Prabhakaran stuck in a bombed boat without a paddle

"There was no future for the Tamils with Prabhakaran. He seemed to be a good idea at the time, especially after 1983. His vindictive violence provided a rallying point for the Tamils to push the Vadukoddai Resolution – the political instrument of the Jaffna Tamils that declared war against the Sinhalese. He came at a time when the old guard had handed over power to the Jaffna youth to wage war against the Sinhalese."

by H. L. D. Mahindapala

(January 11, Melbourne, Sri Lanka Guardian) What is Velupillai Prabhakaran fighting for now? After the fall of Killinochchi on January 2, after the fall Elephant Pass and after the relative ease with which the Security Forces are advancing into Tiger territory he is now trapped inside 40 square km (15 sq miles). Equally debilitating is the ban re- imposed on him. Besides, even within that limited space he is shrinking like Alice in Wonderland. So what is he hoping to gain by fighting? Every objective analyst – from the Chennai Hindu to the London Economist – agrees that he has no chance of recovering. But he refuses to give up. Why? What does he hope to achieve?

His fighting will have some meaning and validity if he has a chance of regaining even a fragment of what he has lost. But he is boxed into a corner from which he cannot get out. Right now he doesn’t have a ghost of a chance of going forward against the superior forces of the Army. He and his Tamil Nadu agent, Vaiko, want us to believe that the Tigers have been withdrawing for tactical reasons. As dismissed cynically by the Army Commander, Gen. Sarath Fonseka, this must be the longest tactical withdrawal in history. He has been tactically withdrawing ever since he lost Mavil Aru. Where is he going to withdraw when the forces get into Mullativu? Is it Eretria with the help of Norway? Or into the jungles of Burma?

Hasn’t he conned the Tamil people long enough? He knows that he cannot give the Tamil people anything more than death and destruction. So why is he allowed to sacrifice the children of other Tamil parents while his children are protected from being thrown into battlefield for slaughter? Isn’t it now clear that he is the sole problem and no longer the solution? The only way to save the Tamils is to let them live in peace. His violent confrontations demand more lives from the Tamils who must be sick of sacrificing their children and their future for what? Since the Tamils can see no future for them in continuing the war are they asked to fight to save the Tamils or Prabhakaran?

The pundits who gloated that Killinochchi was going to be like “Stalingrad” where Hitler’s advancing forces were beaten and forced to retreat, or that the Tiger retreat is going to be like the one in “Dunkirk”, (looks more like the Dumb-kirk!) where the Allied forces withdrew and regrouped to strike back at Hitler, are now faced with finding new historical parallels to compare Prabhakaran’s plight. The only appropriate parallel that comes to mind is Saddam Hussein. Like Hussein Prabhakaran can run but can’t hide.
If he remains in Sri Lanka, and if he doesn’t swallow the pill that he recommended to other Tiger cadres, his last refuge is going to be one of the bunkers fortified with the cement sent by the “Sinhala government” to build houses for Tamil civilians. He robbed the Tamils not only their essentials sent for their welfare but even their dignity. He put his welfare and the greed for power over and above the welfare of the Tamils whom he was supposed to protect.

It is criminal for Prabhakaran to wage his futile war when he knows that his future has come and gone. His future is now in the past. He had practically everything going for him in the past and he lost everything by overestimating his power and going beyond his limits. He and Ranil Wickremesinghe are two of a kind. Wickremesinghe was foolish enough to give him everything he could offer. And Prabhakaran was foolish enough to throw it away. No one is to be blamed for the fall of Prabhakaran except himself. His own folly has pushed him back into square one, if there is still any space left in it.

He should know by now that no one is coming forward to save him. He was boasting that he had some secret sources in India who were manipulating on his behalf to stop the advance of the forces. It is the last lie that he could spin to keep up the spirits of his despondent diaspora abroad and the dwindling cadres at the fading fronts. The Superman who is supposed to have defeated the world’s fourth largest army, India, is now crawling on his fours before India hoping that it would come to his rescue.

His last pathetic secret weapon was to construct bunds. That was going to be his “Stalingrad”! Ant hills built to protect themselves from the wild elements had a better chance of survival than Prabhakaran building his 7 – 8 feet bunds to halt the advancing forces.

That has been the extent of his mythical power with which he deceived the gullible diplomats, journalists and the hero-worshipping agents in the Tamil diaspora. Now that he is at the end of his tether he can’t lie any more. The least he can do is to release the civilians he is holding hostage and to disband his rag-tag army of brain-washed cadres to find their own way in life. He has a moral obligation by the Tamils who had stood by him so far not to inflict any more suffering on the Tamil people who had sacrificed a generation to prop up his illusions of an Evil-lam. He dragged the Tamil children from the bosom of their helpless parents promising to establish Tamil Eelam. But what has he achieved for the Tamil people?

Prabhakaran turned the pseudo-state of Eelam into a nightmare. His ignominious failure reflects on all the Tamils who supported him, particularly in the Tamil diaspora. They are guilty of funding the liquidation of Tamils by their “Sun God”. It must be handed to the Tamils in the diaspora that they ran one of the best propaganda campaigns in Western capitals to demonize the Sinhala-Buddhists and the “Sinhala government” as the oppressive majority that “discriminated” and “persecuted” the Tamil minority. They also organized an efficient lobbying machinery to raise funds and to influence Western policy-makers. But all their labours were washed by the blood spilt by the brutalities of their Sun God. They created their God who destroyed them. They too are in the same boat as Prabhakaran without a paddle.

Some of the Tamil expatriates who came to Killinochchi hoping to see the new state of the Tamils in operation ended up being incarcerated in primitive hell-holes infested with snakes, rats and scorpions crawling around them. For instance, A. Jayadevan, a leading pro-Tiger lobbyists who helped to find a safe haven for Anton Balasingham in London, had to be rescued under diplomatic pressure when he went to Killinochchi in the hope of getting his problems with other Tiger activists resolved. Others, like Jay Maheswaran from Australia, left voluntarily disillusioned with the fascist one-man regime that gave the likes of him no space for their talents. They discovered to their dismay that the fascist bureaucracy of Prabhakaran was nowhere near the ideal they had painted to naïve believers in Eelam.

Right now Prabhakaran is the loneliest Tamil man on both sides of Palk Strait with no reliable or powerful friends to lend him a helping hand. No foreign diplomats are now applying for permission to visit him. Not even Erik Solheim, the Norwegian “facilitator” in the failed peace process (mainly because he was eating the political pap fed to him by Anton Balasingham, the Tiger ideologue who was the best available windbag for Prabhakaran) has shown any interest in the fate of Tiger “Sun God”.

The pomp and glory when he held court in Killinochchi have vanished. He must be feeling like Chandrika Kumaratunga who complained that there is no one now even to put a spoon of sugar in her tea. In his dying days he is left with only academic charlatans spinning theoretical yarns like Dr. Michael Roberts and Prof. Damien Kingsbury of Deakin University in Australia.

Quite brazenly, Prof. Kingsbury, who poses as an expert on Sri Lankan affairs in the Australian media, had the gumption to publish a picture of himself in the Deakin University Bulletin claiming to shake hands with Thamil Chelvam, who was ranked as No: 2 in the Tiger hierarchy. But Thamil Chelvam was nowhere in the picture. It was some unknown Tamil character who remains unidentified. He has brought disrepute to Deakin University by deliberately distorting the visible truth to boost his image as the man with access to the highest ranks in the LTTE. Falsifiers of known truths should have no place in academia, or in respectable media like The Age of Melbourne.

Roberts, for his part, was going round the usual seminar traps singing hosannas for Prabhakaran’s cult of death. He was showing slides of acres of empty graveyards constructed by his cult hero, Prabhakaran, and he linked it with “Ponku Thamil” – Tamil revivalism. Both are trying to rescue a sinking man with a piece of ideological straw. Prabhakaran had sunk so low that even his best ideological front-liners had run out of substance to back him.

All this leaves Prabhakaran in the wilderness. His precipitous fall from the heights he occupied under the Ceasefire Agreement (2002) he signed with the other loser, Ranil Wickremesinghe, has stunned his followers, particularly those in the Tamil diaspora. No other Tamil leader has had such a great fall. No other Tamil leader has let down the Tamils like Prabhakaran. No other Tamil leader has slaughtered, humiliated and imprisoned Tamils in the Vanni gulag like Prabhakaran. The horror stories of his regime are yet to be documented.

He took care to offer the last supper to every misguided Tamil youth, mostly female cadres, who were sent out as human bombs to kill his opponents. Each death of his victims was videod and replayed for him to enjoy the thrills of his power to kill. The power to kill is the ultimate aphrodisiac and his orgasms are numberless considering those killed by his brain-washed suicide squad. Ultimately, his obsession to view his murderous plots unfolding proved to be his nemesis. It was the photographs of the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi that turned India against him.

One of his missions in life was to use one Tamil to kill the other – and the, irony is that the Tamils hail him as a hero for killing the most amount of Tamils! The “Sinhala Government” is condemned for committing “genocide” – a charge yet to be proved -- but when he kills more Tamils than all the other forces put together (including the IPKF) the Tamils in the diaspora send him more funds to kill more Tamils.

Under his leadership he drove Jaffna Tamils to the extremes of violence. He desecrated the best of Hindu values and principles. In one of its early reports Amnesty International recoded the gruesome story of 15-year-old “Ram” (a pseudonym given by AI to cover his identity) who was found loitering in a hospital in the north. He was having a nervous breakdown. When AI investigated they found that he had plucked a baby from a Muslim mother in the East and dashed his head on the wall. That is the violence that came out of the Vadukoddai Resolution implemented by its executioner, Velupillai Prabhakaran. And the Tamil diaspora dare to talk of the human rights of the Tamils who were committing war crimes, crimes against humanity and, above all, insane racist crimes as if they were “the sole representatives” guarding and protecting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights!

All the white-washing of the Tamil diaspora, with the aid of the NGOs, Churches, pro-Tiger academics and professionals could not wash the blood dripping from the subhuman hands of Prabhakaran. He blackened the image of Tamils as ruthless, heartless terrorists. The Tamils who opted to live with the denigrated Sinhalese rose to the heights of Muthiah Muralitharan and Lakshman Kadiragama, the internationally respected Foreign Minster of Sri Lanka. Those Tamils who opted to stay with him or even associated with him ended up like Thamil Chelvam, buried under a bomb, or like Uma Maheswaran, the founder of his outfit, who was gunned down by his agents in Colombo.

There was no future for the Tamils with Prabhakaran. He seemed to be a good idea at the time, especially after 1983. His vindictive violence provided a rallying point for the Tamils to push the Vadukoddai Resolution – the political instrument of the Jaffna Tamils that declared war against the Sinhalese. He came at a time when the old guard had handed over power to the Jaffna youth to wage war against the Sinhalese. Tamil militant were mushrooming in every corner of Jaffna.

A hilarious account of how these organizations found their names was narrated by D. Sivaram (Taraki): . “(A)t one point” he said, “after July 1983 there were so many separatist groups forming that ‘one smart fellow came up with a chart. With words like: democratic, Eelam, national, revolutionary and all these things. You would jumble it, and you would get a name for a new organisation,’ said Sivaram. (Learning Politics from Sivaram, Life and Death of a Revolutionary Journalists in Sri Lanka, Mark P. Whitaker – p.81, Pluto Press, 2007)

There were around 32 militant organizations in 1983. Prabhakaran, who believed in the Chinese doctrine that two tigers cannot live in one mountain, saw to it that life-span of his potential rivals should not be too long. He eliminated his rivals arguing that he is “the sole representative of the Tamils” who is going to deliver Eelam. The more he liquidated the Tamils the more the Tamils believed in him. Bernard Shaw once said that the reputation of the doctors increase depending on the number of famous people who die under his care. Prabhakaran is a living example of this observation. With each killing of Amirthalingam, Neelan Tiruchelvam, Rajiv Gandhi, President Premadasa his reputation increased as the man with power to deliver Eelam.

Killing was justified as the right means to the right end. Leaving the morals aside, he would have been proved right if his killings delivered Eelam. But where has all the killings taken Prabhakaran and the Tamils? His ignominious failure reflects on all the Tamils who supported him, particularly those in the Tamil diaspora. He promised them the Tamil utopia and gave them instead the Tamil dystopia. This explains why more Tamils live with the Sinhalese than with Prabhakaran in his Evil-lam.
- Sri Lanka Guardian