the Indian ocean on the other.
More than 50,000 soldiers from five divisions and three task forces besieged the LTTE. The Tigers were trying desperately to break out of this encirclement and drive the forces back. Against this backdrop the LTTE planned to launch a massive counter-offensive against the armed forces. The idea was to conduct a carefully planned operation that would deliver a crippling blow to the security forces.
On 30 March LTTE launched a massive attack on SLA front line in Puthukuduyirippu area, advancing out of the no fire zone. LTTE advanced towards Puthukudiyirippu facing stiff resistance by Sri Lankan Army. SL Army’s 53rd and 58th divisions and Task Force 8 advanced out of Puthukkudiyiruppu in a pincer movement intended to outflank the Charles Anthony regiment which held the eastward-running Puthukkudiyiruppu-Iranappaalai-Puthumaathalan road. A brigade of the 58th Division swung east and then south, while another from the 53rd, along with TF8, attacked east and then north, both pincers meeting at Pachaipullumottai junction to the rear of Charles Anthony, cutting the foot path between Ambalaranpokkanai to Pachaipullumotti which LTTE used as supply line. The Tigers fought fiercely to prevent the encirclement, but were overwhelmed. Special Forces and Commandos set an ambush in the coconut trees east of the pocket, cutting routes of reinforcement to the LTTE trapped in Aanandapuram. A reinforced company of Tigers under Col Lawrence was sent in a convoy which attempted to reach the 2km square pocket, but were ambushed and destroyed by special forces. Injured, Lawrence managed to escape with a few survivors. Another attempt at reinforcement saw a Sea Tiger unit leave Valainjarmadam and land at Pattiaddy from where they tried to fight their way through to Aanandapuram. But this attempt also failed as the Sea Tigers were beaten back by the SL Navy. The Army moved in heavy support weapons, artillery and multiple-barrel rocket launchers. By 5 April, the battle was over. This was an extremely decisive battle in 2008–2009 Sri Lankan Army Northern offensive. LTTE lost most of its major leaders in a single battle and this was the first time such a thing had happened in its history.
Senior LTTE leaders Killed
Velayuthapillai Baheerathakumar alias Theepan (Overall commander of the LTTE northern front fighting formations)
Manickapodi Maheswaran alias Keerthi (Special commander of Jayanthan Infanrty brigade)
Selvaratnam Sundaram alias Nagesh (Special commander)
Viduthalai alias Amuthan alias Gaddafi (Bodyguard of LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran, later a commander of the Imran-Pandian regiment)
Gopith (Special commander the Charles Anthony infantry brigade)
Vidhusha (Special commander of Maalathi regiment)
Kamalini (Second-in-Command of Maalathi regiment)
Durga (Special commander of Sothia regiment)
Mohana (Second-in-Command of Sothia regiment)
Manivannan (Leader of the “Kittu” artillery regiment)
Gopal (Chief of the “Kutty Sri” mortar regiment)
Seralaathan (In-charge of the Tiger TV “Nitharsanam”)
S. Thangan (Deputy-political commissar and administrative officer under S. P. Thamilselvan)
Senior leaders named Ruban, Panjan, Nehru, Anton, Maankuyil, Amudha, Iniyawan, Aadithyan, Chitrangan and Mahindan.
Senior LTTE leaders captured
Anbu (Deputy-commander of Radha regiment)
Asmi (Leader of “Ponnamman” mining unit)
Thamilini (Women’s’ wing political commissar)
Shanthalingam Gunaratnam (SG Shanthan), the most popular Eezham Tamil singer of songs in the Tamil Eelam liberation struggle so far, has passed away in Jaffna on Sunday at the age of 57 of kidney failure. The singer, known for his unique high-pitch singing of liberation songs, has recorded more than 250 Tamil Eelam songs and at least 350 devotional songs. One of his initial Tamil Eelam songs, “Intha ma’n engka’lin chontha ma’n” (this is our soil) sung 26 years ago, is still used as slogan by the people demanding de-militarisation of the occupied country of Eezham Tamils. Shanthan is gone but his voice will live in the hearts and minds of Eezham Tamils forever.
SG Shanthan (30 December 1960 – 26 February 2017)
“Poo-malarnthathu kodiyinil” was his first Tamil Eelam song recorded in Jaffna in 1991 and “Ka’n’nukku’l’lea vaiththu kaaththidum veerarai” was his last Tamil Eelam song recorded in 2009 during the genocidal war on Tamil Eelam.
After getting released from the prolonged military incarceration in 2010, Shanthan has continued to be a singer of devotional songs until he became bedridden, as both his kidneys had failed.
Shanthan was awaiting kidney transplantation for some time and was undergoing special treatment at the clinic attached to Jaffna Teaching hospital.
Shanthan’s demise occurred at 2:20 p.m. while the doctors were trying hard to save his life, medical sources at Jaffna Teaching Hospital said. He was admitted to intensive treatment on Saturday. Toxins had built up in his body despite regular dialysis, the doctors said.
Born on 20 December 1960, Shanthan who hails from Pungkudutheevu in Jaffna, debuted as a singer at the age of 12 while his family was based in Colombo. He moved to Ki’linochchi in 1978 and continued to sing devotional songs at temples and had a keen interest in traditional theatre (kooththu songs) until the LTTE identified his talent in 1991. From 1991 to 2009, he remained the star singer of Tamil Eelam songs.
Two of Shanthan’s sons have sacrificed their lives in the armed struggle. One of them, Isai-arasan, was also a singer.
Most of the Tamil Eelam songs sung by SG Shanthan were authored by popular Eezham Tamil poet Puthuvai Ratnathurai, whose whereabouts is still not known after the occupying Sri Lankan military had him into custody during the final hours of the Vanni war in May 2009.
Shanthan’s funeral is to be held in Ki’linochchi on Tuesday.
SL military bans devotional song at ancient Saiva temple in Batticaloa [TamilNet, Friday, 09 August 2013]
The occupying Sri Lanka Army in the East has banned Saiva devotional songs authored by popular poet Puthuvai Ratnathurai, whose whereabouts are still not known after the occupying Sri Lankan military had him into custody during the final hours of the Vanni war in May 2009. The SL military personnel have warned the temple administration of the historic Siva temple Thaan-thoan’ri-eesvarar at Kokkaddichchoalai not to play the popular devotional song “Piddukku ma’n chumantha perumaanaar” on the temple loud-speakers or on at any occasion. Together with the popular song on Kokkaddich-choalai, TamilNet also releases a few other songs for the wider Tamil audience throughout the world.
The song has been regularly relayed in the loudspeaker till the SL military recently instructed the temple administration not to play it any more.
The song, which is a poem of Ratnathurai that has been rendered into voice by prominent Eezham Tamil singer SG Shanthan, is purely a devotional.
The temple authorities have been recently instructed by the SL military not to play the devotional songs of the “LTTE era”.
Several devotional songs were written by Poet Puthuvai Ratnathurai under the title ‘Koapura vaasal’ praising the glory of Thaanthaamalai Murukan Koayil, Ukanthai Murukan Koayil, Ea’raavoor Kaa’li Koayil, Maamaangkap-pi’l’laiyaar Koayil, Kokkaddich-choalai, Chiththaa’ndi Murukan Koayil, Ma’ndoor Murukan Koayil and Thiruk-koa’neasvaram temple.
The ban and restrictions being placed on Saiva temples by the occupying Colombo and its military remind the people of Batticaloa of the colonial Portuguese and Dutch periods, Saiva devotees in Batticaloa say.
During the Portuguese and Dutch periods, Saiva Koyils were destroyed and the colonial masters banned routine poojas and rituals. Today, more than five hundred Saiva temples have been destroyed in the East giving way to the construction of new Buddhist Viharas. Some Buddhist monks have removed the Pi’l’laiyaar statue from the Pillaiyar Koyil located at Punaanai where Sri Lanka Army has a cantonment.
The occupying military, constructing Buddha temples, is also allegedly behind the robberies in the temples after the Saiva devotees protested against the hostile act by the SL military in grabbing the lands belonging to Saiva temples in the East.
The Saiva devotees protesting against the ‘robberies’ taking place at Saiva temples have been threatened by the SL military.
If the Saiva devotees attend the protests organised by Tamil parliamentarians from Batticaloa, they would face the same fate of the Sinhala residents of Welweriya in the Gampaha district where a student was shot dead by the SL military when the protestors ignored the ‘instructions’ of the ‘security forces’, the Sinhala military has warned the villagers in Batticaloa.
The genocidal realities in the island have to get into the conscience of the people in India misled by the BJP-RSS-Shiv Sena lot and by the Indian media empires operated from Mumbai, New Delhi and Chennai, said representatives of Saiva associations in the East.
They are a misunderstood group of people which I explain all about in this video. More commonly known as The Tamil Tigers are now looked down upon by many people since losing the war. This heartfelt passionate rant is directed towards everyone who needs a reality check!