17 July, 2018

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The Prabhakaran Phenomenon: Towards An Explanation

By Charles Sarvan

Prof. Charles Sarvan

Prof. Charles Sarvan

A Sri Lankan Tamil friend wrote to me wondering why thousands of Tamils, both within and outside the Island, devoutly followed the Tiger leader. Even more, why do so many – more in the diaspora, he thinks, than within Sri Lanka – still ‘believe’ in him? Why did they ignore evidence which pointed to major errors and crimes committed by him? Why do they refuse to see them even now? The murder of Rajiv Gandhi is just one instance of Prabhakaran’s fatal cocktail of crime and folly. Reviewing my anthology, Sri Lanka: Paradise Lost?, Dr Subramanyam Chandrasekharan states that on the day the Tamil Tigers killed Rajiv Gandhi, they also killed whatever chances they ever had of gaining Tamil Eelam. In other words, the war for Eelam was lost on 21 May 1991. (Dr Chandrasekharan is Editor of the New Delhi-based South Asia Analysis Group, and a former Deputy Director of Indian intelligence. The opinion of such an individual on this subject cannot be lightly dismissed.) Carl von Clausewitz, 1780 – 1831, author of the classic work, ‘On War’, as of other works such as ‘The Campaign of 1812 in Russia’ – a war in which Prussian Clausewitz fought on the side of the Russians – observes that Napoleon, though he didn’t realize it, had lost the campaign even as he crossed into Russia. It can be argued that the LTTE leader had lost the war quite a while before he was finally defeated. Prabhakaran had a goal, a desired end. But though he was often brilliant in tactics he was abysmal in strategy, both political and military. Military historians say that Hitler had the best army in the world of those times: brave and disciplined soldiers; brilliant officers. But the charismatic Führer, combining in his person both supreme political and military power, led them into disaster. (Ironically, führer – or “fuehrer” when the umlaut is omitted – means “guide”.) Hitler did not listen to advice, overruled his commanders, mistook dream for realistically-reachable ends, and remained inflexible to the end. So too it seems to have been with Prabhakaran with several countries actively helping the government; without a single fighter jet or helicopter, his soldiers (men and women) dwindled in number and exhausted.

Prabhakaran1 Colombo TelegraphFuture generations will want to understand Tamil response to the Prabhakaran phenomenon. Neither competence nor space permit me to furnish a comprehensive answer, and I merely suggest for consideration just one possible factor, namely, the Tamil post-independence experience of exclusion, subordination and violence – violence (riots and pogroms) by mobs excited and encouraged by the state, and by the state itself via its armed forces. Reasonable and eloquent speeches in parliament, peaceful protest and satyagraha, had not the slightest effect. Independence from Britain and democracy came to the Tamils of Sri Lanka as a painful disillusionment. So-called democracy proved to be but majoritarianism and most undemocratic.

Since things are understood by comparison and contrast, I look elsewhere. The Bible warns of “false prophets” and this was because the Jews, suffering prolonged and extreme persecution, longed for a saviour; someone with divine or superhuman power who would rescue them miraculously. (In ancient Greek drama, when a situation seemed without any hope, there appeared a Deus ex machina – literally, the god from the machine. He suddenly descended onto the stage and put things right.) A people in a situation where they do not have the means or the hope of freeing themselves long deeply, if irrationally, for a saviour, be the “saving” of a spiritual or earthly nature. The greater and more prolonged the suffering; the less the grounds for hope, the greater the longing for a rescuer – and the desperate willingness to believe in one. The Jews have had several individuals either claiming to be the messiah or being so proclaimed by their followers. Among the early known messiahs is Simon of Peraea, a former slave killed by the Romans in 4 BCE.

The following is taken from Karen Armstrong’s The Battle for God. Fundamentalism in Judaism, Christianity and Islam. During the course of a pogrom which ended in 1667 in what is now Ukraine, entire Jewish communities were wiped out. The number and the nature of the cruelty unleashed filled Jews with horror and dread. A young Jew in Smyrna (Turkey), Shabbetai Zevi, believed he had been chosen to lead his people to freedom and safety. He met up with one Rabbi Nathan in Gaza who believed Zevi was the long longed-for Redeemer, and sent off letters to Jews in Egypt, Aleppo, Smyrna and elsewhere announcing that Zevi would soon defeat the mighty Ottoman sultan and lead the Jews to the Promised Land. “The news spread like wildfire and by 1666 the messianic ferment had taken root in almost every Jewish community in Europe, the Ottoman Empire, and Iran” (Armstrong, op. cit.). During this time, “Jews experienced such hope and vitality” that the harsh world of their previous existence melted away. “They had a taste of something entirely different, and life for many of them would never be the same again. They glimpsed new possibilities, which seemed almost within their grasp. Because they felt free, many [were] convinced that the old life was over for good”. People of all classes accepted Zevi.

But though the Jews felt powerful, free and in control of their destiny, in reality their circumstances had not changed. In February 1666, Zevi set out to confront the Sultan, and was arrested near Gallipoli. The vast majority of Jews turned away from Zevi and returned to their normal (unfortunate) existence. “But a significant minority could not give up this dream of freedom. They could not believe that their experience of liberation during those heady months had been an illusion” (Armstrong. Emphasis added). So they continued to believe in Zevi. It was not Zevi but the hope and “dream” personified in him. The dream, wish or deep longing is, in turn, the result of persecution. To alter words from St Matthew (4:16), a people living in darkness thought they had seen a great light; those suffering in a land of shadow, fervently believed light had at long last dawned. Reality being unfortunate and unhappy, it is not easy to relinquish the dream. One remembers the words of Caliban in The Tempest: “that when I waked / I cried to dream again” (Act 3, Scene 2).

This is not to equate the Jewish and Tamil experience. Jewish suffering throughout the centuries perhaps ranks as the second worst blot in human history next to the African slave-trade, taking into consideration the “trade’s” numbers, nature and duration. But the above may go some way towards explaining what I call ‘the Prabhakaram phenomenon’. Significantly, there is no popular and desperate longing for a saviour among Jews today. They have their arsenal of the ‘weapons of mass destruction’ (nuclear, biological, chemical) and the unconditional support of the United States. It is no longer the Jews but the Palestinians who need a redeemer: ironically, from the Jews. Indeed, in terms of their plight (abandoned by most fellow Arab nations and co-religionists; with the international community inured and indifferent); the treatment meted out to them by Israel; the seeming hopelessness of their cause, it can be said that the Palestinians are now as the Jews were until the end of the Second World War. Figuratively and in short, the Palestinians are now the Jews. In my Public Writings on Sri Lanka, Volume 2, I quote W. H. Auden: “I and the public know / What all schoolchildren learn / Those to whom evil is done / Do evil in return.”

Context goes a good way towards explaining the otherwise inexplicable. But, as I have written elsewhere, an explanation is not necessarily an excuse; to understand is not to absolve. The attempt here is neither to blame nor to exculpate but to offer a contribution towards understanding: whether it helps or hinders is for the reader, and not for me, to judge. Tamils have much honest and courageous “soul-searching” to do, not only in the interests of the past (History) but if they are to avoid treading false and self-damaging paths in the future. I end with words from Shakespeare’s Othello, Act 5, Scene 2, having added emphasis to the last two lines, though I am not sanguine the plea will be heard, much less heeded.

I pray you, in your letters,

When you shall these …deeds relate …

nothing extenuate,

Nor set down aught in malice.

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Latest comments

  • 10
    1

    Excellent article. The Jews were looking for a Messiah and were disappointed when instead of seeing a leader who will emancipate them from the tyrannical rule of the Romans, they saw a man preaching peace and goodwill.

  • 4
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    Mr. Sarvan, your article is good and interesting. However, please permit to state that the warning “beware of false prophets” was given by the Lord Jesus Christ in reference to His second coming. I agree that there were several false messiahs even during the time of Christ and He said, in Mathew 24: 4 to14 “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name saying, “I am The Christ……. you will hear of wars and rumours of wars,………….. nations will rise against nations (internal conflicts)..all these are the beginning of sorrows. Then they will deliver you upto tribulations and you will be hated for My sake…………Then many false prophets will rise and deceive you ………and lawlessness will abound ……. and this Gospel will be preached…. and the end will come”.

    It is that time that we are now in.

    “Nation rising against nation” as we see all over the world is this Prophecy.

    • 2
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      I am surprised that there are, within about three hours from insertion, that there are two thumbs down! Why?! All I have said is to clarify Mr. Sarwan’s reference to “false prophets” (!!) from the Holy Bible, the only source of reference to the term, “false prophet”.

    • 0
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      It is also interesting what happened to Shabbatai Zevi in the end. Given the choice of conversion to Islam or a beheading, he chose the former as did many of his followers. In fact the father of modern Turkey, Ataturk himself is said to have descended from one such family.

      The author dwells somewhat on the sufferings of the Jews of the old. One must not forget that Jacob’s sons were not above selling their own brother to a passing caravan, who later thrived under the pharoah, and sent for his extended family to share in his good fortune. Later the story changes to them being enslaved with no historical proof whatsoever. What is pertinent is that they they themselves on being evicted from Egypt, caused immense grief and suffering to the Palestinians (Canaanites) in their various city states, and took great pride in the murder mayhem they caused.

      • 2
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        Ramuuuuuuuuu

        “It is also interesting what happened to Shabbatai Zevi in the end. Given the choice of conversion to Islam or a beheading, he chose the former as did many of his followers.”

        This story rings the bell.

        When Prabharan was about to be killed, the army wanted to know his last wish.

        VP wanted to convert himself, wanted to be a Sinhala/Buddhist.

        A Sinhala/Buddhist saffron clad monk was brought to manage the conversion. Finally he was accepted as a Sinhala/Buddhist to the satisfaction of the armed forces.

        Jegath was curious, asked VP why was the sudden change of heart.

        VP replied ” Even at this last minute, I will have the satisfaction of killing one more Sinhala/Buddhist”.

  • 9
    8

    The murder of Rajiv Feroz Khan should be investigated by an independent international panel of judges ..then the world will know the truth….

    What happened in the name of inquiry of this murder was an eye wash just to please some one….indeed many unanswered questions remains …

    Better read the book by the ex-IGP of Tamil Naadu …Mohanthas who resigned from this inquiry commission

    One there was a series of articles about the death of Rajiv Feroz Kahn in the Illustrated Weekly of India written by an expert …and he closed this article with following lines..

    ….one day when the truth about the death of Rajiv Feroz Khan emerge India should be ashamed about herself in front of international community….

    To this day no body bother to ask and find answer why and how security for Rajiv Feroz Kahn was withdrawn when he visited Tamil Naddu on his last day…why many congress leaders avoided this particular meeting

    The so called video about this murder was erased in many places by the Malayali intelligence officer…who was promoted as a governor to an Indian state…

    Some poor fellow is in prison simply because he bought batteries….

    There are many mysterious about this murder …

    Poverty India managed to buy all SL Tamil groups but not LTTE….

    Finally Indira Freoz Khan supported SL Tamils not because of her affection or kindness but to teach a lesson to big nose emperor JR who was moving towards to US….

    Both mother and her 2 sons died because of their arrogance and ignorance …..

    when British Raj tried to shoot and kill Netaji Subas Chndra Bose.. he ran away with Japanese with gold and money mainly provided by Tamils in Malaysia ..Burma ( 1940 s 80% of the Rangoon population were Tamils ) ..and Singapore ….

    but this Nethaji who gave India freedom by mouth and ditched them is a freedom fighter today he he he

    the guy called Thiruppur Kumaran who killed a British officer while he was sleeping in the train …is today freedom fighter….he he he

    These Indians still think Tamils in SL are also illiterate…worship film stars and living in poverty ….like Tamils in India

    $Cheers ….

    • 8
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      It may be that the murder of Rajiv still remains a controversy, even a mystery. Except for that the article of Sarvan seems to be soundly sensible. Tamils could be forgiven for the hero worship they had for Prabakaran because of the historical circumstances. But it is hard to understand how some people, especially amongst the diaspora continue to dream of Tamil Eelam, a totally irrational and practically impossible concept. One can only hope that they will shake up themselves and wake from this dream and see reality. The GTF seems to have woken to this reality. It is good for the rest of the diaspora to follow.

      Sengodan. M

    • 3
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      Hope you are referring to Rajiv Gandhi and NOT Rajiv Feroz Khan.
      LTTE, a righteous movement wouldn’t even kill a fly except those whome they perceive as traitors

  • 9
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    Just Bull.

    If Velu was this revered, why LTTE had to have lamp post killings of tamils, Tamils had to be herded like cattle at gun point and why LTTE had to hide in no fire zones?

    Why suicide bombers had to be raped by raping tamil girls and after that, brain washing those girls.

    If LTTE soldiers were that motivated why they made the whole area stinky by pooing in their pants, when they were circled by the army for slaughter ?

    You don’t discuss the effects of Tamil inferiority complex which goes back centuries, effect of Catholic/christian priests on inferior feeling – Tamil psyche, Influence of anti-Hindi, anti-hindi, anti-brahmin, anti-aryan Tamils on hindians and Sinhala people, Tamil Tribalism or Casteism and how they are struggling being unable to escape it.

    • 7
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      There was this lamp post killings for criminals this is why there was no robbery ..drug.addicts..looting ..rapes before 2009 in North-East….

      Have you seen they have raped any girls fool?

      It is your Sinhala savage Army raped shivering girls …

      Because of the Tamil superiority complex Chola empire ruled South East Asia ….according to ex-Diplomate Vernon Mendis IN HIS BOOK POLITICS IN S.E.ASIA 2 TO 11 TH CENTURY ……during 2nd and 11 th centuries S.E.Asian rulers took decisions after only consulting Chola kINGS…

      You hide under bed with your wife for 30 years it is because the superiority complex of Tamils ….and your Sinhal army was running like headless chickens for 30 years because of Tamil superiority complex

      The whole world watched the superiority complex of Tamils and surprised about their ability …

      CHARLES I is not a Tamil name even a child know this …..what about the names like :STEPEHN..DUDLEY…JUNIUS RICHARD..PERCY all these are Sinhala names????

      It is your politicians born as Catholics changed their religion to fool Sinhala buddhists including you and fools like you accepted all these fake leaders

      Cheers

      • 3
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        Hope you are referring to Rajiv Gandhi and NOT Rajiv Feroz Khan.
        LTTE, a righteous movement wouldn’t even kill a fly except those whome they perceive as traitors

        • 1
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          RAJIV GANDHI who is this ????

          Indira Nehru married his lover Iranian Muslim in London according to Islamic traditions and changed her name to Muslim …..

          When Nehru heard this he was panicked and when couple landed in India name was change as GANDHI to fool poverty Indians otherwise Indian will not accept a Muslim women …

          Indeed Feroz Kahn lived as a Muslim….thus Rajiv Feroz Kahn should have lived as a Muslim..so his mother …

          With GANDHI name this family is fooling poverty Indian even today..even people in foreign countries think these corrupt family is related to MAHATHAMA GANDHI …..

          Now poverty Indians are talking about the leadership of a Iranian-Indian blooded crap with two passports (iNDIAN AND ITALY)

          with one stone Nehru knocked down two mangoes …

          Cheers

      • 7
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        Just out of curiosity cholan do you live in Sri Lanka? If you do, please have at least a little bit of respect for the people that put their lives on the line to defend our country instead of calling them savages. People like Garmini Kularatne deserve better than to have smears directed at them by gutless keyboard warriors.

        • 2
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          Defend the country?

          Who invaded this country to defend?

          Where was your cardboard army when Poverty India invaded this country ??

          Where was your cardboard Air force when poverty India dropped food parcels ?

          Why couldn’t interrupt the indian MIGS ?

          So scared ? including big nose emperor …

          If the same army killed your father…sons..cousins..uncles and raped your mother..wife..sister..daughter..will you respect them?

          Now your new government is panicked about the forthcoming UN report and even went to the extent to meet Tamils to sabotage this why?

          If it is for you it is real real blood for others it is simply tomato juice he he he ?

          Cheers

          • 0
            1

            I’ll take it as a no that you do not live in Sri Lanka as you did not answer what I asked. I like how you try and paint the whole army with the same brush with the same kind of propaganda the GTF preach to anyone who listens. To answer your question about whether I’d respect the army, the same can be said about the tigers and at the very least the army didn’t bomb mosques and buses like those cowards that the LTTE hierarchy approved. Just face it you’re just another armchair critic, but ask yourself who is going to defend Sri Lanka if we’re invaded tomorrow? And no it won’t be UN peacekeepers as they’re too busy raping innocent people in the Central African Republic.

            • 4
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              Rajan

              “I like how you try and paint the whole army with the same brush with the same kind of propaganda the GTF preach to anyone who listens.”

              Truth and justice has nothing to do with propaganda of GTF or Sri Lankan state.

              Could you confirm hands on your heart that Sri Lankan armed forces have never ever committed a single war crime in this island?

              This island has too many rotten apples in the armed forces and police. It is the state’s responsibility to identify them and isolate them from the community for its own good.

              Remember these screwed up war criminals are living among the people as fathers, brothers, uncles, grand fathers, cousins, ……… They are indeed an existential threat to the innocent people and the country.

              Until the state and armed forces weed out these war criminals from their respective institutions one has to assume the entire armed forces are being manned by war criminals.

              Rather than denying the truth do some thing to identify those who actually committed war crimes so that army can retrieve/regain its old respect/reputation/good name which it had before 1971.

              People can sleep peacefully knowing that the army is there to protect them from alien invasion and not committing war crime at home and child abuse abroad.

              If you are one of the rotten apples please confess to your crimes so that your family and neighbours can go to sleep peacefully.

              Winning the war is not a good excuse to hide the war criminals and absolve them from their criminal acts.

  • 3
    3

    Proof to my point is even [Edited out]

    He is CHARLES which is not a Tamil name, the influence of foreign religion based -ideology and divide and control politics.

    • 7
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      Jim softy

      “He is CHARLES which is not a Tamil name, the influence of foreign religion based -ideology and divide and control politics.”

      I have some authentic Sinhala names for you:

      Don Carolis Hewavitharana

      Sarath Fonseka

      Mervyn Silva

      Nalin de Silva

      Bandu de Silva

      Martin Wickramasinghe

      Svendra Silva

      Dudley Senanayake

      Don Stephen Senanayake

      John Kotelawala

      Pandara Nayakam

      Solomon West Ridgeway Dias Bandaranaike

      Dona Catherina Elizabeth Perera

      Don Spater Senanayake

      Junius Richard Jayewardene

      ……….

      ……….

      and our own Jim the Dimwit Softy.

      • 3
        0

        Strewth! Nothing gets past our Native Vedda; and his truncated roll call gives us a flavour of what colonial realities were. I beg to add, and not forget, that some of our legends did see the light, and took ‘evasive’ action even if it possibly hurt their loving parents at the time.

        George Pieris Malalasekera

        Don David, (brothers Charles and Edmund, sons of the aforementioned Don Carolis Hewavitharana)

        SWRD, however, gets the cake; daddy Solomon inveigled governor West Ridgeway to become godfather to his swabasha baby. Both father and godfather thought that the sun will never set on the good times.

        Last but not least: a brave and laudable effort by Professor Sarvan with this article. The subject will remain a timeless conundrum to engage all who will seek to understand and learn. BUT the downfall of the Tigers must NOT BE an EPITAPH for an erudite and resourceful community. Better days surely lie ahead.

  • 16
    5

    How many child soldiers shed blood and sweat to build this bastard’s swimming pool?

    • 11
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      why 1000 s sinhala soldiers sacrificed their life but murderpaksa and dogabaya enjoyed life ?????

    • 9
      8

      How many Sinhala soldiers cleaned Dogabaya`s toilet ????

      • 5
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        Colon, the sinhalese soldiers volunteered to join the military. How many Tamil children volunteered? Most were kidnapped. We haven’t forgotten the [Edited out] Prabhakaran demanding that every family ‘donate’ one child. [Edited out]

        • 4
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          Over 40,000 cardboard Sinhala army soldiers ran away and hiding even before 2009…..

  • 4
    4

    Interesting article. I think the reality is there were two points of turning. One was the destruction of the Jaffna library and the second the 1983 pogrom (the largest in a series of pogroms against Tamils). Those events led to a marginalisation of Tamil leadership within the Tamil community – the truth is that no Sinhala government seemed intent on anything other than genocide and no Tamil leader could realistically envisage a peaceful solution. Prabharan seemed to be the only alternative. A lot has changed today. Primarily, Sri Lanka is firmly within the gaze of an International / UN process. The Tamils finally have a political alternative.

    • 3
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      Alex
      What is the political alternative to the 50+% Tamil speaking people living outside North and East?
      Soma

      • 5
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        soma Skantha

        “What is the political alternative to the 50+% Tamil speaking people living outside North and East?”

        Solutions:

        Give them their Tamil Eelam and ethnically cleanse them from outside North East.

        Let them have their Tamil Eelam in the South too.

        Send them back to their ancestral homeland in south India. The only problem with this arrangement would be that the Sinhala/Buddhists too have to leave this island. Oh well they have a choice of their homeland, either North or South India.

        Start a well organised riots.

        Another Mullivaaikkal in South might help.

        How about a final solution, gas chambers perhaps.

    • 2
      2

      Discrimination was such that the Sinhala had to be satisfied with 65% or so of government jobs while the 12% Tamils had the rest under British rule and for sometime afterwards. They were not satisfied with this and were demanding 50% representation in Parliament.

  • 1
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    These high profile murders where fingers are pointed at others to mislead, only serve as good cover for the perpetrators. The US would never have had it so good to manipulate India and China had Rajiv lived.

  • 4
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    “Future generations will want to understand Tamil response to the Prabhakaran phenomenon. Neither competence nor space permit me to furnish a comprehensive answer “

    Let me help you Sarawan – it does not take a lot of space but takes some competence that you obviously lack , the answer is called stupidity .

    look at comments from Cholan Gamini NV and others , I offer this as my proof .

    • 4
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      bla, bla, blaAbhaya

      “look at comments from Cholan Gamini NV and others , I offer this as my proof .”

      Have I commented under this article? Its a news to me.

      Well its time for you to visit your local optician and then see a Veda Mathya.

      • 2
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        obviously I knew you would comment and what your comments would be in advance ,

        Cheers

        Abhaya

    • 2
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      Abhaya “the answer is called stupidity “
      Abhaya;let me help you to complete the sentence “..Stupidity of the Sinhala politician.”

  • 6
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    My own two cents worth is as follows:
    The Tamils have always been a horribly oppressive people. They were used to violently forcing their cultural values and systems onto their offspring. In this respect they were very much like the Sinhalese and all others who beat their values into their offspring. So when this Piraphakaran came along and beat them into buying his separatist story and insisted on shooting all those who disagreed the Tamil joyfully welcomed his governance because he was just like them. In the same way the Sinhalese welcomed the governance of Gothabhaya Rajapaksa who is still their hero and enjoys so much support that Ranil and Maithri and even the supreme court does not dare to take any action against him. I am told that they refer to him as Goathabhayanvahanse.

    What I am saying is that the ideology of all these culture freaks and religious freaks who want to protect and develop their cultures and religions is FASCISM plain and simple. They simply want to shove their culture and religion down everyone’s throat. The Sinhalese are the same. The Tamils are the same. The Christians are the same. The Buddhists are the same. The Muslims are the same. The Hindus are the same. The Marxists are amongst the worst.

    So the few non fascists who are around have to work hard at keeping these fascists away from the levers of power.

    • 3
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      Very impressive! You are not crazy at all!

  • 3
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    Those Sinhalese who ridicule Tamils for their Lemming like following of Praba, do not realize that any group of people can sometimes exhibit lemming like behavior.

    The prime example of is the MR followers, who insist that he did not loose. For them MR is a God, nothing less.

    For me he is the other side of the same coin that has Praba on the other side.

  • 5
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    I would say, Prof. Sarvan in his ‘The Prabhakaran phenomenon’ misses two points as to why so many Tamils supported him. To clarify that we must go back to the heyday of the Tigers when they seemed unstoppable on the battlefield; when government troops deserted in large numbers and recruitment was difficult; when government soldiers retreated, abandoning their weapons (which the Tigers gratefully took over); when female Tamil Tigers fought and routed male government soldiers.
    The image of the “timid Tamil”, forever at the receiving end, was changed for a short while, and Tamils were given pride and self-confidence.

    The second is that there is no record of the Tigers ever indulging in gang-rape; in the stripping naked, taunting and humiliating of Sinhalese, be they soldiers or civilians. This last will, I think, be accepted and acknowledged.

    • 3
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      You’ve conveniently left out the 800 unarmed policemen murdered in cold blood under Prabhakaran’s orders.

      • 3
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        Ramuuuuuuuuuu

        “You’ve conveniently left out the 800 unarmed policemen murdered in cold blood under Prabhakaran’s orders.”

        You have conveniently forgotten the orders were carried out MR’s pet tiger Karuna and Karikalan who surrendered to Army in Vanni.

        You should have demanded that he be charged with massacre of the policemen.

        You wouldn’t simply because he was MR’s pet tiger.

  • 4
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    Prahabakaran is a megalomaniac who is worshipped by the sri Lankan tamils, he did nothing for them but collected money for his dream of Utopia that is Eelam it is time the tamils came to their senses. We all have one motherland, I am an overseas Sinhalese who refers to sri lanka as his motherland. The tamils have tamil nadu….how many motherlands do tamils want very soon they will start claiming a paart of Canada as their homeland. It is a huge country please start claiming a part of it as they are sympathetic to the Tamil cause.

    • 0
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      The Canadians seem to have come to their senses already, as recent legislation proves.

  • 1
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    Really, where have you been living?

  • 0
    0

    Dear Edwin Rodrigo, re. your comment, I quote:

    “Lemmings have become the subject of a widely popular misconception that they commit mass suicide when they migrate, by jumping off cliffs. It is in fact not a mass suicide but the result of their migratory behavior. Driven by strong biological urges, some species of lemmings may migrate in large groups when population density becomes too great. Lemmings can swim and may choose to cross a body of water in search of a new habitat. In such cases, many may drown if the body of water is so wide as to stretch their physical capability to the limit. This fact, combined with the unexplained fluctuations in the population of Norwegian lemmings, gave rise to the misconception.”

    I may add that Hollywood, specifically Disney in this case, is responsible for the myth. For one of his films, Disney had hundreds of these creatures run over a cliff to their death.

  • 1
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    An excellent piece on Why Prabhakaran ? and then et tu Prabhakaran.

    VP lose the plot along the way and the Tamil People paid dearly.

    May those who died in our self inflicted conflicts in the motherland rest in Peace.

    • 5
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      vishvajith

      “VP lose the plot along the way and the Tamil People paid dearly.”

      VP never had a plot, a sadistic psychopath who never had respect for human lives. A mercenary who worked for other interested parties than for his own people.

      VP believed he was clever, knew everything about politics, diplomacy and art of war, a great strategist, and hoped the entire world would be at his feet because the world needed him than he needed the world.

      The masonic clever dick ultimately ended up leading his people to total destruction. The only difference between Jim Jones (leader of the Peoples Temple 1978) VP is that the scale of destruction, suffering and the lasting trail of pain he caused while he was alive.

      For his stupid devotees he was omniscient and Omnipotent and watching him was like Superman, Ironman, Spiderman, Brue Lee, Clint Eastwood, MGR… movies. And he was a movie star, a dream maker who delivered nothing but destruction.

      He enjoyed popularity among his devotees not because he was clever, benevolent, forgiving, constructive, has respect for human life …….. but because his devotees were and are stupid parochial nationalists, nihilists, necromanias, sadists, …………

      • 2
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        And another thing; VP, unforgivably, let down badly the tribe that enjoyed a reputation as mathematicians and thinkers. VP and his advisers failed to realise that given all the prevailing factors, it was only a matter of time till the numbers spoke. When 15,000 come up against 230,000 in a playing field of 25 square miles there will only be one winner. Our Tamil brethren will take some time to redeem that supreme lack of foresight.Let it not be their epitaph.

  • 2
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    Prof. Charles Sarvan

    The Prabhakaran Phenomenon: Towards An Explanation

    Aa a Sri Lankan Tamil let me give you the definitive answer for The Prabakaran Phenomenon.

    It was the result of the 64 year long suffering by the Tamils.

    The Prabakran Phenomenon was an Idea which gave the Tamils HOPE where none existed under Thanthai Selva which was based on Ahimsa.
    When our people were being killed during race riots the young generation was not prepared to turn the other cheek. It was a question of Bullet or Bite the Dust. Yes we paid a heavy price but Prabakarans message will revebrate for a long time and how for long depneds on how soon we reach Parity.
    The vast Majority of the Sinhalese are born RACISTS and they will never give you anythinh willingly .

    Let me now go through some of your questions.

    1) A Sri Lankan Tamil friend wrote to me wondering why thousands of Tamils, both within and outside the Island, devoutly followed the Tiger leader.

    *** It was a choice out of necessity. DO or DIE.

    2) Even more, why do so many – more in the diaspora, he thinks, than within Sri Lanka – still ‘believe’ in him?

    *** What makes you think that the people inside Eelam dont belive in Prabas Message. For your information Ananthi who has Tiger Blood running through her vein polled the second Highest votes. It was a secret ballot so people were not afraid of White Vans. Diapsora on the other hand live in Civilised Countries where there is no threat to their liberty for expressing their views just like the Scottish.

    3) Why did they ignore evidence which pointed to major errors and crimes committed by him? Why do they refuse to see them even now?

    *** It was a Freedom Stuggle. You dont cut the Rope you rely on to
    get out of the Well.

    4) The murder of Rajiv Gandhi is just one instance of Prabhakaran’s fatal cocktail of crime and folly.

    *** Rajiv Gandhi dug his own Grave or to be more precise the IPKF dug the grave for him by replcing the Sinhala Army and carrying on the Killing.

    5) Reviewing my anthology, Sri Lanka: Paradise Lost?, Dr Subramanyam Chandrasekharan states that on the day the Tamil Tigers killed Rajiv Gandhi, they also killed whatever chances they ever had of gaining Tamil Eelam. In other words, the war for Eelam was lost on 21 May 1991.

    *** You might be right but you cant change ” Karma”. This is how it was written and Prabakaran lost his power of thinking with no restraining influence.
    I am not sure if you saw the Interview he gave to western Journalist. For me the body language of Anton said it all. For Prabakaran any one who challenged him deserved to die. when he was locked up in Delhi by Rajiv during one telephone conversation he uttered the words ” when I come out I will teach this Ariyan a lesson and true to his word we paid the price.

    6) It can be argued that the LTTE leader had lost the war quite a while before he was finally defeated. Prabhakaran had a goal, a desired end. But though he was often brilliant in tactics he was abysmal in strategy, both political and military.

    *** To be exact he lost the war as soon as the Italian Witch assumed the Mantle.

    7) Prabhakaran1 Colombo TelegraphFuture generations will want to understand Tamil response to the Prabhakaran phenomenon. Neither competence nor space permit me to furnish a comprehensive answer, and I merely suggest for consideration just one possible factor, namely, the Tamil post-independence experience of exclusion, subordination and violence – violence (riots and pogroms) by mobs excited and encouraged by the state, and by the state itself via its armed forces.

    *** For me and I am sure for many Prabakaran was a means to an End. The end was to live in Peace , Security and Dignity with means at our disposal to achieve all three.

    8) This is not to equate the Jewish and Tamil experience. Jewish suffering throughout the centuries perhaps ranks as the second worst blot in human history next to the African slave-trade, taking into consideration the “trade’s” numbers, nature and duration. But the above may go some way towards explaining what I call ‘the Prabhakaram phenomenon’. Significantly, there is no popular and desperate longing for a saviour among Jews today. They have their arsenal of the ‘weapons of mass destruction’ (nuclear, biological, chemical) and the unconditional support of the United States. It is no longer the Jews but the Palestinians who need a redeemer: ironically, from the Jews. Indeed, in terms of their plight (abandoned by most fellow Arab nations and co-religionists; with the international community inured and indifferent); the treatment meted out to them by Israel; the seeming hopelessness of their cause, it can be said that the Palestinians are now as the Jews were until the end of the Second World War. Figuratively and in short, the Palestinians are now the Jews. In my Public Writings on Sri Lanka, Volume 2, I quote W. H. Auden: “I and the public know / What all schoolchildren learn / Those to whom evil is done / Do evil in return.

    *** The plight of the Palestinians is due to a combination of factors.

    Claim for the same piece of Land with Religious Connotation .
    Lack of will by the Arab Countries to use oil as a “weapon” to extract concession out of America.

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    Pirabaharan was between a coward and a megalomaniac. He made three unforgivable major blunders much to the detriment of Tamil aspirations: The assassination of Rajiv Gandhi, the expulsion of the Muslims and indeed the rejection of the offer of a federal system of government. Chris Patton of the EU who had met him on behalf of the EU advised the EU of the foolhardiness of backing him.Bensen

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      Bensen Berner

      “He made three unforgivable major blunders much to the detriment of Tamil aspirations”

      More than that.

      Not realising that Tamil Eelam was dead on arrival just after Vattukottai resolution was passed in 1976.

      The symbolic massacre of innocent civilians under Bodhi Tree at Anuradhapura in order to please Hindians.

      His birth.

      Don’t forget he was a product of the Sri Lankan state which was able to produce Rohana, Prabha, not Gandhi, Mandela, …..Martin Luther King as its opponent.

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      he he he

      to silence a COWARD ..Modayas wanted help from 34 countries plus banned chemical weapons supplied by poverty India…

      Why ..you could have knock down this coward easily by sending a Maradana thug ……..

      The assassination of Rajiv Feroz Khan must me investigated by an independent body ….it is easy to blame LTTE…..like Kadirgamar and Fernandopulle affair …now there are questions about these murders ..

      Who cares? We believe only Rupahavahini and Lankadeepa..

      Who offered Federal government solution ???

      Cheers

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        cholan,

        Now is your chance to meet kali. I still believe that you two were made for each other unless kali is your mother or sister.

        Please reply to her comment above in a supportive way to introduce yourself.

        Should I help you more?

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    Prabaharan and the LTTE cannot be discussed separately. The person and the organization he formed are irrevocably entwined as one ‘Phenomenon’. My take on both in 2009 were presented in the following article titled ‘The Rise and fall of the LTTE’:

    http://www.srilankaguardian.org/2009/02/rise-and-fall-of-ltte-overview.htm

    Dr.RN

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