23 June, 2024

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Inspirations: Hero Figures And Hitler In Young Pirapāharan’s Thinking

By Michael Roberts – 

Professor Michael Roberts

In line with my long-standing interest in currents of nationalist thought, the origins of Sri Lankan Tamil nationalism has always been a topic of interest and has led to a number of interventions on my part, invariably written within the shortcomings of a person who cannot speak or read Tamil.[i] An overview can be found in “The Tamil Movement for Eelam” which appeared first by invitation in the online journal E-Bulletin of the International Sociological Association, but has since been printed in Fire and Storm. Essays in Sri Lankan Politics. However, readers should also consult other works, especially the books by Nira Wickremasinghe, Lakshmanan Sabaratnam, Neil de Votta, Gerald Peiris and KM de Silva, besides Narayan Swamy’s three books on the Tigers of Lanka, Inside an Elusive Mind and The Tiger Vanquished (see the bibliography below). There is, needless to say, a burgeoning literature on this topic which continues to generate additional fare.

There is little doubt that Velupillai Pirapāharan (1954-2009) was a central force in raising the LTTE into a redoubtable fighting force and in setting up the de facto Tamil state of Thamilīlam (1990-2009).

Since the causal factors and processes for the rise of Tamil nationalism and its militancy are many and complex, social science as a discipline struggles to work out how to attach weightages to the many factors that have come into play, especially when one attends to temporality within this historical process.

Since the Tamil militant organisations in general displaced the parliamentary arms of Sri Lankan Tamil nationalism from the early 1980s in pressing the struggle for a separate state, a study of the processes spawning militancy and armed struggle assumes primacy. This in turn calls for a greater focus on the LTTE and its inspirations and thinking.

There is little doubt that Velupillai Pirapāharan (1954-2009) was a central force in raising the LTTE into a redoubtable fighting force and in setting up the de facto Tamil state of Thamilīlam (1990-2009). One can also say that he was venerated to the point of deification[ii] both within the regions of Thamilīlam and among the Tamil migrant networks in various parts of the world. It is likely that this veneration remains strong today in certain quarters of the migrant circuit, though the available evidence suggests considerable disenchantment among the Tamil peoples within Sri Lanka, especially those forced through the furnace of war in 2008-09 – a war that failed disastrously.

Given Pirapāharan’s centrality, therefore, the factors that moved him to join the radical youth cells that were emerging in the north and east of Sri Lanka in the late 1960s and 1970s assume significance. Speaking on a priori grounds, one could say that the processes that generated Tamil militancy also served to move him in this direction. But what more can one say in embellishing this tale with particular reference to young Pirapāharan?

Tamil militants in the 1960s were especially influenced by the fiery rhetoric of V. Nāvaratnam, who set up the “Self-Rule Forum” and popularized a comparison of the Tamil people with the story of the Jews by deploying a translation of Leon Uris’s book The Exodus.[iii] Grapevine information indicates that as a schoolboy Pirapāharan was also influenced by one of his early teachers, one Venugopal;[iv] and that at some point in the early 1970s he was mentored by A. Rājaratnam (best known as the father of Thenmoli Rājaratnam, alias Dhanu).

Rājaratnam had been one of the core group in the mushroom organisation known as “Pulip Padai” (Army of Tigers) that had been founded (in Colombo?) in 1961, a body that went to the extent of making “a pilgrimage to Thirukoneswaram temple in Trincomalee, one of the three ancient Hindu shrines in Sri Lanka, to take the oath of allegiance to the new organization.” Here, “they took a bath in the holy waters of theerthakarai, attended the morning pooja at the temple in the wet clothes, received the kalanchi from the priest, walked to Swami Rock, stood facing the rising sun, threw the contents of the kalanchi into the sea as offering and took the collective oath to sacrifice themselves to fight for the freedom of their homeland. They vowed: ‘We dedicate ourselves to redeem the dignity of the Tamil people and liberate our homeland from Sinhala subjugation’.”[v]

While the Pulip Padai faded away, Rājaratnam was subsequently associated with a youth group within the Federal Party, namely, the Thamil Mānavar Peravai (Tamil Student Assembly).[vi] It was during the fervent discussions among such radical networks that young Pirapāharan met Rājaratnam and was persuaded to take the Cola symbol of a crouching tiger as the symbol for the flag that was eventually designed for the Tamil New Tigers in 1972/73 (and eventually for the LTTE).[vii] However, we must also allow for the possibility that both Pirapāharan and Rājaratnam were drawn to this symbolism by the example presented by Subhas Chandra Bose who composed a flag for his Indian Legion in Germany which took the Indian National Congress flag with its tricolours of green, white and saffron as background, but replaced the spinning-wheel with the figure of a leaping tiger (Borra 1982).

It was during the fervent discussions among such radical networks that young Pirapāharan met Rājaratnam and was persuaded to take the Cola symbol of a crouching tiger as the symbol for the flag

Pirapāharan had been drawn into the radical circles that were emerging in the Jaffna Peninsula at a very early age as a 14-15 year old: it is known that he attended meetings of the shadowy Tamil Liberation Organisation in 1969 and thereabouts. The TLO was directed by Thangadurai (aka Nadarajah Thangavelu), Kuttimani (aka Selvarājah Yogachandran) and Varadharāja Perumal; and Pirapaharan seems to have attended some clandestine meetings in the company of his older Karaiyar friends from VVT, Periya (Big) Sothi and Sinna (Small) Sothi (Sabaratnam 2009).

Within this broad analysis the ideological inspirations that inspired young Pirapāharan assume centrality. There is little doubt that he was a man of action from his early days. But those who knew him aver that (a) he was a voracious reader and that he was enthused by “Tamil historical novels which romanticised the valour of Tamil kings and warriors;”[viii] (b) as well as histories detailing the growth of British power in India and the tales of Indian nationalist struggles;[ix] that (b) he would “talk about Israel, and how the Jews were able to establish a powerful country” (Rāgavan 2009b.); that (c) he asked friends who were bi-lingual to summarize selected English works for his benefit; that (c) he had a remarkable memory; that (d) he was “a meticulous planner, efficient organiser and a perfectionist;”[x] and that (e) he was security conscious and adhered to the VVT smugglers’ practice of destroying all photographs of himself at this point in his career.[xi]

This means that the literature that attracted young Pirapāharan becomes data for our analysis, though one must also supplement this process with attention to the power exerted by the film world because of the popularity of Tamil films produced in India among the Sri Lankan peoples. One of his early fighter colleagues, Rāgavan, has indicated (in Kadirgamar 2009) that Pirapāharan liked cowboy and modern war films – a note that is in line with the admiration he expressed at one point in the 1980s for Clint Eastwood (in the latter’s roles as a tough cowboy).[xii]

The Tamil film world also led Pirapāharan to Vīrapandiya Kattabommān, the resistance fighter of early colonial times. Kattabommān was a local chieftain and marauder in Tirunelveli District in the Madras Presidency who fell foul of British power. He was caught and executed in 1799. Within a short time a rich and variegated medley of folk stories retailed in southern India through oral transmission as well as palm-leaf manuscript depicted him as an outstanding man. In the 1940s, some budding Tamil nationalists homogenised these tales into a version which depicted him as an Indian and Tamil freedom fighter who opposed British colonialism. This reading guided a movie that appeared in 1959 with Sivāji (Shivāji) Ganēshan in the lead role.[xiii] This film is widely available in multi-media forms and Kattabommān is a household name among the Tamil peoples of India (Ramaswamy 1994: 311-13).

There is little doubt that he was a man of action from his early days.

It was probably no accident that this development was initiated in the period embracing the 1930s to 1950s. Indian anti-colonialism was burgeoning at that time. One activist who was antipathetic to Gandhi’s emphasis on non-violent resistance was Subhas Chandra Bose. Though placed under house arrest when World War II broke out, he slipped out of India on an Italian passport and with the aid of revolutionary networks reached Berlin in March 1941 after an arduous land journey. Bose then proceeded to campaign for a “free India government in Europe;” while assisting the Nazi state in organising Indian regiments recruited among Indian POWs and the few Indian youth residing in Germany (Borra 1982). Eventually, however, the Nazi German regime persuaded Bose that it would be more strategic for him to organise an Indian force in Southeast Asia in cooperation with the Japanese; and he was transported by submarine to this theatre in early 1943.

The Indian National Army (INA) had already been set up among captured Indian troops by the Japanese in Southeast Asia;[xiv] and Bose was quickly made its leader. Bose generated great enthusiasm among the Indian communities in Singapore, Malaya, Rangoon and Bangkok with his stirring rhetoric. His statements indicate that he considered the Japanese-INA thrust into north-eastern India (viz., the Imphal Campaign) to be a precursor for a civil disobedience movement within India that would metamorphose into an armed struggle. This grandiose vision insisted that “all organizations whether inside India or outside [would then have to] transform themselves into a disciplined fighting organization under one leadership” (quoted in Borra 1982). He formed the Provisional Government of Azad Hind (Free India) in October 1943 towards this ultimate end. A speech he delivered at Tokyo University in late 1944 indicated that in his view India required a political system of “an authoritarian character,” so that the fusion of socialism and fascism that he often advocated clearly had a right-wing cast (Montgomery 1994).

The failure of the Imphal Campaign and the collapse of the Japanese war effort destroyed all these utopian expectations, while Bose himself died in a plane crash in Formosa in 1945. However, Subhas Chandra Bose’s hero status amongst some Indian radicals is indicated by the fact that a few (including Borra) have refused to believe that he died in this manner (replicating the story of Pirapaharan). More to point, this story highlights the probability that Bose’s emphasis on disciplined armed struggle was among the currents of thought that was disseminated among radical circles in India — especially in Bengal, Maharashtra and Taminandu. The soldiers of the INA who returned to India as POWS and the networks linked to the Indian communities of Southeast Asia would have been among the circuits that retailed his message.

In any event the high-profile court martial cases of Indian troops charged by the British with desertion to the Japanese and INA aided in the dissemination of Bose’s lines of revolutionary nationalist thinking.[xv] One active Congress politician who needed little persuasion on this count was the Muthuramalingam Thevar (1908-63) from the Maravar caste community in the south. During the internal faction disputes in the Indian National Congress in 1938-39 Thevar had been part of Bose’s Forward Bloc; and he spent much of the war years in jail or under some travel restriction. He returned to labour and radical politics in the post-war era, being elected to the Lok Sabha in 1952, but resigning in order to concentrate on activity within the Madras Legislative Assembly.[xvi] Such details therefore point to a lacuna that requires filling: what were the currents of thought propagated by Bose that remained vibrant in the Tamil political streams and to what degree did these ideas extol the virtues of Hitler and Nazi Germany?

Sri Lankan Tamil activists were encouraged to look towards Mein Kampf and Hitler as pertinent for their struggles.

Note, too, that Mein Kampf had been translated into Tamil in 1944 (Nicholls 2000), indicating an interest in Nazi Germany’s rejuvenation under Hitler. It is possibly through Muthuramalingam Thevar and such fringe political figures as Janardhanan in Tamilnadu[xvii] that the Sri Lankan Tamil activists were encouraged to look towards Mein Kampf and Hitler as pertinent for their struggles. Janardhanan, significantly, had an avid interest in the political situation in Sri Lanka and was among those who assisted the 18-year old Pirapāharan to find lodgings in Koddambakan when he was in exile in Tamilnadu in 1972 (Narayan Swamy 1994: 54, 96).

As significant is the fact that Bose had adopted the title “Netaji,” meaning “Führer,” when he was in Germany and insisted that the Indian regiments set up by the Wehrmacht should be trained in the strictest military discipline (Borra 1982; Montgomery 1994). It is therefore feasible that Pirapāharan’s attentiveness to Hitler and German disciplinary codes (see below) sprang from his reading of Bose’s career[xviii] rather than the influence of Tamil political currents.

It is within this regional Indian backdrop that one must take note of young Pirapāharan’s attested respect for Bhagat Singh, Bose, Venchināthan and Kattabommān.[xix] Clearly, those who had resisted the British violently in pursuit of independence spurred his violent pursuit of independence for the Sri Lankan Tamils. There were other inspirations as well. Napoleon Bonaparte was one (Narayan Swamy 2003: 24) – presumably admired for his generalship and military exploits.

Che Guevara was another.[xx] During his sojourn in India in the early 1980s he spoke highly of the Latin American revolutionary and the Cuban struggle and even posed for the camera with a beret in the late 1980s (Tekwani 2009). There is reason to suspect that this presentation of self was a propaganda device inspired by Anton Balasingham and meant to cultivate Indian media personnel and the Left radical world in general. Since Pirapāharan sought out a translation of Che Guevara’s writings in 1978/79 (Narayan Swamy 1994: 79-80), we know that this inspiration was significant at that stage. Someone must now investigate whether the enthusiasm for the contemporary Marxist and Naxalite struggles in various parts of the world was part of his thinking in 1968/69 and early 1970s.

In sum, our preliminary findings indicate that young Pirapāharan was inspired by such hero figures as Kattabommān, Bhagat Singh, Bose, Napoleon and Guevara in the period extending from 1969 to the early 1980s. Most of these names have been cited by Narayan Swamy, a premier biographer of the Tamil Tiger movement. But Narayan Swamy missed one inspirational force: Adolf Hitler and his Mein Kampf. We must be thankful, therefore, to two of Pirapāharan’s early colleagues-in-arms, Ganēshan Iyer and Rāgavan, for indicating that Pirapāharan had a copy of Mein Kampf in his possession and that he admired Hitler.

Presenting empirical evidence of Pirapāharan‘s interest in Hitler raises problems. It arouses the ire of Tamils and others[xxi] partial to the Tiger cause who immediately charge you with malicious intentions directed towards a disparagement of the Tiger leader by associating him with a modern-ogre, Adolph Hitler of racist notoriety. Their defensive responses must be treated as just that: an ulcer within their own psyche. Such sensitivity is misplaced. There is a genuine intellectual issue here arising from the first-hand evidence provided by our two sources, Iyer and Rāgavan.

The Meaning of Hitler for Young Pirapāharan   

Three inter-related questions summarize this issue: (A) what did the figure of Hitler as hero connote for young Pirapāharan? (B) what did he extract from Mein Kampf? and (C) what aspects of the history of Nazi Germany and its rise to power in the 1930s captivated him?

Che Guevara was another.During his sojourn in India in the early 1980s he spoke highly of the Latin American revolutionary and the Cuban struggle and even posed for the camera with a beret in the late 1980s

Let us move first to the evidence in the words of Pirapāharan’s companions from the 1970s. Rāgavan has this to say (in Kadirgamar 2009):

Thangathurai [from the TLO and TELO groups] was pro-US and pro-Israel. Prabhakaran was also of the same mindset but he was also, strangely, inspired by Hitler. He had with him a copy of ‘Mein Kampf’. He also was inspired by Bhagat Singh and Subash Chandra Bose. It was a strange combination. On the one hand, I think he had ideas about Jewishness, the state and the formation of Israel. On the other hand, the idea of eliminating the “other” came from Hitler. There was a connection in his mind.

Ganeshan Iyer (2012) writes thus:

Above all, Prabhakaran, governed by the discipline and victories of Hitler’s army, is trying to enforce the German army’s practices in to the training of the Thamil Eelam Tigers. He says it is because it was disciplined and firm [that] Hitler’s army has made victories its own. The order was given that as the first part of the army training all being trained should salute as is done in Hitler’s army. Prabhakaran who held in esteem the discipline and firmness of Hitler’s army, wanted the Thamil Eelam Tigers’ army to be its representative. I too did not reject it. … [There was a fierce internal debate as to whether we should adopt the Nazi salute]. In the end, as put forward by Prabakaran, Hitler’s ways were accepted and put in practice.

Taken in conjunction with Pirapāharan’s alleged interest in the military manual drafted by Clausewitz, Iyer’s testimony confirms Pirapāharan’s pragmatic orientation. Hitler, for him, meant German military capacity and the advantages of discipline in army and society, with the army serving as pathfinder for society.

A corrective caveat is required here. Pirapāharan seems to have fallen into the common-sense error of assuming that the rejuvenation of Germany from a downtrodden position after the defeat in World War I and the humiliations imposed at Versailles was largely due to Hitler and the Nazi regime. Such a conclusion is only a partial truth at best. Germany’s rapid recovery in the 1930s was made possible by the educational and institutional foundations of German society as it had evolved from the nineteenth century. More specifically, we should take note of a verdict conveyed by Helmut Kuzmics from the University of Graz (email dated 1 February 2012):

The efficiency of the Prussian army and its tradition … can be traced back to the wars against Austria and France 1866 and 1870/71. The German army was probably, as Van Creveld in his work, and Ferguson in The Pity of War, maintain, the most efficient army not only in the First, but also the Second World War. Its success had more to do with the superiority of logistics and technical skills, also the greater degree of autonomy of the middle ranks of the officer corps, than with soldierly discipline in troop-parades or greeting-habits. It was, paradoxically, less bureaucratic than the armies of the US or the British, and provided more freedom of manoeuver for the ordinary soldier by giving orders that formulated clear goals but left the choice of path to achieve them to the lower ranks. … the spirit of the Wehrmacht was the product rather of history than of the Nazis.

Pirapāharan, says Rāgavan, “felt very strongly that the Tamil cause needed to be united behind one single organisation” and was attracted to “Adolph Hitler’s authoritarianism.”

Indeed, as Mango (nom de plume) remarked, “most Western militaries now follow German doctrine on joint operations, mobile operations [and] mission tactics;” while the army which [has] followed the Wehrmacht’s tactical doctrine most closely [in recent times] has been the Israel Defence Force!” (email to Roberts, 1 February 2012). The latter irony has recently been compounded: an experienced officer corps and flexible ground-up operational planning was a critical factor in the Sri Lanka Army’s capacity to defeat the LTTE in the course of Eelam War IV from 2006-09 (Tammita-Delgoda 2009).

Within this broader perspective on the factors that promoted Germany’s rejuvenation under the Nazi regime, one can insert some recognition of Hitler’s place in the scheme of things. David Blacker has recently injected a perceptive point:

What Hitler did bring to the sandbox, however, were the concepts of ideological indoctrination of the military and the political soldier. The latter, in the form of the Waffen-SS, was both the spearhead of the German offensives and the rearguard in its retreat. It was this ideological indoctrination that created a type of soldier who fought on when all military sense told one to give up. It was this that VP admired, and which he tried to incorporate into his Black Tigers; some might say successfully (his emphasis).[xxii]

Kuzmics modifies this idea in yet supporting it: the Waffen were, indeed, as brutal and suicidal and were “particularly motivated and ideologically committed to the cause of National Socialism;” but their units were mostly constituted in the latter stages of the war (email dated 6 February 2012).

Such suicidal commitment encouraged the practices of Armageddon, such as attempts to hold unto untenable ground. The final apotheosis of this commitment, of course, was when Hitler and a few Nazi leaders swallowed cyanide in their beleaguered bunker in Berlin in 1945. It is this emphasis on total suicidal commitment and dedicated discipline that Pirapāharan seems to have extracted from Mein Kampf and the tale of Nazi Germany.

Logically, one would also anticipate Pirapāharan was attracted by Hitler’s autocratic disposition and his unquestioned position as supremo. This is confirmed in a whole series of recollections provided by Rāgavan. Pirapāharan, says Rāgavan (2009b), “felt very strongly that the Tamil cause needed to be united behind one single organisation” and was attracted to “Adolph Hitler’s authoritarianism.”

When the major internal row peaked in 1979/80 his opponents complained that he was “being a dictator,” while also alleging that he had been responsible for killing two members of their own organisation.[xxiii] The reference here is to Patkunarajah and Michael (from Batticaloa). Though Sabaratnam claims the execution was a Central Committee decision, Iyer’s recent writings contradict this claim. Michael was deemed unreliable and a “security threat” by Pirapāharan, who consulted Iyer and Kumaraselvam before proceeding to execute him at an isolated spot. Patkunarajah was executed when other Tigers were present after Pirapāharan had consulted’ the Central Committee members individually and received their assent.[xxiv] Patkunarajah had shown dissent on several occasions and it would seem that his outspoken character prompted Pirapaharan’s antipathy.

In any event it was about this period that Pirapaharan “would not agree to anything but a one-man leadership;” and promptly resigned from the LTTE (Rāgavan 2009b). He subsequently recouped his position around 1981 when the arrest of the TELO leaders by the government and other developments led to the re-composition of the LTTE, while Uma Maheswaran’s broke off and set up of the rival militant group, PLOTE. It is against this background that one must interpret a previous quotation from Rāgavan: “the idea of eliminating the ‘other’ came from Hitler.” In my interpretation, “eliminating the other” does not point to the elimination of Sinhalese or any specific racist dimension. Rather, it reveals Pirapāharan’s inclination to eliminate anyone in his circle who posed a challenge to his authority, a tendency which then extended to most of the other forces in the Sri Lankan Tamil world who were competing with the LTTE to lead the Tamil people (Bavinck 2011; Hoole 2001; Rāgavan 2009b). Guided by conversations with Arun Ambalavanar I conjecture that this inclination had been nourished by his upbringing in smuggling Karaiyar circles in VVT, a terrain where secretiveness and coteries were vital ingredients for survival.

In any event it was about this period that Pirapaharan “would not agree to anything but a one-man leadership;” and promptly resigned from the LTTE

This disposition and the pragmatic logic which directed Pirapāharan to pursue this course are revealed in the details regarding the split within the LTTE that occurred in 1979/80 that have been presented by the journalist Sabāratnam, writing in ways that indicate veneration of the Tami leader.[xxv] The dispute within the Central Committee seems to have centred upon a personality clash between Uma Maheswaran and Pirapāharan, precipitated by Maheswaran’s violation of the ascetic sexual code adopted by Tiger personnel through his sexual liaison with their first female cadre, Kandiah Urmila Devi. The internal dispute was so serious that the London branch of the LTTE sent Anton Rajah and the two Balasinghams to Chennai to resolve the disagreement. They failed.

The dispute flared up again in 1980 at a Central Committee meeting at Vavuniya. When Iyer, Nagarajah and Para from the Maheswaran camp proposed that the LTTE should be converted into a mass organisation, Pirapāharan hit the roof and resigned from the LTTE. When he regained control of a re-assembled LTTE rump he brought to the organisation certain conclusions that he had spelt out during the rift. These had been presented in his dialogue with Anton Balasingham and seem to have been recovered by the journalist Sabaratnam (2003, chap. 21). These are said to be Pirapāharan’s words:

The Sri Lankan state is the oppressor. The state is in the hands of Sinhala chauvinists. Sri Lankan state is using its armed organs, the police and the armed forces, as its tools of oppression. Thus, the police and the armed forces are the immediate enemies of the Tamil people. They are … reducing the Tamil people to subservience. The Tamils should be made to realize that the police and the armed forces are their enemies. … The Tamil people should be mobilized to enter the armed struggle. Doing that through educational campaigns and propaganda would be time-consuming and wasteful. Get the police and the army to do that work for the Tamils. Hit hard at the police and the armed forces. They would attack the people. That will make the people patriotic. People would flock to the militants seeking protection. … Maintaining people’s trust is important and difficult. Discipline is the crux of the whole thing. Protectors should not be immoral. Then the entire resistance movement will crumble (emphasis mine).

What this viewpoint (especially the highlighted phrases) demonstrates is Pirapāharan’s acute strategic capacity. Internal debate would only encourage factionalism. Seeking mass support called for time-consuming effort and was not required because pinprick guerrilla attacks would stimulate the Sri Lankan state’s armed forces to retaliate in ways that aroused the Tamil people.

Pirapāharan’s evaluation was precisely what came to pass in the years 1982 to 2002 after he regained command of the LTTE

Aided then by the idiotic counter-insurgency tactics of the Sri Lankan leaders and officer corps, Pirapāharan’s evaluation was precisely what came to pass in the years 1982 to 2002 after he regained command of the LTTE and pressed forward with this strategy – the term “strategy” being deployed here in considered manner in lieu of the term “tactics.” The pin-prick attacks mounted by the LTTE and other Tamil militants generated a major state-facilitated pogrom in July 1983 (Roberts 1994; Kanapathypillai 1990) and a series of retaliations by the military arms of the government between 1982 and 2001 in ways that disposed the majority of Sri Lankan Tamils to support the drive for Thamililam.

His experiences within the embryonic LTTE between 1978 and 1982 also led Pirapāharan to the following conclusions which he spelt out to Santhosum:[xxvi] “(1) he should build an organization absolutely loyal to him [and] (2) he should have the overriding say in running the organization.” Pirapāharan then underlined his insistence on the strategic need for autocratic power in the mould of a Hitler with the following anecdote: he had faced immense troubles [in the recent past from] men who joined the LTTE in its initial years — most of [whom] were talkers. They [would] split hairs over everything. Each one of them would pull in a different direction.” In this view, therefore, “no guerrilla force would succeed with such men” (Sabaratnam 2003: chap. 21). Pirapāharan had to call the shots Narayan Swamy 1994: 280)..

With retrospective advantage we now know that this standpoint led Pirapāharan to kill any budding leaders within the LTTE who showed sharp dissent and threatened his authority. As Ragavan stresses in concluding his evaluation:  Pirapāharan “refused to accept pluralism and difference of opinion, and saw those as a hindrance to the cause. He mercilessly ordered that opponents be killed, and continued to have loyal followers who carried out his orders without any question or hesitation.”[xxvii] This principle of eliminating all rivals[xxviii] extended to virtually all other Tamil militant and parliamentary organisations committed to Thamililam. His LTTE would be the ruling authority for the Sri Lankan Tamils.

His reading of Hitler, therefore, combined with his pragmatism and his penchant for action in pushing Pirapāharan in this direction. Like Hitler, too, Pirapāharan overreached himself in ways that have been extremely disastrous for most of the Tamil people living in Sri Lanka.

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Narayan Swamy, M. R. 1994. Tigers of Sri Lanka, Delhi: Konark Publishers Pvt Ltd.

Narayan Swamy, M. R. 2003 Inside an Elusive Mind. Prabhakaran, Colombo: Vijitha Yapa Publications.

Narayan Swamy, M. R. 2009 “Prabhakaran: from Catapult Killer to Ruthless Insurgent,” IANS, 18 May 2009 – see http://twocircles.net/node/148596 [reprinted in The Tiger Vanquished, pp. 165-67].

Narayan Swamy, M. R. 2010 The Tiger Vanquished. LTTE’s story, New Delhi: Sage Publications.

Perinbanayagam, R. S. 2011 “Caste and Politics,” http://groundviews.org /2011/08/22/ caste-and-politics/

Peiris, Gerald H. 2006 Sri Lanka: Challenges of the New Millennium, Kandy: Kandy Books, pp. 413-438.

Peiris, Gerald H. 2009 Twilight of the Tigers. Peace Efforts and Power Struggles in Sri Lanka, Colombo: Vijitha Yapa Publications.

Ragavan 2009a “Interview with Ragavan on Tamil Militancy (Early Years),” http://kafila.org/2009/02/16/interview-with-ragavan-on-tamil-militancy-part-i/

Ragavan, 2009b “Prabhakaran’s Timekeeping. Memories of a Much-Mythologised Rebel

Leader by a Former LTTE Fighter,” Sunday Leader, 24 May 2009.

Rajasingham, K. T. n. d. “Sri Lanka: The Untold Story, Rajiv Gandhi’s Assassination,Asia Times, http://www.lankalibrary.com/pol/rajiv.htm.

Ramaswamy, Sumathi: ‘The Nation, the Region and the Adventures of a Tamil ‘Hero’,” Contributions to Indian Sociology, 1994, n.s., 28: 295-322.

Roberts, Michael 1994 Exploring Confrontation. Sri Lanka: Politics, Culture and History, Reading: Harwood Academic Publishers.

Roberts, Michael 1994b in Exploring Confrontation. Sri Lanka: Politics, Culture and History Reading: Harwood Academic Publishers; pp.

Roberts, Michael 1996 “Filial Devotion and the Tiger Cult of Suicide,” Contributions to Indian Sociology 30: 245-72.

Roberts, Michael 2004 Narrating Tamil Nationalism. Subjectivities & Issues, Colombo: Vijitha Yapa Publications.

Roberts, Michael 2005 “Saivite Symbolism, Sacrifice and Tamil Tiger Rites,” Social Analysis 49: 67-93.

Roberts, Michael 2006 “The Tamil Movement for Eelam,” E-Bulletin of the International Sociological Association No. 4, July 2006, pp. 12-24 [reprinted in Roberts, Fire and Storm, Colombo, Yapa, 2010, pp. 203-18].

Roberts, Michael 2010 “Hitler, Nationalism, Sacrifice: Koenigsberg and Beyond … Towards the Tamil Tigers,” in http://thuppahi.wordpress.com/2010/03/19/hitler-nationalism-sacrifice-koenigsberg-and-beyond-%e2%80%a6-towards-the-tamil-tigers/.

Roberts, Michael 2012 Inspirations and Caste Threads in the Early LTTE, unpubd, Mss in process.

Sabaratnam, Lakshmanan 2001 Ethnic Attachments in Sri Lanka: Social Change and Cultural Continuity, London: Palgrave.

Sabaratnam, T. 2003 Pirapāharan, [a biography in chapter segments] serialised in http://www. sangam.org/index_orig.html.

Sabaratnam, T. 2003b “The Split of the LTTE,” chap 21.

Sabaratnam, T. 2009 “Beginnings of Violence,” draft chapter from his book in press — kindly sent to me.

Schalk, Peter 1997a “Resistance and Martyrdom in the process of state formation of Tamililam,” in Joyce Pettigrew (ed.) Martyrdom and Political Resistance, Amsterdam: VU Press, 1997, pp. 61-84.

Schalk, Peter 1997b “Historisation of the Martial Ideology of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE),” South Asia 20: 35-72.

Sivarajah, A. 1996 Politics of Tamil Nationalism in Sri Lanka, New Delhi: South Asian Publishers.

Sivaram, D. P. 1992a “Tamil Militarism – The Code of Suicide,” Lanka Guardian June 1992, 15: 13-16.

Sivaram, D. P.  1992b“Tamil Militarism,” Part 6, Lanka Guardian, 1 Aug. 1992.

Tammita-Delgoda, S. 2009 “Sri Lanka. The Last Phases of Eelam War IV. From Chundikulam to Puddmattalan,” Manekshaw Paper No. 13.

Taraki [D. P. Sivaram] 2004a “LTTE develops Asymmetric Deterrence to stall Foreign Intervention,” Daily Mirror 22 May 2004.

Taraki [D. P. Sivaram] 2004b “Strategic Positioning Vital for Military Advantage,” Daily Mirror, 24 July 2004.

Tekwani, Shyam 2009 ‘The Man who destroyed Eelam,” http://www.tehelka.com/home  /20090523/default.asp.

Thottam, Jyoti 2009 “Prabhakaran: The Life and Death of a Tiger,” Time, 19 May 2009, http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1899590,00.html.

Van Creveld, M. 1982 Fighting Power: German and US Army performance, 1939-1945, Westport: Greenwood Press, 1982.

Whitaker, Mark P. 2007 Learning Politics from Sivaram, London: Pluto Press.

Wickramasinghe, Nira 2006 Sri Lanka in the Modern Age. A History of Contested Identities, Colombo: Vijitha Yapa Publications.

Wilson, A. J.  2000 Sri Lankan Tamil Nationalism. Its Origins and Development in the 19th and 20th Centuries, London: Hurst and Company.


[i] See Roberts 1996; 2004, 2005 and 2006.

[ii] Chandrakanthan 2000: 164, 169; Hellmann-Rajanayagam 1994: 172; & Wickramasinghe 2006: 301.

[iii] Jeyaraj 2009; Narayan Swamy 1994: 24 and Rāgavan in Kadirgamar 2009a.

[iv] “In a 1994 interview [Prabhakaran] described a deep-seated anger against the military and remembered an eighth-grade teacher who exhorted students to take up arms against it. ‘It is he who impressed on me the need for armed struggle and persuaded me to put my trust in it,’ Prabhakaran said” (Thottam 2009). This teacher was probably one Venugopal (Jeyaraj 2009). Venugopal has since written about his influence in Tamil (information from Ambalvanar).

[v] T. Sabaratnam 2009. Also see Narayan Swamy 1994: 24; Jeyaraj 1993:289-90; and Wilson 1966: 127, 130). The late T. Sabāratnam was a journalist and has authored a serialized biography of Pirapāharan on web (2003 et seq.). Also see Kaarthikeyan & Raju 2004: 128-29.

[vi] The Mānavar Peravai was composed mostly of “students from the higher classes of the colleges” (Perinpanayagam email, 28 Oct. 2011).

[vii] Rāgavan in Kadirgamar 2009a and Kaarthikeyan & Raju 2004: 128-30, 142.

[viii] Rāgavan 2009b; and Narayan Swamy 1994: 80. The Mahabhāratha and its hero figures are specifically cited to be among the historical literature which spurred Pirapaharan.

[ix] Narayan Swamy 1994: 80; and Rāgavan 2009b and 2009a.

[x] Ragavan 2009a; 2009b; Narayan Swamy 1994: 79-80; Narayan Sway 2003: 64-69, 122 and Taraki 2004a & 2004b.

[xi] Ragavan 2009a; Narayan Swamy 1994: 57 and a personal communication from Ambalavanar.

[xii] A newspaper item from the LTTE’s early days that is firmly etched in my mind (no notes were taken). Also see Narayan Swamy 1994: 59. However, Jeyaraj insists that the reference to Eastwood was a teasing act on Pirapāharan’s part and dismisses the suggestion (2009).

[xiii] “Sivaji Ganeshan as Kattabomman” www.youtube.com/watch?v=7GHsKn-y4rk; and Jeyaraj 2011. Also see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veerapandiya_Kattabomman.

[xiv] See “Subhas Chandra Bose: A Pact with the Devil – Between Gandhi and Hitler” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xyhmI6a2qsA.

[xv] See “Indian National Army” in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_National_Army.

[xvi] I am indebted to M. Sathiyamoorthy for referring me to Thevar. The bio-details are from Wikipedia which uses a publication on the Forward Bloc by K. Bose (Madras: Tamil Nadu Academy of Political Science, 1988).

[xvii] I am grateful to M. Sarvananthan for the reference to Janarthanan. Clearly there is a research topic here calling for further exploration.

[xviii] There is more than enough to suggest that Bose’s inclinations towards political choreography of a martial character heralds the Jana Sangh and BJP. When Bose organised a guard of honour for the sessions of the Indian National Congress at Calcutta in 1930, “2,000 volunteers were given military training and organized into battalions. About half wore uniforms, with specially designed steel-chain epaulettes for the officers. Bose, in full dress uniform (peaked cap, standing collar, ornamental breast cords, and jodhpurs) even carried a Field Marshal’s baton when he reviewed his troops.” (Montgomery 1994).

[xix] Schalk 1997b: 46-48; Narayan Swamy 1994: 51, 80; and Rāgavan in Kadirgamar 2009a.

[xx] Note Frontline, 30 December 1981.

[xxi] One of these others was a referee who reported on one of my manuscript articles for the journal Nations and Nationalism, though he was crafty enough to obscure this antipathy. There were, I stress, other reasons guiding the Editors when they rejected the essay. My article is now on web at http://thuppahi.wordpress.com/2010/03/19/hitler-nationalism-sacrifice-koenigsberg-and-beyond-%e2%80%a6-towards-the-tamil-tigers/.

[xxii] See comment in http://colombotelegraph.com/2012/02/02/hitlers-rejuvenation-of-germany-as-inspiration-for-prabhakaran/.

[xxiii] Rāgavan 2009a and Sabaratnam 2003b.

[xxiv] Here I am guided by communications from Ambalavanar who has read the whole of Iyer’s serialized work. Kumaran was another early Tiger cadre who was executed by the LTTE high command. The list of those subject to Pirapaharan’s personal animosity may be quite long, with the most outstanding example being the former second-in-command Mahaththaya.

[xxv] Sabaratnam 2003b. Also see Narayan Swamy 1994: 70-71.

[xxvi] Santhosum was the code name for one of the earliest LTTE fighters, one Umainesan of Ariyalai, who died in action on 21 October 1987. Note that Sabaratnam was from Ariyalai himself and was of Civiyar lineage.

[xxvii] Rāgavan 2009b.  Note that Rāgavan himself was among those who adhered to this policy till he resigned in 1984.

[xxviii] See Narayan Swamy 2009.

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    “What Hitler did bring to the sandbox, however, were the concepts of ideological indoctrination of the military and the political soldier. The latter, in the form of the Waffen-SS, was both the spearhead of the German offensives and the rearguard in its retreat. It was this ideological indoctrination that created a type of soldier who fought on when all military sense told one to give up. It was this that VP admired, and which he tried to incorporate into his Black Tigers; some might say successfully (his emphasis).”

    You cannot compare the Black Tigers to the Waffen SS. The Waffen SS were the elite soldiers of the Wehrmacht; the Black Tigers were specifically meant for suicide missions. A Black Tiger had NO will to live; plenty of Waffen SS, however, surrendered. To say that the Black Tigers squadron were modeled after the Waffen SS, as Black implies, is sheer rubbish. Many of the Black Tigers were Tamil women who had been raped by the Sri Lankan Army. They had also witnessed first-hand the brutality of the Sri Lankan military against their friends and families, so it was EASY to exploit the anger and resentment of these women. Furthermore, the Black Tigers were expendable against virtually impenetrable obstacles, such as tanks and landmines, which the LTTE did not have the conventional capability of taking on. This is akin to the Japanese “kamikaze” pilots who purposely crashed their planes into American warships during WW2. The Waffen SS, however, were never expendable. They were given the best training possible, in addition to the best weapons, before being sent on their missions.

    I must also question the veracity of any “Tamil translation” of Mein Kampf dating from 1944. German is obviously a complicated language, and trying to convey the essence of Hitler’s words in Tamil has enormous limitations. English is much closer to German, so a translation from the latter to the former would be much closer, but of course, Prabhakaran did not have the English background to read Mein Kampf in English. My point is that if Prabhakaran read a Tamil translation of Mein Kampf, it’s doubtful he got much out of it.

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      Nihal says: “This is akin to the Japanese kamikaze pilots who purposely crashed their planes into American warships during WW2.”

      There is no comparison between kamikaze pilots and Black Tigers. In the New York Review of Books, Stephen Schwartz objects to equating the 9/11 bombers with kamikaze: “The kamikazes were in a declared war and were attacking strictly military targets that were a direct threat to their nation. The 9/11 terrorists that attacked New York were bent on and succeeded in killing innocent civilians who made no threat against them, their families, or their nation. The difference between attacking military targets in a war and attacking and killing thousands of innocent civilians who mean you no harm is a huge and unbridgeable gulf. The kamikazes may have been brave and intelligent soldiers fighting in an evil and lost cause. The terrorists that attacked the Twin Towers were nothing more than vicious murderers, no better than serial killers.”

      Two books by Emiko Ohnuki-Tierney, Kamikaze, Cherry Blossoms, and Nationalists: The Militarization of Aesthetics in Japanese History and Kamikaze Diaries: Reflections of Japanese Student Soldiers give a different picture from the received wisdom. A significant number of the kamikaze were university students who were drafted and forced to volunteer. Such young men were the intellectual elite of modern Japan: steeped in the classics and western philosophy. In their diaries they expressed profound ambivalence toward the war, and articulated thoughtful opposition to their nation’s imperialism.

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        Actually Padraig, the “kamikaze” pilots believed they were dying for their Emperor, the so-called Sun-God. This is how one website describes it:

        “Trained in ancient Samarai principles, called “The Samarai Code,” Kamikaze pilots did what they did for their country, and moreso, for their Emperor, believing that their Japanese Emperor was a living god. They would scream out, “BANZAI !!” or “Long Live The Emperor!” as they pointed their aircraft toward their targets, knowing full well they would not survive the maneouver.”

        The kamikazes served little military value, other than delaying the inevitable. The kamikazes were not “brave and intelligent soldiers”; they were brainwashed devotees of the Emperor.

        Now, what’s interesting is that the Black Tigers also shared a special understanding with Prabhakaran. Not only did they swear an oath of loyalty to the latter, it is my understanding that each Black Tiger had a “last meal” with Prabhakaran before embarking on their journey. In Prabhakaran’s own words, “No weapon, no technology can stop the determination of the Black Tigers.” Now, anyone, save perhaps an Irish joker, can see the connection to the kamikaze there: nothing except good luck can stop a kamikaze plane from crashing onto a battleship. The kamikaze are one reason why the Americans chose to drop the atom bomb on Japan; the kamikaze mindset that was inherent in the typical Japanese soldier meant that a land invasion of Japan would easily resulted in well over a million deaths.

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        @Nihal. “Now, anyone, save perhaps an Irish joker, can see the connection to the kamikaze there”.

        Why is it so difficult for you to disagree like a grown-up without resorting to abuse?

        Have you read anything of Kamikaze Diaries: Reflections of Japanese Student Soldiers?

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        “Actually Padraig, the “kamikaze” pilots believed they were dying for their Emperor, the so-called Sun-God. This is how one website describes it:”

        Could you give us the link to that site, Heshan? Kamikaze pilots received no such training in “Samurai principles” (how exactly can you be trained in a principle?). Many weren’t even volunteers. “Banzai” does NOT mean “long live the emperor” :D It means “ten thousand years”, and is often used as a toast today.

        “nothing except good luck can stop a kamikaze plane from crashing onto a battleship.”

        That’s pretty much rubbish. Many kamikaze pilots were shot down in the attempt or driven off.

        “the kamikaze mindset that was inherent in the typical Japanese soldier meant that a land invasion of Japan would easily resulted in well over a million deaths.”

        But you said that kamikaze pilots were given special training, and were brainwashed. How then can that mindset have been inherent in the typical Japanese soldier who had no such special training?

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        “The kamikaze are one reason why the Americans chose to drop the atom bomb on Japan; the kamikaze mindset that was inherent in the typical Japanese soldier meant that a land invasion of Japan would easily resulted in well over a million deaths.”

        More drivel. Japan had offered to surrender unconditionally in early 1945 (long before the nukes were dropped), and the offer was ignored by the Allies. There was absolutely no reason to nuke Japan, and even the Allied military leadership has gone on record acknowledging this.

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      Nihal/Heshan,
      You don’t understand German, so how can you judge whether it’s complicated or not ? Your monolingual handicap makes your assertion about the VP’s understanding of Mein Kampf as worthless as your statement that the Waffen SS “were the elite soldiers of the Wehrmacht”. The Wehrmacht was the unified armed forces of Nazi Germany. The Waffen SS was the armed wing of the Nazi Party.

      Anyway, all the ‘eliteness’ in the world didn’t help when the SS & Wehrmacht was soundly defeated by the untermenschen of the Red Army. :) :)

      If you do speak German, perhaps you can tell me which answer to Frage 1 best demonstrates your intelligence?
      http://www.testedich.de/quiz19/quiz/1145198957/Bist-du-ein-Volltrottel

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        I don’t have time for your government school nonsense. The Waffen SS were indeed an elite fighting force.

        The Soviets lost 20 million men in WW2. The Germans lost 8 million.

        I know enough German. Your black —s does not speak a word of German; stick to kasipu and cricket.

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        Also the Waffen SS is considered a de facto fourth branch of the Wehrmacht. Perhaps if you stopped copying and pasting from Jewish websites, you might learn something.

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        “e Waffen SS were indeed an elite fighting force.”

        There is no real accepted definition of the word “elite”. The US Marines (arguably the worst troops in Vietnam) considered themselves elite. As I said before, the eliteness of the Waffen-SS came from their political indoctrination which made them unswervingly loyal to Hitler and the Nazi party, and not because of training or equipment.

        “The Soviets lost 20 million men in WW2. The Germans lost 8 million.”

        Wasn’t this the logic you used when claiming that Hitler won WW2 and the US won the Vietnam War? :D

        “I know enough German. Your black —s does not speak a word of German; stick to kasipu and cricket.”

        This must be the most hilarious line Untersturmfuhrer Heshan has managed in awhile. A Sri Lankan wanna-be white man calling another Sri Lankan black :D I do speak German, and there is no issue whatsoever in translating German into Tamil if the translator is fluent in both languages. The issue is if the original piece was first translated into English and then into Tamil. Either way, the point isn’t whether Prabakharan was accepting Hitler’s original thoughts, but rather that he was accepting what he believed to be Hitler’s original thoughts.

        “Perhaps if you stopped copying and pasting from Jewish websites, you might learn something.”

        Yes, of course, Untersturmfuhrer Heshan/Nihal, the wanna-be Nazi believes that the Jews are (and their websites) are evil ;)

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      “You cannot compare the Black Tigers to the Waffen SS. The Waffen SS were the elite soldiers of the Wehrmacht; the Black Tigers were specifically meant for suicide missions.”

      I’m not sure why you’re cutting and pasting my comment on another article here, Heshan. I assume it’s your usual craving of attention ;) The Black Tigers were certainly not just suicide bombers, nor were all suicide bombers Black Tigers. They were certainly elite, and were often used as VIP bodyguards.

      ” To say that the Black Tigers squadron were modeled after the Waffen SS”

      Where has such a thing been said by me? I said political indoctrination was used on both units, and therefore they are comparable. They are also comparable to other elite units.

      “Many of the Black Tigers were Tamil women who had been raped by the Sri Lankan Army.”

      Could you point to any evidence indicating that by “many” it means it was “most” or the norm? if not, what exactly is your point? Many Black Tigers were not raped, and most were not even women. Similarly, many rape victims were not Black Tigers. I assume there’s a point in there somewhere pertinent to your continued defence of the Nazis?

      “Furthermore, the Black Tigers were expendable against virtually impenetrable obstacles, such as tanks and landmines, which the LTTE did not have the conventional capability of taking on.”

      Can you point to any evidence that Black Tigers were normally used on the battlefield against targets such as tanks and landmines?

      “The Waffen SS, however, were never expendable. They were given the best training possible, in addition to the best weapons, before being sent on their missions.”

      To the contrary, in 1944/5, the Waffen-SS were often expended to cover the withdrawal of other German forces, including other Waffen-SS units. One example is the withdrawal through the Falaise Gap, when what was left of the 12th-SS Hitler Jugend was sacrificed to hold back the Allies ’til other German units had withdrawn through the Gap. In addition, while the premier Waffen-SS units (Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler, Das Reich, Totenkopf, and Wiking) were originally given the best recruits, they were never given any better training and equipment than the Wehrmacht; in fact, they usually had second rate weapons until very late in the war. After 1943, even these premier units were filled with conscripts. Even as early as 1941, during the invasion of France, two Waffen-SS units in the spearhead (Totenkopf and the Leibstandarte,/em>) took heavier casualties than the Wehrmacht units because their officers used them in suicidal frontal attacks that took no notice of the heavy losses. What made the Waffen-SS truly elite was therefore their dedication to the cause, a dedication that came through political indoctrination and not superior training or weapons.

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    As far as political ideology is concerned, Michael Roberts seems to be unaware of the fact that Anton Balasingham, the chief political strategist of the LTTE, and probably Prabhakaran’s closet right-hand man, was an avowed Marxist. So how Marxist were the LTTE?

    “A 19-year old LTTE guerilla, following his capture in August 1986, offered the following brief description of such sessions, “The leaders always spoke about Marxism. They wanted a Marxist Eelam. That was their main idea.” An older, higher-ranking captive, in another discussion, observed, “We were hoping to establish a a Tamil socialist state in the north and east.”

    Furthermore,

    “That Balasingham (now deceased) was a committed Marxist is beyond dispute….In the early years of the movement, LTTE combatants were required to undergo instruction in Marxism as part of the daily training schedule, but this practice apparently lapsed as the military elements of the struggle became more salient.”

    Now, those with even limited knowledge of the Nazis must know that National Socialism and Marxism (Bolshevism) cannot coexist side-by-side. Indeed, the Nazis saw Bolshevism as their greatest political enemy. It goes without saying that there zero Marxists in the ranks of the NSDP. They were also banned from just about every other occupation in the Third Reich. Quite a few ended up in concentration camps. In fact, the Nazis went after the Communists even before they went after the Jews.

    So the question I pose to Michael Roberts is why Prabhakaran, the so-called ardent follower of Hitler (and by extension National Socialism) as Roberts claims, had such a fetish for Marxism?

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      *closest right-hand man

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      There is little evidence that Prabhakaran was at all influenced by Balasingham’s Marxist ideology even though he trusted him (sometimes) on other matters.

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        Actually, Balasingham’s influence on Prabhakaran was extraordinary, to the extent that the LTTE went for several rounds of peace talks. No one else could have convinced VP to do that. So I’m sure that Bala’s Marxist viewpoints would have found a compatible intersection with Prabhakaran’s personal philosophy.

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        “Have you read anything of Kamikaze Diaries: Reflections of Japanese Student Soldiers?”

        I have read enough about the Japanese to know that they were the brutal of any group during WW2. The Germans limited their worst atrocities to isolated camps, but the Japanese executed their foul orgies in broad daylight. The indoctrination of the average Japanese soldier exceeded that of any Stormtrooper by leaps and bounds. This article says it all: http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2010/02/a-japanese-soldier-who-continued-fighting-wwii-29-years-after-the-japanese-surrendered-because-he-didnt-know/

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      “As far as political ideology is concerned, Michael Roberts seems to be unaware of the fact that Anton Balasingham, the chief political strategist of the LTTE, and probably Prabhakaran’s closet right-hand man, was an avowed Marxist.”

      It seems highly unlikely that Professor Roberts would be unaware of such a widely-known matter.

      Was “closet” a Freudian slip?

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        Roberts is obviously a third-rate scholar; only a third-rate scholar would compare Hitler to Prabhakaran without discussing the Marxist leanings of the LTTE, particularly those of Balasingham. Slip: I believe that’s what Irish men wear to the pub to mask their insecurities.

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        “only a third-rate scholar would compare Hitler to Prabhakaran”

        Can you quote Roberts comparing VP to Hitler?

  • 0
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    I read the article in full.

  • 0
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    Profesor, Why you waste time on Prbacreem? It’s a waste of time digging of a Racist killer who spend his time on distraction of sri lanka and it’s tamils. Tmails lost thir balls to him .. I need another drinkl

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    Nihal. “Actually, Balasingham’s influence on Prabhakaran was extraordinary, to the extent that the LTTE went for several rounds of peace talks. No one else could have convinced VP to do that.”

    And what was the result? Why did he want peace talks? I do not deny that Balasingham did have Prabhakaran’s trust, but the extent of that trust varied . While Prabhakaran may have appreciated Balasingham’s skills and talents I don’t think that extended to being a convert to Marxist-Leninism.

    As you seem to admire the Nazis and also to admire Prabhakaran, I am surprised that you are arguing against the influence of Hitler and trying to claim that Prabhakaran was a Marxist. If that is what you are arguing. I can never be quite sure what your standpoint is apart from the urge to snipe and abuse.
    Have you read Narayan Swamy?

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      “and trying to claim that Prabhakaran was a Marxist”

      He was not a full-fledged Marxist, but that was where the LTTE leaned. For example, one of the more interesting things about the LTTE is that they completely overthrew the rigid (Tamil) caste system. Not even Western armies have let women enjoy such dominant positions in their militaries, compared to the role of Tamil women in the LTTE who led entire brigades and regiments. So there is definitely an element of class (and gender) struggle going on here. Then there is the issue of the LTTE “economy.” We can see that, at least in the beginning, it was centrally planned. The LTTE decided how much land a person owned, the amount of taxes paid by each family, the amount of property a person could own, etc. All of these things are elements of Marxism, not capitalism or fascism.

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        ‘For example, one of the more interesting things about the LTTE is that they completely overthrew the rigid (Tamil) caste system. “

        You might as well draw a parallel to the Waffen-SS. Whereas in the Heer and other Wehrmacht services, the officer corps was traditionally upper class, aristocratic, and educated, those of the Waffen-SS were middle- or working-class, the same as their men.

        “Not even Western armies have let women enjoy such dominant positions in their militaries, compared to the role of Tamil women in the LTTE who led entire brigades and regiments. “

        This was only decades into the war when the male population was drying up, and was more out of necessity than choice. The top brass of the Tigers was without exception, male. If you look at the KIA list for Aanandapuram, where most of the remaining Tiger unit commanders were trapped and killed, 90% are men.

        You might as well say that no western army has allowed children so much career opportunity in the military as the Tigers did :D

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      If you were a regular on Groundviews, Padraig, you wouldn’t be surprised by this. Nihal/Heshan, has long defended both VP and the Nazis and attacked Muslims and Jews consistently. He has called for Arab nations to be invaded and destroyed, and claimed that the Jews nuked Japan. If you see his above comments about “Jewish websites”, you will understand where he’s coming from and where he’s trying to go ;)

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    There is an interesting article in the New York Review of Books by Max Hastings. Hastings reviews biographies of Himmler and Heydrich. Here are some extracts.

    Hastings writes: “The Wehrmacht showed itself the outstanding fighting force of the conflict, one of the most effective armies the world has ever seen. But its achievements on the battlefield were set at naught, fortunately for the interests of mankind, by the stunning incompetence with which the German war machine was conducted.”
    “Himmler, Heydrich, and their formidable enforcement arm, the SS, were amazingly careless of the rational priorities of total war. They devoted themselves with demented single-mindedness to pursuing, herding, and eventually killing Europe’s Jews.”

    “Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski, for instance, became one of Himmler’s foremost mass murderers, as Higher SS and Police Leader for Russia Center. In March 1942 he suffered a physical and mental breakdown, and the Reich Medical Officer reported him as “torturing himself with notions of inferiority (‘exaggerated sensitivity to pain, lassitude, lack of will power’).” Although he supposedly recovered, a specialist later reported him as suffering severely from constipation and “weak anal muscles.” Oskar Dirlewanger, another prominent SS killer, was described at the end of his earlier World War I service as “a mentally unstable, violent fanatic and alcoholic, who had the habit of erupting into violence under the influence of drugs.”

    “It is not difficult to persuade a substantial minority of mankind, and even of its educated elements, to commit mass murder, as long as such a course is legitimized and successfully put into practice by the authority of somebody at the top.”

    “It is impossible to explain how two such contemptibly small people could encompass such vast horrors. The response of the German people not so much to National Socialism, as to its risibly unimpressive human representatives, seems much more interesting than the men themselves. The manner in which one of the most educated and civilized societies in the world acquiesced in the dominance of gangsters, thugs, and inadequates, possessed of negligible gifts for anything beyond mass murder, will baffle and terrify humanity until the end of time.”

    Nihal has written elsewhere that Prabhakaran was a genius. How come he’s dead and the LTTE were comprehensively defeated?

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      The slaughter of the Jews did not slow down the Wehrmact.

      Yes, Prabhakaran was a genius. His IQ was undoubtedly higher than that of the guiness guzzling pedophile Irish jokers that fought the British for 800 years with little success.

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        As you can see, Nihal/Heshan is infatuated with pedophilia, arses, masturbation, etc. A wonderful product of Sri Lanka’s missionary schools.

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    “Roberts is obviously a third-rate scholar; only a third-rate scholar would compare Hitler to Prabhakaran without discussing the Marxist leanings of the LTTE, particularly those of Balasingham.”
    I will let Professor Roberts answer that himself.

    “ Slip: I believe that’s what Irish men wear to the pub to mask their insecurities.” That manages to be obscure as well as feeble. Not up to your usual standard. Must try harder.

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    @Nihal

    “I have read enough about the Japanese to know that they were the brutal (sic) of any group during WW2. The Germans limited their worst atrocities to isolated camps, but the Japanese executed their foul orgies in broad daylight.”

    Is it worse to do it in daylight?

    Once again, you are shifting ground. There is little point in devising league tables of brutality. I am not just depending on what I have read. During the course of my work in the early 70s I encountered many men who had been broken during their time as prisoners of the Japanese. I met Poles and Ukrainians who suffered at the hands of the Germans and the Russians. I met a Ukrainian who proudly boasted of his service in the Waffen SS. Across the world, there are many who suffered the brutality of the Americans and the British.

    Are you again trying to sucker me into defending a position I do not hold? Do you want me to say the Japanese were better than the Germans?

    The point I was making was that not all of the kamikaze pilots were the goofy toothed automatons of popular western legend.

    I point this out not to defend the Japanese but merely to say that it is interesting.

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      The point I am making, which neither you nor Michael Roberts have any response to, is that the Germans did not have any suicide bombers, or suicide soldiers of any sort. It doesn’t matter whether the Japanese had 1 suicide bomber or 1,000,000 – the fact that they had even 1 shows a level of ideology which makes the Waffen SS look tame, by comparison.

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        *shows a level of indoctrination

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        The point is that the Nazi troops were ideologically indoctrinated and motivated, just like the Tigers. This political indoctrination was exclusive to the Waffen-SS, and not the whole of the Wehrmacht; the latter no better nor less motivated than any of the western Allies. In contrast, Japanese ideology was across the board, and not exclusive to any politically indoctrinated “special” troops. There were no particular Japanese units that were more likely to make suicidal attacks, or less likely to surrender. That is because Japanese ideology was cultural, and a holdover from previous centuries, an ideology based in its culture, and not too different to many the world over. The fact that the Waffen-SS were different to other German troops (a fact you yourself have championed) is proof that their ideology was political and not cultural, their culture being no different from any other German’s. It was this political indoctrination that Hitler brought to 20th century warfare, and it was this that VP sought to instill in his own troops.

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        Unterlatrinengrabführer Nihal/Heshan says with the absolute conviction of the truly ignorant, “….the Germans did not have any suicide bombers, or suicide soldiers of any sort.”

        Wrong, again.

        Luftwaffe Himmelfahrtskommandos (Himmelfahrt = ‘mission to heaven’ = suicide mission) took part in Operation Werewolf on 7th April 1945. 180 suicide pilots from JG.4 crashed their fighters en masse into a US heavy-bomber formation attacking Hannover. A few days later, the survivors of that operation from JG.4 crash-bombed their planes into the bridges over the Oder as the Russians began their final advance on Berlin.

        http://www.fpp.co.uk/bookchapters/Goering/Werwolf.html

        Time for Unterlatrinengrabführer Heshan to perform his own Himmelfahrtskommando into the latrines :)

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    @Nihal

    Your debating skills continue to impress.

    “The slaughter of the Jews did not slow down the Wehrmact (sic). Yes, Prabhakaran was a genius. His IQ was undoubtedly higher than that of the guiness (sic) guzzling pedophile Irish jokers that fought the British for 800 years with little success.”

    Personally, I am not a paedophile and I do not like Guinness. Murphy’s from Cork is a far superior beverage. I did not fight the British for 800 years.

    What has any of this got to do with the topic under discussion??!!!!!

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      Nihal’s ignorance of Irish history showcases his idiocy on yet another topic. The Irish (old IRA) beat the British Empire and created the Irish Free State in 1921. That was definitely a “success”.

      This ignorance and idiocy isn’t surprising from someone who believes that the “Humans evolved from Chimpanzees”, the “US won the Vietnam War” and “Ranil Wickramasinghe wasn’t elected in 2001.”

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        Don’t forget his views on evolution – incest is good because it does not contaminate the gene pool.

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      Do you have any counterargument to the fact that the Third Reich was unable to produce any suicide bombers, whereas the number of suicide attacks carried out by the Black Tigers numbered over 300? This is the critical flaw in Michael Roberts’ analysis. The Waffen SS were brutal, but not expendable. The Black Tigers were expendable.

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        Above post is directed to Padraig Colman.

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        Shifting the ground again. The fact that the Nazis did not use suicide bombers does not in any way undermine Professor Roberts’s thesis.

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        “The fact that the Nazis did not use suicide bombers does not in any way undermine Professor Roberts’s thesis.”

        Actually it puts a major dent in Roberts’s thesis. It shows that the Waffen SS were not as indoctrinated as were the Black Tigers. Roberts, being the GOSL apologst that he is, fails to draw this most important distinction.

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        So your definition of fascism is its inability to produce suicide bombers? ROFL.

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    @Nihal/Heshan,
    Who’s disputing that your favourites, the Waffen SS were ‘elite’ forces? Despite your claimed (and unproven) knowledge of German and WW2 history, you make a basic schoolboy error of describing them as part of the Wehrmacht when in fact they were armed wing of the Nazi party. The Wehrmacht consisted of the Army, Navy and Air Force.

    As for your supposed knowledge of German, I’d believe it if you could answer my simple question, which any idiot who claimed to to speak German would easily answer. Which answer to Frage 1 best demonstrates your intelligence?
    http://www.testedich.de/quiz19/quiz/1145198957/Bist-du-ein-Volltrottel

    The Soviets indeed suffered more casualties than the Germans and they still emerged as unquestioned victors over the Germans – except for Waffen SS fantasists like you.

    What’s with your anti-Jewish prejudices? What’s a ‘jewish website’? Are facts inadmissible if they appear on a ‘jewish’ web site? Your Nazi heroes dismissed Einstein’s groundbreaking discoveries and theories as “Jewish science”. Do you agree?

    As for Prabha’s supposed genius, how is it that a his genius didn’t prevent a 30-year struggle ending in complete and utter failure?

    The sheer level of stupidity and ignorance you’ve demonstrated so far proves beyond any doubt that you’re definitely a Sinhala modaya.

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    A good article by Roberts. Even at his early seventies Roberts’s energy reserves are amazing. Usually we expect this kind of exposures from Tamil Writers and Journalists. Unfortunately Journos like DBSJeyaraj are wasting their energy in promoting fake memoirs like Tamil Tigress. Indeed they are not doing a great job these days.

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    @Nihal

    “Actually it puts a major dent in Roberts’s thesis. It shows that the Waffen SS were not as indoctrinated as were the Black Tigers. Roberts, being the GOSL apologst (sic) that he is, fails to draw this most important distinction.”

    I disagree but will leave it to Professor Roberts to defend his own thesis.

    You just cannot write anything that does not include a smear. You call Roberts a GOSL apologist. Others have told me that he is a LTTE supporter. Funny old world!

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      It’s not my intention to smear Roberts. Anyone who asserts that Prabhakaran was influenced by Hitler obviously has a hidden agenda. Anyone who asserts that Prabhakaran, a pure Dravidian, could be inspired by a book like “Mein Kampf”, which talks about Aryan supremacy from page 1 to page 300 (or however long it is), is clearly not in touch with reality. Furthermore, one must understand that a very peculiar set of circumstances created Hitler – the culture of anti-Semitism that had prevailed in Europe for centuries acted in concert with the indignities of the Versailles Treaty, in addition to the sense of WW1 defeat prevailing in Germany. On the other hand, the emergence of Prabhakaran was no accident. That the Tamils would take up arms was actually inevitable, given the creation of the fake state called “Sri Lanka” and the total inability of the Southern Sinhala-Buddhists to engage in rational compromise with their Tamil and Muslim populations for over a half-century. One could look at the 1915 riots against Muslims and draw a connection to the 1983 riots against Tamils. What’s more, Roberts doesn’t hesitate to quote David Blacker, who is a well-known GOSL apologist, and who happens to possess zero academic credentials whatsoever.

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        @Nihal.

        “It’s not my intention to smear Roberts.”

        There you go again! The very words “hidden agenda” are stinkily redolent of smear.

        “David Blacker, who is a well-known GOSL apologist, and who happens to possess zero academic credentials whatsoever.”

        What do Blacker’s credentials have to do with this?

        “GOSL apologist” is a smear you have frequently used against me. You have also accused me of having a “hidden agenda”. You have persistently refused to answer my questions about what my “agenda” is and why I should be a government lackey and Sinhala-Buddhist nationalist.

        “One could look at the 1915 riots against Muslims and draw a connection to the 1983 riots against Tamils.”

        Draw the connection if you like. I believe Professor Roberts has written about the 1915 riots.

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    Interesting how you obviously ignore the patently obvious. Like I said, a Tamil wouldn’t get inspiration from Mein Kampf for the same reasons that a Black African wouldn’t be inspired by the latter. I encourage you to peruse Mein Kampf and see for yourself exactly what it says; there is much more to it than encouraging blind allegiance to a fascist dictator via a hand gesture, such as Roberts insinuates. I seriously doubt that Prabhakaran would agree with Hitler’s view of advanced civilization being a derivative of Aryan ingenuity or that the great civilizations collapsed due to racial mixing.

    As for quoting David Blacker, whose amateur analysis has been dismissed countless times on various websites, it goes without saying that one should not expect a warm reception.

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    *Interesting how you ignore the patently obvious.

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      What is this echo effect you keep using?

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    @Nihal: did you even bother reading the blog post before denying that VP imbibed from Adolf’s Weltanschauung?

    “Thangathurai [from the TLO and TELO groups] was pro-US and pro-Israel. Prabhakaran was also of the same mindset but he was also, strangely, inspired by Hitler. He had with him a copy of ‘Mein Kampf’. He also was inspired by Bhagat Singh and Subash Chandra Bose. It was a strange combination. On the one hand, I think he had ideas about Jewishness, the state and the formation of Israel. On the other hand, the idea of eliminating the “other” came from Hitler. There was a connection in his mind.”

    VP was a magpie and took what he wanted from Adolf, bits of socialist thinking and the Zionist movement. Oh, the irony!

    Yet again, you set new standards for moronicity :)

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      “VP was a magpie and took what he wanted from Adolf, bits of socialist thinking and the Zionist movement.”

      That hits the nail on the head and makes redundant all the “conversation” with Nihal.

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        There is no proof VP even read “Mein Kampf.”

        According to Roberts, “Janardhanan, significantly, had an avid interest in the political situation in Sri Lanka and was among those who assisted the 18-year old Pirapāharan to find lodgings in Koddambakan when he was in exile in Tamilnadu in 1972 (Narayan Swamy 1994: 54, 96).”

        So Roberts is suggesting that VP read a Tamil version of Mein Kampf while hiding in TN at age 18, and was somehow inspired by Hitler- what a ridiculous assertion.

        If VP was a Dravidian nationalist, whose goal was to establish “Dravidistan”, as the Sinhala-Buddhists like to claim, then where does Hitler fit into the picture? Dravidian nationalist movements in India have traditionally pitted themselves against “Aryan” dominance from the North.

        Also, Roberts tries to connect Bose to Hitler, VP to Bose, and finally VP to Hitler. VP was definitely inspired by Bose, and Bose cooperated with Hitler, but it does not mean VP had any affection for Hitler.

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        “There is no proof VP even read “Mein Kampf.””

        Was he looking at the pictures then?

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          Nihal said on February 12:

          “Also, Roberts tries to connect Bose to Hitler, VP to Bose, and finally VP to Hitler. VP was definitely inspired by Bose, and Bose cooperated with Hitler, but it does not mean VP had any affection for Hitler.”

          I know Valentine’s Day was approaching when Nihal wrote that but what has AFFECTION got to do with it? Isn’t Nihal agreeing with Professor Roberts that Bose influenced VP and Bose was influenced by Hitler?

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    Just when I thought Nihal/Heshan couldn’t possibly get any dumber…
    Nihal says “There is no proof VP even read “Mein Kampf.” ha ha ha ..

    Rāgavan has this to say (in Kadirgamar 2009):
    “He had with him a copy of ‘Mein Kampf’. He also was inspired by Bhagat Singh and Subash Chandra Bose.”

    Waffen SS re-enactors – which one’s Nihal? Somewhere in the background digging the latrine?
    http://9sshohenstaufen.com/photo_sets/britvet2.jpg

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      So your proof is gossip from a single cadre in the 1970’s? Hahahaha. What a dumb zuck Sinhala-Buddhist. I think even a latrine job would be above your intelligence level.

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    Another gem from Nihal/Heshan:
    “…Roberts tries to connect Bose to Hitler..”

    Prof Roberts doesn’t need to “try” to connect Bose to Hitler. Bose was in Nazi Germany from ’41 to ’43 met Adolf, was protected by Himmler and raised an Indian Legion (Legion Freies Indien) to fight with the Wehrmacht.

    Here’s your boyfriend Rommel with Bose’s Indian troops. http://tinyurl.com/6llqwzx

    Mein Gott, Heshan, du bist eine echte Dummkopf :) :)

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      Hey stupid, “tries” is the way it would be written in academic papers. If you don’t know what you’re talking about, stick to discussions of excrement on your third-rate blog.

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        @Nihal/Heshan:
        “Academic papers”? What on earth are you on about? Are you denying that Bose was in Nazi Germany from ’41 to ’43 met Adolf, was protected by Himmler and raised the Legion Freies Indien to fight with the Wehrmacht? Have your special-needs learning difficulties extended to denying the meaning of words as well claiming that Hitler won World War 2?

        When you next attend the Waffen SS re-enactment with a “Gott Mit Uns” belt buckle, you can go dressed as a latrine digger (2nd class) in the Legion Freies Indien. With your brown skin, it will be historically accurate and you won’t need to use skin lightening cream to pass for a white American. Blacker was definitely wrong to award you the title of “Untersturmfuhrer”.

        As for Rāgavan’s statement, if you think he’s lying, find other senior LTTE cadres who can prove that VP never had a copy of Mein Kampf. Disprove Prof Robert’s thesis with facts and not whining saying “it’s not true”. That’s the academic way.

        I realise that you’re working under a huge handicap of not being able to speak or read Tamil, Sinhala or German. Maybe someone will take pity on a monolingual Sinhala Christian retard. Blacker suspected that you’d been dropped on your head as a baby. He’s wrong. You were obviously soundly beaten around the head with a coconut.

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        I think we can now award Heshan his due rank: Unterlatrinengrabtfuhrer

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    Once again, I repeat for the benefit of readers (at least those whose education is not limited to the Sri Lankan government school): there is absolutely no concrete proof that Prabhakaran read Mein Kampf and drew any sort of inspiration from Hitler. Roberts’ claims that Prabhakaran borrowed certain military tactics from Hitler is also quite silly; Hitler was, among other things, an artist and a master orator, but a very poor military tactician. On the other hand, as I have explained in some detail on this thread, the Marxist orientations of the LTTE (a far cry from National Socialism!) are well-known. And finally, for reasons that I have already explained, one cannot compare the Black Tigers to the Waffen SS.

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      “there is absolutely no concrete proof that Prabhakaran read Mein Kampf and drew any sort of inspiration from Hitler. “

      I think eye-witness statements and analysis from multiple ex-Tigers is quite sufficient for anyone but the most moronic.

      “Roberts’ claims that Prabhakaran borrowed certain military tactics from Hitler is also quite silly”

      Could you quote this claim by Prof Roberts?

      “And finally, for reasons that I have already explained, one cannot compare the Black Tigers to the Waffen SS.”

      Reasons that have been debunked easily.

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        LOL,Blacker must have failed math in school; 2 witnesses hardly counts as multiple. As for “eyewitness” statements, these also date back to the 1970’s and are based what two witnesses supposedly said. Furthermore, the statements are pretty funny:

        “He says it is because it was disciplined and firm [that] Hitler’s army has made victories its own. The order was given that as the first part of the army training all being trained should salute as is done in Hitler’s army. Prabhakaran who held in esteem the discipline and firmness of Hitler’s army, “

        LOL, imagine the 6th Army taking the time out to salute the Soviets while doing house-to-house combat. Or they did forget the salute altogether and hence the “victory” never materialized!

        And the discipline of the German Army had nothing to do with Hitler; that was a Prussian tradition. Hitler had mood swings and worked in erratic shifts; so much for his spreading discipline!

        It’s interesting how Roberts claims that the German Army was “Hitler’s Army”; Roberts must be unaware that most of the generals disagreed with Hitler from day 1 and at least 6 attempts were made to assassinate Hitler. It was only Hitler’s Army to the extent that Hitler was higher up in the chain of command, and the Prussian military dictated that one blindly obey his superiors.

        — There is a genuine intellectual issue here arising from the first-hand evidence provided by our two sources, Iyer and Rāgavan. —

        I must question the integrity of this “first-hand” evidence; it only seems to exist on Roberts’ blog and in Roberts’ imagination. I would imagine that if Prabhakaran had a genuine interest in Hitler, more than 2 people would be aware of the fact. At the very least, people who were with Prabhakaran after the 1980’s. I would imagine that Roberts does not have the same difficulties with mathematics that Blacker has.

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        *imagine the 6th Army taking the time out to salute Hitler

        Does Roberts have anything to say about the possibility of Paulus saluting Hitler before he surrendered to the Soviets? Did Paulus learn this sort of discipline from Hitler? After all, Paulus was part of “Hitler’s Army.”

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        “Reasons that have been debunked easily.”

        LOL, so are you saying that rape victims joined the Waffen SS and the Waffen SS carried out over 300 intentional suicide attacks?

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        *the Prussian military code

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        “LOL,Blacker must have failed math in school; 2 witnesses hardly counts as multiple.”

        And Unterklokommando Heshan must have failed English. Here’s the definition of “multiple”: “consisting of, including, or involving more than one “ Lol

        “As for “eyewitness” statements, these also date back to the 1970′s and are based what two witnesses supposedly said.”

        Since the period in question is in the 1970s, when would you like the witnesses to date from? :D

        “Furthermore, the statements are pretty funny:“He says it is because it was disciplined and firm [that] Hitler’s army has made victories its own. The order was given that as the first part of the army training all being trained should salute as is done in Hitler’s army. Prabhakaran who held in esteem the discipline and firmness of Hitler’s army, ”“LOL, imagine the 6th Army taking the time out to salute the Soviets while doing house-to-house combat. Or they did forget the salute altogether and hence the “victory” never materialized!”

        Forgot your meds again, Unterklokommando? Where does that statement say that the victories were because of the salute? :D

        “And the discipline of the German Army had nothing to do with Hitler; that was a Prussian tradition. Hitler had mood swings and worked in erratic shifts; so much for his spreading discipline!”

        As I said before, the point isn’t whether the Tigers were accurate in their analysis of the Nazis, but whether they admired them.

        “t’s interesting how Roberts claims that the German Army was “Hitler’s Army”; Roberts must be unaware that most of the generals disagreed with Hitler from day 1 and at least 6 attempts were made to assassinate Hitler. It was only Hitler’s Army to the extent that Hitler was higher up in the chain of command, and the Prussian military dictated that one blindly obey his superiors.”

        Firstly, Unterklokommando Nihal/Heshan, it is Iyer who has claimed it, not Roberts. Second, if most of Hitler’s generals disagreed with him from “day 1”, why did they follow his orders and conquer all of Europe? Did they disagree with victory? Of the attempts to assassinate Hitler, only the July 20th Plot was attempted by high-ranking German officers. There is no doubt that the Third Reich and its military forces were a creation of Hitler, and given that by the end of the war they were all required to take the Hitler Oath, it is quite justified to refer to it as Hitler’s army.

        “I must question the integrity of this “first-hand” evidence; it only seems to exist on Roberts’ blog and in Roberts’ imagination.”

        I know all that incest at home, coupled with the dropping-on-your-head incident has slowed you down, Unterklokommando, so let me repost the link to Iyer’s original writing in Tamil: http://inioru.com/?p=12399 Hope it gets through the fog this time.

        “I would imagine that if Prabhakaran had a genuine interest in Hitler, more than 2 people would be aware of the fact. At the very least, people who were with Prabhakaran after the 1980′s.”

        I’m sure you imagine many things, Unterklo, but the existence of two witnesses doesn’t preclude the possibility of more. How many witnesses do you require before you will accept a statement? :D

        “I would imagine that Roberts does not have the same difficulties with mathematics that Blacker has.”

        Nor the same difficulties with English comprehension you have.

        “Does Roberts have anything to say about the possibility of Paulus saluting Hitler before he surrendered to the Soviets? Did Paulus learn this sort of discipline from Hitler? After all, Paulus was part of “Hitler’s Army.””

        What has Paulus saluting got to do with VP admiring Hitler? :D

        “LOL, so are you saying that rape victims joined the Waffen SS and the Waffen SS carried out over 300 intentional suicide attacks?”

        Where have I said such a thing? But I note you have avoided answering as to how many rape victims there were in the Tigers, and whether suicide is required in order to draw parallels? Since you’ve now been referred to suicide missions by the Luftwaffe on behalf of Hitler, do you concede a connection between the Tigers and the Nazis?

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    Nihal/Heshan,
    Congratulations on your new rank of Unterlatrinengrabführer

    There’s even a medal for outstanding performance in latrine digging called “Sächsisches Ehrenkreuz für freiwillige Wohlfartspflege im Kriege (Erhalt bei geleistetem Latrinendienst)” which even an idiot like you know means Saxony Cross of Honour for Voluntary Welfare Work in War, given to outstanding performance in latrine digging and clearing duties.”

    Wear your medal with pride ! :) :)

    http://tinyurl.com/6w6k7c9

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    @Nihal/Heshan who says in a stunningly ignorant statement “… the Black Tigers were expendable against virtually impenetrable obstacles, such as tanks and landmines, which the LTTE did not have the conventional capability of taking on.”

    Wrong, again. Since 1995, the Victor Anti-Tank Regiment had provided the LTTE with its own organic anti-tank capability. http://tinyurl.com/7wvw8zs

    LTTE mine-clearance often involved sending in their expendable child soldiers to clear SLA minefields. VP was far too intelligent to use his valuable Black Tigers taking out SLA tanks and minefields; anyone (e.g. Heshan) who claims that landmines are “impenetrable” really is a modaya.

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    For the benefit of readers, let me briefly summarize Michael Roberts’ logic and point out some of the more revealing flaws.

    1. As an (18) year old teenager, while hiding out in TN, Prabhakaran came across a Tamil translation of Mein Kampf and became a lifelong fan of Hitler.

    2. The only “proof” that Prabhakaran owned (let alone understood!) a copy of Mein Kampf comes from two ex-cadres in the 1970’s.

    3. Assuming Prabhakaran owned a copy of Mein Kampf (millions of people own such a copy; it can be found in almost any major library), the story does not end here; Roberts states explicitly that Prabhakaran was “inspired” by it.

    4. Roberts quotes a witness that says Prabhakaran was inspired by “Hitler’s” Army; in particular the “discipline” of the German Army. Roberts connects this “discipline” with Prabhakaran’s admiration for Hitler. On the other hand, Roberts neglects to mention the fact that Hitler himself was an extremely undisciplined individual who was unable to spend several hours on a single task.

    5. Roberts thinks that the Nazi salute is synonymous with an unusual degree of discipline which Prabhakaran then wanted to emulate. Roberts must think his readers lack the cranial capacity to comprehend that in every military some kind of salute involving a hand gesture exists.

    6. Roberts tries to connect Bose with Hitler, Prabhakaran with Bose, and then *transitively* speaking, Hitler with Prabhakaran. Either Roberts is a mathematician and not a historian, or else he is being flat-out disingenuous. Bose’s primary interest in the Third Reich had nothing to do with Aryan ideology; the goal was to free India from British rule. In general, Bose had a stormy relationship with Hitler, see here for more information: http://www.revolutionarydemocracy.org/rdv7n1/Bose.htm.

    7. Roberts does not mention that Bose was a revolutionary; in fact, this is how Prabhakaran also viewed Bose.

    8. Roberts does not explain how the “Aryan” ideology that is expressed in Mein Kampf fits in with the anti-“Aryan”/North Indian movements that have been popular in South India. In particular, Roberts does not explain why Prabhakaran was or was not influenced by such Dravidian nationalist movements while hiding in India, instead, in Roberts’ view, Prabhakaran preferred to gather inspiration from Mein Kampf while hiding out in TN.

    9. Roberts does not comment on the shortcomings/limitations of a Tamil version of Mein Kampf. Furthermore, Prabhakaran did not have the English background to read Mein Kampf in English to get a second opinion, assuming he even read Mein Kampf in the first place.

    10. Roberts incorrectly draws parallels between the Waffen SS and the Black Tigers. He neglects to mention that the Black Tigers included women who were raped, and that the Black Tigers were 100% expendable and carried out over 300 deliberate suicide missions.

    11. Roberts gives a bibliography listing sources which he probably did not use. Furthermore, many of Roberts’ sources are dubious. For example, DBS Jeyaraj is an obscure journalist engaging in shoddy journalism on a blog whose veracity can easily be called into question.

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      *several consecutive hours on a single task

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        Heshan, things are getting desperate, no? Von Paulus, the 6th Army… all that’s missing is your favourite ‘best ever General’, Rommel :)

        I have to say that whenever I read ‘weak minds’, ‘government schools’, ‘Sinhala Buddhist’, ‘Thala Thel’ (haven’t seen that for a long time) and other classic Heshanisms, I know we’re in a for a bravura display of bizarreness. Thank you for providing a never-ending and amusing stream of drivel.

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      “1. As an (18) year old teenager, while hiding out in TN, Prabhakaran came across a Tamil translation of Mein Kampf and became a lifelong fan of Hitler.”

      Isn’t that how you became a fan of Hitler as well?

      “2. The only “proof” that Prabhakaran owned (let alone understood!) a copy of Mein Kampf comes from two ex-cadres in the 1970′s.”

      Eyewitness statements are generally accepted everywhere except on Planet Klo. Further, there is no indication that VP had any literacy problems, unlike Unterklokommando Nihal.

      “3. Assuming Prabhakaran owned a copy of Mein Kampf (millions of people own such a copy; it can be found in almost any major library), the story does not end here; Roberts states explicitly that Prabhakaran was “inspired” by it.”

      The fact that VP tried to incorporate Nazi practices into the Tigers is in fact what proves it.

      “4. On the other hand, Roberts neglects to mention the fact that Hitler himself was an extremely undisciplined individual who was unable to spend several hours on a single task.”

      Isn’t that a failure on VP’s part rather than Roberts’?

      “5. Roberts thinks that the Nazi salute is synonymous with an unusual degree of discipline which Prabhakaran then wanted to emulate.”

      Where does Roberts say that the Nazi salute is synonymous with discipline?

      “Roberts must think his readers lack the cranial capacity to comprehend that in every military some kind of salute involving a hand gesture exists.”

      The point isn’t whether VP incorporated a salute, but why he wished to incorporate the Nazi salute. Do try and stay focused, Unterklo.

      “6. Roberts tries to connect Bose with Hitler,”

      He doesn’t need to try; Bose has long been connected to Hitler.

      “Bose’s primary interest in the Third Reich had nothing to do with Aryan ideology; the goal was to free India from British rule. “

      What Bose’s interest was is immaterial. Gandhi wished to free India from the British too, but he didn’t sign up with the SS.

      “7. Roberts does not mention that Bose was a revolutionary; in fact, this is how Prabhakaran also viewed Bose.”

      There were many revolutionaries, but very few who joined the SS.

      “8. Roberts does not explain how the “Aryan” ideology that is expressed in Mein Kampf fits in with the anti-”Aryan”/North Indian movements that have been popular in South India.”

      Many of the SS “legions” did not fall into the Aryan category, but nevertheless took the Hitler Oath and fought under the swastika — the Bosnian Muslims being one such group.

      “In particular, Roberts does not explain why Prabhakaran was or was not influenced by such Dravidian nationalist movements while hiding in India, instead, in Roberts’ view, Prabhakaran preferred to gather inspiration from Mein Kampf while hiding out in TN.”

      Has Roberts denied a Dravidian influence? I believe VP was influenced by Rambo and Clint Eastwood movies too, but the focus of this article is on his Nazi influences? Do you prefer that every article cover every aspect?

      “9. Roberts does not comment on the shortcomings/limitations of a Tamil version of Mein Kampf. Furthermore, Prabhakaran did not have the English background to read Mein Kampf in English to get a second opinion, assuming he even read Mein Kampf in the first place.”

      Can you elaborate on the limitations in translating German into Tamil that does not exist in translating German into English? Feel free to quote your extensive studies in linguistics (in which you failed to learn the meaning of the word “multiple”) and delve into your fluency in multiple languages.

      “10. Roberts incorrectly draws parallels between the Waffen SS and the Black Tigers. He neglects to mention that the Black Tigers included women who were raped, and that the Black Tigers were 100% expendable and carried out over 300 deliberate suicide missions.”

      You forgot to mention that the Waffen-SS were white Europeans while the Tigers were brown Asians. Surely this is far more important a factor?

      “11. Roberts gives a bibliography listing sources which he probably did not use. Furthermore, many of Roberts’ sources are dubious. For example, DBS Jeyaraj is an obscure journalist engaging in shoddy journalism on a blog whose veracity can easily be called into question.”

      So then you would discount the fact that DBSJ and Roberts disagree on most things?

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        You’ve sidestepped all the points I raised, which makes sense, since Roberts’ article is meant to appeal to simple minds for all the wrong reasons. What the points show is that once you go beyond simple logic like “hand salute = discipline”, “owning Mein Kampf = Hitler fan”, “Waffen SS = violent = Black Tigers”, Roberts’ thesis begins to fall apart.

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        To the contrary, I’ve tried to steer you back to the actual debate, which isn’t whether Paulus saluted Hitler, whether the salute made the Nazis good soldiers, whether German can be translated to Tamil, or any of the other juvenile drivel you call “points”.

        What you refer to as “simple logic” does not appear anywhere in Roberts’ writings. He doesn’t equate the salute to discipline; he doesn’t say that ownership of Mein Kampf made one a Hitler fan; or that the Black Tigers can be comparable to the Waffen-SS because they were both violent.

        In contrast, you’ve made ludicrous suggestions that since the SS didn’t carry cyanide, they cannot be compared to the Tigers. The point isn’t whether the Tigers were similar to the SS, dimwit.

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    Slight correction: Roberts’ does in fact mention that Bose was a revolutionary. On the other hand, Hitler was no revolutionary. This distinction is very important, as Prabhakaran’s primary role models were all revolutionaries:

    — Like his mother, Prabhakaran devoured history books, particularly stories about the Indian fighters who fought the British for independence. “It was the reading of such books that laid the foundation for my life as a revolutionary,” he once said. —

    http://sundaytimes.lk/cms/article10.php?id=1897

    A revolutionary is someone who does not follow traditional methods. Hitler was a traditionalist; he thought that military tactics from WW1 could be successfully applied to WW2; he wanted to emulate Parisian architecture and art within the frame of a German context; he did not believe in gender inequality, he believed agriculture was an exceptionally noble occupation, and as Speer talks about in his book, he (Hitler) did not understand how technology was evolving. On the other hand, Prabhakaran was a revolutionary in every sense. From the participation of women as front-line LTTE commanders to the development of an LTTE air squadron to the setting up of a de facto LTTE government to the invention of LTTE-manufactured submarines, Prabhakaran’s ideas were unprecedented.

    So now we can see that Prabhakaran’s admiration for the Hitler salute – if such admiration existed in the first place – counts for almost nothing, despite Roberts’ attempts to capitalize upon it. Prabhakaran was an innovator from start to finish; that is how the LTTE survived for 30 yrs . It hardly mattered whether every cadre swore an oath of loyalty to him or not. So much for inspiration from Hitler!

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      @ Nihal

      “Roberts’ does in fact mention that Bose was a revolutionary. On the other hand, Hitler was no revolutionary. This distinction is very important, as Prabhakaran’s primary role models were all revolutionaries: — Like his mother, Prabhakaran devoured history books, particularly stories about the Indian fighters who fought the British for independence.”

      I know that the apostrophe can be a tricky little bugger (oops, sorry, don’t get excited!) for some people. I am surprised that it should cause such difficulties for a man of your vast intellect. You seem to have a compulsion to stick in an apostrophe whenever you see the letter ‘s’. The apostrophe, in itself, does not have any connection with the concept of plurality. It is usually there to denote the genitive, i.e. possession.

      “Roberts” is the man’s name. There is only one Roberts. You are not writing about anything belonging to him. Therefore, “Roberts’” is a barbarism, which one might forgive in an illiterate greengrocer or latrine digger but it is unforgivable in one of a mighty brain such as yourself.

      Punctuation is a dry old subject, but Lynn Truss managed to make it entertaining enough to sell enough copies of her book Eats, Shoots & Leaves to become a New York Times best seller. A spoof on the book called Eats, Shites & Leaves: Crap English and How to Use it, by A Parody is also quite useful.

      I recommend that you read both books but I know you are a busy man so i will give you a brief guide.

      One Rajapaksa = Rajapaksa
      Rajapaksa X two = Rajapaksas
      Something belonging to one Rajapaksa = Rajapaksa’s
      Something belonging to more than one Rajapaksa = Rajapaksas’.

      I will come back later to see if you have absorbed this simple lesson.

      On the more substantive matter of Bose, you seem to be backtracking. That is your privilege.

      “Prabhakaran was an innovator from start to finish; that is how the LTTE survived for 30 yrs .” Such a level of innovation led to ultimate failure, though, didn’t it?

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        Both Hitler and VP underestimated their own abilities to maintain a perpetual war, and were both eventually exhausted and overwhelmed. There are as many parallels as there are dissimilarities.

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          “Both Hitler and VP underestimated their own abilities to maintain a perpetual war, and were both eventually exhausted and overwhelmed.”

          Overestimated?

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            Oops, yes, overestimated!

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    “The latter, in the form of the Waffen-SS, was both the spearhead of the German offensives and the rearguard in its retreat. It was this ideological indoctrination that created a type of soldier who fought on when all military sense told one to give up. It was this that VP admired, and which he tried to incorporate into his Black Tigers; some might say successfully”

    The Black Tigers were not modeled after the Waffen SS. The Waffen SS were never expendendable, whereas the Black Tigers were 100% expendable. Anyone is capable of going on a suicide mission – the primary goal of a Black Tiger – very few are capable of doing what the Waffen SS did, which is why the Waffen (not counting the foreign legions) were among the best soldiers in history.

    “He doesn’t equate the salute to discipline”

    Actually he does (indirectly). He quotes an ex-LTTE cadre who says: “The order was given that as the first part of the army training all being trained should salute as is done in Hitler’s army.” Obviously, discipline does not come about without training.

    “But Narayan Swamy missed one inspirational force: Adolf Hitler and his Mein Kampf.”

    Does anyone find it ironic that Swamy, the foremost biographer of Prabhakaran, has nothing to say about Prabhakaran and Hitler? This just goes to show that Roberts’ basic thesis – two-ex LTTE cadres supposedly claiming the 18-yr VP possessed a copy of Mein Kampf = VP’s lifelong admiration for Hitler – is more of a figment of Roberts’ imagination than anything else.

    “he doesn’t say that ownership of Mein Kampf made one a Hitler fan”

    Actually he uses ownership to emphasize admiration for the particular case of Prabhakaran:

    “Note, too, that Mein Kampf had been translated into Tamil in 1944”

    “We must be thankful, therefore, to two of Pirapāharan’s early colleagues-in-arms, Ganēshan Iyer and Rāgavan, for indicating that Pirapāharan had a copy of Mein Kampf in his possession and that he admired Hitler.”

    Basically, Roberts goes out of his way to indicate that a Tamil copy of Mein Kampf existed which Prabhakaran could then own. In other words, Roberts is tacitly implying that Prabhakaran admired Hitler to the extent that he owned a copy of Mein Kampf (this ownership was possible because a Tamil version existed). So in Prabhakaran’s particular case, ownership of Mein Kampf, according to Roberts, is indicative of Prabhakaran’s admiration for Hitler. Roberts doesn’t just say INTEREST, he uses the actual word ADMIRATION. On the other hand, I’ve pointed out that millions of people/institutions own a copy of Mein Kampf for the sole reason that they had/have an interest in Hitler/Nazi Germany. Roberts’ mistake is to go beyond mere interest and indicate actual admiration.

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      “The Black Tigers were not modeled after the Waffen SS.”

      Who said they were, tits-for-brains?

      “The Waffen SS were never expendendable, whereas the Black Tigers were 100% expendable.”

      They were certainly expended many times — the 12th SS-Hitler Jugend at the Falaise Gap, the 2nd SS-Das Reich in the Cherkassy Pocket, and on many other occasions.

      You are still trying to argue that the Black Tigers are not like the Waffen-SS by comparing their missions. You must have a pretty low IQ if you haven’t understood that the only similarity we are discussing is the political indoctrination that both units were subjected to.

      “very few are capable of doing what the Waffen SS did, which is why the Waffen (not counting the foreign legions) were among the best soldiers in history.”

      And that was solely because of their fanaticism, gained through political indoctrination. If you have read any histories of the Waffen-SS, you would know that its troops were no better in quality than the Heer, their officers were generally of equal or inferior quality to Heer officers (middle- or working-class as opposed to Prussian aristocracy — Obergruppenfuhrer Sepp Dietrich, commander of the Leibstandarte was said to be no better than a competent sergeant-major), their training was the same as Heer units, their weapons and equipment were the same or often inferior to the Heer. So unless you can prove a factor other than political indoctrination, you must accept that that is the sole reason for their outstanding performance, and it is this very factor that I first pointed out to you. Congratulations, Unterklokommando Heshan, for proving yourself wrong as usual.

      Also, the 5th SS-Panzergrenadier Division Wiking was a foreign legion, consisting mostly of Scandinavian troops, and is acknowledged as one of the best Waffen-SS units. In contrast, the 4th SS-Panzergrenadier Division SS-Polizei was one of the worst, in spite of the fact that it was one of the oldest.

      “Actually he does (indirectly). He quotes an ex-LTTE cadre who says: “The order was given that as the first part of the army training all being trained should salute as is done in Hitler’s army.” Obviously, discipline does not come about without training.”

      I didn’t ask you, numbnuts, whether discipline came with training; I asked you to quote Roberts equating the salute with discipline as you claimed. Is your logic that if training included smacking oneself on the arse, that therefore smacking oneself on the arse brings about discipline? :D

      “This just goes to show that Roberts’ basic thesis – two-ex LTTE cadres supposedly claiming the 18-yr VP possessed a copy of Mein Kampf = VP’s lifelong admiration for Hitler – is more of a figment of Roberts’ imagination than anything else.”

      Can you quote Roberts saying that his witnesses claimed VP formed a “lifelong” admiration of Hitler? Also, can you explain how in spite of having two testimonies to the fact that VP owned a copy of Mein Kampf, it can be Roberts’ imagination?

      “Actually he uses ownership to emphasize admiration for the particular case of Prabhakaran:“Note, too, that Mein Kampf had been translated into Tamil in 1944″“We must be thankful, therefore, to two of Pirapāharan’s early colleagues-in-arms, Ganēshan Iyer and Rāgavan, for indicating that Pirapāharan had a copy of Mein Kampf in his possession and that he admired Hitler.””

      So isn’t it Iyer and Ragavan (eyewitnesses and close compatriots of VP) making the claim rather than Roberts?

      “Basically, Roberts goes out of his way to indicate that a Tamil copy of Mein Kampf existed which Prabhakaran could then own.”

      How can Roberts be going “out of his way” in making a statement of fact? Are you contesting the fact that Mein Kampf was translated into Tamil in 1944?

      “In other words, Roberts is tacitly implying that Prabhakaran admired Hitler to the extent that he owned a copy of Mein Kampf (this ownership was possible because a Tamil version existed). So in Prabhakaran’s particular case, ownership of Mein Kampf, according to Roberts, is indicative of Prabhakaran’s admiration for Hitler.”

      But in your quote above, Roberts says no such thing. All he says is that we have Ragavan’s and Iyer’s statements that VP owned a copy of the book and that he admired Hitler. Can you quote Roberts claiming that mere ownership proved admiration?

      “On the other hand, I’ve pointed out that millions of people/institutions own a copy of Mein Kampf for the sole reason that they had/have an interest in Hitler/Nazi Germany. Roberts’ mistake is to go beyond mere interest and indicate actual admiration.”

      Can you point to one of these millions of people who attempted to incorporate the Nazi salute into an organisation that he or she ran? If they had done so (as VP is said to have done), we could very well deduce that he/she admired Hitler.

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        “And that was solely because of their fanaticism, gained through political indoctrination.”

        No, it was experience that made them so good. If fanaticism was enough, then the Hitler Youth brigades, towards the end of the war, should have been able to defend Berlin from the Reds.

        — The poor initial performance of the Waffen-SS units was mainly due to the emphasis on political indoctrination, rather than the long and effective military training achieved by the Army before the war. This was largely due to the shortage of experienced NCOs, who preferred to stay with the regular army. Despite this, the experience gained from the Polish, French and Balkan campaigns and the peculiarly egalitarian form of training soon turned the best Waffen-SS units into elite formations. —

        http://en.metapedia.org/wiki/Waffen-SS

        “their officers were generally of equal or inferior quality to Heer officers”

        Nonsense. Take for example, Felix Steiner: — Steiner ranks as one of the most innovative commanders of the Waffen-SS. He skillfully commanded the SS-Deutschland Regiment through the invasions of Poland, France and the Low Countries. —

        “Also, the 5th SS-Panzergrenadier Division Wiking was a foreign legion, consisting mostly of Scandinavian troops “

        Wiking contained plenty of German troops:”The division was formed around three motorised infantry regiments: Germania, formed mostly from ethnic Germans; Westland, consisting mainly of Dutch and Flemish volunteers; and Nordland, composed mostly of Danes, Swedes and Norwegians.[2] Command of the newly formed division was given to Brigadeführer Felix Steiner,[4] the former commander of the Verfügungstruppe SS Regiment Deutschland.”

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        “No, it was experience that made them so good.”

        What experience? The Waffen-SS units were no more experienced than the Heer units. Can you show us how Waffen-SS units were more experienced than their Heer counterparts?

        “If fanaticism was enough, then the Hitler Youth brigades, towards the end of the war, should have been able to defend Berlin from the Reds.”

        Given that the grown men of the Waffen-SS, the so-called elite, couldn’t defend Berlin either, how can you fault the Hitler Youth children’s inability to do so? There were a lot of other factors in the Hitler Youth’s ineffectiveness. Also, there were no such “Hitler Youth Brigades”. Children were organised into lose squads and sent out on bicycles to fight tanks; much the same as the Tiger conscripts at the end of the war.

        ” The poor initial performance of the Waffen-SS units was mainly due to the emphasis on political indoctrination, rather than the long and effective military training achieved by the Army before the war. “

        So you acknowledge that Heer training was in fact better than that of the Waffen-SS, and the latter had to bring themselves up to the standard of the Heer? My point exactly. Also, initial performance of the Waffen-SS was no poorer than that of the Heer, except that they took more casualties in their efforts because they weren’t trained well enough militarily. I didn’t say that political indoctrination was a better alternative to military training, just that the former made the Waffen-SS more fanatical than their Heer counterparts.

        “Despite this, the experience gained from the Polish, French and Balkan campaigns and the peculiarly egalitarian form of training soon turned the best Waffen-SS units into elite formations.”

        How can this be, given that the Heer also participated in these campaigns? Also, how can it be said that the Waffen-SS performed poorly in early campaigns, when they clearly did well? Eg: Elements of Das Reich were the first German units into Belgrade, Totenkopf the first German unit across the Meuse, Hitler had to restrain the Leibstandarte in their offensive into France until Heer units could catch up (Sepp Dietrich ignored the order). Sinply cutting and pasting from Wikipedia isn’t good enough, Unterklokommandant.

        “Nonsense. Take for example, Felix Steiner: — Steiner ranks as one of the most innovative commanders of the Waffen-SS.”

        He certainly was innovative in comparison to other Waffen-SS commanders such as Dietrich and Eicke, but that doesn’t mean he was any better than, or even upto the standard of, Heer commanders. Can you name any high-ranking Waffen-SS officer considered to be of the standard of a Rommel or Guderian?

        “Wiking contained plenty of German troops:”The division was formed around three motorised infantry regiments: Germania, formed mostly from ethnic Germans; Westland, consisting mainly of Dutch and Flemish volunteers; and Nordland, composed mostly of Danes, Swedes and Norwegians.”

        So over two-thirds of the unit was non-German. Thanks for confirming my point :D

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          I have Ian Kershaw’s two-volume biography of Hitler on my shelf but I would not want to drop it on my foot so I will bow to David and Nihal’s expert knowledge of German history and let them duke it out between themselves.

          I have to say, though, that it is often the case that I read Nihal’s comments and wonder if he has been reading the same article that I have been reading.

          I re-read Professor Roberts’s article and this is what I got from it.

          Prabhakaran may have had a certain native cunning (Nihal seems to have access to records of his IQ) but did not have much in the way of formal education and certainly did not have a rigorous academic training in higher education. This meant that he adopted a pick-and-mix approach to the global supermarket of ideas and ideologies. I thank Nihal for pointing out the differences between National Socialism and Socialism. I DID know that before encountering Nihal.

          I see little evidence that Prabhakaran embraced Marxist-Leninism, however close he might have been to Balasingham. Balasingham was useful in dealings with the west because he was reasonably competent and personable. (He worked alongside my father-in-law at the British High Commission). He was more acceptable to the west than his leader. He was fluent in English, for example.

          Prabhakaran would have picked on what he found useful in what Balasingham told him, just as he picked on what he found useful in Clint Eastwood.

          It does not seem unlikely that Prabhakaran was influenced by Bose. Bose allied himself with Hitler. It does not seem unlikely that Prabhakaran would find something in Hitler’s philosophy and practice that he would find useful to his own project. “Bose’s primary interest in the Third Reich had nothing to do with Aryan ideology; the goal was to free India from British rule.” So what?

          Whether he read Mein Kampf or not does not seem to me particularly important. There are many Nazis vandalising Europe today who have probably never read a book in their entire lives, let alone Mein Kampf. One would not doubt their Nazi credentials; one could convincingly still claim that they were influenced by Hitler and they would be proud to admit it.

          Roberts recognises the difficulties in mentioning Hitler in connection with Prabhakaran because it associates him “with a modern-ogre, Adolph Hitler of racist notoriety. Their defensive responses must be treated as just that: an ulcer within their own psyche. Such sensitivity is misplaced. There is a genuine intellectual issue here arising from the first-hand evidence provided by our two sources, Iyer and Rāgavan.”

          Prabhakaran was enough of an ogre in his own right. Nihal argues that one cannot legitimately make such a comparison because Prabhakaran would not fit into Hitler’s ideas about an Aryan Master race. That is a cart before the horse argument. Just because Hitler might not have approved of a representative of the Dravidians like Prabakharan does not mean that Prabhakaran could not find something useful in Hitler’s racist ideology. All he had to do was change the races.

          It is not too much of a stretch to see Nazi influence in Tiger discipline even if the details were not always the same. Roberts quotes Iyer and Rāgavan to support this. Rāgavan says he “felt very strongly that the Tamil cause needed to be united behind one single organisation” and was attracted to “Adolph Hitler’s authoritarianism.”

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        “Prabhakaran may have had a certain native cunning (Nihal seems to have access to records of his IQ) but did not have much in the way of formal education and certainly did not have a rigorous academic training in higher education. This meant that he adopted a pick-and-mix approach to the global supermarket of ideas and ideologies. I thank Nihal for pointing out the differences between National Socialism and Socialism.”

        I think this analysis pretty much fits Himmelsfahrtfuhrer Heshan/Nihal as much as it does VP.

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    “But in your quote above, Roberts says no such thing.”

    It’s called an inference. Roberts need not say everything explicitly.

    “How can Roberts be going “out of his way” in making a statement of fact?”

    Roberts emphasizes that a Tamil copy of Mein Kampf exists. As I said, Roberts wants to associate Prabhakaran’s so-called admiration for Hitler with ownership of Mein Kampf. The problem for Roberts is that almost no one reads Mein Kampf in Tamil, but Prabhakaran could only read Tamil, so Roberts has to find a way to intentionally lie about Prabhakaran owning a copy of Mein Kampf – hardly a statement of fact. What he does is come up with this makebelieve story about two ex-LTTE seeing a copy of Mein Kampf with Prabhakaran. On the other hand, one must wonder how two Tamils whose schooling probably didn’t go beyond the 8th grade, and who had never studied European history, and had most likely never left SL until they left the LTTE and the island (assuming they did) would remember German words like “Mein Kampf.” Here is a simple experiment: try going to Dambulla and ask people how many of them of have heard of Mein Kampf. 95% will probably say no.

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      “It’s called an inference”

      No, it’s called an assumption; one made by you. Roberts points to Iyer’s and Ragavan’s testimonies that VP owned a copy of Mein Kampf, that he admired Hitler, and that he tried to incorporate the Nazi salute into the Tigers; all of which clearly states that he admired Hitler at the time (there is no claim that he became a “lifelong fan”, as you rather foolishly state). How is that an inference that mere ownership of Mein Kampf suggested admiration of its author? Aren’t you setting up a straw man because you cannot handle the actual facts? :D

      “Roberts emphasizes that a Tamil copy of Mein Kampf exists”

      How is stating a pertinent point an emphasis? If he hadn’t mentioned it, wouldn’t inbreds like yourself have scoffed at the idea that VP could read German?

      ” As I said, Roberts wants to associate Prabhakaran’s so-called admiration for Hitler with ownership of Mein Kampf.”

      Why does he need to (and you have been unable to quote him making any such claim), given that both Iyer and Ragavan state that VP admired Hitler and tried to adopt the Nazi salute?

      “The problem for Roberts is that almost no one reads Mein Kampf in Tamil”

      Then why was it translated into Tamil? Are you unaware that millions of Tamils cannot read English or German? How would such a Tamil read Mein Kampf if it wasn’t available in Tamil? I repeat, are you contesting the existence of a Tamil translation? :D Here’s a link to it online: http://www.tamilbooksonline.in/searchbooks1.php?code=TA007670&&bookname=ENATHU%20PORATTAM%20(MEIN%20KAMPF) It’s called Enathu Porattam.

      “so Roberts has to find a way to intentionally lie about Prabhakaran owning a copy of Mein Kampf “

      Why does he have to do so, when both Iyer and Ragavan make that claim, and given that they have both made the claim, how can Roberts be lying? Isn’t it you that is lying?

      “What he does is come up with this makebelieve story about two ex-LTTE seeing a copy of Mein Kampf with Prabhakaran.”

      How can it be make-believe, when Iyer’s statement is available in the original Tamil (I’ve provided you the link)? Are you doubting the English translation, because you cannot read Tamil? :D

      “On the other hand, one must wonder how two Tamils whose schooling probably didn’t go beyond the 8th grade, and who had never studied European history, and had most likely never left SL until they left the LTTE and the island (assuming they did) would remember German words like “Mein Kampf.””

      Firstly, how do you know what Iyer’s and Ragavan’s educational standards were? And why would they need a university degree to read the words MEIN KAMPF written phonetically in Tamil below the words ENATHU PORATTAM, or to recognize Hitler’s picture? Also, since their statements were made some time later, wouldn’t it be possible that even if they didn’t know what they were seeing at the time, they’d found out later? Aren’t you clutching at straws and making a fool of yourself again, Unterklokommandant? :D

      “Here is a simple experiment: try going to Dambulla and ask people how many of them of have heard of Mein Kampf. 95% will probably say no.”

      That wold be a stupid experiment. A better experiment would have been to ask the founding members of the JVP. I’m sure they would have known. Also, both Ragavan and Iyer state that VP admired Hitler and wanted to adopt some of his practices (I guess the eviction of the Muslims came out of that book too); if so, he would very likely have explained some of his theories, so it’s unlikely that Ragavan and Iyer would have to depend on their own knowledge to identify the book.

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    On a more serious level than the comedy provided by Nihal, I would like to register a strong protest at the disrespect shown to latrine diggers by all sides in this thread. There should be something in the comments policy about disrespecting latrine diggers.

    My own father made an important contribution to the defeat of the Nazis. Part of his contribution was digging latrines. It was an important job which had to be done. He also had to bury the dead. He lost his sense of smell in the process. The last thing he smelt was rotting corpses on the Normandy beaches after D-Day.

    See:
    http://pcolman.wordpress.com/2012/02/16/the-armys-hewers-and-drawers-the-story-of-the-pioneer-corps/

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      Heshan’s failure mirrors the Nazi’s last stand in Berlin. Nihal (ersatz Führer) in his bunker ordering futile attacks (“There is no proof VP even read “Mein Kampf.”) using unsuitable forces (“The Waffen SS were never expendable” ) against an overwhelmingly superior enemy, whilst hoping for a non-existent, war-winning, miracle weapon.

      My apologies for Padraig for using the Pioneer Corp as a mark of unworthy military designation.

      Heshan’s more suitable for deployment in the SS/SD Einsatzgruppen…. you know, the people who swaggered around in their snazzy SS uniforms in rear areas, after major combat had finished, shooting civilian untermenschen.

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        SS/SD Einsatzgruppen sounds more appropriate!

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      An excellent contribution from the Irish end; defending of the latrines! I suppose that given the high rate of alcoholism, latrines are quite a commodity in that part of the world. Might I suggest that you teach the Sinhala-Buddhists how to build a proper one; 2500 years of Mahavamsa and they are still sharing the bathrooms (which the British built) with the rodents.

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        But you being the Unterklokommandant, shouldn’t you undertake this task?

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    “Roberts points to Iyer’s and Ragavan’s testimonies that VP owned a copy of Mein Kampf, that he admired Hitler”

    The problem is that Iyer and Ragavan probably knew very little about Hitler at the time. Iyer and Ragavan did not complete the 8th grade (similar to you yourself, perhaps); neither did they speak any language other than Tamil. If Iyer and Ragavan had seen a copy of “Mein Kampf” on a single occassion in the possession of Prabhakaran, there is very little possibility they would have remembered it.

    “and that he tried to incorporate the Nazi salute into the Tigers;”

    Again, there is no prooof that in the case of the LTTE, this salute had anything to do with the Nazis or admiration for Hitler per se. The “Nazi salute” was not created by Hitler. It was not exclusive to the Nazis either; where is the proof that Prabhakaran did not borrow this salute from Mussolini, for example?

    It could also be that Prabhakaran simply borrowed the salute from some Middle Eastern militant group; many of which employ a similar salute:

    http://sheikyermami.com/wp-content/uploads/hamas265.jpg

    It is well-known that the LTTE had ties to such groups as the PLO in its early days.

    “all of which clearly states that he admired Hitler at the time”

    Except that it hasn’t been proved that the hand gesture had anything to do with admiration for Hitler; it also hasn’t been proved that Prabhakaran owned a copy of Mein Kampf or had any admiration for Hitler, who was not a revolutionary (all of Prabhakaran’s role models were revolutionaries).

    “Then why was it translated into Tamil?”

    Because it’s a historical work.

    “Are you unaware that millions of Tamils cannot read English or German?”

    That was the case a long time ago, but is not the case anymore, certainly not with the per capita income of South India.

    “Why does he have to do so, when both Iyer and Ragavan make that claim, and given that they have both made the claim, how can Roberts be lying?”

    Why does Narayan Swamy, who spent years studying Prabhakaran in detail, have nothing to say about Prabhakaran’s so-called admiration for Hitler? Why does Swamy mention neither the admiration nor the fact that the book was in Prabhakaran’s possession? Why are there only two ex-LTTE cadres who mention the salute? Why are there no pictures of an LTTE cadre giving such a salute?

    “Firstly, how do you know what Iyer’s and Ragavan’s educational standards were?”

    Because the LTTE were recruited mainly from the lower classes, with a few exceptions. There was a period when Tamil university students were also fans of the LTTE, e.g. Rajani Thiranagama, but most of them became quickly disillusioned with the movement.

    “That wold be a stupid experiment.”

    Not really. Outside of Europe and North America, most people do not know that Hitler wrote Mein Kampf.

    “Also, both Ragavan and Iyer state that VP admired Hitler and wanted to adopt some of his practices (I guess the eviction of the Muslims came out of that book too)”

    Except that Muslims once held important positions in the LTTE; a Jew had no place in the Third Reich, except the ghetto and ultimately the extermination camp. Unless one is a racial purist, and believes in the myth of the “Aryan ubermensch”, or is interested in Hitler per se, there is very little to be had out of Mein Kampf.

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      “Unless one is a racial purist, and believes in the myth of the “Aryan ubermensch”, or is interested in Hitler per se, there is very little to be had out of Mein Kampf.”

      Thanks for that Nihal. I’ll cross it off my reading list then. so much to read, so little time.

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      “The problem is that Iyer and Ragavan probably knew very little about Hitler at the time.”

      How do you know this, and why does this matter? As already explained to you, even if they learned about Hitler later, it doesn’t rule out the fact that they remembered having seen the book and/or heard about Hitler from VP.

      “yer and Ragavan did not complete the 8th grade”

      Again, how do you know this (not everyone had your educational misfortunes), and why does this matter? Are you claiming that a 8th grade student cannot read his mother tongue? Again, the fact that you were unable to doesn’t mean everyone else is unable to.

      “neither did they speak any language other than Tamil.”

      Again, how do you know this, and why does this matter? VP Had the Tamil translation and both Iyer and Ragavan spoke and read Tamil.

      “If Iyer and Ragavan had seen a copy of “Mein Kampf” on a single occassion in the possession of Prabhakaran, there is very little possibility they would have remembered it.”

      How do you know they saw it only once? The fact is that they remember it, so clearly they saw it enough times for it to make an impression.

      “Again, there is no prooof that in the case of the LTTE, this salute had anything to do with the Nazis or admiration for Hitler per se.”

      Again, we have the firsthand testimony of two of VP’s compatriots, both of whom contradict you; so I think that constitutes “credible evidence” ;)

      “The “Nazi salute” was not created by Hitler. It was not exclusive to the Nazis either; where is the proof that Prabhakaran did not borrow this salute from Mussolini, for example?”

      Do you have any evidence (eyewitness statements will do) that VP was reading the Collected Works of il Duce?

      “It could also be that Prabhakaran simply borrowed the salute from some Middle Eastern militant group; many of which employ a similar salute:It is well-known that the LTTE had ties to such groups as the PLO in its early days.”

      The picture you posted is of Hamas, which was founded in 1987, so it would be impossible for VP to have picked it up from them in the ’70s :D The PLO picked it up only later, and were first seen using it on Arafat in the self-rule areas. Can you show any indication that they used it in the ’70s?

      You seem very desperate to find any other source other than Hitler (like Mussolini, the PLO, etc) despite the lack of any evidence, but are happy to disregard the firsthand testimonies that VP owned a copy of Mein Kampf, admired Hitler, and talked about incorporating Nazi practices into the Tigers. Why this illogical desperation, Unterklokommandant?

      “Except that it hasn’t been proved that the hand gesture had anything to do with admiration for Hitler; it also hasn’t been proved that Prabhakaran owned a copy of Mein Kampf or had any admiration for Hitler, who was not a revolutionary (all of Prabhakaran’s role models were revolutionaries).”

      We have eyewitness statements, which constitute “credible evidence”. And Hitler was as much a revolutionary as Fidel Castro; he brought in a revolutionary ideology, and used it to take power. Rambo wasn’t a revolutionary, so how come VP screened Rambo movies to inspire his troops?

      “Because it’s a historical work.”

      And why translate a historical work into a particular language if, as you claim, no one would read it in that language?

      “That was the case a long time ago, but is not the case anymore, certainly not with the per capita income of South India”

      Firstly, Mein Kampf was translated a long time ago; 1944. Secondly, the period we are discussing — the ’70s — is also a long time ago. Thirdly, we know that VP didn’t read English very well, and you claim Iyer and Ragavan didn’t either. Fourthly, can you prove that the majority of Tamils today speak either English or German? If you cannot, then my statement that millions of Tamils speak neither language would be accurate today as it was both in the ’40s and the ’70s; and therefore a translation of Mein Kampf was necessary.

      “Why does Narayan Swamy, who spent years studying Prabhakaran in detail, have nothing to say about Prabhakaran’s so-called admiration for Hitler? Why does Swamy mention neither the admiration nor the fact that the book was in Prabhakaran’s possession?”

      Are you saying that because one account doesn’t contain a particular facet mentioned by two other accounts, then that facet must be dismissed? Isn’t a historical perspective gained by studying all the accounts rather than just the ones we like? Iyer and Ragavan are eyewitnesses, Swamy isn’t.

      “Why are there only two ex-LTTE cadres who mention the salute?”

      Can you provide the accounts of other senior Tiger cadres from the period who overlook the salute?

      “Why are there no pictures of an LTTE cadre giving such a salute?”

      Because Iyer says VP’s attempts to adopt the salute were unsuccessful.

      “Because the LTTE were recruited mainly from the lower classes, with a few exceptions. There was a period when Tamil university students were also fans of the LTTE, e.g. Rajani Thiranagama, but most of them became quickly disillusioned with the movement.”

      How do you know that by lower classes it is meant that they were uneducated? Also, how can you discount that Iyer and Ragavan were not exceptions, especially since the former was the LTTE treasurer? Regardless of this, why have you avoided the question as to why an 8th grade student would be unable to read in his mother tongue?

      “Not really. Outside of Europe and North America, most people do not know that Hitler wrote Mein Kampf.”

      Lol have you any evidence of this? I had heard of both Hitler and Mein Kampf when I was around 10 years old. Most of my friends had too. This morning I asked 23 people in Colombo (none of them English-speaking, ranging from several trishaw drivers, a policeman, the shopkeeper I buy smokes from, the mechanic at a garage, two O/L schoolboys, and a few others) if they had heard of Hitler and/or Mein Kampf. 18 of them said they had heard of both. The other five said they knew who Hitler was. Jaffna was SL’s only other city aside from Colombo in the ’70s, so it stands to reason that its inhabitants would be better informed than the average rural Sri Lankan. Mein Kampf currently stands at number six on the best-seller list among Palestinians. How can this be if, as you claim, “outside of Europe and North America, most people do not know that Hitler wrote Mein Kampf.”

      “Except that Muslims once held important positions in the LTTE”

      :D Can you tell us what percentage of Muslims held “important positions” in the Tigers?

      “Unless one is a racial purist, and believes in the myth of the “Aryan ubermensch”, or is interested in Hitler per se, there is very little to be had out of Mein Kampf.”

      Clearly, though you own a copy, you haven’t bothered to read it. Besides, we have no idea whether VP’s interest in Hitler ended with Mein Kampf. Many of Hitler’s practices (particular to do with misinformation, propaganda, and ideological indoctrination of he masses) are studied by many who have no interest in racial purity or any such mumbo-jumbo; the same goes for Stalinist and Leninist theory, which is studied by people who have no interest in the ideology. Padraig made the point that your mind is restricted and that you cannot conceive of the fact that someone might be interested in an aspect of something without buying into the entire theory. Many people take what they want from history and ignore the inconvenient.

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      @Heshan
      Your latest ignorant idiocy is this:
      “a Jew had no place in the Third Reich, except the ghetto and ultimately the extermination camp.”

      No, you Trottel, (trans. moron), thousands of Jews served in all branches of the Wehrmacht. The most famous being Luftwaffe Field-marshal Erhard Milch. Hitler Aryanized him and Goring famously said “Wer Jude ist, bestimme ich” (I decide who is a Jew).

      Bryan Rigg’s superb documentary “Hitlers jüdische Soldaten” can be seen here (German only), but a monolingual chimpanzee like you won’t understand it.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=of6m8aJnGk0

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    “where is the proof that Prabhakaran did not borrow this salute from Mussolini, for example?”

    Nazi and Fascist influence on VP was clearly limited. Although he created an efficient killing machine (which was crushed) he did not emulate Mussolini’s civil achievements such as making the trains run on time or defeating the mosquito.

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    “Prabhakaran may have had a certain native cunning (Nihal seems to have access to records of his IQ) but did not have much in the way of formal education and certainly did not have a rigorous academic training in higher education. This meant that he adopted a pick-and-mix approach to the global supermarket of ideas and ideologies.”

    Lots and lots of good papers have between written about the LTTE and its connection to Marxism. Marxism had a utility value, as far as the LTTE was concerned. Prabhakaran was a very practical person. He did not hold romantic notions of a Tamil empire, similar to the way Hitler envisioned the Third Reich. The boundaries of Tamil Eelam never changed. So it’s unlikely that Prabhakaran admired Hitler for the sole reason that Hitler’s philosophy did not serve any useful purpose, as far as Eelam struggle is concerned.

    “I see little evidence that Prabhakaran embraced Marxist-Leninism,”

    That only shows your lack of knowledge in regards to the evolution of the LTTE. Initially it was the plaything of the Jaffna upper classes, e.g. Amirthalingam and his TULF; once it expanded in size, however, it ceased to accede to any clearly-defined socio-economic construct. It was also extremely secular, even though Sinhala-Buddhist nationalists try to portray it as having connections to the Church.

    “however close he might have been to Balasingham. Balasingham was useful in dealings with the west because he was reasonably competent and personable. (He worked alongside my father-in-law at the British High Commission). He was more acceptable to the west than his leader. He was fluent in English, for example.”

    Another reason why Prabhakaran did not admire Hitler. Hitler had delusions about the West right up to the end. Prabhakaran, at some stage in his career, became highly conscious of Western opinion; hence the dramatic decline in suicide bombings and the era of political lobbying in Western capitals by the Tamil diaspora.

    “Prabhakaran would have picked on what he found useful in what Balasingham told him, just as he picked on what he found useful in Clint Eastwood.”

    But there was nothing that Prabhakaran would have found useful in Hitler.

    “Prabhakaran was enough of an ogre in his own right. Nihal argues that one cannot legitimately make such a comparison because Prabhakaran would not fit into Hitler’s ideas about an Aryan Master race. That is a cart before the horse argument. Just because Hitler might not have approved of a representative of the Dravidians like Prabakharan does not mean that Prabhakaran could not find something useful in Hitler’s racist ideology. All he had to do was change the races.”

    I have never come across a Dravidian/South Indian who has expressed any admiration for Hitler. On the contrary, many South Indians hold a giant grudge against North India. Not surprisingly, there is a large segment of North Indians that supports Hitler (Bose was part of this group).

    “It is not too much of a stretch to see Nazi influence in Tiger discipline even if the details were not always the same. Roberts quotes Iyer and Rāgavan to support this. Rāgavan says he “felt very strongly that the Tamil cause needed to be united behind one single organisation” and was attracted to “Adolph Hitler’s authoritarianism.””

    Hitler was a daydreamer. The only reason that Germans obeyed him was because obedience was ingrained into the German psyche. There were also numerous people who disobeyed Hitler, behind his back, for example his armaments minister. Towards the end of the war, people like Goering were more interested in who should be leader of the Reich, in case Hitler died, than in carrying out Hitler’s orders.

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      “Marxism had a utility value, as far as the LTTE was concerned.”

      Fair enough. Isn’t that what I said?!

      I said: “I see little evidence that Prabhakaran embraced Marxist-Leninism,”

      You responded: “That only shows your lack of knowledge in regards to (sic) the evolution of the LTTE.”
      I would be happy to be enlightened by you on the subject, but you have not shown to me that I was wrong. Nowhere in what follows your assertion of my ignorance do you refute what I say about VP not embracing Marxist-Leninism. You veer off into another topic- the Catholic church.

      “Another reason why Prabhakaran did not admire Hitler. Hitler had delusions about the West right up to the end. Prabhakaran, at some stage in his career, became highly conscious of Western opinion; hence the dramatic decline in suicide bombings and the era of political lobbying in Western capitals by the Tamil diaspora.” I don’t understand your point here. What were Hitler’s delusions about the West. Was Hitler not of the West?

      Your argument is going all over the place here and is quite impossible to follow.

      “Hitler was a daydreamer. The only reason that Germans obeyed him was because obedience was ingrained into the German psyche. There were also numerous people who disobeyed Hitler, behind his back, for example his armaments minister. Towards the end of the war, people like Goering were more interested in who should be leader of the Reich, in case Hitler died, than in carrying out Hitler’s orders.”

      I don’t understand why you are telling me this!

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    “What experience? The Waffen-SS units were no more experienced than the Heer units.”

    The Waffen-SS were constantly rotated. This would have provided them with a level of experience, on numerous fronts, that the average soldier in the Heer did not come close to.

    ” how can you fault the Hitler Youth children’s inability to do so? There were a lot of other factors in the Hitler Youth’s ineffectiveness. Also, there were no such “Hitler Youth Brigades”. Children were organised into lose squads and sent out on bicycles to fight tanks; much the same as the Tiger conscripts at the end of the war.”

    According to you, political indoctrination is the sole factor in the success of the Waffen SS. The Waffen SS (discounting the foreign legions) were recruited from the Hitler Youth schools. So utilizing your logic, these fully indoctrinated Hitler youth should have been able to defend Berlin for a dozen years!

    ” The poor initial performance of the Waffen-SS units was mainly due to the emphasis on political indoctrination, rather than the long and effective military training achieved by the Army before the war. “

    — So you acknowledge that Heer training was in fact better than that of the Waffen-SS, —

    Some units of the Waffen-SS were in fact better trained than the Heer.

    The Waffen SS can be divided into three general categrories.
    A. Elite Panzer and Panzer Grenadier divisions trained to a very high standard, armed with the best weapons available and a good dose of political fanaticism. Most were German, but their ranks included thousands of foreign volunteers.
    B. Divisions of Ukrainians, Estonians, Russians orgainized, trained and equipped as standard German infantry divisions. (at best)
    C. Groups of bandits orgainized into batalions and brigades. Used for rear area security. Very brutal reputation against civilians.

    http://archive.worldhistoria.com/waffen-ss-vs-sas_topic16348_post308645.html

    Also keep in mind that the selection process to the Waffen SS (not including the foreign legions) was extremely rigorous. One had to be a certain height, in top physical shape, etc. It’s almost like the selection to a top-rated university; when you choose the best and brightest, you can expect their output to fall within a higher range.

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      “The Waffen-SS were constantly rotated. This would have provided them with a level of experience, on numerous fronts, that the average soldier in the Heer did not come close to.”

      More Hollywood history from the Unterklokommandant. Panzer and panzergrenadier divisions (from the Heer, Waffen-SS, and Luftwaffe — yup, the Luftwaffe had an armoured unit) were all constantly rotated. Can you show us how an average Waffen-SS panzer or panzergrenadier division such as Das Reich or Wiking saw more combat than say Heer units such as Panzer Lehr (in two years the unit fought in the Caen and St Lo battles at Normandy, Bastogne and Dinant in the Ardennes Offensive, at Remagen, and in the Ruhr Pocket) or Grossdeutschland (fought in every single battle on the Eastern Front from Barbarossa to Pillau, as well as taking part in the invasion of France) or the Fallschirmjagers of the Heer and Luftwaffe (fought on every front from Eben-Emael to Crete to the Balkans to Monte Cassino and the Ardennes).

      Very few Waffen-SS units were at this level of combat experience, and only the Leibstandarte could be said to have been rotated, fighting on three fronts during its history. The truly elite Waffen-SS units arguably only number around three (the Leibstandarte-SS Adolf Hitler, Das Reich, and Wiking). Even the bulk of the other “Germanic” Waffen-SS units (Totenkopf, Polizei, Nord, Prinz Eugen, Florian Geyer, Hohenstaufen, Frundsberg, Nordland, and Hitlerjugend) were about average when compared to the average Heer units, and it was only their fanaticism and brutality that enabled them to achieve their objectives. Some (such as Florian Geyer and Prinz Eugen) were actually substandard. After that, the rest of the Waffen-SS weren’t even of average Wehrmacht quality.

      So I suggest you use actual facts rather than relying on movie jingoism for your history.

      “According to you, political indoctrination is the sole factor in the success of the Waffen SS.”

      Can you quote me as having said this? :D pLease don’t create arguments that you can then attack, Unterklo. What I did say was that it was the defining factor; all things being equal (training, equipment, experience), their fanaticism gained by political indoctrination gave them an edge, often at the cost of suicidal casualties. Hitlerjugend for instance, was destroyed in its very first battle; both the Leibstandarted and Das Reich were totally annihilated at least once and reconstituted with new recruits and the remnants.

      “The Waffen SS (discounting the foreign legions) were recruited from the Hitler Youth schools.”

      Lol can you provide a source for this bit of idiocy? The premier Waffen-SS units all recruited directly from the civilian population, and later casualties were replaced by conscripts. The only unit to take on large numbers of Hitler Youth was the 12th SS-Panzergrenadier Division Hitlerjugend when it was formed in late 1943; its troops were 16-18-year-olds (those under 18 were given sweets instead of the usual tobacco and alcohol ration) from the Hitler Youth, and its officers and NCOs were Leibstandarte veterans. The unit was wiped out at Caen and in the retreat through the Falaise Gap.

      “So utilizing your logic, these fully indoctrinated Hitler youth should have been able to defend Berlin for a dozen years!”

      I suggest you not to pretend to understand logic, Unterklo, and stick to looking for boring old facts. The Hitler Jugend recruits that went into the 12th SS received six weeks basic training, were armed with upto-date weapons, and joined a mechanized infantry division that was fighting in regimental and battalion formations as a cohesive unit under veteran officers and NCOs. The Hitler Jugend at Berlin had no such training, were basically children, and were armed with outdated rifles, Panzerfausts that they had never even fired before, mounted on bicycles, and sent off against Soviet tanks in squads of under twelve. Yes, of course, they were exactly the same as a Waffen-SS panzergrenadierdivision :D

      “Some units of the Waffen-SS were in fact better trained than the Heer.”

      Can you link to any evidence that these Waffen-SS units received “better” training than elite Heer units such as Grossdeutschland, Panzerlehr, Panzerarmee Afrika, or the Brandenburgers? The fact is, the elite Waffen-SS units were no better trained, equipped, or experienced than the elite Heer units. The bulk of the Waffen-SS was no better in performance than the average Heer unit, and most were in fact inferior.

      “Also keep in mind that the selection process to the Waffen SS (not including the foreign legions) was extremely rigorous. One had to be a certain height, in top physical shape, etc. It’s almost like the selection to a top-rated university; “

      Rubbish :D This was basically in the pre-war days when the only Waffen-SS combat units were the Leibstandarte and the SS-Verfugungstruppe, and parade ground drill was a large part of the training. Once the war hotted up and the Waffen-SS grew, standards dropped and even conscripts were allowed in.

      “when you choose the best and brightest, you can expect their output to fall within a higher range.”

      If that was so, why was it said of the SS-VT (later to become the 2nd SS Das Reich) after the invasion of Poland that it “was poorly trained and its officers unsuitable for command”?

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      “Nowhere in what follows your assertion of my ignorance do you refute what I say about VP not embracing Marxist-Leninism. You veer off into another topic- the Catholic church.”

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        Enough professional papers have been written about the LTTE and its Marxist orientation. Here is one such paper: http://www.fpri.org/enotes/20031021.americawar.radu.islamsuicidebombers.html. By the way, it’s good to take note that one can be fascist and Marxist simultaneously – as most guerilla groups are (virtually all of them embody some kind of major class struggle) – but not one cannot be Marxist and National Socialist at the same time. On the other hand, if one is not National Socialist, then any admiration of Hitler is shallow at best.

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          @ Nihal:

          “Enough professional papers have been written about the LTTE and its Marxist orientation.”

          The paper to which you have referred me is not a professional paper about the LTTE’s Marxist orientation. It is a paper about suicide bombing.

          Radu says: “The LTTE are Marxists, Hindus, and Tamil separatists”. Well, one third of that assertion is true. The Tigers were definitely separatists. “Hindu” does not definitively categorise them. Surely some of them were Catholics (Father Emmanuel?). Haven’t you yourself said that some were Muslims and that some Sinhalese were won over to the cause?

          I cannot see in the article anything more than an unsubstantiated assertion that the LTTE were Marxist. Radu does not include the LTTE in his category of ‘orthodox’ Marxist groups. (Not quite sure why he uses the scare quotes.)

          Surely you can find some source that actually argues the case for the LTTE being Marxist rather than just asserting it. I am ready to be persuaded.

          Radu does include the LTTE among “groups that operate more like religious sects under the absolute control of a charismatic leader.”

          Radu asserts: “The LTTE targeted politicians— they murdered a former Indian prime minister and a Sri Lankan president— but not civilians, unless as ‘collateral damage’”. That is just plain wrong – what about Anuradhapura, Kattankudi, all those night-time raids on villages where elderly people and children had their throats cut as they slept?

          You might argue that Radu is specifically talking about suicide bombings. That is the problem. This article is mainly about suicide bombings not whether the LTTE were Marxist.

          “By the way, it’s good to take note that one can be fascist and Marxist simultaneously – as most guerilla (sic) groups are (virtually all of them embody some kind of major class struggle) – but not one cannot (sic) be Marxist and National Socialist at the same time. On the other hand, if one is not National Socialist, then any admiration of Hitler is shallow at best.”

          I am not quite sure what that means. You might wish to re-read it and re-write it in one of your echo postings.
          My interpretation of what you are attempting to say suggests to me that, despite all the over-heated personal abuse, your position is similar to mine – terrorist groups have a tendency to pick up ideas from different sources. You seem to be leaving the door open to the possibility that VP admired Hitler but was not a National Socialist.

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    Look at Blacker backtrack!

    Nihal P: “very few are capable of doing what the Waffen SS did, which is why the Waffen (not counting the foreign legions) were among the best soldiers in history.”

    Blacker: “And that was solely because of their fanaticism, gained through political indoctrination.”

    Nihal P: “According to you, political indoctrination is the sole factor in the success of the Waffen SS.”

    Blacker: “Can you quote me as having said this?”

    This debate is over. Unless, of course, Michael Roberts wants to step in and admit the absurdity of his poorly worded spiel that would never see the light of day in a scholarly journal. Note to Michael Roberts: think twice before engaging in such absurd journalism. At the very least, back up your arguments with reputable sources, not the imagination of uneducated war criminals like David Blacker.

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      “Look at Blacker backtrack!”

      Not at all. One has to be exceedingly dishonest in one’s intellect, or hugely wanting in intelligence to conclude that I meant that that the Waffen-SS’s success was due to their political indoctrination alone. The latter was the only reason they could stay abreast of the Heer units or exceed them in performance; certainly that is true. It is a given that Waffen-SS units had military training, but the indoctrination gave them the added edge :D To conclude that political indoctrination was the only reason for their success, one has to be unaware that the Waffen-SS had had military training; and I think anyone but an imbecile knows that I am aware of this fact.

      Nice try at extricating yourself from the corner you’ve painted yourself into, Unterklokommandant, but I’m afraid it’s not good enough ;)

      “not the imagination of uneducated war criminals like David Blacker.”

      War criminals you cannot find a single incriminating line against; never mind evidence :D Once more, Unterklokommandant Heshan/Nihal, you reveal that beyond the odd petty insult, you are unable to argue yourself out of a wet paper bag.

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