Fire-Storm Images, III: LTTE Leaders


Velupillai Pirapaharan in his presentation of self in Che Guevara mode

This image of  Pirapāharan in relaxed mood is part of series taken by the Sindhi cameraman Shyem tekwani who was mebeded with the LTTE [even when they were fighting the IPKF]

The Balasinghams and  Pirapāharan are seen here in relaxed conversation [I have a memory loss re the date]

 Pirapāharan  enters the world stage as the President of Thamililam at an international press conference at Kilinochchi on April 2002

The LTTE directorate on the world stage in a picture snapped in Sri Lanka sometime between October 2002 and January 2003 when the personnel representing the Tigers in negotiations abroad assembled locally . From left to right one sees Karuna Amman (aka V. Muralitharan). Adele Bālasingham, Anton Balasingham,  Pirapāharan, S. Thamilchelvam, V. Rudrakumāran and Jay Maheswaran, 

.…. and, then, there were [and are] the acolytes in Sri Lanka, namely, the former TULF leaders become the Tamil National Assembly as well as other activists who knelt at the feet of the LTTE — as seen here at a Pongu Thamil gathering in Trincomalee where they hailed –literally Heil-Hitlered — their talaivar (Supremo) with the Tiger salute

The path towards subjection to the LTTE by the Tamil ”moderates’resident in GSL territory was paved by the murder of Neelan Tiruchelvam in late July 1999 and the outstanding successes of the LTTE on the battlefronts in 1996 to 2000, especially the capture of Elephant Pass. 

This latter comment on my part elicited pertinent amendments from a Tamil resident in Colombo with ICES links. S/he noted that (A) the killing of Tiruchelvam was actually the fourth assassination of a TULF politician within a two-year period– the others being Thangadurai (Trinco MP) in July 1997 and the two Jaffna Mayors (Mrs. Yogeswaran and P Sivaraman) in 1998.

S/he also attached greater significance to another event: the turning point was the failure of Chandrika’s constitutional reforms in August 2000. The UNP turned it down amidst a communal frenzy. Note Mr. R Sambandan’s remarks on subsequent occasions indicating  that it was this event that convinced him that there was no point in the TULF to providing target practice to the Tigers in such circumstsances.

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ALSO SEE  the images 59 & 61 in Michael Roberts, Tamil Person & State. Pictorial, Colombo, Yapa, 2014.


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