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Theepan of the LTTE: Heroic saga of a Northern warrior

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

“All Rome sent forth a rapturous cry,
And even the ranks of Tuscany
Could scarce forbear to cheer” -Thomas Babington Macaulay

[‘Col’ Theepan]

I was reminded of the above lines from the original “Horatius” poem by Macaulay when I was reading a posting on the defence ministry website headlined “Driven to their deaths in vain”.

It was about the large number of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) cadres and leaders killed at Aananthapuram in the Puthukkudiyiruppu AGA division.

The tone and content departed to some degree from the usual defence ministry rants about terrorists and terror bodies etc. Despite the defence establishment constraints this piece though critical of the LTTE leadership was somewhat sympathetic and to a lesser extent , even appreciative of the fallen tigers.

It was not that the LTTE was being supported or praised but the courage and sacrifice of those tigers who died in vain was recognized and admired. Being fighters themselves the security forces were able to relate with respect to this phenomenon though the vanquished were from enemy ranks.

Here is an excerpt from it-“The men and women in the professional arms of the security forces value honour more than anything else. They fight for the cause they believe in and seek honour by contributing towards its realisation. This is the reason that the armed forces personnel are trained to respect the fallen enemy. We do not wish to insult Theepan, Vidusha, Durga, Gadhapi, Gopith, Nagesh, and the rest who died in the recent fighting. Indeed, they were the cream of the LTTE fighting cadre”.

Just as the “ranks of Tuscany” cheered the valiant efforts of Horatius , here the ranks of Sri Lankan defence forces were acknowledging-perhaps grudgingly-the bravery of the fallen enemy.

The Defence ministry could have gone to town about this victory but in a display of decency and good taste, it has refrained from doing so.

This is in striking contrast to the vocal warriors of the Sinhala Diaspora whose triumphalist cacophony has been disgustingly revolting.


The Tigers suffered a tremendous blow in the first week of April. In what may very well be the defining moment of the on going war, the tigers lost a vast array of illustrious fighting commanders as well as large numbers of cadres in a single battle.

Some of the military top brass in “off the record” discussions about the tiger debacle with trusted scribes had many good things to say about Theepan. His military record has earned the admiration of the security forces.

Also intercepts revealed that Theepan had refused to break out through military encirclement and escape without his cadres. This was another reason for the military upper echelons to be impressed by Theepan.

Among the fallen tigers “Colonel” Theepan is perhaps the single biggest loss to the movement.Theepan’s death has not been publicly acknowledged by the LTTE.

Nevertheless it is learnt reliably that Theepan and many of the fallen fighters were posthumously promoted by LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran in a low-key event held in Valaingarmadam. Theepan has been designated brigadiers for now.

The LTTE is planning to release the names and ranks of the fallen tigers sometime in the future. There is a strong possibility that Theepan may be posthumously promoted as Major-General. If that happens Theepan would be the LTTE’s first “Maj-Gen”.

There is a very big Question mark over the “militaristic” future of the LTTE. But if it was ever possible for the tigers to return to a “business as usual” situation the void left by Theepan can never be filled. It’s an irreplaceable loss.

The life and times of “Col” Theepan are indeed interesting.A trip down memory lane would be helpful in gaining insight about the heroic saga of this fallen northern warrior.


Velayuthapillai Baheerathakumar alias Theepan was from Kandawalai in the Kilinochchi district. He used to adopt the nom de guerre Sivatheeban and an alias Thavabalasingham at times .

Theepan’s family had its origins in Varani in the Thenmaratchy sector within the Jaffna peninsula.

He was a student at Chavakachcheri Hindu College in Sangathaanai. He was in the Bio group for his GCE A levels and obtained results that could have qualified him to enter Varsity as a Bio-Science student. But Baheerathakumar opted to be a militant instead of being an undergrad.

Theepan was a cousin of Thileepan alias “Curdles”, former LTTE commander for Thenmaratchy region who was killed in the Kaithaddy explosion of Feb 14th 1987.

Curdles also known as “Kerdy” was also from Kandawalai where his father served as School principal for a long time.

According to knowledgeable circles it was Curdles who recruited his younger cousin into the movement. Baheerathakumar joined the LTTE in early 1984.

He underwent arms training and assumed the nom de guerre “Theepan”. His communication codename was “Tango Papa”.

The LTTE had then divided the Northern mainland known as Wanni into two regions for their purposes. Mannar district was one region while the districts of Kilinochchi, Vavuniya and Mullaitheevu formed another unit.

Gopalaswamy Mahendrarajah alias Mahathaya was the commander then for the greater Wanni LTTE division. Newly recruited Theepan hailing from Kandawalai ,was placed under Mahathaya’s Wanni command.


Mahathaya ,the man who recognized the talent of Balraj and propped him up in the LTTE was also quick to recognize Theepan’s potential. He took a liking to him and inducted Theepan into his bodyguard unit.

1987 saw some administrative changes within the LTTE resulting in Mahathaya relocating to Jaffna and becoming deputy-leader of the LTTE. The Wanni was re-divided into Vavuniya, Kilinochchi and Mullaitheevu districts . Jeyam, Suseelan and Paseelan were the respective district commanders.

Theepan accompanied Mahathaya to Jaffna and functioned as his chief bodyguard.It was on July 29th 1987 that the Indo-Lanka accord was signed. Soon war broke out between the Indian army and the LTTE.

One incident that took place during the early stages of the fighting was the capture of 18 Indian soldiers at Pandatheruppu by the LTTE. They were later released back to the Indian army.

There was a ceremony to mark this “hand-over” and a contingent of media persons were flown in without visas from Chennai to Palaly. Mahathaya personally handed over the 18 soldiers. Photographs taken on the occasion show a young Theepan standing dutifully behind Mahathaya.

Later Mahathaya got back to the Wanni and stationed himself at Paalamottai in the Vavuniya district. Theepan too was at Paalamottai. But LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran had also relocated to the Wanni and gradually began running things his own way.


Theepan was placed in charge of Kilinochchi as military commander. Despite the overwhelming presence of the Indian army, Theepan managed to evade capture by moving from place to place within the district.

The LTTE under Theepan carried out many attacks against the Indian army in K’nochchi district. District-wise, K’nochchi had the second largest number of anti-IPKF operations. Only M’theevu had more. The LTTE in that district was led by Kandia Balasegaran alias Balraj.

It was during the Indian army period that Theepan’s younger brother also joined the LTTE. Like his elder sibling, he too rose rapidly from the ranks and was at one stage appointed as commander of the LTTE’s Charles Anthony infantry division.

Theepan’s younger brother Velayuthapillai Sivakumar who used the nom de guerre “Kilman” was sent to Trincomalee district as commander in charge of the Charles Anthony division in 1993. He was killed in an accidental explosion there in 1994 and was posthumously elevated to “Lt. Col” rank.

Prabhakaran “re-unified” the Wanni command again in late 1988. He brought all three districts under one regional command. Balraj was made Wanni military commander and Maran the political commissar. Theepan was appointed as deputy-military commander to Balraj.

The Indian army left Lankan shores in March 1990. War erupted between the Premadasa government and the LTTE in June 1990. Under Balraj’s leadership the LTTE conducted several successful operations against the Armed forces in the Wanni.Chief among them were the overrunning of Mankulam and Kokavil camps.


Theepan served as an efficient deputy to Balraj. Both were of the same mould being courageous fighters who led from the Front.There was great affinity between both as comrades.

When Balraj died in May 2008, Theepan broke down when delivering an eulogy.

Theepan said of Balraj then “Ennai Aruhil vaithirunthu Thalapathiaaha valarthedutha thalapathy,Avar En por Aasaan” (he was the commander who kept me at his side and nurtured me as a commander. He was my guru of war)

Balraj along with Theepan participated in the 1991 attack on Elephant Pass which ended in failure. It is said that the Wanni contingent led by both of them was successful in taking Kurinchatheevu area structures and adjacent buildings.

But others tasked with different objectives were not so successful. 673 tiger cadres perished in the abortive attack.

In 1992 , Balraj was appointed as commander of the newly raised Charles Anthony infantry division. Theepan his deputy succeeded Balraj as Wanni region commander.

The Balraj-Theepan duo scored a significant success when the LTTE launched a successful attack on Janakapura (Mannkindimalai) in the Manal Aaru/Weli Oya region. It was codenamed operation “Ithayabhoomi” (heartland)


Two major battles where Theepan proved his prowess were at Poonagary during “operation Thavalai (Frog) and in the peninsula during “operation Yarl Devi”.

The amphibious “frog” operation of November 1993 was a combined effort in which cadres from different regions were mobilised. The sprawling army base at Poonagary and Naval base at Nagathevanthurai were simultaneously targeted.

Bhanu had to target Nagathevanthurai main camp while Theepan had to demolish the main camp in Poonagary. Bhanu discharged his duties efficiently and virtually demolished the navy camp.

But the LTTE ran into difficulties at Poonagary. The plan was to target the main camp as well as the satellite mini- camps simultaneously. Thus Theepan and his cadres had to infiltrate deep into the base complex.

Even as Theepan & co were crawling through the sprawling complex , another tiger team was detected at the periphery. As firing began, Theepan and his team had to run fast towards their target so as to retain some element of surprise at least.

This they did and it was a panting Theepan and cadres who commenced the attack on the main camp. Though successful “operation Frog” was not an overwhelming tiger victory as the soldiers rallied and converged at the Kalmunai point area thus avoiding total annihilation.


Another incident where Theepan made an impressive showing was “operation Yarl Devi” in September 1993 where soldiers marched northwards into the peninsula from Elephant Pass. Balraj and Theepan were in charge of countering the incursion.

Balraj got injured on the first day of battle and thereafter it was Theepan’s lot to take charge. This he did and beat back the army at Puloppalai after letting troops advance.

Theepan’s deputies in this operation were Navaneethan and Naresh .They were in charge of Mullaitheevu and Kilinochchi districts repectively under Theepan the overall Wanni commander.

It is said that Theepan concealed cadres within sand dunes for hours and hours thus springing a lethal surprise in ambushing advancing soldiers.

The LTTE seized two T-55 tanks during these battles. The tigers used these for many operations later including one where they buried a T-55 in the sand at Challai and fired upon an unsuspecting Dvora that had come close to the beach.

Ironically the LTTE lost both T-55’s in the recent rounds of fighting. One was destroyed at Northern Puthukkudiyiruppu and the other was re-captured in the recent fighting in Southern Puthukkudiyiruppu.

The LTTE’s deputy leader Mahathaya was arrested and executed on charges of treason in 1994.In the aftermath of that episode, Theepan was transferred to Jaffna from the Wanni.It was during this time that Chandrika Kumaratunga was elected and peace talks commenced.

Talks broke down and the LTTE began fighting again. When “operation Leap Forward” took place, Theepan fought along with LTTE cadres in Jaffna to repel it.He was also part of tiger resistance to “operation Thunderstrike” in Jaffna.


Then came “operation Riviresa”. Initially Balraj and Sornam were made joint commanders to counter it. But after a while Prabhakaran replaced both with Theepan and Bhanu.

They were appointed as joint commanders after the Army had entered Jaffna municipal limits. Theepan’s assignment was to delay the army and prevent the take-over of Jaffna before Great Heroes day of November 27th.

Theepan led a small force, offering fierce resistance even as all the main routes to Jaffna were being gradually blocked by the army. It appeared that the tigers defending the town area under Theepan would be boxed in and trapped inside Jaffna town.

But Theepan ,managed to prevent the fall of Jaffna till Nov 27th and then withdrew with his cadres by wading through the Pannai lagoon waters for quite a distance until the sea tigers led by Soosai evacuated them safely.

Former deputy defence minister Anuruddha Ratwatte hoisted the national flag at Durayappah stadium on Dec 5th 1995.

The LTTE withdrew from Jaffna peninsula by April-May 1996. Immediately after this , Prabhakaran summoned Theepan and ordered him to undertake “rekke” (reconnaissance) of the Mullaitheevu army camp and formulate an attack plan.

This was done and M’theevu was overrun on July 18th 1996. Over a 1000 soldiers were killed.With the LTTE relocating en masse to the Wanni the M’theevu camp “removal” became a military imperative.


“Operation Jayasikurui” was launched by the army in 1997. The first phase saw the army taking Omanthai and Nedunkerny virtually without a fight.Theepan was entrusted the defence of A-9 highway or Jaffna-Kandy road. He took up position in Puliyankulam.

It was then that Theepan mounted his now famous “trench cum bund” defences.Theepan’s deputy in the defence of Puliyankulam was Sathasivam Sathananthan alias “Vikkees.”

Vikkees was Theepan’s right-hand man in the realm of strategic defence. He served for many years on the Muhamaalai front and was later brought to Thunukkai to safeguard that strategic location. Vikkees died while defending it. This was a major loss to Theepan.

Another of Theepan’s able deputies was Arivu.Lt. Col Arivu served as Theepan’s chief military intelligence operative for many years. He was sent on a special assignment to Trincomalee and was killed there a few years ago.

Among Theepan’s disciples the most efficient is reportedly Lawrence.He served for a long time on the Kilaly-Muhamaalai-Nagarkovil front and was later transferred by Theepan to the Navvi-Palamottai front. Currently Lawrence has been active in defending the Puthukkudiyiruppu region.

[Just put in caption “Gen Sarath Fonseka with Brig. Theepan, Also in the picture are Lawrence, Pulidevan (civils) and Arivu]

Incidently both Lawrence and Arivu accompanied Theepan for a meeting with Lt. Gen Sarath Fonseka during the ceasefire. An old photograph shows Theepan. Lawrence and Arivu along with LTTE peace secretariat director Pulidevan in civils chatting to Fonseka who was then Northern military commander.

During Jayasikurui, the Theepan-Vikkees duo managed to hold off the army at Puliyankulam indefinitely. Unable to break through the Puliyankulam defences , the army finally moved from Nedunkerny towards Kanagarayankulam and from there to Karuppattaimurippu along the old Kandy road axis.Puliyankulam had to be abandoned due to this strategic manouevre.


Nowadays , the newly sworn in national integration minister , Vinayagamoorthy Muraleetharan alias Karuna often boasts to the media that he was appointed as Wanni commander by Prabhakaran to withstand the “Jayasikurui” offensive. What Karuna fails to mention is the fact that he was only made joint commander of the Wanni . His partner was none other than Theepan.

Another point conveniently glossed over by Karuna is that the overall field commander during “operation Jayasikurui” was Theepan and not the erstwhile Eastern regional commander.

While it is correct that a large number of Eastern cadres fought in “Jayasikurui” Karuna’s main function as joint commander was co-ordinating defences and laising between field commands . Ground based Frontline leadrship was by the other joint commander Theepan.


Even as “Jayasikurui” was on the LTTE attacked and seized Kilinochchi during February 1998. Theepan was tasked to infiltrate Karadipokku junction between Paranthan and Kilinochchi and prevent reinforcements reaching K’nochchi. This Theepan did and the town was taken from the Southern side

“Jayasikurui” was called off in 1998 and in 1999 the LTTE launched phase-three of unceasing waves. From Oddusuddan to Omanthai the waves engulfed targets and military installations fell like dominoes.It was a tiger triumph and Theepan as joint Wanni commander deserved the lion’s share.

The zenith of unceasing waves was the seizure of Elephant Pass. The highlight of that offensive was Balraj’s famous exploit of going by sea and landing behind enemy lines at Kudaarappu and then moving to Ithaavil on the A-9 and interdicting supplies till Elephant pass fell.

Theepan’s role in this was the rapid military drive along the peninsula’s eastern coast from Sembiyanpatru right down to Vettrilaikerny-Kaddaikkaadu.Theepan and his forces attacked the Elephant pass complex from the rear and played an important part in its downfall.

According to LTTE insiders , Balraj had been hesitant when Prabhakaran had explained what was required of Balraj.Landing on the east coast and moving to the centre in enemy territory and interdicting the main supply route was a formidable challenge. But when the tiger supremo told Balraj , what Theepan was required to do all doubts were removed for Balraj. Such was Balraj’s confidence in Theepan that he would not be let down.


Once Elephant pass fell and the LTTE gained territory inside the peninsula those positions assumed great strategic value. Theepan was appointed in charge of LTTE defences along the Kilaly-Muhamaalai-Nagar Kovil axis.

Theepan was given the title “Northern point commander” (Vadamunai Thalapathy) which virtually amounted to northern regional commander. His baptism of fire in this new assignment was when the armed forces launched “Agni Kheela” in 200 on April 24th. Adopting deep defence tactics, Theepan foiled that attempt inflicting heavy losses on the armed forces.

It must be noted that despite many attempts , the armed forces were unable to dislodge the tigers under Theepan from positions along the Muhamaalai axis. The old-fashioned “Trench-bund” defences withstood the 53 and 55 several times.

Finally it was when the 58 division took Paranthan and moved up to Elephant Pass south that the LTTE was forced to abandon positions inside the peninsula. The tiger defences in the peninsula were never overrun completely. They were only abandoned by the LTTE who were compelled to withdraw from en masse from the peninsula.

Otherwise they would have been trapped inside. Even then with Soosai and Rathinam Amman’s assistance, Theepan managed to evacuate his cadres safely to the mainland in a “mini-Dunkirk” . The tigers defending inside the peninsula were ferried across the Chundikulam lagoon from Kommaatty to Ooriyaan and by sea from Kattaikaadu to Challai.

While being in overall charge of the Muhamaalai defences, Theepan was also delegated duties on the Kilinochchi front. With K’nochchi assuming importance and prestige,Theepan was tasked by Prabakharan to protect the former de-facto administrative capital of the LTTE.

Once again , Theepan commenced his defence of Kilinochchi and environs by rapidly constructing a 18 km bund in a “L” shape. The 57 division despite many attempts was unable to breach these defences effectively. Finally it was the 58 which turned the tide by taking Paranthan.

Thereafter the retention of K’nochchi became impossible. This was the situation later in the case of Muhamaalai-Elephant pass also. Despite the army moving in three directions towards Kilinochchi town ,the tigers under Theepan held on to their positions till 2009 dawned. This was to prevent Kilinochchi being taken by December as announced by Defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse.


The war then moved on to the areas east of the A-9. Theepan and other senior tiger commanders fought fiercely to retain territory. But it was too late. The overwhelming manpower and firepower of the armed forces was too much for the tigers. Relentlessly the military juggernaut rolled forward and tiger territory shrunk.

After the demise of Balraj in 2008 May, Prabhakaran had not appointed a deputy military chief. But Theepan was like the de-facto deputy military commander. Under his leadership several counter-offensives and counter-strikes were conducted. But the armed forces were on the upbeat and withstood all such moves without wilting.

The end came for Theepan last week when he was holed up in Aananthapuram in Puthukkudiyiruppu to plan and begin a massive counter-offensive. Many top tiger commanders were also assembled there. But the LTTE got trapped when soldiers penetrated both flanks and linked up behind LTTE positions at Pachchaippulmottai. Thereafter a siege was mounted.

While Bhanu broke out through the military cordon with Keerthi and Lawrence , Theepan refused saying he would not abandon cadres. “If I come out it will be with our fighters only” an intercept heard him say.

After breaking out Bhanu participated in a major effort to break through the military cordon and rescue Theepan and other cadres. But they were unsuccessful. With several such attempts being repulsed the fate of those surrounded became sealed.


Meanwhile Theepan’s condition deteriorated as he had been injured twice on April 1st and on the 2nd.Some injuries were on his chest and there was internal bleeding also.Members of the LTTE’s Thileepan medical unit affixed two tubes to get the blood out . Theepan succumbed to his injuries on April 4th.

Thus ended the life of a courageous commander who led from the front and refused to abandon his cadres. Theepan was like an old-fahioned ship’s captain opting to go down with his sinking vessel rather than abandoning his cadres.

This consideration and affection for his cadres was a pronounced trait of Theepan.It is said that Theepan took a personal interest in their welfare and communicated with them easily. He also maintained links with their families and would visit each family of a departed cadre to console.

Despite his tough military reputation, Theepan was a soft-spoken, polite man with a gentle disposition and demeanour. He was very popular with the people.

Theepan did not get involved in the internal politics and intrigues within the LTTE.He accepted Prabhakaran’s leadership and unquestioningly carried out to the best of his ability, the tasks assigned to him.

Theepan was married to an ex-woman cadre from the LTTE. They have no children.

This northern warrior’s life was inter-twined with that of the LTTE’s military fortunes.

Theepan’s death along with other senior tigers comes at a time when the LTTE is on the verge of military defeat. In a sense, Theepan’s demise signals the beginning of the end.

I began this column by quoting lines from Macaulay on Horatius. Let me endthis with a verse from Willian Butler Yeats on the Irish easter uprising of 1913.”Romantic Ireland’s dead and gone with O’Leary in the grave” says Yeats.

With Theepan’s death, Tamil Eelam too seems “dead and gone”. Like Yeats, one can only ponder” was it for this the wild geese spread” and “for this that all that blood was shed” and also on “all that delirium of the brave”.

Was it for this the wild geese spread
The grey wing upon every tide;

For this that all that blood was shed,
For this Edward Fitzgerald died,

And Robert Emmet and Wolfe Tone,
All that delirium of the brave:

Romantic Ireland’s dead and gone
It’s with O’Leary in the grave – William Butler Yeats

I can be reached on
Email: dbsjeyaraj@yahoo.com

[This is an updated version of an article that appeared in the “Daily Mirror” of April 11th 2009]


  1. Dear Jeyaraj

    It was a great article you have written about Brig Theeban Really respect you for this, bringin out the truth. You are a man who knows what respect to give a fallen soldier. Death of Theeban is the worst news for the entire Tamil Community.

    Thank You for the article


  2. Dear Gopu

    You will hear lot more news in the next few days with curshing the LTTE.

    Very soon so called supreme leader Prabhakaran will also face the same. But I doubt that Prabhakaran will fitght till the death. As he is so cowardly leader, he will surrender to the army for life letting all the followers in trouble.

    Prabha has done enough damage & drag back many years in terms of education, finance, dignity etc of our tamil community. Now everywhere in the world we have very bad image for which he is responsible.

    From the day Prabha dies we have a grate future, and we are waiting till that to go back to Sri Lanka.

  3. I read your article. I cannot concentrate on my daily business (as usual) without writing you some words. Really your writing was superb. I loved the way, you started, went and finished. When LTTE want to publish about his death, they better lend your article to describe his life story.

    I am so proud to say that we still have a journalist like you, who can provide an analysis ín a such nutral manner.

  4. His name and legacy will live forever till Tamileelam succeeds.

    We will win this war and



  5. Theepan & all other so called ‘brave’ LTTE leaders also took cover behind the Human Shield…So how can you say Theepan was a Hero ?

    He should have gone against Prabhakaran’s instructions and killed himself with cyanide instead of hiding behind innocent civilians …then you could say he was a hero.

    The fact that he, too, was guilty of shooting down innocent civilians when they tried to escape, it clearly shows that he is not only a coward but also was inhumane. It is because Theepan, as Joint Commander,, implemented that mentally unsound Prabhakaran’s orders, escaping civilians were shot ! If he was a noble warrior (and not a terrorist), he should defied orders given to shoot escaping civilians.

  6. you have written glorifying Theepan. If this is the honorable jounalism you practice, God bless you. This is what the Defence Secratary and the President talk about all the time. People can write about anything, but at the same time think about the time you are writing in. This is very important. I think glorifying ‘terriorists’ is not right at this jucture. He may be a hero to you, but in my opinion, he is a coward!!. Any one can kill innocent people while they are sleeping, if you glorify a this type of killer, I wonder where you belong.

    He may be a fighter, but did not fight in the right manner, I consider him as another misguided individual.

  7. He originally from Thennmarrachi-Varani.

    He was a Bioscience student and studied at Chavakachcheri Hindu college and qualified for university at his first A Level exam.

    However due to the 1983 riots he became a sincere and dedicated freedom fighter for Tamils as well as for Pirabaharan. He always loved poor and innocent people no matter who they were, Tamils or Singhales.


  8. Its a pathetic end to a pathetic start. Theepan should have been a good onion cultivator where he could have thrived as yet another successful farmer. Joined a course that had no justice.

    If not he should have gone back to where he came from, Tamil Nadu, and he would have heard everything Thamil and seen everything Thamil so that he would have not developed hatred towards a prevailing culture and a nation state built by some others which he was alien to.

  9. Thanks for the article. Please continue giving us an insight into the LTTE and its key members. History is currently in the making. In years to come, students both young and old will study and learn about this conflict – your informative articles will be a reference and a testamant to the heroic journalists who continued to bring out the truth in trying circumstances. Lasantha will be saluting you from the Heaven’s with a smile……

  10. excellent, informative article about Theepan

    I never supported a separate state.

    But I felt deeply distressed after reading your article.

    It’s a sad situation right now…. after all the loss of precious lives.

  11. Good article. Theepan died as a warrier but should he have died for a wrong course. Equally, we cn’t forget the terrorist activities that he was part of.

    Equally, it appears that these deaths, rather than being taken as a point of reflection, LTTE supporters’ determination seems to be going up. That’s the sad thing about it.

    The most difficult question is also understanding about, as well as reasons for, a ‘political’ solution. Isn’t it the case that all Sri Lankans want ‘equal opportunitiy’. No body should ask more and nobody should be given less.

    The issue is then undertanding what Tamils are deprived of , at present, in SL. If there is no problem, there can’t be a solution. We need to define the problem first. Going back to 1950s is not going to help.

    On the other hand, we should not give people jobs, educational opportunities, posts of influence etc just bacuase he or she is a Tamil or Sinhalese, but because he or she is the most capabple and most deserving- based on merit. That goes for all things.

    Do we need a separatye State for Tamils to achieve this goal? What are the things that Tamils don’t have access to in SL at present as opposed to Sinhalese or any other group? That’s must be start of the process, post-LTTE.

  12. I stand in humble salute for your words on Theepan. I’m neither ethnic minority or the suppressing majority this I’m nuetral in my opinion thus biased against commonplace attitude towards the oppressed.

    Of all the people that read your article in our circle not one thought from the shoes of the writer or the subject, some even wanted you shot for glorifying Theepan. Such is the mindset of Srilankans and that is why our curve is always pointing south. May god bless us all.

    Pro Bono

  13. Your article is nice beautiful words and kind of a heart warming and etc etc.
    but is it realy helpful for tamil youth and SL to find kind of a peace in SL. thease irish things are normal worda as you have in SL too, every country have their own nonsense.
    next time please write something good for present time and future of SL. warriors and heroes comes and goes but poverty stays and european pays

  14. I slaute the courage and bravery of Col Theepan and other fallen leaders such as Vidusha and Durga.

  15. I slaute the courage and bravery of Col Theepan and other fallen leaders such as Vidusha and Durga. However, they were fighting an unnecessary and costly war against their own people.

  16. At least in the last hour Theepan had set an example for the coward, Pirapaharan. Let’s see if he has the guts to follow the footsteps of his junior colleague.

  17. I have closely followed DBS’s articles in local newspapers for a very long time. he makes more sense than all the diaspora combined.

    the very fact that writers like him ( who do not toe the GOSL or LTTE line blindly) are tolerated by the sinhala speaks volumes about the disparity between the tolerance levels of the two communities.

    the tribute that defense.lk has payed the fallen LTTE leaders like theepan should be an eye opener for diaspora. the black & white mono ethnic good/bad scenario they kept on portraying to the west for 30 long years to gain their sympathy has completely run out of steam & come to a dead stop. crying wolf game has backfired.

    even the western based diaspora who enjoy the highest democratic standards have failed to grasp it’s true meaning after living for so long in the heart of democracy. they are well behind the sinhala in thinking democratically instead of blindly.

    I am sure people like DBS would have absolutely no place in LTTE dominated diaspora west.

    breaking the law to protest is self defeating & exposes more than what the plain eye can see. i am sure that the diaspora has done more harm to themselves by protesting wildly.

    the failure to understand how the westerners eye self immolations & suicide will cost heavily for the diaspora. westerners do not take kindly to these acts.

    they have self inflicted much more harm than all the GOSL propaganda can ever hope to accomplish.

  18. one less terrorist animal to worry about. you can call him hero, brigadier or whatever fancy words but history will call him a terrorist animal.
    all sri lankans are waiting for the day when jeyaraj can write an article on the suicide/death of the fat diabetic thug…i’m sure it will be moving and bring tears to the eyes of the terrorist supporters.

  19. If Theepan did not go about killing civilians in villages, and other tamils who were against the LTTE, then he can be called a good fighter. Not otherwise.

    Gnanam, comment no 10: What evidence do you have to state that he loved poor and innocent sinhala people?

  20. Dear Jay,
    the fact is, both Balrajah and Theepan were brought up by Mathaja. his loss was huge. but we are not going discuss the internal politics.

  21. Tamils are trying to hold against the terrorist state advancing army.The oppressed Tamils, are determined to liberate their community from the clutches of the Sinhalese. We wont let anyone sophisticately discourage the mild / soft minded majority Tamils and steer them away from the liberation struggle.

  22. ratne-comment 12

    i agree with you that he should have gone back to where he came from-tamilnadu. also using the same logic every srlankan except the veddahs should go back to india. in fact the whole world should go back to africa. as for the sinhalese who are living outside srilanka, including those poor women suffering in middle east………

  23. ratne-comment 12

    missed one group- the portuguese(silvas, pereras, fernandos) should go back to portugal, and the malays(gotabaya) should go back to indonesia, using your same logic. my concept of humanity differs from yours. i believe in only one race the human one and this whole planet, which god created, not humans belongs to all.

  24. no matter how many brave tamils u kill it will not stop the ezham tamil cause. i am surprised at the great waste of life in your country. i am also disappointed in the foolishness of prabhakaran the national leaeder.

    sinhala chauvinism will not succeed in supressing the yearning for freedom of the tamils.

    your leaders are destroying your country. dont forget the history of the tigers. if one can recall this then u will live in fear for the day of their resurgence

  25. I always read your articles.
    I want to congratulate you on your writing and especially the one about Theepan

    please accept my humble cheers

  26. There can be no better case study of a smart and brilliant section of Human Race being virtually destroyed by a power hungry Individual, Pol Pot may come close

    If not for Prabhakaran and the Powerful Forces backing him to keep the Asian Countries at the doldrums for ever these brilliant Sons and Daughters of Sri Lanka would have ended up as illustrious Professionals or Successful Business People as Crown Jewels among not only the Tamil Community but for whole of Sri Lanka.

    The real tragedy and the million dollar question is whether the Tamils of Sri Lanka have the foresight not to be taken for yet another ride and destroy themselves and along with them a good part of Sri Lanka in yet another miss adventure.

    The planning is well underway in many circles, specially the expatriates Tamils living in luxury in first world countries to take the innocent Tamils yet again for another joy ride.



  28. SL Army is not in the “killing business”. They are in the business of bringing “normalcy to livelihood” business.

    Theepan and the others were on SL Army’s way of achieving it’s objectives, and therefore had to be removed.

    There is no perpetual hatred in the Army towards its enemy. Once an obstacle is removed, they move into removing the next obstacle.

    It is now time for rest of the remaining LTTE cadres to give-up and surrender. Once surrendered, they will be no more a threat to the SL Army’s objectives and would be rehabilitated to lead normal lives.

    Tamil diaspora should decided whether they want to further scarifies their own kith and kin living under LTTE or pressure LTTE to do the right thing at this point and surrender.

    You have to select “United we live or divide we die “!!

  29. Dear David
    Keep the eulogy of LTTE leader ready to be released at any time. I can not wait to read it. I have read book about him but your may be different.

  30. I have often noticed your penchant for poetry.

    This verse from Yeats was most appropriate.

    It also evoked moisture in my eyes.

    Oh what waste

    Was it for this that we………..

    Was it for this the wild geese spread
    The grey wing upon every tide;

    For this that all that blood was shed,
    For this Edward Fitzgerald died,

    And Robert Emmet and Wolfe Tone,
    All that delirium of the brave:

    Romantic Ireland’s dead and gone
    It’s with O’Leary in the grave – William Butler Yeats

  31. I can see many misgiuded individuals when I go through these blog spots. Thesis and anti thesis is a part of this world as well as terrorism and anti terrorism. Ultimately it is the history which clears all these doubt but no always.
    The saga of human life is not same for all. It depends on their up bringing and achievements. In that sense Theepan may be a hero but in reality he may not.
    Ultimately what matters the end result of this war. If LTTE creates a seperate state and it survives all adverse forces as it did so far all of their cadres will be heroes down the history, if not it will be miserable to all of them.

  32. sakunthala- comment 37

    wipe the moisture from your eyes and listen to this

    ” I,am in blood
    steeped in it so far that returning is more tedious, than going over”
    – William shakespeare’s Macbeth.

  33. The men and women in the professional arms of the security forces value honour more than anything else. They fight for the cause they believe in and seek honour by contributing towards its realisation. This is the reason that the armed forces personnel are trained to respect the fallen enemy. We do not wish to insult Theepan, Vidusha, Durga, Gadhapi, Gopith, Nagesh, and the rest who died in the recent fighting. Indeed, they were the cream of the LTTE fighting cadre”.

  34. dbs

    from the time i have been reading your columns you have an uncanny ability to predict the future accurately. but your last comment that “with theepens death tamil eelam too seems dead and gone”is something that i find difficult to agree with. only future scenario i can see is when tamil eelam is achieved, albeit only for the north of the country, you and i will be dead and gone. it will be recognised by the united nations sometime between 2050 and 2100. the delay will be due to tamilnadu “jokers”, india’s congress party, china and russia. theepans or let alone the sungods death will not stop it from being achieved. it is not a question of will but when.

  35. As a native of Chavakachcheri, I still remember “Kerdy”. Theepan’s cousin and the head of LTTE for Thenmarachi area.

    The name “kerdy” came from the word “Hurdles”, not “Curdles”. As Kerdy was very good in the sport of 110m Hurdles.

    Kerdy was very well respected and loved by the community.

  36. Our security forces respect and admire Theepan and others who died. Just imagine power of our army if the tigers were all united with us and fighting together as one army for our country. Aney! What a pity!!

  37. I respect Theepan but I must say that loss of other fighters also great loss. Their contribution must not be forgotten

  38. DBS Jeyaraj, thanks a lot. I have two comments:

    DBSJ responds: Wijayapala, your comment/questions are interesting but too complicated to answer in this open forum. If you write to me about what exactly you want with your correct identity and other particulars etc I will reply you in a personal mail.Thanks

  39. Hi DBS J!

    Theepan is the great name in Tamils freedom fight.He never learn Military technology from military official training college in abroad. He have learn from his own experiences and leaders guidance.When he sacrifice his life he have the capacity to command the any army in the world even including American.

    In your article u wrote he may first Maj.General in LTTE. I consider even Field Marshal can give to him but not enough to him for his contribution for His mother land.

    Urs Keatharan

  40. 41. shankar comments-

    [[[ from the time i have been reading your columns you have an uncanny ability to predict the future accurately. but your last comment that “with theepens death tamil eelam too seems dead and gone”is something that i find difficult to agree with.]]]

    the above comment is a classical expression of LTTE sympathising at any cost. even the cost of the tamil civilian human shield. they just don’t seem to get it.

    this LTTE human shield & mass execution of escapees would definitely lead to the rejection of any future seperation struggle among the tamil people in the north & east. they are the people that will ultimately hold the key to a future liberation struggle. not the diaspora. without their support there would be no liberation struggle. period.

    it’s certain that they would have completely lost the taste for such meaningless misadventures. in fact these people being mahaveer families may want vengeance on the LTTE leadership instead of supporting another struggle for the crimes commited. it’s a foregone conclusion that in the future the northern tamil people would want to educate their children & have a better life rather than scarifice themselves like lambs at the whims & fancies of self appointed psychopaths who call themselves leaders. the rantings & ravings of colombo & western based LTTE sympathisers living a good life safely among sinhala would be of no value.

    these are some of the other things that they may find difficult to agree with –

    1] india would never allow the creation of a mono ethnic tamil enclave.
    2] india would never forgive rajiv’s murder.
    3] LTTE is finished as a serious fighting force.
    4] the western sponsors are fast losing patience with terrorist antics & fundings because it’s coming home to roost faster than they thought.
    5] the complete non existense of any tamil political leadership which has any international recognition. this seriously undermines any attempt at international acceptance.

    the difficulty to agree with realities like these have cost the sri lankan tamils dearly. if this ignorance continues into the future what’s going to be the future of sri lankan tamils?

    how many more ignominities are they ready to absorb?

    or will they want to end it all & live peacefully?

    the sri lankan tamils are at the most crucial crossroad of their entire existense.

  41. Whoever sacrifices his/her life for the benefit of others must be saluted and respected. If the key person in this article has died for a similar cause, I have no hesitation to bow down with respect.

    However, if someone dies just for the sake of obeying his/her leader for an unjustified cause that brings a threat to the lives of another segment of people, he cannot be considered a true hero.

    It’s so unfortunate to witness a bloody conflict which ran for decades by ruining thousands of precious human lives during our lifetime.

    Instead of leading the communities towards peaceful and democratic life syle, a few racist Tamil leaders created an utter mess in this beautiful island by promoting a fantasy of a seperate state for Tamils.

    Atleast now lets’ hope for a better Sri Lanka where all of us Sinhalese, Tamils and others can live peacefully and respecting each other.

  42. Terrorists are terrorists. Glorified terrorists are still terrorists. Put any adjective in front you want with any euphesim followed by. you still get a terrorist. They may have had their glory and their moments of triumph. Nobody can dispute that. Where is all that now?

  43. Theepan can call for all the Deepang but you will not be allowed to steal a country you never had. Yes you have a country though not seperate. Its called TAMILNADU.

  44. DBS

    I am not a supporter of the LTTE but I have some sympathy for those who die on the battlefield fighting a superior enemy.

    Despite the problems you suffered by the LTTE I have always admired you for writing about the fallen tiger fighters and informing the world about who they were.

    Some pundits may attack you saying you are glorifying or romanticising the LTTE. But I disagree strongly

    You are only writing about people who were an integral part of Tamil society whether anyone likes it or not.

    With the LTTE on the decline there will be a trend to dismiss the LTTE simply as terrorists and black them out.

    It is here that your service is invaluable by recording the other side of affairs.

    Please continue writing

  45. History is written by the victors.This is the reality.

    With the security forces registering victory against the LTTE the true story of armed struggle will be distorted by the victors.

    But you Jeyaraj by writing about these fallen fighters like Theepan will in your own way record a history of the Tamil armed struggle.

    Keep on doing it

  46. Dear Jeyaraj;

    I enjoyed reading your article.

    However, we Tamil people are also humans and therefore the fight shall
    carry on.

    There shall peace between us and the sri-lankan government
    only when we have our own constitution.

    We do not want to be associated with Sri-lanka no more!

    We want our
    freedom it may not be in my life time but it will come.

  47. velluprabaharan-comment47

    i agree with all that you said especially point 5 which is a glaring weakness. however you are the one who decimated the political leadership.
    iam not a ltte sympathiser as you say, but i dont like tactics of bullying people into submission, which successive srilankan governments have tried to do.
    my contention is that much water has flowed under the bridge, and therefore eelam is unstoppable.the points you raise are all very valid but will only result in delay.
    eelam will be minus the east. tamils of the east will find it easier to integrate with the sinhalese than with their brethren in the north. as a result their will be a considerable proportion of mixed parentage in the east(at least 20%) fluent in both languages.
    you are the one who started all this and now you are saying it is not achievable. don’t you think it is a bit too late for that. please swallow your cyanide capsule, get your body burnt and tranfer your job to charles anthony.
    my sincere hope is that people can sort out their differences and live in one country. but i am a realist and i feel military means alone cannot reverse this process or solve this problem which has gone too far. problems must always be nipped in the bud. doing nothing and hoping that a problem will fade away will only result in it becoming bigger and bigger. you have to address the root cause of the problem.
    even now sinhala leaders are only toying with the idea of small doses of devolution. i read palitha kohenge who is an influential adviser to the president saying devolution will be given in small doses and see the results before giving more. while he is giving his small doses eelam will be coming closer.

  48. Theepan’s loss is great but the LTTE will survive. What’s more it will find suitable person to replace Theepan and continue liberation struggle

  49. shankar,

    sri lankan tamils have been terribly victimised by money & power hungry tamil nadu politicians as well as western politicians & their assorted bandwagons which includes ngo’s. arms dealers & lawyers.

    most of these power brokers fully well know the impossibility of a mono ehnic tamil enclave near india which will be ruled by a sociopathic internationally banned terrorist. but they kept on giving false hope to the diaspora & sri lankan tamils.

    the western governments & india (earlier) did it to keep the region destabilised so that they can interfere at their convenience. the arms dealers & the diaspora fund raisers seems to have had the last laugh at terrible cost to the worldwide image of the tamil people.

    these ruthless people have all won regardless of the end result.

    the tamil people who were once known as hard working & educated have got a terrorist label + many other negatives slapped on them for a long time to come.

  50. It’s a moving tribute to Theepan , Mr.Jeyaraj. But the reality is that the LTTE will continue as usual.

  51. Thnak you very much DBS, Brilliant as usual your analysis. please continue for the service for us.

    I wonder how many Singala people know the whole story of Srilanaka!!!!!!!!! We didn’t take the Arms over a night or we are not war mongers. I am telling you guys all those mention about the terrorist. Look at the history book of Srilanaka. Continuous Singala rule governments sponsored terror against us on 1948, 1956.1964,1977 !!!!!!!!
    Finally the worse in the history of Srilanakn back in 1983, over night 3000 Tamils killed by security forces or with their help!!!!!!PLEASE TELL ME WHO THE REAL TERRIOSIST ARE AND GIVE US A BREAK. IN ADDITION JAFFNA LIBRARY BURNED DOWN IN ORDER TO STOP JAFFNA TAMILS EDUCATION, STILL AS YOUNG CHILD I CAN NOT ERASE FROM MY MIND FORGET THAT!!!!!!!!!!!

    During this time there was no Pirabakaran or LTTE. So try to think before you open your damn mouth that we were a nation forced to defend ourselves and we have no other choice. Wee need to fight against our self determination we can not simply die.

    Now you can understand we are not terrorist and please call us freedom fighters. Further more you could kill Pirabakaran but you can not stop the freedom fight unless your ruling governments treat us Tamil people in Srilanakan as equal citizen.

    Finally let me tell you that I am not an LTTE SUPPORTER and I love challenge the views against any human being right denied any part of the world. It could be Srilanaka,China or African continent…

    LTTE easily would have won the war but they have messed up with India badly and I do not think the damage between India and LTTE is not repairable (I do want to do in here details). In other word bridge under the water!!!!!!! That is why you guys are lucky.

  52. this is not a hero but another poor misguided youth.
    No. 41 Shankar; to ask for eelam you need demographic population. Already half you guys are in Canada thanks to the LTTE “refugee Industry” and the other half is killed in SL by the LTTE. So, surely eelam will be in Canada between 2050 – 2100. .

  53. MAJ. General te Theepan is the greatest worrier, ever seen tamil people histroy..his brain achived lot of success in wars..
    i was under command of him, he was such calm with high reputation and care more about us lot…
    well…slaute …MAJ .general Theepan…we are pround,
    that we had you as our commander..

  54. All you people saying that the Tamils have their land and its Tamil Nadu and only the Sinhalas belong to Sri Lanka, please get a reality check. The Sinhala also came to Lanka as settlers. So stop talking trash. Nice article by the way. So why dont the Sinhala leave the Island as well, come back to India where you originally came from. There is enough place for all in India.lol

  55. I am sure everyone will agree Anti Tamil Riots enginered by S.W.R D.Bandaranyake & J.R . Jayawardena from time to time was the cause and support for birth of LTTE

  56. actualy if there were a good ltte leader ,our counry would have taken a maximum benifit of this youth.becourse of the ignorance of ltte leader we lost brave youth.

  57. –64. Advitya — I’ll second that! LTTE will come up after this, this is not some thing we have not seen before! And when that does happen, you will see me there!

  58. A fine warrior, A brave and courages leader, a man who stood by his men against all odds. He deserves respect. He earned it !!!

    I am sorry to hear that his life was lost. I wish it was not so. Men like him are a few, and are needed in peace, as well as in war. He is saluted in death. I hope that you-Mr. D, B. S. Jeyaraj would write his biography.


  59. why don’t you write something about brigadier shanaka the silva the commader of the 58 regiment.He was able turn the tide by capturing paranthan.Even we consider lttte as an terrorist organisation one has to admire his fighting skills and courrage.But de silva was able to silence him and many other s.But even de silva was beaten by the theepan at muhamalai and lambasted bythe sinhala newspapers.But he suddenly did the hard work many thought that unthikable.What are the factors that led to his suceess.If you can write something it will be useful to entire world .Ironicaly mr silva is on the same picture.You are little unkind to the karuna.I think karuna has played a major role in all the operations.It was karuna who captured first artilery gun for the ltte at pulukunawa.he conscripts many child soldiers .So i think loss of karuna has very big impact on ltte.so if you can write an article on this matter it will really improve the knowledge on the matter.My sincere advice for tamil diaspora is to bring all the your relatives to your western countries.There they can enjoy good life.General Fonseka told that they would take steps not to arise this type of problem for another 10000 years.Ven Ellawala Medananda thera suggested to name the all roads in fallen sinhala soldiers.This government is run by nationalists they take every steps to withstand the challenges from tamils.Therefore for the best thing is to is bring the tamils as far as can to your countries and live happilily.if it is good for you it can’y bad for fellow tamils.Mr Jeyaraj’s knowledge is far wider than a professer and he is heavily underutilised.If he can conduct courses on terrorism it will be very usefulentire world.It is pity that this web site is watched by only sinhalese and tamils.This web site must have a far international audience.

  60. one day…
    when will be that day… ?
    will you be alive to see it? (Like dumb theepan, balraj, dumselvam, no brain pukapaakaran)
    who want to declare Killinochchi as their capital or main city…?
    who ,….?

    will SL Army wait for another 30 years if its happaning again?

  61. We will remember you all for the bravery.

    Theepan, Vidusha, Durga, Gadhapi, Gopith, Nagesh, and the rest who died.



  62. well by reading this article, this soldier seems like a very brave man but during 2009 there was no news about his death, therefore I do not believe his death was an actual death. I am saying this because there has been many contradictory with the SLA and only a few months ago did they say they killed Tamil civilians. The SLA also said they would give amnesty to three of the LTTE leaders, but I thought they died in 2009? After all they showed the leaders bodies.I am not picking sides here but the SLA is contradicting.

  63. hii, i just came across this article really appreciate the fact that you took your time to write about my siththappa’s accomplishments. my other siththappa Lt.Col Kilman had died on June 25, 1995. i hope one day all the maveerar’s dreams and goals come true. We will get our own land! Tamil Eelam will rise!

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