Confession of an Ex-Black Tiger (Part 02)

Photo: Sea Tigers while their training at off Mulative, northern Sri Lanka ; photo from LTTE.

“We must not think that Prabhakaran is like southern politicians” – Ex- Black Tiger

Link to Part One

(November,13, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) He was a killer machine. He served as a normal Tiger cadre as well as a Black Sea Tiger. While on a suicide operation he was injured in a clash with the Navy; the injury saved his life. Fortunately he caned escape the life after sea confrontation. His real identity cannot be revealed for obvious reasons.

by Nilantha Ilangamuwa with Ex- Black Sea Tiger in LTTE

Q.Why did you decide to become a Black Sea Tiger?

A.When I finished my military training, I took part in many military operations as a cadre. Meanwhile I thought if we want to win this war we should be give our lives. I thought of becoming a hero of our land and our people by giving my life. I planned to join with the Black Sea Tigers because during this time the Sea Tigers were winning more operations than the land forces in the LTTE. And I can swim very well.

Q.You have met with Col. Soosai?

A.Yes… My Sea Tigers training started under Col. Soosai. He is the leader of the Black Sea Tigers and the Sea Tigers. It’s naval Wing of the LTTE.

Q.What kind of leader is he? What is his family?

A.He is a good leader. We don’t know full details about his personal life and we do not know where his home is. But according to colleagues of mine he came from Wadamarachchi, Jaffna and has two children.

Q.What kind of training did you receive as a Black Sea Tiger?

A.Normally we wake up at 4.30 and run on the beach and swim in the sea till 8.30am. At 8.30am we have breakfast. Then we have training till 12.30. After lunch we have our weapons training at sea till 5.00 pm. At 5.00pm the training is over and we can play games with our colleagues. There is no set time for dinner. We can have it whenever we are free.

We were taught everything about the use of weapons in naval battles. We were taught the latest technology by Col. Soosai. We also learned how to make boats including the V shape suicide boats using local materials.

Q.Do Black Tigers have special privileges denied to other cadres?

A.Yes… we can have anything we like. We also have all facilities including food, films, songs and weapons.

Q.Which films you have watched?

A.Only war films. It’s a basic condition. Every LTTE member should watch war films; we can’t watch love stories or sex movies or other films. Even our songs are about our pride in Prabakaran and Tamil Eelam.

Q.How many members trained with you?

A.20 male and 10 female cadres trained with me as Black Sea Tigers off off Mullativu.

Q.What is the total strength of the Naval Wing of the LTTE?

A.Less that 1,500 member. After Col. Karuna Amman broke away from the LTTE, a few Sea Tigers joined with him. Some fled to Colombo looking for jobs. Some went abroad.

Q.Did any of your friends join the Black Sea Tigers?

A.No. The Black Sea Tiger units are very small. They are very exclusive. The LTTE leadership allows only the best to join because it is like the heart of the Tiger.

Q.How did you flee from the LTTE?

A.It’s a long story. Few years after I became a Black Sea Tiger I began to realize that Eelam was a myth. It cannot be achieved. Perhaps the LTTE leaders know this and they really do not want Eelam. I think they want to live prosperously with their families while our people die and are killed. They are selling our blood for their good life.

I came for a Black Sea Tiger operation in the Trincomalee harbour. There were five of us. The other four committed suicide because we were unable to face the Navy counterattack. I am alive because I drove my my boat off to Sampoor, which was under the LTTE then. After that I fled to Batticaloa.

Q.Can you explain about the LTTE weapons supply system and the role played by the Sea Tigers in this?

A.Basically, the sea is the main supply and training base for the LTTE. The LTTE cannot grow without the sea.

They have ships. I don’t know how many. The supply ships wait in international waters for small boats. The weapons are transferred to these boats. We use the GPS and the compass to guide the ships and the boats. The weapons are then taken to LTTE control areas.

File Photo: Col. Soosai, a leader of Naval wing of the LTTE

Q.Have you taken part in any of these operations?

A.Many times. Especially during the Cease Fire Agreement we were very busy with our arms supplies.

Q.In which countries are these ships registered? Which flags do they fly?

A.I have no idea. But I have seen Arab letters on the ships; they also have Arabic names.

Q.Who are the people working in the Ships?

A.I do not know as we deal only with the leader; we did not have any contacts with the crew members.

Q.How do you set off on a Black Sea Tiger mission?

A.It is a very interesting and historic day for us and our generation. In the evening before the operation, we receive an invitation from V. Pirabahan for dinner. When we go, Pirabaharan is waiting for us. During dinner the mission is discussed with the group.

When the dinner is over we pose for a final photograph with V. Pirabahan. That photograph will be published in some Jaffna based newspapers. After that we set off on the mission. After that final meeting with Prabakaran we wait for Death because it’s the only way to glory for ourselves and our families.

While on the tour we discuss about our families and share our photos with each other. If anyone of us escapes death he must return the photos to the families of those who perished.

Q.Did you hand over the photos of your friends?

A.Yes. I sent the picture of one of my friends involved in the 2000Trincomalee harbour attack to his family members. They live somewhere in East.

File Photo: LTTE Leader with Children some where in Wanni; photo from LTTE.

Q.Do you think V. Prabakaran can win Eelam?

A.No. It is just a dream. He won’t win Eelam. All he does is to trade the life of every Tamil child for a cyanide capsule. He is not concerned about the freedom or the liberty of Tamil children.
But I never thought about all this during my Black Tigers period. During that period I thought Pirabaharan was our God of liberation.

Q.What do you think about your past struggle?

A.This is not own my struggle. We were pulled into it by different social factors, especially the political system in the country. We wanted an alternative to this system and the LTTE and Prabakaran seemed to be that alternative. We believed in him and thought that he could lead us to freedom. We thought he could free the Tamil people. But he trapped us just as such much as Southern politicians did. The LTTE and the Southern politicians are just two sides of the same coin. We can’t trust any of these people. However the LTTE is more constant than selfish politicians. Prabhakaran never changes. When people die in operations he knows how to pay homage to them. This in turn helps in the recruitment of new members for the LTTE.

Q.Do you think Sri Lankan Forces can wipe out the LTTE?

A.Yes, they can. But they need a good brain. If they think they can just wipe out the LTTE from the North like they did in the East, it is a dream. Any way you saw what really happened in the East.

The first and most important thing is we must give a political solution to the war affected people. Second one is to develop the strongest possible military strategies for counter terrorism. Sri Lankan intelligence apparatus is very weak. Many of our (LTTE) best cadres escaped during the past thanks to this weakness.

We must not think that Prabhakaran is like southern politicians. He has a good brain and he uses the latest technologies. He is good at finding the weak points in his enemies.

Q.What is your goal?

A.Doing this job alone and living without troubling any persons.