Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Curious Case of Velupillai Prabhakaran

OTHER than Vaiko, by now everyone believes that Prabhakaran is dead. Vaiko needs a "Prabhakaran" to continue his passionate support for Eelam; so we can understand his plight. I sympathize the sorry state of Vaiko - he lost election from his own constituency; he said there will be blood bath if Prabhakaran died but no such thing happened; and he spent days and nights supporting and agitating for LTTE but the people rejected all this drama. So, let us spare him further agony.

Prabhakaran was once an icon of courage and valor among Tamil youth. There was a time when I admired the military operations he conducted - bringing the Lankan army to his feet.

When he took up arms to fight Lankan oppression in 1980s, he had the blessing of India. Mrs.Indira Gandhi supported and encouraged the LTTE. They were allowed to use TN as training grounds. Back then, nobody was concerned about the violent methods LTTE used. Maybe it was necessary at that point of time to stop Lankan genocide against Tamils.

Rajiv Gandhi's initiative to bring a political settlement to the crisis gave rise to the Indo Lankan pact of 1987. I believe, he truly intended to resolve the conflict amicably. The LTTE initially agreed to it reluctantly. They even started surrendering their arms to the IPKF. Soon, disagreements broke and LTTE joined hands with Srilanka and drove our IPKF out, saying "Lankans and Tamils are brothers ! Who is India to interfere !". Thus, the LTTE stalled the headway made in this political settlement. If LTTE had co-operated, India could've pressurized the Lankan Govt to act according to the pact and agree for a devolution of power to Tamils.

But, Vellupillai Prabhakaran had a different dream about Tamil Eelam. He wanted a Tamil nation carved out of the island where he and his associates can be the sole rulers in an autocratic setup. He never believed in democracy. To achieve this dream, he was ready for any proportion of bloodbath - no matter whose blood it was - Tamils or Sinhalese or Indians or whoever. Sadly, this was not what Tamils wanted.

Slowly, he turned his organization from a liberation movement into a blood thirsty terrorist movement - assassinating anyone who disagreed with him - including our former PM. His acts of crime overshadowed the Tamil cause for which he once started fighting. More than 32 countries banned LTTE, and he was in the "Wanted" list of law-enforcement agencies worldwide like Interpol, CBI, and FBI.

Rajiv's assassination was not only a deadly crime, but it was a stupid move by the LTTE. They lost their only supporter in this region - India.

After May 21st 1991, India understood the consequences of doing business with a guerilla group. All these years, we never thought the LTTE would harm us; it was after all our foster kid that grew with our support. But now, our own security was at stake. We realized that this was not a group we should've associated with from the very beginning! They have proved to be ruthless killers. If we had really cared about Lankan Tamils, we should have interfered more directly into the matter and pressurized SL, instead of supporting and supplying arms to these guerilla rebels. India as a nation should have stepped in. But instead, we made friends with the wrong group.

It is a shame that the LTTE is still portrayed by some as representatives of Tamils in SL. They lost that identity long back. They have killed Tamil leaders and Tamil citizens without any mercy. A recent BBC video showed LTTE herding Tamil civilians with guns and firing at those who were trying to escape. They deliberately squashed all attempts for a political settlement. They were nothing but a group of fanatics who fought for the personal cause of a rogue leader called Prabhakaran. They strayed away from their liberation path a long time ago.

It is good they were silenced once and for all. Congratulations to the Lankan President for standing firm amidst so many pressures. But, we do not know what he has in mind after this. Would he be true to his words and give equal rights to Tamils? We don't know. But, he sure knows that the international community is watching. India should ensure that justice is done for Tamils there. It is a good time to remind Srilanka of the Indo Lankan pact.

As far as people like Vaiko and Ramadoss are concerned, they can continue to joke around like clowns; it helps to keep the political scene entertaining.

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