Let the Left Rest in Peace…

Left Rest…At least for the time being. It is now time to lick wounds of the polls, if you want, in private. After every battle, there is a rest. A rest to fight another war – may be to gain or lose again. Don’t worry dear comrades in Kerala and West Bengal. This is a shock treatment the electorate awaited long to administer to you…for the wrongs you have committed, for the wicked people you have sheltered, for giving up the very ideologies that brought you to existence, and, of course, forgetting the proletariat.

When you called the church a den of thieves, did you ever take a look behind you to see the bandits, goons, thugs and mafia your camp is embellished with? Open your eyes to see the Pinarayis…they are the enemies you have been looking for…they are the foes you have to fight the battle against…they are the ones who divide us and leave us in the dark…If you don’t wake up and discover the enemies within and the evils that you nurture with your blood and sweat, woes unto you.

They say you make a very good opposition. You can be a very creative opposition making very healthy criticism of the rulers. Your words and actions will check and balance the system. You may blow the whistle when something goes awry or astray. You be the umpires that ensure the game fine and fair.

For the next time, people may not have another dose of the medicine they dispensed now. They might administer a panacea once and for all. They might literally boot you guys out…and pull down all your traditional citadels you hold on to. Beware!

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LTTE Prabhakaran – A Hero Then, A Terrorist Now

LTTEI still remember the picture my friend of Pre-Degree had in his instrument box back in the late 1980s. It was none other than Velupillai Prabhakaran’s. The LTTE supremo was then in his tiger-striped, camouflaging military attire. My friend adored him as his hero. While some others had their note books bound with pages of ‘Frontline’ magazine that had colourful pictures of LTTE’s operations in Sri Lanka. Interesting pictures of machine guns, magazines and other military gears. During my occasional trips to the neighboring Tamil Nadu, I noticed in shops and walls, along with MGR’s smiling faces, the blown up faces of Prabhakaran on nicely printed posters.

Yesterday, as was going through reports of his death, I was a bit annoyed by the description most of the media gave to him – ‘terrorist’. I thought it was a convenient truth. How come a hero of the past has suddenly turned an anathema to these people of high morals? Not that I was feeling for him or his ruthless operations. Nor was it that I couldn’t see the tears of a marginalized minority Tamils in Sri Lanka. I couldn’t just obliterate the facts I was convinced of.

In the early 1980s, when Indira Gandhi was India’s prime minister, a special dispensation was granted by her to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The militant outfit’s chief was then permitted to set up a clandestine transmission station to network with his people hiding in the northern jungles of Sri Lanka. Installation cost was entirely borne by the government of India!

For many years, both Congress Governments at the Centre and state governments in Tamil Nadu have strategically played roles in arming, financing and providing military training to the LTTE. Central governments have supplied rifles, pistols, rocket propelled grenades, rocket launchers and rockets to the militant groups. Other Tamil militant groups that were benefited by India’s support include the Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation (TELO), the People’s Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam (PLOT), the Eelam People’s Revolutionary Liberation Front (EPRLF), the Eelam Revolutionary Organisation (EROS) and the Eelam National Democratic Liberation Front (ENDLF), many of whom were finished off in fratricidal clashes by Prabhakaran’s one-upmanship.

The ‘Jain Report – Buried Facts’ (Vol.1), a 36-page booklet published by the Thinkers’ Forum in Chennai, documents the generous help given to the LTTE and other groups by Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and M.G. Ramachandran (MGR).

In 1983, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi acted on the belief that an armed struggle by Sri Lankan Tamils – perceptibly backed by India – would bring the Sri Lankan Government to the negotiating table. By late 1983, the training of TELO, EPRLF, PLOT and EROS cadres had begun at Chakrata (near Dehra Dun) in Uttar Pradesh. LTTE cadres were trained later in Karnataka (Bangalore cantonment) and Uttar Pradesh (Frontline, January 17, 1992).

The trained cadres of all groups, including the LTTE, set up 30 camps in Tamil Nadu. Chief Minister MGR of the AIADMK never raised objections as camps came up. The chief minister was known particularly to patronise the LTTE over other groups. Prabakaran had easy access to MGR, who often donated large amounts of money to the LTTE.

As quoted in the ‘Jain Report – Buried Facts’, K. Mohandas, the former Director-General of Police (Intelligence), Tamil Nadu, says in his book, MGR: The Man and the Myth (p.77): “…each training camp was a mini-Union Territory completely controlled by Central agencies, into which the State intelligence or the State police had no entry. It was almost a take-over of chunks of Tamil Nadu territory by the Centre, but MGR was unmoved.” (Frontline Dec.12, 1997)

In October 1984, after becoming Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi put an end to all militant training on Indian soil. Arms and ammunition supplies also stopped. However, once the Sri Lankan Army launched “Operation Liberation” in the Vadamarachchi region of the Jaffa peninsula in May 1987, the practices were revived.

Indian Government with Rajiv Gandhi at the helm arranged to renew the supply of arms and ammunition to the LTTE and its ally, EROS. Their cadres were brought to India for military training. In the camp near Dehra Dun, they were also taught to fire surface-to-air missiles. Some EROS cadres were taught how to lay sea mines. They, in turn, taught these skills to the LTTE cadres.

Lt. Gen. Depinder Singh, the Overall Force Commander of Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF), corroborates these facts. Depinder Singh writes in his book, ‘The IPKF in Sri Lanka’: “In one of his many informal chats with me later on, Prabakaran was to confide that they received massive doses of financial and military assistance from India and were provided training facilities in Tamil Nadu. Interestingly, during 1983 and 1984, the Intelligence Bureau and the Research and Analysis Wing (the two Indian intelligence agencies) got directly involved in training the militant Tamil groups and providing assistance to them.”(pp.17-18 quoted in Jain Report – Buried Facts)

While the LTTE was still at war with the IPKF, Jayalalitha called a press conference in Chennai on March 21, 1988 to demand that “India should immediately halt its military operations against the LTTE.” She had also warned that there would be an adverse reaction in Tamil Nadu if the IPKF harmed Prabakaran deliberately or accidentally. (The LTTE chief was allegedly captured by the IPKF a few time, but was let free due to the pressure from top echelons)

Jayalalitha changed tack three years later. In an interview published in ‘The Hindu’ on April 21, 1991, she said: “I think that there will be nothing wrong if India thought of a military option (in Sri Lanka) as Indira Gandhi did in the case of Bangladesh.”

Now, nobody knows the LTTE. Nobody owns the LTTE. It is a corpse left on the vast swaths of the island nation. Will it still rise from the dead? That also nobody knows for certain!

PS: By the way, was the announcement of Prabhakaran’s death deliberately delayed? See the timing, after the May16 release of general elections results in India. Had the killing of LTTE chief known to the voters of Tamil Nadu before the polls, would the Congress have won this many seats with the DMK, whom they once called the conspirators of Rajiv Gandhi assassination?

President Mahinda Rajapakse announced a ceasefire a couple of weeks ago when the army was about to ravage the last bastion of LTTE and capture its supremo, and then he declared the defeat of LTTE. Is Prabhakaran really dead?