Category Archives: liberation tigers of tamil eelam

A Tiger Wheeler-Dealer & Two Conscripts recant and reject Tiger cause

Item by S. Thilainathan in  the government rag, Daily News, 30 Sept. 2011

Sasikumar- From D-News

Sarachandran in Thamililam during visit –Pic courtesy of National Post

Two Tamil youths, Kumaravel Sasikumar and Gunasingham Visaban who underwent immense suffering due to LTTE atrocities, in an exclusive interview, praised President Mahinda Rajapaksa for his exemplary leadership in completely eradicating LTTE terrorism from our motherland. They also said that if the President had not given directions to the Armed Forces to end this 30-year-old terrorist war despite mounting foreign pressure, Sri Lanka would have continued to be in turmoil even today.

Ex-LTTE cadres, 21-year-old Kumaravel Sasikumar was born in Homagama. Thereafter his parents who are from Vavuniya settled in the Vanni area. Sasikumar said that in 2006 when the A9 road was completely closed down due to mounting LTTE violence, he was trapped in Visvamadu. During this period, the LTTE started to replenish its depleting cadres by forcefully dragging innocent boys and girls, ignoring their unwillingness to join the LTTE cadres. Continue reading

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Sandwiched in between: Tamil Dissidents and Others in the Furnace of War & its Killings, January 1989-December1990 via Ben Bavinck’s Diary

Sharika Thiranagama rides a bike in emulation of her mother Rajani Thiranagama nee Rajasingam for the biographical documentary NO MORE TEARS

As the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka escalated from July 1983 and the Tamil liberation struggle developed along several militant paths, Tamils throughout the island were placed in a difficult position. The focus here is on the sentiments of those identified in the census as “Sri Lanka Tamils” as distinct from “Indian Tamils” – wherever they resided in the island.[1]

But within this framework the emphasis is on those Sri Lankan Tamils who resided in the northern and eastern parts during the period extending from August 1988 to October 1992, the time spanned by the first volume in Ben Bavinck’s diaries. Note, here, that Bavinck was a fluent Tamil speaker and because of his long experience in the Jaffna Peninsula in the 1950s-70s he was, as Val Daniel suggests, a de facto Tamil in sentiment.[2]

However, he did not look Tamil. On several occasions he was treated as a foreign NGO person or even as “a foreign dignitary.” In the period of his diary, moreover, he was attached to the National Christian Council and was undertaking welfare and relief measures throughout the island. As such, he was able to intervene on behalf of people who were at the receiving end of the conflict. A good part of this work took him to the north on many occasions. Therefore his dairy extracts reveal the thinking of many of his friends, acquaintances and others in this region during the period of warfare between the Tigers and the Indian Peace Keeping Force (till late 1989) and, thereafter during the short interregnum of peace negotiations from January to April 1990 and, thirdly, the renewal of war between the LTTE and the government of Lanka (GoSL) from June 1990 onwards.

A theatrical dramatization of the murder of Rajani Thiranagama by the National Film Board of Canada with Sharika Thiranagama in the role

 His information, therefore, is a voice of his times and conveys invaluable information. It should not be dismissed as “gossip,” though of course some of the reportage has to be treated cautiously as second-hand or third-hand reportage of events that Bavinck did not witness himself. These tales, clearly, must be sifted and evaluated in the light of other contemporaneous information Continue reading


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Recent Works on Sri Lanka’s Ethnic Conflict

Asoka Bandarage, The separatist conflict in Sri Lanka, terrorism, ethnicity, political economy, London & New York, Routledge, 2009, ISBN 0-415-77678-3 (hbk) & 10-203-88631-3 (ebk) 279 pp

N. Manoharan, Democratic dilemma. Ethnic violence and human rights in Sri Lanka, New Delhi, Samskriti,  2008, 279 pp, (pbk) ISBN978-81-87374-50-3

MR Narayan Swamy, The Tiger vanquished. LTTE’s story, Sage Publications, India, 2010 189 pp, ISBN 978-81-321-0459-9 (pbk)

 Ana Pararajasingham (ed.)  Sri Lanka: 60 years of independence and beyond, AMM Screens, Chennai, for Centre for Just Peace and Democracy, 2009, 621 pp, with articles by Lionel Bopage, Neil de Votta, Bruce Kapferer, John Gooneratne, Dagmar Helmann-Rajanayagam, David Rampton, Peter Schalk, Kristian Stokke, Jayampathy Wickramaratne among others.

Michael Roberts, Fire and Storm. Essays in Sri Lankan Politics,Colombo: Vijitha Yapa Publications, 2010 … ISBN 978-955-665-134-8… 336 pp, 33 illustrations

Michael Roberts, Potency, Power and People in Groups, Colombo, Marga Institute, 2011, 128 pp and 78 pp illustrations, incl. of rare images (pbk), ISBN 978-955-582-129-2

Anton Sebastian, A Complete Illustrated History of Sri Lanka, 696 pp, 444 illustrations

Gordon Weiss, The Cage, Pan Macmillan Australia, 2011 … 352 pp, 24 illustrations

                                             SOME ARTICLES

Kumar Reupesinghe, “Ethnic conflicts in South Asia: the case of Sri Lanka and the Indian Peace-keeping force (IPKF),” in Subrata Mitra (ed.) Politics of South Asia,  volume V,  London, Routledge, 2009, pp.  315-35.

Daya Somasundaram, “Collective trauma in the Vanni — a qualitative inquiry into the mental health of the internally displaced due to the civil war in Sri Lanka,” International Journal of Mental Health Systems, 2010 ….This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited].

Daya Somasundaram, “Parallel Governments: Living Between Terror and Counter Terror in Northern Lanka (1982-2009),” Journal of Asian and African Studies, 2010, 45: 568-583, doi:10.1177/0021909610373899;

 Symbolic burning of DC bill, late 1960s

ALL IMAGES are reproduced from the book Potency listed above. The signature image is a depcition of the Kotahena Riots, 1883.


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NDTV on Propaganda War in Sri Lanka

“Truth vs Hype: The propaganda wars in Sri Lanka,” An NDTV production running for 26 min, 30 sec, September 10, 2011…….. with Srinivasan Jain as investigative reporter

 Pic from Times

In a country ravaged by war until two years ago,Sri Lanka, on the surface, seems to have made peace. However, below the seemingly calm veneer are many layers of complex questions which are as important as the task of rebuilding the war torn areas of the North and East, questions of rights, justice, resettlement and political autonomy.


COMPARE the visual images in still form in the following: TIMES Aerial Images, NFZ Last Redoubt, 23 May 2009  =

 Murali reddy outside hospital at Nandikadal, mid-May 2009  –Pic by Kanchan Prasad

* Indian Reporter Pics at NFZ-14-to-18 May 2009 =

*Final Battle, NFZ Last Redoubt, 13-19 May 2009 =

* Mullivaikkal Hospitalin NFZ Last Redoubt =

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Val Daniel’s Introduction of Ben Bavinck and Ben’s Diary over the Years of Conflict in Lanka

E. Valentine Daniel, August 2010

Modern warfare, by any measure, is a display of excess; but the excesses just before the end of wars—the excess of inhumanity, indiscriminate use of force, a frenzy of unmatched cruelty, wanton destruction and devastation, blind firepower, unworldly carnage followed by gratuitous torture as well as generalised infliction of pain—exceed everything that comes before. If this was true at the end of the American Civil War and at the end of the Second Battle of the Marne,  in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and Dresden at the end of World War II,then it was also true in the far less infamous 27-year old war between the Sri Lankan state and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, which ended on 18 May 2009.

Bavinck with Tiger ‘boys”  

The bang with which it ended on the streets of the capital city of Colombo was mightier than the bang with which it ended on the battlefield of Mullaitivu; while all the unwilling and frightened children whom the LTTE, at their final hour, had recruited with bravado, didn’t even have a chance to whimper. They were mowed down. It is worth noting that the OED finds that in American slang, in kinship with the Indian hemp, bhang, “bang”, also describes the effect of a hallucinogenic   drug, such as cocaine. Such was the victors’ jubilation on the streets of Colombo after the war had ended: other-worldly.

 This war was called a “civil war,” which is an oxymoron, a violence of language upon the common Latin root, civilis, from which have issued citizen, civic, civility, civilization. How paradoxical, obscene, wrong and insulting to both savage and beast that the “civilized” (and who would deny that Tamils and Sinhalese belong to a great and old civilization?) choose to qualify their own extreme indulgences in violence as “brutal” or “savage”. In fearsome symmetry, the end of the war resembled its beginning. Once we discount the hundreds of “first causes” of the civil war, hypostasised and hypothesised by hundreds of scholars, politicians, commentators and citizens, we may mark the beginning of the Sri Lankan civil war as the 23 July 1983, the day the display of hatred – a spectacle in its own right, a literal flaring up of violence, arson and mayhem, stoked by a government charged with protecting its citizens, which unleashed a pogrom against the Tamil-speaking minority – that swept through the South as an angel of death. The beginning was as grotesquely carnivalesque as the end. But if there was an excess of cruelty during these moments, there were also extreme acts of kindness. There are many accounts of Sinhalese soldiers refusing to shoot to kill, touched to the quick by the law of karma and the Buddhist concept of karunava. Many are the accounts of priests and nuns, at the risk of being fired at from behind, who secreted children, women and the feeble to freedom from the spit of land where they were trapped with the LTTE. Some LTTE cadres themselves, coming to terms with the odds they faced, protected the stealthily escaping trickles of civilians. Why is it so difficult to admit to one’s own enemy’s virtues? The balanced account of Ben Bavinck’s diary forces us to examine this selfcensure Tamils and Sinhalese impose on themselves. Continue reading


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LTTE consumed Rajiv … and, NOW, drama in court and off court

P. Krishnaswamy, in The Sunday Oberver, 11 September 2011

The family of the victims killed along with the former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi demanded that Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan should be hanged, the Indian Express reported. The latest demand came after the clemency plea for the three death row convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case grew louder. The family of victims, joined by a large numbers of Indian Congress workers, sat on a day-long fast opposing the clemency for the three convicts. Former Union Minister EVKS Elangovan and other Congress leaders also participated in the fast.


Seven underlings —Pics from Kaarthikeyen D.R. and R. Raju The Rajiv Gandhi Assassination. The Investigation,   Slough: New Dawn Press Inc. 2004

The Tamil Nadu Assembly on August 30 had passed a “unanimous” resolution requesting the President to reconsider and commute the death sentence awarded to the three convicts. The Madras High Court, too, on the same day stayed the execution of the accused for eight weeks, which was earlier scheduled for Friday. The three are currently lodged in Vellore Jail, according to the Indian Express report.

Early days: Steel-helmeted, stern looking security men, with machine-guns at the ready, were guarding the Colombo High Court premises at Bullers Road (later named Bauddhaloka Mawatha), with some of them positioned even at distant rooftops, when the trial-at-bar inquiry on the “Neerveli Murder and Robbery’” came up for hearing before High Court Judge C.L.T. Moonamale from the first week of January 1983. Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation (TELO) leaders Kuttimani, Thangavel alias Thangathurai, Sivasubramaniam Sellathurai alias Thevan, Sivapathan Master and Nadesuthasan were the accused in the case. That probably was the first case against terrorism and terrorists tried under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) in a Sri Lankan Court. Senior police and army officers, finger-print experts and government analysts were summoned as prosecution witnesses during the Court proceedings. A tense situation emerged every time the heavily-guarded accused who were in detention under the PTA were brought to the Court and taken back in a prison bus. What also unfolded in the Court was that the accused, hailing from Velvettithurai, the birthplace of Velupillai Prabhakaran, were professional smugglers.  

Sivarasan and Dhanu wait for the kill



The Gandhi family in mourning vigil 

Subha (reserve suicide bomber) and Nalini pictured in crowd

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Lost in Transportation: Tamil Refugees in India and their Dangerous Gambles

Ben Doherty, in Tamilnadu, India,  from the Sydney Morning Herald, 11 Sept. 2011

Pic by Kate Geraghty

On the broad sands of southern India’s beaches lie thousands of wooden dhows and fibre glass skiffs, plied in trades, legitimate and otherwise, in the Bay of Bengal. On one of these boats, from one of these beaches, two years ago, Rathidevi’s son Dhuuaragan leftIndia, and his life in a refugee camp, bound for Australia. She has not heard from him since. She does not know whether he is alive or dead. Four months after her son left in October 2009, she received a phone call from a number and a voice she did not recognise, telling her her son was in an Indonesian jail. The line then dropped out. ”I do not know who called me.”



Dhuuragan’s family invested everything in his trip. ”We had to pay 1½ lakhs [$A3100],” Rathidevi says. ”We sold all the jewellery we had, all the gold that I had. We sold everything to pay that money.”

With the end of Sri Lanka’s civil war two years ago, the movement of Tamil asylum seekers across the globe has slowed. But at least three times in the past three months, groups of Tamil asylum seekers have been arrested by authorities trying to leave for Australia, in one case caught standing on a beach in the early hours of the morning waiting for their boat. Last month, 147 men, women and children were arrested in Andhra Pradesh, about to meet their ”migration agent”. Continue reading


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Mental Health Facilities for the Tamils at the IDP Camps and Now for Those Being Resettled … Reports from Manori Unambuwe

Michael Roberts, 9 September 2011

When I was shown round the health facilities at some of the IDP camps – “detention centres” as they were in my view up to 1 December 2009 — in the Menik Farm area in early June 2010 by Dr. Safras [who had worked there from April 2009], he happened to mention the fact that one of the Psycho-Social units he was in the process of showing me had been set up with the aid of a friend in Colombo, namely Manori Unambuwe, who had rustled up the monies required.

Psycho-Social Centre at midiay – Pic by Roberts

The hard work done by all sorts of agencies in alleviating the life of some 280,000 Tamil civilians[i]in these camps has hardly been revealed to the outside world in Colombo and beyond by anyone – not even by the government media outfits who follow His Majesty’s Command; though one report on this particular branch of welfare was presented in 2009 by the Sunday Leader [which is ranged against the government].

My uncovering of these dimensions of welfare philanthropy involving body, time and money has only been of the flimsiest character; but something is better than nothing …. … or SILENCE. I know little of the work done by the military personnel overseeing and running the camps; or that of the civilian government functionaries tasked to work alongside them’; or the many camp inmates who undertook tasks – sometimes as paid employees and sometimes as unpaid voluntary workers. Again, my reviews of the NGO activity have only embraced a few agencies.[ii] Hopefully, this partial tale will raise questions about the gross fabrications and/or exaggerations about the camps peddled by Western acolytes of the Tamil migrant lobby, such as David Feith, and other Tamil hands such as Niromi de Soyza.  


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Media and the suffering of the Tamil people — Noel Nadesan’s Open Letter to Australians

Noel Nadesan, courtesy of the Daily Mirror, 14 July 2011 — republished here because of its relevance. Also visit to review wide-ranging and sometimes virulent comments, Web editor

As a Tamil domiciled in Australia I served the Tamil community by editing the only Tamil community newspaper, UTHAYAM. I ran it for 14 years My experiences in dealing with the Tamil community, both inAustraliaand inSri Lanka, make me feel sad about the callous way in which the media is exploiting the suffering of our Tamil people for self-serving ends. I think I could speak as an independent voice with no allegiances to the politics of either community or political parties. My main concern has been to help our Tamils inSri Lankawho had to face the brunt of all attacks from the Indians soldiers, Sri Lankan forces and, above all, the so-called Tamil liberators, the LTTE. I have just completed building a small hospital in the island of Eluvaitivu, in which I grew up and, sooner or later, I plan to go back to serve our Tamil people who are desperately in need of help.
It is against this background that I thought of forwarding my comments to you after viewing the re-broadcast of Channel 4 programme, The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka. I must confess I felt depressed and I could not sleep that night. I have recovered since then and I feel I must send you my comments for your consideration because I feel that you aired it to exploit the suffering of our people whose need of the hour is not to rake up the bloody past but to find a way out of the past Continue reading


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Being a Tiger child soldier and its disenchantment for Shobasakthi

The high profile media events in Australia around Niromi de Soyza’s tale of her experiences as a “child soldier” calls to mind the part-fiction, part true story cast by Anthony Thasan when he joined the LTTE at the age of 15 around 1984/85. Writing as Shobashakthi in Gorilla, unlike de Soyza,  he was quite clear in depicting his tale as an “autofiction”  [see highlighted segment below].Web Editor

“Prabhakaran shoots people who disagree with him” by P. Krishnakumar in

Pic of Pirapaharan as Che Guevara with pistol was taken byTekwani — see


Nothing lends credibility to an argument or an accusation more than a first person account. Be it autobiographies or first person accounts, they are simple yet powerful. Such works also stand out for the courage, for you don’t know what the consequences will be. So, it was with great fear that, seven years ago, Sri Lankan Tamil writer Shobasakthi wrote about his time as a child soldier with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, blowing the lid on a cruel practice of one of the deadliest and most ruthless terrorist organizations in the world. With that book, Gorilla, translated into English earlier this year and reaching a wider audience, Shobasakthi talks about life as a refugee, his future plans, the future of Tamil Eelam and much more in this interview with Krishnakumar P. Continue reading

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