Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Airstrikes destroy "Voice of Tigers" radio station

Ground attack aircraft of SLAF's 10th fighter squadron carried out a devastating airstrike on LTTE's official radio station "Voice of Tigers" at 4.20 P.M today. The broadcast station, situated 3.5KM south of LTTE stronghold of Kilinochchi, was completely destroyed in the attack.

LTTE leader Prabhakaran's annual "Mahaveer day" speech was scheduled to be broadcast live on VOT from 6.30 P.M onwards. It was only two hours before this event two Kfir bombers dropped at least 12 bombs on the transmission tower and the surrounding buildings. It is believed that at least 10 LTTE personnel on site were killed in the attack.

Voice of Tigers has been known to use two frequencies to broadcast its services; 98.0MHz from Kilinochchi and 103.0MHz from the Eastern province. It's eastern broadcast station was shut down when Special Forces overran Vakarai and Verugal region early this year.

The SLAF has been unusually active in the past two days. It flew four different bombing sorties today and yesterday, all on targets in the Northern province. At least 3 of these strikes are believed to be successful. Meanwhile several new UAVs are set to join SLAF's 11th UAV flight, which suffered heavily at the hands of Black tigers during AAB attack. The new additions are said to be technically superior to the ones that were destroyed in the attack.

International community should change its approach -LTTE Chief

LTTE leader in his annual Heroes’ Day statement on 27 November 2007

The leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), V Pirapaharan, in his annual Heroes’ Day statement put a heavy responsibility on the shoulders of the international community for the breakdown of the peace process. He said that the involvement of the international community to resolve the Tamil national question has been unhelpful and added that their failure to condemn unambiguously the military path of the current regime has created the present situation in the island. He asserted that the propping up of the genocidal Sinhala State by the international community through economic aid, military aid and subtle diplomatic efforts will be counterproductive.

About the long and bitter history of deception by the Sinhala State he further said, "None of the Southern parties are ready to accept the core principles for a lasting peace: the Tamil homeland, the Tamil nation and the Tamil Right to self determination. The ruling party is adamant on unitary rule; the red and yellow parties are calling for no solution at all; and the main opposition party, somersaulting from its earlier position, is, on the one hand, saying nothing concrete and using evasive language to support the military actions of the government and, on the other hand, saying it supports peace efforts.

All this clearly clarifies our point and proves beyond doubt that all the Sinhala political parties are essentially chauvinistic and anti-Tamil. To expect a political solution from any of these Southern parties is political naivety."

Drawing the attention of the international community to this long history of deception by the chauvinistic Sinhala State, the Tamil national leader said that the confidence of the Tamil people on the international community has been eroded by their one-sided approach. He pointed out that nations like East Timor and Montenegro broke free of their subjugation and gained their freedom with the help and support of the international community.

He added that the actions of the international community with respect to the Tamil national question are unjust and said that Tamil people hoped that the international community would change their biased approach and recognize the sovereignty of the Tamil nation.

The LTTE leader called on the global Tamil community to support the Tamil Eelam freedom struggle. "I wish to express my love and gratitude to you for your past participation in the building of our nation, bringing together your abundant intellectual, material, monetary and many other resources in the service of our nation and ask that you stand with us in the coming years of our freedom struggle," he said.

The full text of the official translation of his speech follows:

The 21st century began as the ‘Asian century’ and the world is looking towards Asia. Many countries in our region have grown in leaps and bounds in social, economical and scientific fields. They are researching space, moon and atom. The whole human race is taking up new challenges and has embarked on a united path, seeking answers to many of nature’s mysteries and looking for remedies to incurable diseases. It is seeking to protect the entire globe and its plant and animal lives. Sadly, the Sinhala nation is moving in exactly the opposite direction, on a path of destruction. It is trying to destroy the Tamil nation and, in the process, it is destroying itself. This beautiful island continues to soak in blood.

Buddhism is a profound spiritual duty. Its philosophy emphasizes a life without desires, a life of love and justice. The Sinhala nation, claiming that it has followed this path for more than two thousand years, has in fact remained immersed in the poison of racism. It is unleashing unthinkable violence against another people. During the long history of the Tamil struggle, first through non-violence and later through armed struggle, the Sinhala mindset has remained unchanged. The Sinhala nation did not change even after so much destruction and lost lives. It continues on the path of violence.

It only desires to find a solution to the Tamil question through military might and oppression. It cunningly evaded efforts to seek peace and is boldly taking forward its military plan. The international community’s economic and military aid, its moral and political support, its diplomatic efforts, and its one-sided involvement directly aided this turn of events.

We know very well that the military, economic and geo-political interests of the world’s powers are embedded in our region. We understand their concern to take forward their interests. We also recognize the concerns of the international community to bring about stability and good governance to this island for these reasons. At the same time the chauvinistic Sinhala State is attempting to exploit this interest in our region of the international powers.

It is trapping the international community in its chauvinistic project and turning the international community against the Tamil freedom struggle. Our people are dismayed and disappointed that these countries, trapped in the deceptive net of the Sinhala State, are being unhelpful in their involvement to resolve our problem. These one-sided involvements of foreign powers are not new in our prolonged struggle. India intervened in our national question then as part of its regional expansion. India signed an accord with the Sinhala State without the consent of the Tamils.

The Indo-Lanka Accord was not signed to meet the aspirations of the people of Tamil Eelam. In fact, India then attempted to force an ineffectual solution on our people - a solution which did not even devolve powers to the extent of the Banda-Chelva pact signed in the 1950’s. India tried to enforce that accord with the strength of more than 100,000 Indian forces, with the power of the agreement between two countries and with the assistance of treacherous Tamil paramilitary groups. However, even this ill-considered solution, which did not even address the basic national aspirations of the Tamils, was blocked by the chauvinistic Sinhala State.

We are intimately familiar with the Sinhala State and its deceptive politics. Our people have a long history of bitter experiences. That is why we explained to India on many occasions, at many locations and at many levels about the implacability of Sinhala chauvinism. We explained to India then that the aim of the Sinhala State was not to find a solution to the Tamil question and bring peace; but to occupy the Tamil homeland, destroy its resources, and enslave the Tamil nation. India refused to accept this reality. As a result our land witnessed great sorrow and destruction.

Today, the international community is making the same mistake that India made many years ago. Even the countries that are the guardians of the peace efforts succumbed to the deception of the Sinhala State and listed our freedom movement as a terrorist organization. What we find most incomprehensible is the fact that these same nations, which labeled us terrorists, not so long ago fought in defence of their own freedom.

The Sinhala nation is unable to stomach the support of our Diaspora for the Tamil freedom struggle; it is unable to accept the humanitarian help and the political lobbying by the Diaspora to end the misery heaped on our people. That is why the Sinhala nation is trying hard to shatter the bond between our people in our homeland and our Diaspora.

Some countries are also assisting this amoral effort of Sinhala chauvinism. These countries are denouncing, as illegal activities, the humanitarian actions and political protests of our people abroad – actions that are carried out according to the laws of those countries. These countries have imprisoned and humiliated Tamil campaigners and representatives. These countries have ridiculed their protests and their efforts to seek justice.

This partisan and unjust conduct of the international community has severely undermined the confidence our people had in them. And it has paved the way for the breakdown of the ceasefire and the peace efforts. Furthermore, the generous military and economic aid they have given to the Sinhala State and their diplomatic efforts to prop up the chauvinistic Sinhala State has encouraged the Sinhala nation further and further along its militaristic path. This is the background to the confidence of the Rajapake regime in continuing with its unjust, inhuman war of occupation of our land.

Overconfident of its military victory over the Tamil freedom movement, the Rajapakse regime has shut fast the door for peace. The desire to oppress the Tamils has intensified as never before. With the entire world giving support, the Sinhala State, using the ceasefire as cover, and exploiting the peace environment, prepared its war of occupation. The SLMM that was monitoring the peace covered its eyes, tied its hands behind back, and went to sleep in Colombo.

The exhausted Norwegian facilitators remained silent. The countries that preached peace to us also went silent and refused to speak out. The Sinhala State started its war and justified it with slogans like ‘War for Peace’, ‘War against terrorism’ and ‘War for the liberation of the Tamils’.

The Rajapakse regime assembled its military might and let loose a massive war on the eastern region of our homeland. This part of our homeland became a wasteland after incessant bombing and shelling. Trincomalee, the famous Tamil capital, was destroyed. Batticaloa, an ancient cultural city of the Tamils, became a land of refugees. Jaffna, the cultural centre of the Tamils, was cut off from the rest of the world and turned into an open prison.

The Sinhala State’s war of genocide destroyed the peaceful life of the Tamils. It turned the Tamils into refugees in their own homeland, ruined their nation’s social and economical infrastructure and plunged them into unprecedented hardships. While our motherland, caught within gruesome Sinhala military rule, is destroyed, Sinhalisation of our historic territory is going on under the pretexts of High Security Zones and Free Trade Zones.

This naked Sinhalisation proceeds by the hoisting of Lion flags, the erection of Sidharthan statues, the renaming of Tamil streets with Sinhala names, the building of Buddhist temples. Sinhala settlements are mushrooming in the Tamil homeland.

The unjust war, the economic blockade, the restrictions on our people’s freedom of movement, the killing of thousands, the displacement of hundreds of thousands, have all deeply wounded the Tamil psyche. The Sinhala nation is celebrating this tragedy as a victory. It is lighting firecrackers believing it has defeated the Tamils.

The Sinhala military leadership believes that its occupation of the east has been completed and the barbed wire noose around the neck of Jaffna has been tightened. The Sinhala nation arrogantly believes it has manacled the eastern coast from Pothuvil to Pulmoddai. The Sinhala leadership thus believes it has won great victories against our struggle.

The Sinhala nation has always misunderstood our freedom struggle. It consistently underestimates us. Only after carefully scrutinising the global situation and external conditions; only after accurately estimating the strengths and weaknesses of the adversary; only after gauging the enemy’s goals and strategies; only after ensuring that we remain focused on our own strategy; only then did we implement our plans to take our liberation struggle forward.

We have strategically withdrawn from the east while launching defensive attacks. The Sinhala nation could have learnt the dangers of putting its feet too wide apart in our land as it did during past battles. But the Sinhala military has fallen yet again into the net we spread and it is now forced to commit large numbers of troops to rule land without people. Caught in a territorial trap, it will soon be forced to face the serious consequences of its misguided ambitions.

Operation ‘Ellalan’, the very first combined Black Tiger and Tamil Eelam Air Force attack was a massive blow to the Sinhala military. It has disrupted the daydreams of the Sinhala nation. The Sinhala nation has not emerged from this massive shock delivered by our beloved fighters. The immeasurable dedication and sacrifice of our Heroes is delivering a message to the Sinhala nation. Those who plan to destroy the Tamil nation will in the end be forced to face their own destruction.

The Rajapakse regime is never going to realize that the Tamil national question cannot be resolved by military oppression. The Sinhala leadership is not going to shed its desire for military supremacy or the Sinhalisation of the Tamil homeland. The Rajapakse regime is working hard to import more and more destructive weapons from all over the world without care for the cost. Therefore, it is not going to give up its war of genocide.

The All Party Representative Committee was appointed by the Rajapakse regime to spread a smokescreen over the misery that its military adventures are creating in the Tamil homeland and to deceive other governments to get their aid and support. We clearly predicted this would happen one year ago. We have been proved right. After dragging on without putting forward any solution, the committee has gone on holiday.

The past sixty years have proven beyond any doubt that no political party in the South has the political honesty or firmness in policy to find a just solution to the Tamil national question. It has been also proved beyond any doubt that none of the Southern parties are ready to accept the core principles for a lasting peace: the Tamil homeland, the Tamil nation and the Tamil Right to self determination.

The ruling party is adamant on unitary rule; the red and yellow parties are calling for no solution at all; and the main opposition party, somersaulting from its earlier position, is, on the one hand, saying nothing concrete and using evasive language to support the military actions of the government and, on the other hand, saying it supports peace efforts. All this clearly clarifies our point and proves beyond doubt that all the Sinhala political parties are essentially chauvinistic and anti-Tamil. To expect a political solution from any of these southern parties is political naivety.

The Sinhala nation showed eagerness in the peace talks only when we shattered their ‘Operation Fireball’ military action and made them realize that the Tigers cannot be defeated. It was only when we proved our military prowess and only when we were militarily in a position of strength that the Sinhala nation signed the ceasefire agreement. Now, with abundant monetary and military aid from several countries, it has rehabilitated its destroyed military and has prepared itself for war again. It is yet again walking the military path having abandoned the peace path.

The Rajapakse regime, after unilaterally abrogating the ceasefire agreement, is ruthlessly implementing its military plan to remove the contiguity of the Tamil homeland. It has killed and disappeared thousands of our people. It reprimands and controls the Norwegian facilitators. It vehemently criticizes the SLMM. It even dares to brand senior UN officials as terrorists in order to hide its own terrorism. It is obscuring the ground reality in the Tamil homeland by striking fear among journalists and NGO workers.

The world’s powers, even while taking forward their own geo-political interests, respect human rights and democratic institutions. Be it this universe, human affairs or international relationships, they all revolve on the wheel of justice. That is why nations like East Timor and Montenegro broke free of their subjugation and gained their freedom with the help and support of the international community. Even now, the international community continues to work for the freedom of nations like Kosovo.

Yet the actions of the international community with respect to our own national question are unjust. The confidence our people placed in the international community has been eroded. By only paying lip-service to peace the international community has contributed to the killing of an extraordinary son of our nation, Tamilselvan. It has stopped the heartbeat of a light that walked the path of peace.

I will be lighting the lamp for my dear brother, Tamilselvan, who until last year was with me every time we, with a burning desire to reach our goal, lit the lamps for our fallen Heroes. The international community has made the entire Tamil world drown in its tears. Had the international community firmly and unambiguously condemned the anti-peace activities and the war mongering of the Sinhala regime, Tamilselvan would be alive today. A huge blow would not have fallen on peace efforts.

The Co-chairs, acting as the guardians of the peace process, have failed in their responsibility. If the Co-chairs do not have a moral obligation to protect peace efforts, what exactly is the purpose of their meeting from time to time in different places? Is it their intent to assist the Sinhala regime to wipe out the Tamils? Questions like these have arisen in the minds of our people.

Our people firmly expect that at least from now on the international community will take a new approach in relation to our freedom struggle. On this sacred day it is the hope of our people that the international community will cease giving military and economic aid to the Sinhala regime and accept the right to self determination and the sovereignty of the Tamil nation.
My beloved people,

We are an ancient people with special qualities. We have a unique national identity and national foundation. We have been struggling non-violently and by armed struggle for a very long time against national oppression. We are not terrorists, committing blind acts of violence impelled by racist or religious fanaticism. Our struggle has a concrete, legitimate, political objective.

We are struggling only to regain our sovereignty in our own historical land where we have lived for centuries, the sovereignty which we lost to colonial occupiers. We are struggling only to reestablish that sovereignty and rebuild our nation. The Sinhala nation is continuing to reject our just and civilized demands for freedom. Instead, it has declared a genocidal war on our land and our people. Behind the smokescreen of fighting terrorism, it is creating immense human misery.

Despite our people enduring injustice and oppression, facing death, destruction and massive displacement, no country, no nation, no international organization has raised its voice on our behalf. We face this situation alone because, although 80 million Tamils live all around the globe, the Tamils do not have a country of their own.

On this day, when we remember our Heroes, I ask the entire Tamil speaking world to rise up for the liberation of Tamil Eelam. I wish to express my love and gratitude to you for your past participation in the building of our nation, bringing together your abundant intellectual, material, monetary and many other resources in the service of our nation and ask that you stand with us in the coming years of our freedom struggle.

Thousands of our fighters are standing ready to fight with determination for our just goal of freedom and we will overcome the hurdles before us and liberate our motherland. On this day when we remember our Heroes who sacrificed themselves for this sacred goal, let each one of us carry their dream in our hearts and struggle until it is achieved.

Tiger Leader seeks support from Tamils,as Air Force destroys VOT

LTTE leader Velupullai Pirbhakaran seeks Tamil diaspora's help to revive his struggle while blaming the international community on breakdown of the peace process,as Air Force destroyed Tiger official Radio station barely two hours before his annual heroes day speech.Pirabhakaran made his annual speech in an undisclosed location in Wanni this evening and requested support from Tamils around the world to fight against the Sinhalese government.

"I wish to express my love and gratitude to you for your past participation in the building of our nation,bringing together your abundant intellectual, material, monetary and many other resources in the service of our nation and ask that you stand with us in the coming years of our freedom struggle"he saidJust two hours before his speech two of Air Force No.10 squadron's Kfir jets pounded bombs on Voice of Tigers a clandestine radio station situated near Kilinochchi town,along the A9 high way.

The VOT building was flattened and many were feared dead,according to the latest information.
The attack was one of the series of attacks carried out by Security Forces to disrupt the Heroes day celebrations all over the Killinochchi.Military used two methods of strategy,both in land and air,a senior military official confirming the destroying of VOT told defence wire,a short while ago.


Indian Congressmen burn Prabhakaran in effigy

Tension prevailed at the office of the Tiruchy Urban District Congress Committee (TDCC) here on Monday as a group of partymen staged a demonstration demanding the arrest of MDMK general secretary Vaiko for extending support to the LTTE, a banned outfit, and burnt LTTE supremo V Prabhakaran in effigy to register their protest.

A section of Congressmen, who assembled in front of Arunachala Mandram, the party’s urban district office, staged a demonstration and raised slogans against those extending support to the LTTE.

They also pelted stones to record their protest, besides demanding the arrest of Vaiko. The demonstrators were led by the party’s urban district president Jerome Arockiaraj.

The demonstrators then took out a rally and attempted to picket buses by squatting on the road and the police, who had been deployed there, had a tough time handling them, leading to a tussle between the demonstrators and the police.

Later, the demonstrators burnt Prabhakaran in effigy. However, Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam district secretary Rajendran, who arrived there, raised slogans against the demonstrators and distributed handbills and pamphlets in support of the LTTE.

This triggered tension in the area. Subsequently, the police, led by Assistant Commissioner of Police Rajasekaran, arrested him.

“Everything depends on the situation in our homeland” – V. Prabhakaran in 1984

LTTE leaders Interview with Anita Pratap: Sunday Magazine, India 11-17 March 1984

"There cannot be a blueprint or a time limit for a freedom struggle. Everything depends on the situation in our homeland and happenings on the international scene. "

Full Text of the Interview

Q: What made you opt out of a conventional system and spearhead a liberation movement which you knew would be outlawed?

A: The democratic parliamentary system, or what you refer to as the conventional political system in Sri Lanka, has always tried to impose the will of the majority on the minority. This system not only failed to solve the basic problems of our people but, in fact, aggravated our plight. For decades, the repression by the state has made the life of our people miserable. The non-violent democratic struggles of our people were met with military repression. Our just demands were totally ignored, and the oppression continued on such a scale as to threaten the very survival of the Tamils in Sri Lanka. It was these circumstances which led me to form our liberation movement. I felt that an armed struggle was the only alternative left to our people, not only to ensure our survival but ultimately to free' our selves from the Sinhala oppression. I have always been aware that our movement would be outlawed. It is for this reason that we organised our movement as a clandestine under ground structure from its inception.

Q: Could you elaborate on some of your personal experiences that compelled you to believe that an armed struggle was the only solution for the Tamils of Sri Lanka? Were you, your family members and friends, directly victimised by the discriminatory policy of the Sri Lankan government?

A: The shocking events of the 1958 racial riots had a profound impact on me when I was a schoolboy. I heard of horrifying incidents of how our people had been mercilessly and brutally put to death by Sinhala racists. Once I met a widowed mother, a friend of my family, who related to me her agonising personal experience of this racial holocaust. During the riots a Sinhala mob attacked her house in Colombo. The rioters set fire to the house and murdered her husband. She and her children escaped with severe burn injuries. I was deeply shocked when I saw the scars on her body. I also heard stories of how young babies were roasted alive in boiling tar. When I heard such stories of cruelty I felt a deep sense of sympathy and love for my people. A great passion overwhelmed me to redeem my people from this racist system. I strongly felt that armed struggle was the only way to confront a system which em ploys armed might against unarmed, innocent people.

Q: At what point of time did you lose faith in the parliamentary system? What precipitated this disillusionment?

A: I entered politics at a time-in the early Seventies-when the younger generation had already lost faith in parliamentary politics. I entered politics as an armed revolutionary. What precipitated the disillusionment in parliamentary politics was the total disregard and callousness of the successive governments towards the pathetic plight of our people.

Q: How did you come to start the Liberation Tiger movement?

A: I originally formed the movement with a group of dedicated youths who sincerely believed that armed struggle was the only way to liberate our people.

Q: What was the reason for identifying yourselves as 'Tigers'?

A: I named the movement 'Liberation Tigers' since the tiger emblem had deep roots in the political history of the Tamils, symbolising Tamil patriotic resurgence The tiger symbol also depicts the mode of our guerrilla warfare.

Q: When you decided to form the 'Liberation Tigers', what was the reaction of your family members and those close to you?

A: As soon as the Tiger movement was formed, I went underground and lost contact with my family.

Q: When did you last meet your family members? Are they reconciled to your outlawed existence?

A: I have not seen my family members for the last 11 years. I do not think they regard me as an ordinary person leading an ordinary life.They are reconciled to my existence as a guerrilla fighter.

Q: After 14 years of struggle, do you think you are any closer to achieving your goal?

A: After all these years of struggle I feel that we are advancing towards our goal. The '83 July holocaust has united all sections of the Tamil masses. There is a massive support for the armed liberation program of our movement. This is certainly a step towards our goal.

Q: On what way have the experiences of the past 12 years changed you as a person?

A: These years of struggle have strengthened my determination and sharpened my vision.

Q: Till now what has been your most rewarding experiences?

A: It is difficult for me to identify a particular experience as rewarding. The life of a guerrilla fighter is full of experience: experiences of sorrow, happiness, frustration: each of which brings its own rewards.

Q: The experience over the years must have changed your outlook. What are some of the dominant impressions and convictions that you gained by virtue of this experience? Moreover your experiences would have convinced you of the inefficacy of certain principles and theories in practical situations, whole at the same time bringing home the validity of yet others. Can you pinpoint some of them?

A: Twelve years of experience has convinced me beyond doubt that the armed revolutionary path we under took was the correct one. The other liberation groups who criticised our armed strategy as terrorism have now realised that armed struggle is the only way out for the emancipation of our oppressed people. Moreover the guerrilla warfare has been an effective form of struggle. Several successful guerrilla raids have convinced our people that the Sinhala forces can be defeated and freedom can be won.

Q: Who is your friend, philosopher, and guide?

A: Nature is my friend. Life my philosopher and history is my guide.

Q: How does it feel to be the most wanted man in Sri Lanka today?

A: An Irish leader once remarked that when the British indict a personas a terrorist it implied that he was a true Irish patriot. Similarly when the Sri Lanka government refers to me as the most wanted man it means that I am a true Tamil patriot. Hence I feel proud to be indicted as a wanted man.

Q: Which was your most frustrating moment of your life?

A: I cannot pinpoint such a moment in my life. But the most frustrating aspect has been the betrayal of some of my trusted friends: those who pretended to be sincere to the cause. Bet turned out to be self seeking opportunists.

Q: How did the split between you and Uma Maheshwaran come about?

A: I do not approve the formulation of the question In fact. the issue should not he viewed as a conflict or split between me and Uma Maheshwaran. It was a problem between all individual and the Tiger movement. I am in no way responsible for the problem. It was Maheshwaran who created the issue. A leader of a revolutionary movement should commit himself totally to the discipline of the organisation. If a leader violates the basic rules and principles then there will be chaos and the organisation will crumble. Uma Maheshwaran violated the rules of our movement and as a disciplinary action he was expelled by the central committee. Being the founder of the movement and the person who appointed Maheshwaran as the chairman I had no other alternative but to uphold the decision of the central committee.

Q: Today one finds that there are several Eelam liberation groups. Invariably they work at cross-purposes. When the goal is the same, should not there be a unification process? After all, there is more to be gained by using your combined strength against the common enemy. In principle, are you opposed to the rival groups uniting?

A: I have clearly and explicitly stated that I am in favor of such unity moves. I even wrote to these groups on 5 September 1982welcoming the idea and suggested that we all prepared to form a united front of all other liberation groups, shed their differences and work out a common program of action. But. unfortunately, these groups failed to formulate a common working program. Instead, at every unity meeting they fought against each other and fail apart. The tragedy is that these groups have no sincere intentions to unite and there is a wide gap between their words and their deeds. I sincerely feel that these groups should set an example by forging unity among themselves rather than blaming the Tigers for their disunity. Once they unite we are prepared to join hands with them.

Q: Spokesmen of rival groups have told me that all except you are open to the idea of uniting. Is this true?

A: This is absolutely untrue. It is only a propaganda by other groups to undermine our movement.

Q: Are you alone in the struggle?

A: I am not alone. I lead a powerful national movement and a wide section of the Tamil masses support me.

Q: Do you experience moments of loneliness? And if you do. how do you combat it?

A: I have never felt lonely at any point of time. Loneliness is only a problem with those who are buried in their own individual egos. A true revolutionary transcends individuality and develops a collective, social consciousness. I live and struggle for a common collective cause.

Q: Do you have any regrets about not leading a normal life?

A: There are millions who, as you put it, lead a normal, ordinary existence. But we are fighting for a cause, for a noble ideal which gives us a profound spiritual satisfaction.

Q: Are you worried over the fact that most Tamil youths face a bleak future in Sri Lanka?

A: The youths are fighting a battle for freedom. I foresee a bright future for them.

Q: Is it true that more and more Tamil ,youths are taking part in the liberation struggle?

A: Yes, more and more youths are joining the revolution under our leadership since they have realised that armed struggle is the only way to redeem themselves and their society.

Q: How would you defend your movement from being called a "separatist" one. and that you all are not freedom fighters but "terrorists"?

A: It is wrong to call our movement "separatist". We are fighting for independence based on the right to national self determination of our people. Our struggle is for self determination, for the restoration of our sovereignty in our homeland. We are not fighting for a division or separation of a country but rather, we are fighting to uphold the sacred right to live in freedom and dignity. In this sense, we are freedom fighters not terrorists.

Q: Would you rather die than be caught by the Sinhalese army?

A: I would prefer to die in honour rather than being caught alive by the enemy.

Q: The Liberation Tiger for Tamil Eelam (LTTE) staged the 23 July 1983ambush in which 13 Sinhalese soldiers were killed. The ambush was allegedly the reason for the Sinhalese retaliation on innocent Tamils. Did you expect such a massive retaliation?

A: The July violence should not be assessed simply as a Sinhala retaliation for the guerrilla ambush. This view is a gross oversimplification of the event. The island has been plagued with anti-Tamil racial violence which erupts periodically over the years. There were violent racial holocausts even before the emergence of our movement. Violent riots erupted in Trincomalee a couple of weeks before the ambush. Therefore, the phenomenon of anti-Tamil racial violence cannot be traced to a single event. We are engaged in a protracted guerrilla warfare. There has been several guerrilla raids, several ambushes,, and we have killed several Sinhala soldiers and policemen The July ambush was only a part of the warfare we are engaged in. It is incorrect to assume that one particular military operation has precipitated the entire violence.

The July riots, you would have certainly observed, was not aimed at the physical extermination of our people but it was also aimed the destruction of the economic power base of the Tamils in Colombo. Our view is that the July holocaust was a pre-planned. well- orchestrate genocidal pogrom against the Tamils, carried out by the racial elements of the ruling party. Initially, these racist elements did attempt to put the whole blame on the Tiger. Then, suddenly they blamed the left parties for the riots. But in actual fact, it is the racist leaders of the present government who should be the responsibility for this tragic loss of life and property of our people.

Q: Why did you stage the July ambush? There are various versions afloat. According to some, it was an act of reprisal as four Tamil woman had been raped. Based on my investigations I felt that ,you had to prove a point to the Sinhalese army who were jubilant over the death of your close associate, Charles Anthony, leader of the military wing on 15. July. The point, I guess that you had to assert was that the LTTE despite the loss of one of its ablest leaders was still strong and capable of take on the Sinhalese army. Is this theory correct?

A: There is an element of truth your findings about Charles Anthony and the ambush. The attack was partly a retaliation, a punishment the Sinhala army. But still we feel that the lives of 13 soldiers cannot compensate the life of a great revolutionary and freedom fighter like Charles. The ambush was also a part of the guerrilla warfare directed against the enemy.

Q: Do you think that the round table negotiations will lead to the formulation of a permanent settlement?

A: I am of the opinion that the round table conferences will not bring about a permanent settlement to the Tamil issue. Our view is based on the experience of several decades. The Sinhala leaders never made a sincere attempt to resolve the Tamil issue. The present negotiations will also meet the same fate All the major Sinhala parties and the Buddhist organisations are opposed to granting any form of regional autonomy to the Tamils. They are even opposed to giving minor concessions. Hence nothing substantial will emerge from this conference.

Q: Do you hold the TULF (Tamil. United Liberation Front) leaders responsible for retarding the liberation struggle? Do you view them a betrayers?

A: It is true that the opportunistic politics of the TULF is retarding the liberation struggle. They have never taken any concrete steps to further the struggle. On the contrary they give false hopes, create illusions, and try to keep our people in perpetual bondage. They entered politics only to further their selfish ends. They never had any sincere intentions to liberate our oppressed people, nor did they ever put forward any concrete programme of political action. They never expected that they would be caught in the storm of a liberation struggle. The flame of a revolution is fast spreading all over Tamil Eelam. But the TULF leaders are trying their best to smother the fire. In this sense you can term the TULF leaders as betrayers.

Q: Is it true that the TULF leaders are afraid to go to their home town and stay there not because of the Sinhalese but because of the Tigers?

A: They are frightened not of the Tigers, but of the fury of the people who voted them to power on the promise of an independent state for the Tamils.

Q: Do you think that India's good offices will result in anything tangible?

A: India's efforts have given a positive hope to our people. But I do not think that the Sinhala racist government will utilise India's offer to resolve the problems of the Tamils.

Q: Ideally, what should India do in such a situation to help the Tamils?

A: I think that the government of India should recognise the fair and legitimate demands of our people and accept our right to self determination.

Q: Would you suggest military intervention ?

A: We have the courage, confidence and determination to fight and win our freedom. We should fight and free ourselves. But we do need India's support and sympathy.

Q: What is your personal assessment of President Jayewardene?

A: If Jayewardene was a true Buddhist, I would not be carrying a gun

Q: What do you think is Jayewardene's intention behind holding these negotiations? Is he buying time?

A: There are several reasons behind holding these peace negotiations. Firstly, Jayewardene wants to appease the Indians. Secondly, he wants to restore the colossal damage the riots have done to the image of the country. Thirdly, it would help him to seek financial aid from western agencies. Fourthly, the President wants to buy time to build up the Sinhala military machine.

Q: Is President Jayewardene a prisoner in the hands of the hawks in his cabinet or is he acting on his own? Is he being pressurised by the Buddhist clergy?

A: Jayewardene is acting on his own. He has supreme powers. The hawks in the cabinet and the Buddhist clergy are behind him.

Q: What is the role of the Buddhist clergy in Sri Lanka?

A: The Buddhist clergy has played a dominant role in shaping the political trends in Sri Lanka. They have played a crucial role in whipping up anti-Tamil feelings among the Sinhala people.

Q: Do you think that the Buddhist clergy is well on its way to establishing Sri Lanka as a Sinhala Buddhist nation ?

A: Sri Lanka is already a Sinhala Buddhist nation and the Buddhist clergy has contributed a lot for this cause.

Q: Is it the result of the Buddhist clergy's chauvinism or is it the result of a natural alignment following the Catholic clergy's association with the Tamils.?

A: The Buddhist clergy's chauvinism has played a significant role in the establishment of a racist state system. Sections of the Tamil Catholic clergy sympathise with the Tamil cause but the Sinhala Catholic clergy displays strong Sinhala national chauvinism and are opposed to the Tamil demands.

Q: Do you have ties with other liberation movements of the world? Which are the organisations who provide training and arms to the LTTE?

A: We have ties with other world liberation movements. I cannot answer the second part of your question.

Q: Which country in the world has proved to be most sympathetic to your cause?

A: I do not wish to comment on this matter.

Q: What is your ideological commitment?

A: Revolutionary socialism.

Q: Do you expect attacks on the Tamils in the future?

A: Yes, I do. The forces of racism and fascism are actively working against the Tamils in Trincomalee and Vavuniya. Tamils will never be safe until they establish an independent state of Tamil Eelam with a powerful patriotic army to protect their life and property

Q: Is it true that Israelis are training Sinhalese army men on the techniques of anti-guerrilla warfare?

A: So far we haven't got any confirmed reports about the presence of Israeli military experts in Sri Lanka. If the reports are true I won't be surprised. Sri Lanka is turning into a base for US imperialism and its agents. Whoever the trainers are or whatever their expertise maybe. the Sinhala army cannot crush the will and determination of the Tigers. We have a great moral power. a supreme sense of sacrifice, and a noble cause.

Q: What is you r reaction to the alleged heavy induction of arms and ammunition from the United States to Sri Lanka?

A: Induction of US arms is not only a threat to the Tamil freedom movement but also to India's national security. America's objective as you will certainly be aware. is not simply confined to helping the Sri Lankan army to crush the Tamil liberation struggle. Their ultimate aim is to secure a naval base at Trincomalee. Such a happening will convert the Indian Ocean into a war zone, and will increase the tension prevalent in the region.

Q: If and when Eelam is achieved what sort of a nation do you conceive it to be?

A: Tamil Eelam will be a socialist state. By socialism I mean an egalitarian society where human freedom and individual liberties will be guaranteed, where all forms of oppression and exploitation will be abolished. It will be a free society where our people will have maximum opportunity to develop their economy and promote their culture. Tamil Eelam will be a neutral state, committed to non- alignment and friendly to India. respecting her regional policies, particularly the policy of making the Indian Ocean a zone of peace.

Q: In your estimate how long will it take to achieve this Eelam?

A: There cannot be a blueprint or a time limit for a freedom struggle. Everything depends on the situation in our homeland and happenings on the international scene.

LTTE Elements in Upcountry with Police Patronage

“Many youth would like to support Tamil Eelam because they are worried about the country's political system. Some of the top level LTTE cadres have been living in some of our areas. They are successfully preaching on the LTTE’s way of liberation to Tamil youth.”

A shocking report of increased LTTE activity under police protection was heard while we visited the Upcountry area a few days ago. Our visit covered Haton, Badulla, Bandarawela, Nuwaraeliya, Ragala, and Udapussellawa. The story is the same everywhere. This is an area of Sri Lanka where Tamils preponderate and maintain close friendship with the Sinhalese majority of the Country.

The area is beautiful and the people live without fear for their lives compared to the war affected areas in the country. Indeed they enjoy life. The area became a relative paradise after Black July. The catastrophe of racist violence in Sri Lanka has been on the wane since the early 90s. The Upcountry had become a particularly peaceful area, free even of the bombs and killings that periodically wracked Colombo.

“The area is beautiful and the people live without fear for their lives compared to the war affected areas in the country. Indeed they enjoy life. The area became a relative paradise after Black July. The catastrophe of racist violence in Sri Lanka has been on the wane since the early 90s.”

However, the situation has been changing a little by little as the area was transformed into an LTTE dominant area. Hundreds of LTTE cadres were moving in and locals recruited without any problem.

Our sources claim that known LTTE cadres travel in the area without any obstacles.
According Perumal, a retired government servant, “Many youth would like to support Tamil Eelam because they are worried about the country's political system. Some of the top level LTTE cadres have been living in some of our areas. They are successfully preaching on the LTTE’s way of liberation to Tamil youth.”

“Some youth also went to LTTE controlled areas and took weapons training. Parents do not know of these developments as they believe that their children are seeking new jobs in Colombo,” he added.

Furthermore, LTTE cadres in the Upcountry have been involved in random kidnappings and various anti-social activities, he said.

“These persons have been arrested so many times by the Police but they were always released in the following days without any punishment. They are responsible for so many robberies, attempted murders and murders in the area."

Meanwhile, some elements in the Upcountry police are also supporting the LTTE elements due to financial support from Wanni. The Badulla police are especially noted for this by locals. Even some at officer-level in the area strongly offer support to the LTTE because of personal enmities or benefits.

Two of the most important LTTE persons have been involved with many crimes in Badulla. One cannot walk about some of the places in Badulla after 7.00 O’clock in the evening because of this. Police in Badulla have recorded some of the largest crime figures within one day. But the reaction or investigation by police for the crimes has been scandalously slow. Following their arrests, some of these most dangerous parsons were released on bail within a few hours by the Police in Badulla.

Raman Ravi Chandran who is in living at the address No 12 Laime, Elakaluwapan, New Phase, Hali Ela, and Welaudan Balamurali who is at Office Junction , Nil Amba , Galaha are two of the most important elements of the LTTE who have led so many crimes in the area including killing of innocent persons.

According the neighbours of both of them, "These persons have been arrested so many times by the Police but they were always released in the following days without any punishment. They are responsible for so many robberies, attempted murders and murders in the area."

Said a neighbour, “They have lots of money but they do not hold any obvious job that is paying them.”

"These two persons are strongly allied with the intelligence net work of the LTTE and they have had good weapons training under the LTTE," a Tamil youth living near Ravichandran's home told the Sri Lanka Guardian.

Both these criminal have visited LTTE controlled areas once a month to share new developments in the area with new intelligence records, sources said.

The peaceful situation in the area has been deteriorating as the power of the LTTE in the area is ascendant. People in the area know very well about the elements of the LTTE and who they are. But security persons do not seem to be countering these fearful developments in any way.


Athirady.com to expose LTTE soon

The Tamil daily "Athirady.com" which had been collecting the names of the peoples who were killed by the Liberations Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) during the past will finally publish its research material during this week, according to sources from Athirady.

The Web site based in Switzerland a center of Tamil democratic political activities in Tamil Diaspora. Recently, Athirady officials had collected hundreds of the names to compile this research document on LTTE killings of all are Sri Lankan including Tamils , Sinhalease and Muslims

"We are collecting this lists of names to expose Prabhakara's and his organization's ruthless activities among the Tamil Community. We plan to complete details report and hand it over to the UN, EU, India and IC," according to a senior Athirady official.

Furthermore, the athirady officials also requested the public to assist this project by sending any available data to them.

You can e-mail articles, suggestions and comment to athirady@yahoo.com

“Terrorism is no longer accepted as a legitimate means of political expression”

The LTTE who are branded as a terrorist organization by most of the democracies in the world will be dealt by the Foreign Service as such. We will not keep a low profile. We will counter the LTTE, as a terrorist organisation in our foreign missions and this is a clear instruction that has gone to all our missions abroad. We will join the world in the world’s efforts to counter terrorism.

Q: Dr. Kohona, what was the purpose of this visit to London?

A: I came here on my way back home from a very quick visit to Eastern Europe. I went to Prague first for bi-lateral consultations with the Czech Republic.

These are consultations on an official level and I led the Sri Lankan delegation. We also negotiated a bi-lateral investment protection agreement with the Czech Republic. I then went to Zagreb. Croatia will be in the Security Council from next year and it’s a country that we have had very little contact in the past. I was using my personal contacts I made when I was in New York to create the linkages that we will find useful in the future.

From there I went to Slovenia who will occupy the Presidency of the EU from January. Again, this is a country that does not have an accredited ambassador to Sri Lanka. It was considered important to develop these connections. On the way back I stopped in London almost for less than a day because I had a dinner arrangement with a number of people including members of the House of Lords. I also had a meeting with Baroness Green Grass of Nottingham in the House of Lords who is a great friend of Sri Lanka.

Q: You have assumed duties as the Foreign Secretary early this year. What have you done so far to improve the Foreign Service?

A: As part of the policy of the Sri Lanka government, we have given certain guide lines to Foreign Office staff. The Foreign Service has goals to achieve. Those goals consist of the objectives of the Government. The Foreign Service is no longer considered to be traditional in its approach. Today the Foreign Office is required first and foremost to counter the threats to Sri Lanka from various elements including the LTTE.

The LTTE who are branded as a terrorist organization by most of the democracies in the world will be dealt by the Foreign Service as such. We will not keep a low profile. We will counter the LTTE, as a terrorist organisation in our foreign missions and this is a clear instruction that has gone to all our missions abroad.

We will join the world in the world’s efforts to counter terrorism.
As you know since 9/11 the United States is now actively opposed to terrorism. Terrorism is no longer accepted as a legitimate means of political expression. We will join that approach. It is a part of us.

In addition, to emphasise our efforts to counter the LTTE overseas through the Foreign Service, particularly its propaganda machine, we will emphasise the need to advance Sri Lanka’s commercial and economic interests. The Foreign Service will be used as an effective tool in advancing the commercial and economic interests of the country. We will try to develop new markets. We will try to expand our exports. We will create new opportunities for us overseas.

The Foreign Service will be also active in advancing Sri Lanka’s tourism and will use the Foreign Service as a tool to attract more tourists. Basically,to create a certain comfort level in the minds of potential tourists. We are very much concerned about, attracting foreign investments to Sri Lanka. The Foreign Service has been empowered.

4 civilians kills :LTTE leader marks his birthday

At least four civilians were killed by a group suspected to be LTTE in Maha Willachchiya, a boarder village in Anuradhapura district as LTTE supremo marks his 53rd birthday today.

"Bullets ridden bodies, including a female were found at around 08.45am,all were farmers according to villagers",a senior military official said.

Army has started cordon and search operation in the area and hundreds of heavily armed soldiers seen in the area, residents said.

According to Military sources, the innocent civilians killed were identified as;

Herath Mudiyanselage Ekanayake (Male)

Rajapaksha Mudiyanselage Punchibanda (Male)

Ellage Hemapala (Male)

P.S. Leelawathi Podi Manike (Female)

"Ellage Hemapala and Leelawathi Podi Manike were husband and wife, who were also traditional farmers like the others killed today (26)", Mahawilachchiya Police said.

Similarly 05 civilians were killed in two different incidents in Ranminithenna,a boarder village near Yala National Park early this month.

Security forces have arrested at least 08 persons regarding those incidents and all are Sinhalese, police sources said.

Sri Lanka Bombs Rebel Bases Before Leader's Address

Sri Lanka attacked command posts of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam before today's annual policy speech by the rebel leader on a year of fighting that saw the group driven from the east and the death of its political chief.

The air force raided two ``high profile'' LTTE hideouts in the north yesterday, one of them near the rebel headquarters at Kilinochchi, the Defense Ministry said. Jets bombed two ``densely populated'' areas, injuring one civilian, TamilNet reported on its Web site.

Velupillai Prabhakaran, the LTTE leader, is scheduled to give his annual statement later today. The death of S.P. Thamilchelvan, the head of the political wing, in a Nov. 2 air raid increased the group's resolve to achieve a separate homeland, he said at the time.

The Tamil Tigers, designated a terrorist group by the U.S., the European Union and India, are holding areas of northern Sri Lanka after the army won control of Eastern Province in July. The group has been fighting for 24 years in a conflict that has resulted in more than 70,000 deaths.

The military has increased operations against the Tamil Tigers in the north since July, attacking bases of the rebel naval unit known as the Sea Tigers.

Leaders Targeted

``We are after'' Prabhakaran, Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said in an interview with Agence France-Presse in the capital, Colombo, yesterday. ``We are specifically targeting their leadership.''

Tamil Tiger leaders are being restricted in their movements from their jungle bases, he said.

``The killing of Thamilchelvan sent a very powerful message,'' the defense secretary said. ``They know we have good intelligence on their movements.''

The LTTE has to be defeated militarily, he added. ``Then a political solution becomes possible.''

Air force jets two days ago raided a satellite communications center near Kilinochchi, reducing the rebels' intelligence gathering capability, the Defense Ministry said.

Four civilians were killed when bombs hit a settlement, TamilNet reported on its Web site Nov. 25. Yesterday's air raid damaged 13 houses in Jayanthinakar, a suburb of Kilinochchi, and in Puthukkudiyiruppu, it said.

Rebels killed four villagers in an attack at Mahawilachchiya in the north yesterday, the Defense Ministry said on its Web site. Seven people were injured, five of them children, when rebel artillery shells hit a school near Mannar in the northwest, it said.

Indian Navy

The LTTE has changed its arms smuggling operations after India's navy increased patrols off the coast of the southern state of Tamil Nadu that lies about a two-hour boat ride across the waters from Sri Lanka, India's state-run broadcaster Doordarshan reported.

The group is moving its operations to Kerala on India's southwestern coast, Doordarshan cited Vice Admiral Sunil Damle, who heads India's Southern Naval Command, as saying yesterday.

Navy patrols that began earlier this year have made Tamil Nadu's coast virtually impenetrable, Damle said.

An estimated 60,000 Sri Lankans live in camps in Tamil Nadu after fleeing fighting.

Political Settlement

Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapaksa, in his budget speech to Parliament Nov. 7, vowed to ``eradicate'' terrorism from the South Asian island.

The Tamil Tigers have ``demonstrated that they will never be ready to surrender arms and agree to a democratic political settlement,'' he said.

Rajapaksa's government rejects any peace proposal that envisages the division of the country while saying it is prepared to devolve some power to the regions.

Fighting between the army and the LTTE intensified last year as two attempts at peace talks in Geneva failed. The LTTE has an estimated 12,000 fighters and 4,000 Sea Tigers.

Tamils made up 11.9 percent of Sri Lanka's 20 million people in 2001, the government's Census and Statistics Department said. Sinhalese made up almost 74 percent of the population.

Prabhakaran Birthday

Sri Lanka's government has marked the birthday of Tamil Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran, seen here, with a vow to kill him

Sri Lanka vows to kill Tamil Tiger leader

Sri Lanka's government has marked the birthday of Tamil Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran with a vow to kill him.

The island's powerful defence secretary, Gotabhaya Rajapakse, said Colombo now had the upper hand in the long-running conflict, with the elusive guerrilla chief limited in both his movements and ability to score strategic victories.

Earlier this month the political head of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), S.P. Thamilselvan, was killed in what the government said was a precision air strike on the north and not a mere lucky hit.

"The killing of Thamilselvan sent a very powerful message: they know we have good intelligence on their movements," Rajapakse told AFP in an interview Monday at the heavily-fortified defence ministry in Colombo.

Monday was also the day the LTTE chief marked his 53rd birthday, and Rajapakse said that if all goes to plan it will be his last.

"We are after him. We are specifically targeting their leadership," he said.

"For the last few months he (Prabhakaran) has been even more restricted in his movements. We want to keep them under pressure. We are gathering intelligence, information."

The threat came as Prabhakaran was set to give his annual speech from a jungle hideout in his northern mini-state marking the end of "heroes' week", commemorating around 20,000 Tamils who have died fighting for a separate homeland.

Prabhakaran's speech, due to be broadcast later Tuesday, will come at the end of a year of several setbacks for the LTTE.

Government forces regained full control over the east of the island in July, and have also managed to sink what the government says is the bulk of the rebels' fabled fleet of gun-running ships.

The outspoken defence secretary, who is also the brother of the island's president, insisted that the tide of the 35-year-old conflict -- Asia's longest-running civil war -- was finally turning in the government's favour.

He also signalled that the year ahead would see a renewed escalation of the conflict, finally closing a chapter of "phoney war' that began with a 2002 Norwegian-brokered ceasefire and its progressive collapse.

"Our objective is to weaken them. We have to defeat them militarily, we have to control Wanni," he said of the LTTE's northern stronghold.

"It is possible. We just have to squeeze them. Then a political solution becomes possible," the defence secretary said, repeating his view that the Tamil Tigers only used a truce to smuggle in more arms and can therefore only be bombed into peace.

Prabhakaran, in his speech Tuesday, is also expected to cast aside any talk of diplomacy and issue a rallying call to his thousands of hardened guerrillas.

The LTTE supremo, renowned for his ability to bring out the suicidal tendencies in his followers, has also managed to withstand successive government offensives in the past.

And over the past year, he has unleashed new weapons -- namely light aircraft sent on nocturnal missions to strike as far south as the capital and damage Sri Lanka's economy in the process.

"Black Tiger" suicide squads have also been active.

Still, Rajapakse brushed aside the significance of such rebel attacks.

"In the end it's just symbolic. it affects morale, but strategically it makes no difference," said the defence secretary, who narrowly survived a suicide bomber sent by Prabhakaran last year.

"In the end, what have they gained during the last 20 to 30 years? Just destroyed property and destroyed lives."