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The chances of attaining Eelam are bright because the people's determination is firm. | 'Frontline'- December 1985 | Hon. V. Prabhakaran


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" The chances of attaining Eelam are bright because the people's
determination is firm. We are prepared for a long-drawn struggle (to attain Eelam)."



FRONTLINE: How were you attracted to the liberation movement?
What were the factors that impelled you to take up this cause?


Pirabakaran: It is a long story. When I was young. my parents used
to talk a lot at home against the 1958 racial riots directed against the
Tamils in which many people were affected. This affected me. I
used to read a lot of books which came from Madras, including
magazines like Ananda Vikatan, Kalki, Kumudam, etc. All magazines
used to run stories on India's freedom struggle, which used to
fascinate me. Besides, books like Mahabharata, which says that
good will vanquish evil, left a deep impress on me. When I was
studying in school. I used to receive private tuition from a master
called Home-Guard V. Navarathinam, who had left the Tamil Federal
Party. The youth of the Federal Party also followed suit. He used to
talk to us on the various world movements, how nothing can be
accomplished by parliamentary means, etc. I was 15years old then
and I got the feeling that we also should hit back and that we
should have a separate country of our own.

Q: What is the LTTE's ideology? Unlike other organisations, the
LTTE began as a military outfit and later acquired Marxist-Leninist
leanings. Some organisations like the EPRLF began as a
"communist party" and later added a military wing.


A: We had an ideology from the beginning that was to form a
socialistic State. If we did not give shape to that ideology, it was
because we (LTTE) got straightway into the struggle.

Q: What is your outlook on Eelam, towards the struggle, the
experiences of your sufferings? Do you think you can achieve
Eelam?


A: The chances of attaining Eelam are bright because the people's
determination is firm. We are prepared for a long-drawn struggle (to
attain Eelam).

Q: The LTTE's general style of operation seems to be to indulge in
hit-and run tactics. But after a hit-and-run attack, the Army turns on
the Tamil civilians. For example, it is widely believed that your
ambushing and killing the 13 soldiers presaged the 1983 riots
against the Tamils. Other liberation organisations like the PLO and
the IRA do not indulge in hit -and-run tactics. Further, they have
expanded their base among the people. Have you expanded your
base?


A: For the PLO. there is no room for adopting hit-and-run tactics
because they are fighting from a foreign soil. The IRA is fully
indulging in hit-and-run operations. But the British Army does not
attack the civilians. But, we work with a lot of hardship in terms of
finance and the resistance from (Sri Lankan) military. Yet, in Jaffna
and other places, we have controlled the Army and we have made
them into liberated zones. This was because, there is no gap
between the people and us. In Jaffna, and in Nilaveli at
Trincomalee. These areas are under our control. There is no
Government control.

We are running the civil administration. This means, we have gone
a step above the hit-and-run methods. Even though we adopted
hit-and-run methods in the beginning. gradually, we have not
allowed the troops to come in and as time goes on, it will become a
mass struggle. Right now, in places like Jaffna. it has become a
mass struggle.

Besides, we are running a guerrilla force. Out of several tactics in
guerrilla warfare, one is hit-and-run. In the initial development of
the LTTE. we did hit-and-run operations. But now, after an attack,
we give protection to the people. The Sri Lankan Government
attacks the people because we are close to the people and also it
does it to create a gap between the people and us. Without
people's support. We would have been betrayed and our movement
would not have been there.

Q: To go back, have you expanded your base among the people.
Like have you established trade unions, etc.?


A: Outwardly. we don't have trade unions. In all places, the LTTE's
base has expanded.

Q: What is your attitude towards the Government of India, its
efforts to bring about a solution to the crisis? Is it pressuring you
to accept a solution?


A: Till now, we have not been pressured. At the same time, the
Government of India is trying to solve the problem through talks.
But our history shows that nothing can be solved through talks.
Yet. We have to support the Government of India's efforts and so,
we are taking part in the talks.

But at the same time, the Sri Lankan Government has not, so far.
arrived at any worthwhile solution. For example, it is violating the
cease-fire and it has not properly implemented it' There should be
peace as a prelude to talks (with the Sri Lankan Government).
Everyday they are killing us.

Q: Supposing, all the Tamil liberation organisations are asked to go
out of India, what will you do?


A: All our important training bases are in Sri Lanka. We are here
only to expose the political situation there. We are prepared to go
back to our country any time. As the Sri Lankan Government
accuses us, we do not have any training bases or anything here.
All our training bases, recruitment, are all done in our country.
These problems can never affect us.

Q: Recently, you went on a tour of Tamil areas of Sri Lanka and you
also met your regional commanders. How is the morale of your
cadres and what is the situation there?


A: There is only progress (increasing determination). There is no
retardation in the struggle. There is a feeling dominant among the
people that instead of slowly dying in batches. it is better to fight
and die together.

Our boys.. comrades.. are closer to the people. As a result, they are
strong and firm. There cannot be any talk on morale because as
long as there is one soldier (in the LTTE), they will fight for our
ideal (to achieve Eelam). Till there is a last comrade. we will fight for
our independence..... liberation.

Q: Do you think anything will come out of the talks (with the Sri
Lankan Government)?


A: We don't have faith. We know the history of the last 30 years
and Jayewardene's history also. Even common people do not have
any faith(that anything will come out of the talks). When the
Government of India invites us for talks.........it gives us political
support...For its satisfaction. we are participating. But the results
are in Jayewardene's hands. I don't have faith that he will put
forward something (viable proposals).

Q: What do you think of Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi's approach
and also of Foreign Secretary Romesh Bhandari?


A: As far as Rajiv Gandhi's approach is concerned, he thinks he can
solve this through peaceful means. viz., talks. Destruction is certain
through struggle. He wants to minimise the scale of destruction and
is trying to solve the problem. When it is a struggle, it will belong-
drawn. Even the refugee problem will be there for the Government
of India. So. Rajiv Gandhi wants to solve it through peaceful means.
But Jayewardene is falsifying such efforts.

Romesh Bhandari's approach..... He is a representative of the
Government of India. On behalf of the Prime Minister. he is trying
hislevel best to solve the problem through peaceful means. But till
now, Jayewardene has not implemented even the terms and
conditions of the cease-fire. So. Romesh Bhandari has not
succeeded even in cease-fire efforts.

Q: What is your assessment of the Thimpu talks, the proposals
offered by the Sri Lankan Government?


A: There cannot be talks till prevails. The Thimpu talks made the
people hate us. If the Sri Lankan Government is not keen on a
peaceful atmosphere, how can you believe that it will implement the
proposals offered?

Q: There is a belief that there is not much democracy either in your
organisation or other Tamil militant organisations. Is it true?


A: You should ask our organisation's members that question. We
have given them so much of freedom. There is no problem like that.

Q: What is your attitude towards to TULF, the PLOT and other
ENLF organisations?


A: They are also fighting for liberation like us.

 

Courtesy: 'Frontline' magazine, India 30 December 1985

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