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Birth of a Black Tiger

"Kavi (Maveeran Ilam Puli's sister) told me last week that Ilam Puli once came with her photo where her picture was decorated with Red Roses. When she asked him for the reason he seems to have said “It is because you are a Rose to me.” She couldn’t control her emotions and was sobbing when she narrated this... During his visits Ilam Puli seems to have asked his parents for a few things. One was that in case of his death they should treat those who bring the message of his death, lovingly and give them tea. The other was to decorate his coffin with Red Roses, which I trust, symbolized his sister Kavi. Another day Kavi told me that Ilam Puli use to call her as Kavi and not Kaviarasi. When she asked him as why he calls her so, he seems to have said “because you are a poem to me” and of course she broke down after that too."
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by K.Mylvaganam in Kilinochchi

(April 03, Kilinochchi, Sri Lanka Guardian) I had a rare opportunity to come to know closely of the details of a Black Tiger Thurairathinam Kalairaj (Ilam Puli), who became a Martyr, when the Anuradhapura Air Base was attacked by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
Ilama Puli was born on 13 October 1981 in a fishing village called Myliddy. His father was a prosperous fisherman, who owned a big motor boat. Ten people were employed by him and he led a very comfortable life having his own stone built house, a motor cycle and all the other paraphernalia that go with prosperity. He had three children with Ilam Puli sandwiched between two sisters.

Ilam Puli was very much attached to both the sisters and particularly to the younger one Kaviarasi. He had his education at the Nadeswara College in Myliddy until the tragedy struck their family through the invasion of the Sri Lankan Army (SLA) in 1995. This family was among the several lakhs of people, who left the Jaffna peninsula in an exodus. They left behind all their belongings except what they could carry in their bare hands. Since the motorbike was in a garage, they had to leave that also behind.

Unfortunately they had no bank accounts and all their savings were only the jewels the ladies were wearing. They lost everything – the boat, the engine, the motorbike and all what were left behind in the house. Even the house was subsequently washed away by the tsunami. A one time rich family was made as refugees within a matter of hours.

They reached Nagarkovil by foot and lived in a temporary shed; what a contrast from a big stone built multi-roomed house. Ilam Puli and his sisters continued their education at the Nagarkovil Govt. Tamil Mixed School. Incidentally this is the school that was bombed by the SL Air force in 1995. His father being a good fisherman got hold of a few logs of wood and made a Catamaran to continue fishing in the Thalayadi. But their problems propped up again, when the SLA commenced shelling the Vadamaradchchi East, which constituted Nagarkovil as well. All those from the nearby villages had to be moved out further into Vanni.

They finally reached Mallavi. Again another shed housed all the five inmates of the family and with no fishing possibilities in the heartland of Mallavi they were left at the mercy of the handouts given to them by the International Non-Governmental Organisations (INGOs). But that was hardly sufficient to feed five mouths. The father was earlier shot and injured severely by the IPKF and one of his lungs and a kidney were affected.

Hence he could not do any hard manual labour. Hence it was Ilam Puli’s mother who had to find work as a coolie in the neighbourhood. Mallavi is not a very prosperous area either. There were days when none of the members of the family had anything to eat. Yet they managed somehow and Ilam Puli with his siblings joined the Mallavi Maha Vidhyalayam .

He and his younger sisters did exceptionally well at school. He attained such good results at the Advanced Level that admission to the university was open for him. But his love for his family was eating into him. He just could not leave them behind. Besides he could not even dream of a University Education due to the high costs involved.

I was told that he kept telling his friends that the cause for their present plight was the Sri Lankan Government (GoSL). He felt sorry for the rest of the refugees. Their misery was hurting him. This antagonism made him decide to do what he thought was best and that was to join the LTTE and fight the enemy who was ruining the lives of several thousands of people. Without the knowledge of the parents he joined the LTTE in 1999.

His exemplary service and meritorious qualities were straight away spotted by the higher-ups in the LTTE. He was swiftly absorbed into the medical division and taught medicine. Within four years he qualified as a medical practitioner and everyone addressed him as Doctor. He exemplified himself in his duties and exhibited his devotion and dedication to that noble profession.

I was told that he did several surgical operations under very primitive circumstances and saved so many lives and limbs. Very senior doctors and surgeons admired his skill in surgery. He was a committed doctor and cared for the patients with love and devotion. He saved so many people that he made several friends. One Cholan (fictitious name), whose life was saved by Ilam Puli, became his thickest chum. It is Cholan who now takes good care of the family after the demise of Ilam Puli.

Heart of hearts Ilam Puli‘s intention was always to become a Black Tiger. So he made his application to the Leader Mr.V.Pirapakaran but got no response. He made another attempt after one year. He was called in by the Leader after a long wait of another six months and the Leader told him that he could not take him in simply because Ilam Puli was the only son in the family. It touched my heart when I heard of this from Kaviarasi. Mr.V.Pirapakaran who is characterised as a “ruthless leader” in several quarters has such a soft and tender heart embedded in him.

But Ilam Puli returned with a broken heart. He got a day’s leave from work and visited his parents. I heard that he was unusually very moody on that day. They did not know why. Normally when he comes home he used to sit beside his mother holding her hand and putting it intermittently on to his eyes. He also does not fail to put Kavi (as Kaviarasi is called by him) on the other side. And before he leaves he always touched the feet of his parents (Patha Namaskaram). He was so attached and devoted to the family.

His mother told me that Ilam Puli once wrote to them to get him a small radio, which they did when they visited him next. But when they met him after three months he did not have the radio with him. His explanation was that he had given it away to another LTTE cadre from Batticaloa as he had no parents or any relations. This is a symbol for Richness in Poverty.

Ilam Puli never gave up until he attained his goal. He kept applying until one day when he was finally taken as a Black Tiger. He told no body about this, which is typical of the Black Tigers. Neither his best friend nor any of the members of his family including his mother, whom he loved so much, knew of this development.

Now looking back the motherly instinct tells her that it was several months before the attack that her son must have become so. This is because his usual visits that were once quite frequent gradually became rare and rare. Even when he visited them he kept a distance from his mother and his dear little sis Kavi. Apparently he was cutting himself off from the family in the interest of both the parties. Only he knew what was in store.

Kavi told me last week that Ilam Puli once came with her photo where her picture was decorated with Red Roses. When she asked him for the reason he seems to have said “It is because you are a Rose to me.” She couldn’t control her emotions and was sobbing when she narrated this. I wouldn’t disagree with his statement as she is as pretty as a rose.

It was more than six months since he visited his family last. It was only when the “News” was brought to them by Karikalan that they came to know the whole story. During his visits Ilam Puli seems to have asked his parents for a few things. One was that in case of his death they should treat those who bring the message of his death, lovingly and give them tea. The other was to decorate his coffin with Red Roses, which I trust, symbolized his sister Kavi. Another day Kavi told me that Ilam Puli use to call her as Kavi and not Kaviarasi. When she asked him as why he calls her so, he seems to have said “because you are a poem to me” and of course she broke down after that too.

But I give credit to his mother. I did not see her cry even on the day of the funeral or on the 31st day ceremony. When I met her ten days back to prepare this article I asked her the reason for it. She said that she did cry a lot when the “News” was broken to her but within a matter of hours she pulled herself together, because she remembered what Ilam Puli had told her once. It was that none of them should cry over his demise.

Kaviarasi despite the very trying circumstances she was in, yet she got a B and two Cs in the Advance Level exam. But poverty, the atrocities by the army and the fact that she is a sister to a Black Tiger prevented her from joining the University in Jaffna. What a pity.

Both at the funeral and on the 31st day there were present several from the LTTE cadre who had been treated by Ilam Puli. They were full of praise for the care and dedication he devoted in treating the injured. Their words filled with emotions spoke of the great respect they have for him.

Even though Ilam Puli was a qualified doctor yet the photo of the hut where his parents live, will portray the poverty of the parents. Their faces are intentionally not shown for obvious reasons. It is in this small hut that his parents live with their daughters. The elder daughter is married and has a child as well. In spite of his being a doctor he was not paid any remuneration, which is the practice with the LTTE, whose cadres are unpaid volunteers sacrificing their lives for the betterment of our community.
- Sri Lanka Guardian

22 comments

Anonymous said...

Thre are lots of Sinhals/muslim refugees created by the LTTE, but they do not become terrorist. The world is better off for one less terrorist

T.Douglas said...

The Govt. of Sri Lanka must take full responsibility for the Birth over thousands of Black Tigers.Each and every Sri Lankan must read this.

Anonymous said...

the foolishness of the majority (sinhales)is that they fail to see that their leaders added to it the monks are living from a war that will have no end

Anonymous said...

what hogwash. if this story were true, this guy couldn't be as smart as the author claims becuase he would have known that he can save many Tamil lives by living as a doctor than dying in vain. And what an idiot VP must be to sacrifice a doctor!

Anonymous said...

Who forced people to leave Jaffna in 1995? What good did this chap dying do? Is the family, tamils and sinhalese better off due to this chap's actions? Many more questions raised that implicate the LTTE than what is answered.

Anonymous said...

What a heart breaking story. I almost cried. His dream will come true soon.

an said...

every one can't see the truth. They are all blind with power. Who destroyed upto date? Sinhales or Tamil people. Think about it. LTTE leaders are destroying there people from war for the there power. Every one who living in abrod are talking about b,shit, because there children are living in very comforterbley.

Anonymous said...

Nice fiction. The author should start writting more and finally he can win a Nobel price for literacy. LTTE is Leading Tamils to Extinction. Guys keep dreaming of ealem or settle for something EVERYBODY can accept.

Anonymous said...

Bull dust. This author's attempt to glorify killing, including one-self, tells the mind-set of LTTE and it's sympathisers. This bloke lives in 15th centuray. That is the whole issue. Wake-up. World has advanced better than that. 19 sinhala students from Jaffna university were sent on wheel chairs by the same mob. I am sure we all are convinced now VP has a soft hart as this clown interprets. What about two murders he commited by him-self before becoming the saviour of tamils.

Anonymous said...

Nice fiction. The author should start writting more and finally he can win a Nobel price for literacy. LTTE is Leading Tamils to Extinction. Guys keep dreaming of ealem or settle for something EVERYBODY can accept.

colombo tamil said...

i cannot believe how foolish doctor he was,and vp is the person who's responsible for the present plight of many tamils live in north and east,he didnt let any one to develop those areas and he won't let to do until he die

Anonymous said...

To begin with if this website believes in decent journalism, it should never carry this article of glorifying a murderer. Also a medical school exits in a jungle somewhere in the North is news. To stop Tamils from becoming terrorist the first step is for the upper caste tamil people to stop discreminating the so called lower caste tamil people. eg. like the fisher people to whom this misguided youngster belonged.

Anonymous said...

To begin with if this website believes in decent journalism, it should never carry this article of glorifying a murderer. Also a medical school exits in a jungle somewhere in the North is news. To stop Tamils from becoming terrorist the first step is for the upper caste tamil people to stop discreminating the so called lower caste tamil people. eg. like the fisher people to whom this misguided youngster belonged.

Anonymous said...

Story is touching, Now its time to give up. This story of a dead tiger, But our country is almost dead for decades.

Thousands of more stories like this may be heard from both sides.

Anonymous said...

what an idiot.....sacrificed his valuable life to destry some training aircrafts...airforce will buy them in the next procurement, but his family has lost this little goose forever. could have done much for his race by being a doctor to his community.

Anonymous said...

It is a very touching story that highlights waste of a young life, however there are two sides to a story and readers will get a balanced view if they were to hear from many Sinhalese and Tamil heroes who were brutally massacred by the 'emotional' Mr Prabhakaran.
Sinhalese and Tamils lived side by side in Jaffna until Mr Prabhakaran started the violence by assasinating the Tamil mayor of Jaffna.

Where is Mr Prabhakaran's son, was he accepted as a Black Tiger by his father ?

Anonymous said...

Author must have been paid in many thousand $ by LTTE for this fiction. Only idiots will believe this. If some one to be blame for all this, then there is one and only one..... VP

Anonymous said...

yes i feel so bad about this poor person who gave his life for nothing i guess.and reading whole story few times i assumed it is well fabricated beatiful story which they try to get sympathy from the world.its all aBOUT LTTE AND I GUESS THEY ARE SO INNOCENT ONLY SRILANKAN ARMY IS SO BAD AND LOOKS LIKE PRABAKARAN IS VERY NICE KIND PERSON HIM SELF.REALITY IS LTTE HAVE KILLED MORE TAMILS THAN SL ARMY. THANKS

Anonymous said...

good story this made me puke out of my guts.well looks like every where he goes attacked by the sl army.and finally he became a suicide killeyr very funny.and his sister coundnt go to university because she was a sister of a suicide killer , very touchy and full of bull shit

Anonymous said...

I still remember the days how sinhalese mobs and armed forces looted, killed and did all the atrocities against tamils (before Prapakaran). I still remember teh days I was running to save guard my life from mobs. There were no tigers, no black of white tigers. no Prapakaran. I know how my school toilet in Jaffan was stinking witout mony to repair when the singalese in Rayal collage and other schools in colombo were bathing in swimmingpools. Hitlar had all the boms and power. He lost. Evil wil loose. Rightessnes will win. That's nature. Do not get angry of these facts. Lies wil die soon

Tamil who speak truth

Anonymous said...

Nice way to put a story.. How can he blame the SL army... the reason for the suffering of the tamil people in Jaffna is the LTTE.. He should be blaming VP for distroying his life. Why don't everyone realize that this war is distroying our country. All tamil youth who are in the LTTE should open their eyes and just leave the LTTE and go back to their familis and look at a future.

Anonymous said...

made story !!!

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