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Avatar of ‘Guerillee’ Shenuka: From SOLT activist to LTTE trainee

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by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

True tale of a ‘Tamil Tigress’ – 3

1987 was an eventful year in the modern history of Sri Lanka.It was the year of the Indo-Lanka accord signed by Indian Prime minister Rajiv Gandhi and Sri Lankan President Junius Richard Jayewardena on July 29th. It was in the aftermath of the accord that war erupted on October 10th between the Indian Peace keeping force(IPKF) and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

The year began with a significant development occurring within LTTE ranks. On January 5th 1987 the LTTE supremo Veluppillai Prabhakaran gave the slip to his Indian monitors in Thiruvaanmiyoor, reached the Tamil Nadu Kodiakkarai coast and crossed over by sea to Maathagal in the Jaffna peninsula.

Prabhakaran based in Tamil Nadu for several years after July 1983 had decided to return to Jaffna by late 1986. He had realized that his continuous physical presence in Tamil Nadu gave Indian authorities an avenue of exerting pressure on him.Prabhakaran wanted to deny New Delhi this leverage.Since his movements were keenly monitored by the “Q”branch (intelligence division) of the Tamil Nadu Police the tiger leader kept his plans very secret.

Initially without using the usual wireless communications,Prabhakaran sent trusted loyalists like Dinesh(Thamilselvan),Imraan and Pandian to Jaffna and passed an oral message in confidence to Sathasivampillai Krishnakumar alias Kittu about his plan to return. Other than Jaffna commander Kittu,none of the other LTTE regional commanders were informed of this.Kittu too kept the matter to himself without telling any of his deputies. However the Jaffna commander arranged for a safe house in the Chavakachcheri area for Prabhakaran to stay when required.

It was the practice then for Prabhakaran to venture out of his residence in the Chennai suburb of Thiruvaanmiyoor in a vehicle with another or two accompanying vehicles with bodyguards.His wife Madhivadhani however went out in a single vehicle only. The Police intelligence operatives monitoring their residence soon familiarized themselves with this procedure.

It had become routine for them to let Madhivadhani’s vehicle proceed in and out without bothering to follow and keep tabs. But when they saw two or three vehicles going out they promptly began monitoring them knowing that the LTTE leader would be inside one of them. Thus when a single vehicle exited the residence on January 5th the “Q”branch officials simply relaxed thinking Madhivadhani Prabhakaran was going out on one of her regular trips to worship at temples.

Prabhakaran and Madhivadhani Prabhakaran

OPERATION FIVE

What they did not know then was that Prabhakaran had launched “Operation five” on that day. Instead of going out in the usual manner the LTTE leader had driven out of his residence in a car used regularly by his wife. After proceeding some distance he got into another vehicle and sent the car back home so as to not alert the Indian officials monitoring the LTTE leaders residence.

So secretive was Prabhakaran in this that he had not told even his wife Madhivadhani about his plans.Political adviser Anton Balasingham and senior deputy “Baby” Subramaniam knew of his intention to return to Jaffna but did not know any details of his plans or scheduled date of departure.

Prabhakaran reached the Kodiakkarai coast(point Calimere or cape Calimere)after nightfall on 5th where Ragu also known as “Kundappaah” was waiting. Five boats were waiting in readiness. Prabhakaran clandestinely got on aboard one vessel and the five boat flotilla sailed away. None of the “Ottis” or boatmen realized Prabhakaran was a passenger.These were times when Prabhakaran regarded the number 5 as lucky and 8 as unlucky.

Kittu received the leader at the Maadhagal coast. It was when LTTE cadres greeted Prabhakaran as “Thalaiver” that the Ottis realized how priceless their prize cargo was. Prabhakaran was whisked away to Chavakachcheri under cover of darkness. LTTE wireless operator Kiruba relayed the message “Operation five success” to his counterpart Nalan on the Indian coast.

To strike a personal note it was I who broke the story then (on Jan 7th or 8th) that Prabhakaran had returned to Jaffna. I was then the Colombo Correspondent for the Indian English daily”The Hindu” and newsmagazine “Frontline”.When the news of the return became known Indian and Sri Lankan officials were highly excited and wanting to know from me as to how I got the scoop.

The successful conclusion of “operation five” resulting in the return of Prabhakaran to his native soil galvanized the LTTE further. The war began escalating.The LTTE engaged in a number of attacks including the horrible massacre of Aranthalawa and terrible bomb blast in Pettah. The security forces also intensified their attacks. Aerial bombardment,strafing and artillery attacks on “semi-liberated”Jaffna peninsula became a regular feature. It was also widely expected that a full-scale military offensive to wrest back Jaffna would soon commence.

“ENEMY AT THE GATES”

Having launched debilitating attacks on rival militant organizations and then banning them the LTTE was now tasked with the responsibility of defending Jaffna. The areas under LTTE control in the peninsula were in a beleaguered state. With aerial and artillery attacks increasing the people of Jaffna were encouraged to construct bunkers to take shelter in. People were exhorted to help and support the tigers to safeguard their soil. Fear mongering about possible atrocities against civilians by the “invading” army was on. Jaffna was engulfed with the ominous consciousness of being besieged “Enemy at the gates” (Padalayil Pahaivan) was the dominant feeling.

It was in such an atmosphere and environment that the author of “Tamil Tigress” dubbed by me as “Sharmila”realised her long sought goal of obtaining arms training as a regular member of the LTTE. The desire to fight against what she regarded as oppression and aggression had been in her mind for quite some time.

“Sharmila”s inclination and resolve to fight against perceived injustice had its roots in her childhood life in Hatton. The seventies of the last century saw the Sirima-Shastry pact being implemented rather ruthlessly by the United Front Government of Mrs. Bandaranaike. Tamils of recent Indian origin were uprooted and repatriated in large numbers to India.Families were divided.Wailing and weeping among relatives torn asunder was a frequent occurrence in the railway stations and bus stands.

These sights made a deep impression on a sensitive child like “Sharmila”.She felt terrible injustice was being done to Tamils. Then came the 1977 anti-Tamil violence that shattered her hithero cloistered life. 1978 saw her being moved to her paternal grandmothers house in Jaffna. In Jaffna society “Sharmila” was an outsider and rebelled against its Patriarchal nature. The “rebel”in her found inspiration in Subramaniya Bharathiyar’s concept of the “puthumaippenn” or “Nouveau Woman”.

In Jaffna incidents such as the emergency of 1979 and stationing of army under Brigadier “Bull”Weeratunga, burning of the Jaffna public library and “Eezhanaadu” newspaper premises in 1981 affected the girl. Even as she entered teen-age the military presence in Jaffna was expanded and intensified. There was constant friction between the security forces and Jaffna civilians.All these affected her.

SEA CHANGE

The July 1983 anti-Tamil pogrom brought in its aftermath a sea change in the life and psyche of the Sri Lankan Tamil people. “All things changed utterly”.Youths flocked to militant movements to take up arms and fight for Tamil Eelam Liberation. As militant groups proliferated the visible presence of armed Tamil youths assumed massive proportions in Jaffna. Tamil militancy became inter-twined with Tamil civilians in everyday life.

A young girl with the heart and mind of “Sharmila” could not remain immune from the prevailing mood and atmosphere. The spirit of adventure in her longed to join the militant movements and take up arms and fight. Although at that time large numbers of girls joined movements like the Eelam Peoples Revolutionary Liberation Front(EPRLF), Peoples Liberation Organization of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE) or Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization(TELO)”Sharmila” had set her sights on the LTTE.

One reason for this was due to a close relative Pratheeban being an LTTE member. One of the exciting happenings in her life as a 14 year old in 1984 was when the former LTTE Jaffna commander Raveendran alias Pandithar was brought to her house by Pratheeban to watch a video.The TV in the “safe house” where Pandithar was staying had malfunctioned. It was a thrilling experience for her then.

The motivation to join the LTTE also stemmed from the image and aura surrounding the tigers. The LTTE was then perceived as a disciplined fighting force. Among the different Tamil groups it was the LTTE alone which conducted operations against the armed forces continuously and kept the spirit of resistance alive. The LTTE was gradually capturing the imagination of the Jaffna middle classes. Besides the LTTE’s colourful Jaffna commander Kittu and his dashing handsome comrades etched themselves indelibly on the psyche of the teen ager who was imbued with notions of romantic adventurism.

The continuous suffering of Tamils at the hands of the security forces motivated “Sharmila” further. People known to the family were being killed or injured due to aerial bombardment and artillery shelling. It was however the “Kumudhini” boat massacre of May 15th 1985 which had a profound impact on her.

“KUMUDHINI”

The “Kumudhini” was a passenger ferry plying between Kurikattuvan pier in Pungudutheevu and Neduntheevu known as Delft.The boat left Delft on May 15th at about 7.45 am with 72 persons comprising passengers and crew on board. While the ferry was sailing, a fibre glass boat with six sailors in civils suspected to be from the Nainatheevu/Nagadeepa naval detachment accosted “Kumudhini”at mid sea.

They climbed on board and asked the passengers to come out one by one. Thereafter they were either shot at or hacked with knives. 36 people were killed and 22 injured. Some bodies were thrown overboard.The names of 23 murdered persons were released by Amnesty International.

Jaffna was agog with sorrow and fury as the details of the massacre were known. Irate mobs went around the town demanding offices, businesses and schools be closed. Young “Sharmila”s school was also closed and she saw an infuriated mob at close quarters. She was shocked by the gruesome massacre of innocents. The “Kumudhini” boat massacre was arguably the turning point in her life which made her decide to take up arms and fight.

MURALI

The first opportunity to link up with the LTTE in some way came when Veluppillai Ratnasingham alias Murali addressed the students of her school Chundikkuli Girls College in 1986. Murali born in Aavarankaal,puthoor on October 10th 1957 was the head of the LTTE’s Student wing known as SOLT (Students organization of Liberation Tigers)

Murali an old student of Arunodhaya College in Alaveddy had lerft Sri Lanka in the late seventies for Germany. Thereafter he moved to Britain.He was in London when the July 1983 anti-Tamil pogrom occurred. Murali was emotionally shattered by some of the scenes he saw on TV and wept uncontrollably.

Adele Balasingham

Being acquainted with Anton and Adele Balasingham then in London, Murali used that contact to go over to India and join the LTTE through the help of the couple. Murali was in the first batch of tigers to get trained by India. This was in Uttar Pradesh.He returned from India and was placed in charge of SOLT by Kittu.

Initially the SOLT office was in Kalviyankaadu and Murali operated from there.Later a new SOLT office was opened opposite the Jaffna University in Thirunelvely which became his permanent office and abode.

Murali figured in the “flashpoint of tension” which triggered off the fighting between the LTTE and TELO in 1986.Murali and another LTTE senior cadre “Basheer Kaka” were travelling on a motor cycle through Kalviyankaadu when they were abducted at gun point by the TELO and detained. The coordinated attack on the TELO by the LTTE was for the ostensible purpose of rescuing Murali and Kaka.

Murali functioning from the SOLT office near the Jaffna campus used to interact with undergrads. Murali was quite popular with the varsity students until the embarassing Rajaharan affair.

RAJAHARAN

A dissident university student Rajaharan had gone missing and the LTTE was suspected. The Jaffna undergrads staged strikes demanding that the LTTE release Rajaharan.Former LTTE deputy –leader Gopalswamy Mahendrarajah alias “Mahathaya” accompanied by Murali addressed the protesting students and flatly denied any LTTE involvement in the student going missing.

Even as Mahathaya was disclaiming responsibility the missing Rajaharan made a dramatic appearance. He accused the LTTE of abducting him and detaining him forcibly. Rajaharan stated that he had escaped from LTTE custody and made his way there. Mahathaya and Murali had “muttai” all over their faces as they hastily retreated amidst hoots,jeers and Bronx cheers.

Despite the discomfiture suffered at the campus “SOLT”Murali was a popular figure among secondary school students in Jaffna. He went around addressing school students as a group and also individually. He was a good speaker and exercised a charismatic hold over some students.Murali also had artistic ability.

The “Tamil tigress” authors first encounter with Murali was at the Jaffna university where she had acted in a play put on the boards at the campus theatre. When she met Murali then her eager request was that she be recruited into the LTTE and sent for arms training. Murali refused and asked her to complete her “A”levels.

On another occasion “Shankar” the LTTE chief of the tiger base near the Jaffna “Kachcheri”or secretariat came to “Sharmila”s home in Rakka lane with her relative Pradeepan. When she begged of Shankar to admit her into LTTE ranks he too smilingly refused saying she was too young.

It was after Murali addressed Chundikuli girls college Advanced level students in mid 1986 that “Sharmila”joined the SOLT. Four students responded to his appeal. Two were from the AL second year and two from the AL first year. “Sharmila” and her best friend Ajanthi(real name) were the two first year students.

FIRST STEP

Though membership in SOLT gave her an institutional link to the LTTE “Sharmila” was by no means satisfied. Her real aim was to become a full fledged “tigress” and obtain arms training. SOLT membership was only the first step for her.

The duties allotted to her in the SOLT were too tame from her point of view.“Sharmila” and the other three SOLT members from her school had to distribute LTTE literature particularly the magazine”Kalathil” (in the battlefield)to students; they also had to talk with fellow students and convince them of the need to support the liberation struggle.They also had to help organize student participation in demonstrations, processions and functions.

Getting a foothold into the elite Chundikuli Girls College through the quartet was a feather in Murali’s cap who visited the school frequently thereafter.

During her stint with SOLT she often requested Murali to let her obtain arms training.Murali however refused and urged her to pass her “A”levels join university and become a doctor. He knew that her parents wanted her to do well at the exams and enter the medical faculty.

At that time the LTTE in Jaffna had a women’s division functioning as part of the tiger political wing. The women’s division was under a senior cadre whose nom de guerre was “Gayathri” .She herself was a subordinate of LTTE political wing head or political commissar Rasiah Parthiban alias Thileepan. Gayathri a graduate of Jaffna university had under Thileepan’s direction started the women’s division.Wearing spectacles with thick lenses Gayathri had a kind,matronly air about her.

The women’s division was generally referred to as “Suthanthirapparavaigal” or “birds of freedom”. This was because of a journal published under that name by the division. The “Birds of freedom” members used to engage in house to house propaganda and discuss politics with the women of the house. They also helped collect funds for the LTTE. The “Suthanthirapparavaigal” also helped cook meals, render first aid and help nurse injured cadres.

Many of the “Freedom birds” also wanted to get arms training and become regular fighters. They were however put on a waiting list and kept in limbo. So they remained with the LTTE as part of the political wing and occupied themselves by cooking and transporting meals to those male cadres manning sentry posts.

Malathi – pic by Shan Sundaram – free-tamil.com

“FREEDOM BIRDS”

There is a mistaken impression that it was Adele Balasingham who pioneered the “Freedom Birds” in Jaffna. That was not so. Adele came into the Jaffna scene in a big way only after 1990 when the LTTE was in control of the greater part of the north after the Indian army departure. Earlier she had some interaction with LTTE women cadres based in India.The Jaffna based girls and women of the LTTE of an earlier vintage have not had contact with Adele Balasingham.However Adele Balasingham in later years helped streamline and re-structure the women cadre units

Though some of the duties of SOLT members and Freedom birds overlapped they worked as different entities within the LTTE. As far as “Sharmila” was concerned her intention was not to join the “Freedom birds” but to get arms training and become a full –fledged tiger fighter.

Her ambition to be an armed fighter was further fuelled by the course of events within the LTTE. For the first time in 1986 the LTTE had trained a big batch of women cadres in Dindigul near Madurai in Tamil Nadu. This batch underwent the full rigorous training course followed by male cadres.

The women cadres of the first batch consisted of four categories. One consisted of the three girls who had been abducted by the LTTE in 1983 along with Madhivadhani wife of Prabhakaran. Some girls including Madhivadhani Erambu were on a fast to death campaign in 1983 after the July violence demanding that all displaced varsity students be accommodated in the Jaffna university.

The tigers who opposed such non –violent protests abducted four fasting girls when the condition of one started deteriorating. They were taken to India and housed at the residence of Balasingham. Prabhakaran fell in love with Madhivadhani the prettiest of the four and married her. The other three worked in the LTTE office and were later recruited into the LTTE and given arms training as part of the first batch.

The second category consisted of girls who had joined the other groups like PLOTE,TELO and EPRLF in 1983 and had later broken away. The third category comprised girls freshly recruited by TELO, EPRLF and PLOTE in 1986 and brought to India. They were stranded as these groups had virtually ceased to function after the LTTE onslaught and intimidation.

Though Prabhakaran was generally not in favour of incorporating cadres recruited by other groups into the LTTE he did make an exception with regard to these women. They were given an “amnesty”of sorts and an opportunity to join the LTTE and get arms training. The fourth category was cadres directly recruited by the LTTE from the Eastern province and northern mainland of Wanni.

DINDIGUL

The first batch of woman cadres with full-fledged arms training in Dindigul were sent in four contingents to Mannar where they were placed under the command and control of Mannar LTTE commander Marcelline Fuselaus alias Victor. The four contingents were headed by Theeba,Sugi,Jeya and Anoja. Incidently Theeba had been ranked as first in merit of all the Dindigul trainee batch members.

After Victor’s death the Mannar command was taken over by Harischandran alias Radha. The girls continued to function under Radha and his deputy Shahjahan. But in March 1987 Kittu was injured and lost a leg in an ambush while returning from the home of his wife to be Cynthia. With the conflict escalating and Jaffna becoming increasingly threatened the bulk of cadres in Mannar were transferred to Jaffna along with Radha and Shahjahan. The women tigers also relocated to Jaffna.

The arrival of woman tiger cadres in Jaffna was of great significance. The sight of these uniformed fighters nicknamed in lighter vein as “Guerillees” (derived as feminine of guerilla)inflamed the passion of many girls wanting to join the LTTE. The “Kalathil” magazine also carried many pictures of “Guerillees”.

The “Tamil tigress” author whose long cherished ambition was to become a “guerillee” was now fired up fully. She renewed her efforts to become a full fledged member. Besides with the security situation becoming dangerous her family was planning to move out to Colombo. She had to join the LTTE before that. Also with the LTTE itself enlarging its ranks to defend Jaffna “Sharmila” felt that the time was ripe for her to press her case.

Persistent efforts to convince Murali finally paid off. Murali was now willing to let her join but wanted her to meet with Political commissar Thileepan before that.So “Sharmila” and Ajanthi went to the SOLT office in Thirunelvely for their historic meeting with Thileepan. The date was May 6th 1987.

After Thileepan arrived at the SOLT office the “interview” began. Both Murali and Thileepan interrogated the two “Chundikulippettaigal” intensively with many probing questions.Most of the queries were aimed at gauging their level of motivation and sense of commitment to the cause. At one stage Murali seemed convinced but not Thileepan.

The LTTE Jaffna political commissar pointed out a procedural snag. He said that several members of the “ Suthanthirapparavaigal/Freedom Birds” who had engaged in lots of political work for years were on the waiting list to get arms training. Compared to them these two girls had no political experience he said. Thileepan said he wanted at least two years political experience from the potential recruits.

Thileepan in 1986

THILEEPAN

So Thileepan advised both to resume studies and complete their AL while working as volunteers for the political wing and gain two years experience.

Murali then pointed out that they had worked actively for SOLT and proved they had the political acumen and dedication. So Murali now urged Thileepan to accept them.

Thileepan then pointed out that both were bright students and could have a university education. “Why don’t you graduate and then join”?he asked. “Sharmila” then replied saying studies were not important when the Tamil people were facing great danger. She pointed out that Thileepan himself had abandoned his medical studies and joined the LTTE.Likewise they too wanted to sacrifice studies for the sake of the people said the “Tamil Tigress” author.

Now Thileepan changed track. He started warning the girls about the difficulties and hardships they would face as LTTE trainees and cadres. He pointed out that both of them were from comparatively privileged upper middle class background and had had a delicate upbringing. “There wont be any servants to look after your needs or take care of you” he said. “You will have to look after yourself”.Speaking further Thileepan said that they wont be able to wear fashionable clothes, wont get to sleep on comfortable beds, not get good well-cooked food, may have to walk barefoot on hard ground etc. They will have to do many things they would not like , said Thileepan. He told them not to romanticize about guerilla life and to be prepared to undergo hardship and suffering.

Despite Thileepan trying his best to dissuade the girls both friends remained adamant. They remained steadfast in their resolve to join the LTTE and obtain arms training.Finally Thileepan relented.

He said that both were accepted but asked them to go home,think carefully and inform their parents in writing of their decision and then return.He said it was all right if they had second thoughts and changed their decision. They could stay back, complete their “A’levels and then join if they wished.

Ajanthi alias Nirmala

DETERMINED

But the two friends were determined.They took their leave and whizzed out on their cycles. Ajanthi did not want to go to their home on Swartz lane as she did not want to face her mother. So both of them first went to their classmate Viji’s house on Temple road,Jaffna. There Ajanthi wrote a letter to her parents and gave it to Viji to be handed over. Meanwhile a tearful Viji was trying hard to persuade both into changing their decision.

“Sharmila” then went to her home on Rakka lane. She knew that her mother would not be at home as she had gone to see her mother in law (Sharmilas grandmother) who had left her 3rd cross street house due to the shelling from Jaffna fort and was now staying with her daughter on Rasavin Thottam road. This was a farewell visit as Sharmila’s mother had plans of leaving Jaffna with her daughters the following day.

When the author of “Tamil Tigress” went home only her sister “Shirani” was there. So “Sharmila” wrote a melodramatic letter to her mother saying that she was no longer her daughter but a daughter of her people and that she was leaving to fight and save the people. She then removed all her jewellery and placed them in a bag along with the note on the Kitchen bench. Being a bookworm she then collected some of her best books ,put them in a bag and left. When the younger sister asked where she was going the elder sister replied she was going to her friend Viji’s house.

The girl who once sang “Una Paloma Blanca”and won a prize at a singing competition sped away on her “Flying Pigeon” to Temple road. From there both she and Ajanthi went to the SOLT Office on their cycles.On the way Ajanthi cried on having to miss saying “Good night” to her mother. But despite the sadness both girls were unwavering in their decision of turning their backs on their comfortable existence and seeking a brave,new life for them and their people.

LTTE woman cadres Theeba,Tharssini, Sumathy and Vadhana

When they reached the SOLT office Murali and his assistant Rajan were waiting for them. Both were asked to choose a new name as a nom de guerre. Ajanthi chose her mother’s name “Nirmala”. The “Tamil Tigress author chose “Shenuka”the name of the daughter of her favourite teacher.Ajanthi warned her that this name would be mispronounced by most people. This did happen and many started calling her “Saenuhaa”.

Then Murali took Nirmala and Shenuka to a house on a lane near the University and left them in the care of a widowed woman with three daughters. One door had shut and another had opened. A new “Guerillee” experience had begun to unfold for the girl now known as Shenuka.

NEXT:Enemies change as Conflict transforms

DBS Jeyaraj can be reached at djeyaraj2005@yahoo.com

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146 Comments

  1. Was waiting anxiously for this one. Thank you Mr.Jeyaraj. Each article about Niromi is a jewel.The series will be a crown

  2. How pretty and young these girls are. In Ponniyin Selvan, Aditya Karikalan would say to Nandhini on his fated visit to her something similar to this. ‘Maadhavanukku malar koyyum thalir karangalil edharkku uyir koyyum aayudham’.

    This article and the photos of these beautiful, young and dashing girls remind me of that scene only in Ponniyin selvan.

  3. A rare insight into many rare events two and half a decade back. Individuals apart, it’s the events that shape history and to be part of that is an exhilarating experience. Thanks DBS for bringing out unknown facts hitherto. The expectations about the next part is kept alive and urge to look forward to it increases.

    “This was in Uttar Pradesh.He returned to India and was placed in charge of SOLT by Kittu.”

    Should it not be that he returned to Jaffna ?…..

    Yes.It should be From not to.Sorry about that………DBSJ

  4. You convinced me DBS to purchase the book. I am placing the order at
    now!

    I also read the google review of the the book Tamil Tigress in http://books.google.com.au/books?id=XQdukyYkdBcC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false

    and an interview with the author at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FikCt-dimkE

    Thanks DBS for giving us the honest review with additional background information

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    Thank you for this Ken but I must reiterate that I am not reviewing the book or responding to critics. I have no need to do that and have stated so in the first article. I am only writing the facts I know about the author of the “Tamil Tigress” and providing some context and background in relating some of her experiences

  5. How different to know that girls like Shenuka and Nirmala tried so hard to join LTTE those days. Later LTTE was like monster gobbling up children by force into movement

  6. Dear Jeyaraj,
    Each article you write about “Tamil Tigress” author increases her credibility more and more

    It makes the pathetic critics who called her fake and countefeit see “natchathiram” and turn red with shame like “Sevvinthiyar”.

  7. You are giving us a very good picture of Shenuka/Niromi. All of us are now getting a good idea about her personality and background

  8. The way you write Jayaraj is simply amazing. You make even a strong Sinhala nationalist like me sympathise with Tamils and even the LTTE

  9. Thank you for giving us the context and background. I have been brought up with the culture , to listen to others and come to conclusion.I was one of the victims influenced by so called baseless critics. Now slowly get into habit of taking the master piece in hand which is the book written by Niromi, Tamil tigress in this case. The facts you clearly pointed out helped me to make a decision .

    wish you a happy New Year looking forward more articles…

  10. Congratulations DBS for a terrific article series.

    Happy new year to you and Niromi

    Thank you. Wish you a happy new year…………DBSJ

  11. What a contrast to these articles on who Niromi de Soyza really is and the Groundviews articles attacking her.

    We readers can see where the truth is thanks to DBS

  12. Not only Mahathaya and Murali but some big names in Lankan academic community who doubted Niromi de Soyza also have lots of “muttai” on their faces after Jeyaraj’s informative articles

  13. It’s good to see ex-tigresses like Shenuka comung out openly and writing about their past.Instead of encouraging her a bunch of male chauvinist pseudo-academics jumped on her and declared her a fraud who was never in the LTTE

    It is admirable that a vetern journalist like DBS Jeyaraj has sprung to her defence and is writing these articles about Shenuka. Jeyaraj’s articles leave no doubt of Niromi de Soyza’s authenticity

  14. The malicious defamation campaign against Niromi de Soyza by the “Groundy gang” is shatteredthanks to DBS Jeyaraj

  15. Bravo Jeyaraj!

    You’ve single handedly slayed the vampires out to suck blood of Tamil tigress author Niromi de Soyza

  16. This article, like the previous ones, was well worth the wait, thanks DBS for capturing our history, and Niromi too.
    DBS, I support those who have urged you to write a book, if not these stories will be lost forever and history may repeat itself. By reading personal accounts, we can learn from our mistakes.
    We must support those who come forward to tell their personal stories, not put them down because it doesn’t fit with our personal agendas. This is the only way forward to true reconcilliation & peace, I believe.

    Wishing you all a Happy peaceful 2012

    Thank you and wish you the same………….DBSJ

  17. Thanks DBS for being on time.

    You make us more and more curious. Why not make a movie with this DBS. Will be an instant hit.

    My deepest sympathies to all the young men and women who were genuine (but gullible) and sacrificed their lives in Sri Lanka. These include all in Tamil inserections, 71,89 JVP uprising.
    When I see the young innocent faces of Ajanthi I feel the pain of her parents. Its so pathetic that the youth of this country had to suffer unprecedented atrocities during the past 3 decades..

    My only wish and hope is that this will not be repeated again.

  18. Very creditable of Shenuka to write book as Niromi on her LTTE life which I read and enjoyed

    These articles by DBS help me to appreciate her book better

  19. Hi DBS

    just a question you dont have to answer if you dont want to

    Did you help Niromi de Soyza write her book?

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    NO!

    I dont think she had any need of outside assistance to write her life story

    Besides I am not in the business of ghost writing

  20. Mahesh

    Pl. translate your comment (the part which is tamil,( i am assuming) ) to english. Pl note that there are many readers of this blog, who doesn’t know tamil.

    thank u,

  21. Well doen DBS cant wait for the next write up on this from you,it reminds me of so many incidents in my childhood in Jaffna,please do kepp up your good work in 2012 and do write of life in Jaffna in the 1980 and early 90’s

    Wish you and your family a happy new year!

    Thank you and wish you the same………….DBSJ

  22. I’ve read the book, I’ve read Groundviews articles and now I am reading DBS articles on Niromi de Soyza

    Its pretty obvious she is very real and writes a truthful account of her experience

    DBS is putting all that in perspective in his own elegant style.

  23. Michael Roberts has written a nasty article attacking you about your article on Niromi de Soyza in Groundviews DBS. Why dont you answer him?

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    I dont need to because as I have stated in my first article that I am only writing what I know about the author of Tamil Tigress. I am not responding to him or any others who cast doubts about her authenticity calling her fake or counterfeit.I am only writing about her and readers can arrive at their own conclusions. Besides why should I bother about attacks on me in another website?

  24. Shenuka’s speech, her body language her fiery eyes all say that she is a female tiger. She was born as a tiger and joined the Tigers.

    She has written this book with considerable personal risk. She wanted to say something to the world. That is the reason that she has come out with this work, risking her safety and security.

    I wish her good luck.

  25. I read the book in August and gave it away to a friend. Later I read some Groundviews articles and thought I had been swindled by Niromi de Zoysa

    Now after reading DBS I realise that I have not been deceived by Niromi but by Groundviews.

    So I got my book back from my friend and re-read it. I really loved it.

    Thank you Niromi
    Thank You DBS

    Best wishes to you both

  26. DBS,

    I understand what you say but I will really like you to give an effective answer to Michael. Will you please?

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    Okay if you insist.here it is –

    “Michael, Michael,
    This is my answer true
    I cant cycle
    Half as well as you
    If you cant afford a carriage
    call off the blooming marriage
    Well , I’ll be blowed
    if I’m to be towed
    on a bicycle made for two
    well I’ll be blowed
    if I’m to be towed
    on a bicycle made for two………

    Michael, michael
    This is my ANSWER true……….

    Satisfied Anantham? As your name indicates are you happy&joyful now?

  27. Dear DBSJ & all the friends at Transcurrents, Wish you a happy new year 2012.

    Thank you.Wish you the same……….DBSJ

  28. We had some pride but we have lost it. Had Prabaharan used his senses and accepted the Indo Sri Lankan peace accord, we should have been proud. He failed miserabliy and failed the Tamil race. The damage and destruction and deaths caused to the Tamil people is unimaginable.

  29. I liked these articles about past history of Niromi de Soyza the author of “Tamil Tigess” very much. My thanks to DBS Jeyaraj for them

  30. Great work! Happy to see Thileepan and Radha in the article. After English Patient’s fame, I bought my first book Anil’s ghost by Michael Ondaatje. As I hate reading books, I could’t continue, it went back to the shelf. But after your series, I am sure going to buy a copy and read it.

    Wish you and yours a happy and prosperious new year, DBSJ!

    Thank you.Wish you the same……….DBSJ

  31. The tender hands which pluck the flowers for the worship of the Lord, why should they carry the weapons to kill others.

  32. Thanks DBS. I appreciate your decision to use this opportunity to revisit the early to mid 1980s and the nature of the development of Freedom Birds. With my interest to expose the misinformation campaign by Michael Roberts with his ‘academic credentials’, Muttukrishna Saravanathan with his ‘researcher’ label (someone claims to have economics background, and seems to be working on the terrorism issues, who blatantly chooses to hit a selfless charity), Arun Ambalavanar’s literary cover, and a host of others who write follow-ups in Groundviews, Transcurrent and other sites, I wish to see more on Sharmila herself and her activities in each of your articles.I know, you are not providing a commentary on the book or on the commentators. But, I like to see your comments on certain events narrated in the book.

  33. dear saba,

    if you’ld recollect, immediatley after mulliwaikkal i requested u to write a book titeld RISE AND FALL OF THE TAMIL TAGERS, u r the only 1 who is knowledgeble, authentic and precious. pls do so.

    wishing u and ur’s a very happy & prosperos new year.

    mani

    Thank you Manivannan.Wish you and your loved ones a very happy and prosperous new year too………..Sabapathy

  34. Reading these articles by Jeyaraj make me very nostalgic. So ear and yet so far. That is the Tamil tragedy

    Thank you Jeyaraj.May God bless you and keep writing always

  35. I really thank you DBS for preserving the image of a girl who sacrificed her comfortable life for the betterment of her community.I know her parents who are really nice and God fearing .

    In fact ,Some idiots want cheap popularity at the expense of this girl to show their credentials to the socitey.Just because one has access to a pen and torn paper,he or she can’t sling mud on others.

  36. Thanks DBS for telling the stories some of which we know and some we don’t. I remember people were protesting very strongly when Rajaharan had been abducted. Luckily Mathaya had been there in Jaffna otherwise Rajaharan would have been killed. At that time the people didn’t know how cruel the LTTE was when they took to street to protest against the abduction. For the failure of this war I can pin point three people, Pirapakaran, Kittu and Bobby of TELO. If Bobby wouldn’t have turned the arms against Das or Pirapakaran and Kittu against other movements thousands of more people would have joined the movements and it would have been much easier to win the war. It is very important to make the younger generations to know the stories behind the defeat. Thanks.

    If you have the picture of Murali please put it.

  37. I remember watching the video of “Kumudhini” incident at our school (even though we weren’t officially allowed to watch it due to our age we somehow entered the hall to watch that video with senior students ). That was the first time we witnessed why Sinhala forces were called “thugs”.

    After that video, our class monitor brought 2 big wooden bars to our class room and placed it behind the entrance doors. Our class teacher noticed those bars and asked him why and then that student said those bars were to protect us from thugs 😉

  38. Congratulations Mr.Jeyaraj for these wonderful articles on the “Tamil Tigress” author.

    It always amazes me about the painstaking mode in which you gather a wealth of detail about the LTTE and LTTE members and present them as articles in a very credible eminently readable manner

    It also amuses me and at times angers me to see some of our Diasporic “Vocal warriors”(as you aptly describe them) continue to vilify you as anti-LTTE whereas no Tamil Journalist has written so extensively and so eloquently about the positive aspects of the LTTE and Tigers as you have

    I trust and hope the new year will see more and more of your brilliant writing

  39. Great articles about Shenuka Jeyaraj annan.I think this series is one of the very best you have wrote Annan.Happy new year

    Thank you.Happy new year……….DBSJ

  40. Thank you for highlighting the contrast between the tigers of the earlier years and what they evolved into later. Had the GOSL just walked away without putting up such an unnecessary effort into a war of subjugation, there would now be 2 friendly nations on this beautiful Island of ours.

  41. Whenever righteousness wanes and unrighteousness increases I send myself forth.

    For the protection of the good and for the destruction of evil,
    and for the establishment of righteousness,
    I come into being age after age. (Gita:4.7–8)

    THE TIME HAS RIPENED NOW FOR The redeemer of righteousness in the kali yuga,to appear.In Srilanka

    THE story of Gautama, the Buddha (the enlightened one), is well known. He expounded the four noble truths (Arya Satya) concerning suffering, its cause, its destruction and the way to the elimination of sorrow. He was against the extremes of both self-indulgence and self-mortification. A Middle Path was advocated consisting of right views, right aspirations, right speech, right conduct, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right contemplation. He rejected the authority of the Vedas, condemned ritualistic practices, especially animal sacrifice, and denied the existence of gods

    The point is also that, even as people admired Buddha and turned to his religion, they did not give up their old beliefs and ritualistic practices. To give a contemporary example, many call themselves Gandhians but in their lives, official or personal, they follow a path just the opposite of what he showed! King Ashoka (2nd century BC) did much to propagate the religion within India and without. Still in his rock edicts he calls himself as “Devanampiya” or “the beloved of the gods”. There were no gods in Buddhism at his time. So obviously he was referring to Hindu gods. In other words, he continued to believe in Hindu religion even as he admired Buddha. Buddhist texts written by bikshus have a Saraswati stotra in the beginning paying obeisance to the Hindu goddess of learning. It is not unusual to see an idol of Lord Ganesh in a Buddhist temple.

    There are many incarnations of Vishnu of which the Dasavatar or the ten incarnations are the most well known. In the Southern tradition they are: matsya (fish), koorma (tortoise), varaha (boar), Narasimha (the man-lion), Vamana (the dwarf) Parasurama (the angry prince), Rama (the perfect human), Balarama, his younger brother Krishna (the divine statesman) and Kalki (the redeemer of righteousness in the kali yuga, who is yet to appear). In the Northern tradition Balarama is replaced by Buddha who appears as the ninth avatar after Krishna, his mission being to purify Hinduism. Srimad Bhagavatam (circa 900 AD, according to Farquhar) takes the stand that Krishna is the original form of Vishnu and the incarnations were all his. In its list of Dasavatar, which many consider as the most authentic, both Baladeva (or Balarama) and Buddha appear.

    Wish you a HAPPY AND SUCCESFUL NEW YEAR DBSJ.

    Thank you.Wish you the same……….DBSJ

  42. jey i am enjoying your articles regarding tamil tigress.i am getting insights into jaffna life during mid eighties.unfortunately i tried to buy book of tamil tigress but cost was prohibitive atleast.jey i read somewhere that a dutch aid worker who died last year named ben barnvick has written about life in north and east during nineties which i believe will be of help to you in case you write about life in nineties in future.

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    Thank you Jagan.

    Ben Bavinck was our beloved teacher at Jaffna College.In later years after I came to Canada he was in touch personally and by e-mail and acted to some extent as a conscience keeper and tower of strength
    I do have a copy of the book you mention.I also happened to play a small part in encouraging him to write the book based on his diary of events

  43. Dear, Deva,

    Don’t u think , basic manners require that , u first list out , why u think that, the reasons to come to a conclusion that DBSJ did help Niromi to write her book.

    I am not agreeing with everything DBSJ says. But we should understand that DBSJ is a human being, he has his personlal life, limitation of time , energy etc.

  44. One more reason to become tigress

    A/Level Mess Up: The Buck Passed Around

    [ Sunday Leader ][ Jan 01 16:10 GMT ]

    The futures of thousands of students lie in limbo while authorities look to shirk responsibility. The government made contradictory statements before finally appointing yet another committee to probe the controversy over the 2011 GCE Advanced Level examination results. Serious doubts have been cast over the results of the A/Level examination results released by the Examinations Department last week. The A/Level results of several students that were posted on the Examinations Department website, in the possession of The Sunday Leader show the disparities in the district and national rankings

  45. Thank you DBS.

    Happy New Year to you and yours.

    Best wishes to the folks on this forum too.

    Cheers.

    Thank you and wish you the same……….DBSJ

  46. Thanks DBS for making us re-live the difficult but happy days of the armed struggle.

    Things were going so well that there was a strong expectation that there is going to be an UDI of Ealam on Pongal day in Jan 1987 prior to the arrival of VP. What went wrong is a mystery and Kittu lost his legs within few months and the army succeeded in advancing into the Peninsula until it was restrained by Operation poomalai. We can only wish to get some real answers from ex tigers or tigresses.

    Before the Kumudini boat incident, there was another sad incident. The young manager of HNB was killed by a shell from Jaffna Fort and the following day his would be committed suicide. People were sad and angry and young girls were saying that she should have joined the movement rather than taking her life. There were many such incidents and only the hope and expectation of an ultimate success kept things going, which was soon lost and the number of martyrs went from less than 1000 to over 30000.

    Hope the saner sense prevail in the new year.
    New year wishes to DBS and all readers.

  47. I dont think DBS has to answer Michael Roberts or anyone writing elsewhere. I have seen Roberts articles posted regularly on DBS website TRANSCURRENTS. So the proper thing for him to do is to contact DBS directly. I also recall DBS saying clearly at start he is not focusing on the book or critics but on the author about whom he knows some things. So Why are you bringing this up?

  48. One of the intresting thinks on Basheer Kaka and Murali arrest was that both escaped from TELO jail and just walked out to freedom when LTTE was attacckong TELO camps all over Jaffna to get both released

  49. Hi! DBS,

    It is wonderful narration of History for the sake of posterity.
    I must say as father of two wonderful daughters, I read these with tears in my eyes.
    The pictures show the youthful innocence and misguided desperation (I would say with almost all photos of the so called little Cadres both male and female).I feel so sorry to see any child carrying a Gun for that matter anywhere in the world!

    How cruel the ordeal these frail little girls went through??? now to come to terms with nothing much achieved at the end , whom to blame, The Tamil Youth, The Sinhalese or the Politicians of all hues of all races.
    I am more inclined to go with the last.

    ab

  50. intersting article, week after week. wonderful writing. I used to read your articles in The Hindu, those days.
    You are different and always honest in presenting facts. GOD bless you. jeyaram

  51. These people brought mayhem and destruction to the Tamil People and Sri Lanka. What is the point of writting about these “terrorists”? Did these terrorists contribute anything to the Tamil Society?

  52. As a Tamil girl born and bred in the USA I find these articles by Mr.Jeyaraj on the “Tamil Tigress” a compelling fascinating read. I cant wait to read about LTTE woman cadres in forthcoming articles

  53. “Besides why should I bother about attacks on me in another website?”

    Very well said David. You should just ignore these attacks and simply get on with your writing. Looking forward to next piece on Niromi

  54. DBS

    This is not only the story of Shenuka you are writing but also an important part of our history.Great thing is when you write about history the dull subject becomes attractive subject.

  55. Hi DBS

    However much I ask you to write you are not writing about walking god on earth honorable Douglas Devananda. If you dont write soon I am going to beg Niromi de Soyza madam to write a book about honorable Douglas. He is my only God

    To make madam Niromi write about honorable Devananda I am ready to fall at her feet even and kiss them and worship and beg her

  56. From all of his (M.Sivananthan) comments in the past of this blog and the question he asked above, it is obvious that he has no more capacity of learning or comprehensing the events. This blog is a wonderfull tool to know about Sri Lanka’s history on political activities. Even without reading the book concerned, anybody can guess the summary of it by reading Jeyaraj’s writings on Tamil Tigress Author.

    The point here, the Tamil Tigress Author was/is standing what she was believed in yester/today regardless of what she’ve said in her book. This explains the Sri Lanka’s Political Situation yesterday and today. If government does not find a lasting solution for the tamils’ problem, will the burning issue take another dimension in future?

    Without knowing this simple fact or pretending to be not known, M.Sivananthan and like minded are repeatedly asking this type of basic questions are not going be healthy towards reconciliation.

  57. Dear DBS

    My heart goes out to this girl you call “Sharmila”.Her story is very interesting but you make it more interesting by the way you write

    My best wishes to both of you

  58. You are one sided in criticizing only the LTTE for the sufferings of the Tamils. Aren’t you. Why don’t you talk about the atrocities committed by the Sinhalese politicians and their clergy and the atrocities committed in the form of the Jaffna library burning, riots, welikade etc.

    If you have to condemn, condemn everybody. Don’t selectively condemn people.

    AND AGAIN THOSE WHO FORGET HISTORY ARE BOUND TO REPEAT IT.

    At least for that sake we have to know all that happened so that we can guard ourselves from the past mistakes.

  59. Murali & Kaka were NOT escaped, they were released by TELO camp leader (James). Because Kaka told James, if he release them, he can go and stop the fighting. After their release Kaka could not stop the fighting, but few days later James were arrested by LTTE and within 2 or 3 days Kaka released him.

  60. M Sivananthan writes: “These people brought mayhem and destruction to the Tamil People and Sri Lanka. What is the point of writing about these ‘terrorists”? Did these terrorists contribute anything to the Tamil Society?”

    I also am deeply disturbed by these many expressions of tearful nostalgia for the great old days of “the armed struggle”.
    I will also add that I am equally disturbed by expressions of obdurate Sinhala triumphalism on many comment sites. Is there any hope for the future if so many want to live in the past?

  61. Ajith Boralugoda, “the Politicians of all hues of all races”You are trying to hide the truth by saying above or burrying your head beneath the sand!!

    You cant put my God honorable Douglas Devananda or his God his excellency president Mahinda Rajapakshe in this group

  62. So, you tell to become a terrorist when a government department make errors. So, all the countries must have gun carrying criminals and kill some people everyday.

  63. The fascism of the LTTE leadership and its sinister project will never drown the heroic struggle of the Tamil People for their right to live as free human beings in their own country.

  64. Are you trying to become another LKsword here? Just leave Tamil tigress alone. Even if you touch her foot you will poison Niromi with EPDP nanju

  65. Hi DBS,
    Very nice article. I think I have become a fan of your articles.
    I have only one request for you. All these articles must read by every Sri Lankan doesn’t matter Tamils or Sinhalese. Why don’t you translate your articles in both languages to give opportunity to everybody to read?

    Thanks,
    Len

  66. I never been a fan of Puli. But I guess, they did contribute to our Tamil Society. One of the issue was caste system. Another one was women’s rights. And don’t forget during that time people showed their best behaviours (lowest crime rates and all other illegal activities) without police or courts.

    But their own success became their own enemy (kind of founder’s syndrome). After all many of us are interested to read the history of Puli. We don’t have to do failure analysis only in economics right?

  67. M.Sivananthan’s opinion is held by many tamils although they do not post in this blog.

    When reading all the replies to MS’s comment I would like to summarize the events of love & hate towards LTTE.

    GoSL became arrogant towards northern Tamils due to the fear of Tamil dominance in administration, post colonialism.

    The tamil politicians arouse the tamil nationalism to gain political power to counter sinhala superiority.

    Then the more vicious militancy took root especially after 1983 black July. The tamils justified their actions of revenge and they could not think of any other alternative, or dissent was dealt harshly by the militants.

    However India played a subtle role in their foreign policy and LTTE & other militant groups were pawns to them. Indira Ghandi’s intention was to destabilize the pro USA Sri lanka under JRJ.

    The Tamil romanticism with militancy became self destructive after 1989, post Indian peace keeping accord collapse. Then Rajive Ghandi’s assassination was the last nail in the coffin of the separatist struggle.

    When the world opinion changed after ‘9/11′ yet LTTE got another leash with RW & Norway.

    By this time love had turned to hate as many were suffering from the protracted unsustainable war & defacto Tamil state.

    Like MS many tamils hate LTTE for putting them through untold suffering and unattainable cause.

    Mistakes were from both sides of leadership and we need to understand them rather than dismiss them or justify them.

    This is the single most important action for reconciliation and permanent peace…’learn from the past mistakes, do not repeat them in the future’

    At this present times we should stop pointing at others and blaming others. We should all learn from our own mistakes and change, so all of us can rise to the challenges within us and around us.

    I appreciate very much the contributions of Dr. R. Narendran towards this reality. Also others like Dr. Sudarshan Senevirathne, Kumar Sanggakara, Jayantha Dhanapala & Wijedasa Rajapakse. Excuse me If I have left out others who are genuinely perusing a reconciliation path.

    Of Course to DBSJ, for opening this forum and sustaining it with many obstacles.

    May 2012 bring new resolutions to all of us Sri Lankans !

  68. I know the LTTE very well from the start and how they criminalized a society.

    Reading “story” is not the case here.

    Can anyone pay compensation for the people who were killed by LTTE? So dont talk rubbish!

  69. Sinhalese did something is different but how can these “TAMIL” saviours do “WORST” to the same TAMILS? In Welikada some good Tamils like Dr.Rajasundaram were killed. I do not worry about the criminal smugglers Kuttimani and Thangathurai gang who were the parasites in the Tamil society.

    Jaffna Library, Welikada were the job of the UNP but the LTTE and the TNA are now with the same UNP.

    You better ask TNA/LTTE why they are with the “SAME” UNP now!

    You expect TAMILS can kill Tamils or Tamils can do damage to Tamils and that should not be questioned.

  70. Armed struggle is different from Armed Insurrection.

    Dont think Sinhala masses are better off than Tamil masses. Language based problems can be solved simply by dialogues.

    How can 10% Tamil population think positively to over-run 70% Sinhala population?

    The Languages and Religions are only emotional issues. They never feed vast majorit of people.

    Look at Pakistan! Did they achieve any economical miracles on the basis of their religion?

    No Tamil militant organization ever said they would solve educational or emploment problems of the Tamils by EELAM.

    This EELAM was a creation of outsiders for the interest of outsiders. Now it is obvious. That is why “outsiders” are crying against Sri Lanka!

  71. Niromi De Soyza should win an Australian Award for the distinguished manner she has condcuted in this regard

  72. I am not talking about Kuttimani, Thangadurai, Jegan. I am talking about the wrongs done by the Sinhala polity, society and clergy.

    Talk about them. Talk about the Sinhala only, talk about the standardization, talk about the numerous riots, talk about the govt bombarding the civilian areas with their aircrafts, and also shelling them with artillery fire.

    Talk about the cultural genocide aspect of the Jaffna library burning.

    Talk about the embargo enforced in the Tamil regions in the form of denial of the food and essential items.

    In the essential item list add the electricity. It was denied to the Jaffna people.

    Talk about the anullment of the BC and DC pact.

    Talk about the Tamil grievances. Please do not talk about the LTTE, alone.

    LTTE came later. These grievances were before the LTTE was born.

    If Kuttimani, Thangadurai and Jegan were smugglers then were they tried under those sections of the Law or were they tried under sedition?

    If they are smugglers then prove it and you could have punished them using the relevant sections. Why did you slap the seditious charges against them.

    If you have to talk please talk with proof. Please do not make sweeping allegations. Allegations do not stand in the court of Law.

    I appreciate when you talk about the murderous LTTE. Why not talk in the same vein about the murderous Sinhala polity, society and the Sinhala Budhist Clergy.

    If you are fair then you have to talk about them also.

    Reconciliation would come only when both the parties accept their fault.

    Also talk about the Mahavamsa mentality.

    If you can, please give your views point by point.

    Why stop with the welikade also talk about the Kaluthra and the Bindunuwewa.

    TALK ABOUT ALL THESE SIR.

    TALK ABOUT ALL THESE. DON’T TALK THE FAULT IN ONE SIDE ONLY. IF YOU ARE A FAIR MINDED PERSON PLEASE TALK ABOUT THE FAULT OF BOTH THE SIDES.

  73. While I also appreciate the contributions made towards peace by Dr. Rajasingam Narendran, Seniviratne etc. Why is it that the all powerful MR is not reaching out to the Tamils and solving this problem once and for all.

    No person of the standing of the MR, GR BR etc talking anything about this.

    Do you think this problem could be solved by this behavior.

  74. These articles on Tamil Tigress are very new. DBS has been writing in English from 1981 starting with his excellent column “Behind the Cadjan curtain” in The Island newspaper

    I think DBS should publish anthologies of his articles over the years. They give a journalistic history

  75. LTTE is not going to pay the compensation. Is the govt going to pay the compensation for the aerial attack victims, to those killed in the shells etc. To those who have died in the cross fires etc to those who suffered due to the economic blockade and denial of essential commodities and to those who have been denied medical attention not only during the final phase but throughout the war.

    Is the govt willing to find any political solution to this. Why are you only looking only at the fault of the LTTe. What about the faults of the govt its polity its society and its clergy.

    SO IN YOUR OPINION THEY WERE ALL AS WHITE AS SNOW AND ONLY LTTE IS THE VILLAIN. THEY WERE ALL VERY DHARMISHATAS AND ONLY LTTE IS THE ADHARMISTAS.

    ANSWER MR. SIVANANTHAN TO THIS.

  76. M Sivananthan you are a old crazy man unable to understand any thing your are talking like some one never lived in Srilanka.

  77. Mahesh says:

    Why is it that the all powerful MR is not reaching out to the Tamils and solving this problem once and for all.
    ———————————
    I am not a supporter of any politician or a political party.
    However what I see is that MR & BR is reaching out to the Tamils in their own way. Not the way others dictate to them. They have done something without any doubt and is continuing too. Of course these may be social & economic issues which are basic.

    They play popular politics. The opposition and the media has to play a major role to change the popular opinion towards implementing LLRC recommendations / APRC recommendations. The TNA is missing all opportunities to cut inroads in to the sinhala moderates.

    As I have commented before I still believe that MR can do the right thing without a risk of losing power. As masses yet to mistrust him in Sri lanka.

    JHU & NFF are a minority of a minority. Their vociferousness rhetoric will not affect a balance of power.

    I’m sure if UNP, TNA, SLMC & SLFP agrees on a common ground protecting national interests, we could arrive at a sustainable political solution.
    Pathetic to say non of the leaders have a vision or wisdom to act on this at this juncture (an opportunity in a life time) .

    Best is to work and negotiate with the man who has the power to make a change.

  78. DBS J: Again, your series keeps getting better and better, cannot wait for the next one. What it makes more interesting is your citing of concurrent events happening at LTTE’s neck of the wood, and comparing it to what had been happening to these girls and in their move to join LTTE.

    “Thileepan himself had abandoned his medical studies and joined the LTTE. Likewise they too wanted to sacrifice studies for the sake of the people said the “Tamil Tigress” author.” This clearly shows Shenuka’s talent how to strike a chord and convince someone to get things her ways. No doubt how her book captures the readers imaginations.

    For those question her contribution to the society, publishing this book is itself a great contribution, not to serve as propaganda for LTTE, but to highlight the problems that minorities have been facing from the point of views of an innocent and intelligent girl, and to bring about an understanding to people who seek different views and accommodate them, if credible. Maybe her time with LTTE was not so productive yet she transformed the experience into even more productive by writing this storey and taking us, the readers, to the battle field, and to make us feel the good and the bad of being a LTTE cadre.

    This definitely provokes many, what made a girl of Shenuka’s upbringing to join LTTE. And why did she leave LTTE and etc. It is more relevant because unlike a girl who domiciled in North only, she lived in outside North and fluent in Sinhalese also. The fact that the army who at sentry points call her our sister, tells her friendly nature too. Her urge to join LTTE was not to fight merely an army unit but to fight the injustice done to the minorities systematically time after time, and lived through it. If her storey helps rid of some misunderstandings that have been the main impediment in finding a solution, then there would be any doubt if she contributed to the society. The fact her storey strikes a chord with many readers worldwide is a clear indication that she is in business.

    About the critics, I read the ones wrote by the Arun and Muttu. Both review lack subsistence, although there were a few things seem not in order or exaggerated, but one thing they failed to understand was this was written to readers and not a biography. If written in a way it does not appeal to the readers worldwide, these very people who ridicule would not even bother to do so, not alone the readers to read. Arun’s main issue was the language used in the storey (mother f….) was not authentic etc. he sort of like holding a view he owns Tamil language more than the author, because he is a poet; Muthu in his attempt to ridicule her, looked for something, nothing forthcoming, has gone so far as tying Shenuka to Julian Assange and attacking her of an admirer of a intellectual property thief. His review was also got derailed to the extent to going after Adele Balasingam citing her as one of the war criminals who lives in the UK. Being an intellectual, not sure even he would be happier, if he rereads his review to see if he convinced many a readers. Definitely not me!

  79. You are an idiot and never felt the hardships of life in Sri Lanka or helped people in Sri Lanka. Dont bark like a fool!

  80. Why are you crying like a stoned dog now?

    Smugglers are always asked to pay a penalty/fine, then they can go! But this Kuttimani gang started killing Police/People. Then they became leaders of TELO. That is why they were arrested under the PTA of UNP.

    When I mention the UNP, you are crying. Why? You are supporting the nasty UNP which burnt the Jaffna Library! But you bark “it was a work of Sinhalese”.

    SLFP gave a University to Jaffna but UNP burnt the Library but Tamil mongerals always bark against SLFP and never mention about SLFP and the Jaffna University!

    Dont generalise SINHALESE! Now Sambanthan gang and LTTE di-ass-pora support the same UNP!

    What is the LOVE of Tamils with UNP?

    If you go through the history UNP did more damage to Tamils than SLFP but Tamils still lick the feet of UNP!

    Because Tamils politicians( LTTE or TNA or others) and UNP have the same American/British masters.

    You guys are using Tamil to serve your WHITE masters of the past and not the poor / working class Tamils!

    First you talk about the LOVE AFFAIR of the TAMILS with UNP Sinhalese! Then we can talk about Mahavansa, etc;

  81. Hi DBS,
    Shenuka’s story took me to my student’s days, when I was studying at St John’s. I was also attracted to SOLT on those days and luckily my attraction has changed later.
    I feel very sorry for “Sharmila”, who died along with Murali against IPKF.
    What a innocent but brave girl. I still wonder our politicians (both Sinhala & Tamil) does not learn any lessons
    from Past and still there are going to be thousands die in future – unless they solve the problem.
    God has to save and once again wonderful article you have given to the Srilankan community.
    God bless you and Happy New year to you DBS.

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    Thank you Rajiv.

    Wish you a happy new Year and may God bless you

    Just one thing the girl who died in the fighting with Murali was not “Sharmila” but her friend “Nirmala” whose real name was Ajanthi

  82. If LTTE cannot pay any compensation, stop your “shoutings” against the government because LTTE created the atmosphere in Vanni and other Tamil areas for the bombings.

    LTTE and other so called TAMIL liberators brought army to the door-steps of the Tamil people.

    There was no economic blocade but LTTE robbed all the food/medical supplies from the government and it was destined to the people. Are you telling here that LTTE imported their own food/Medicines?

    People were chased like donkeys to Mullivaykkal to be used as human shields. That is why more than 300,000 people were in a small place.

    Tamil champions like you never ask the LTTE to release the people or stop taking the people by LTTE. Government created a NO FIRE ZONE but LTTE moved in with their heavy guns. So, what will happen? Do you expect the government must stop the war and let the LTTE survive?

    Those who cry for the “people” at the last stages of war, must blame LTTE for the deaths of civilians.

    Why did not those LTTE criminals surrender before go to Mullivaykkal and save the people? How manytimes government offered them to surrender but LTTE criminals refused to surrender till the last minute!

    Are you joking here without knowing the reality of a military warfare?

  83. Adele Balasingam citing her as one of the war criminals who lives in the UK//

    Yes. She is a criminal . Can you tell what the hell this white woman was doing with LTTE criminals? Dancing the SAMBA or singing the songs of Beatles?

  84. Hi DBS

    Very good article series on Sharmila. I am so interested to read about the girls who joined LTTE in those days

    Wish you and Sharmila a very happy 2012

    Thank you. Wish you the same………DBSJ

  85. But true reconciliation can be attained only when both the sides acknowledge their past mistakes and make a genuine beginning.

    Until then it is not proper or it is futile to expect the apologies from one side only.

  86. All right 🙂 it is time for Part 4. I am like the kids in car during the holiday travelling. “Are we there yet?”

  87. I agree with Sinhalaya… What DBSJ showed above was the true spirit that LTTE and other fighters had then against sinhala dominated political violence. Look at the picture of those youth who were no different to sinhalese rebels from JVP in 1971. That was nothing other than pure young blood standing against the injustices of politicos.

    But by having it centred along the violence path only, Prabhakaran hijacked the real struggle from rest of the educated tamil youth and got it ended in a murderor’s power struggle.

  88. Of course you are the Lord almighty making judgments about the reconciliation in Sri Lanka !

    Keep harping & harping of Sri Lankan mistakes, so u can blindly forget all the short comings of your government.

  89. Siva- Thank you for the response

    Do not think I need to respond to your query, because having read your comments at this column alone I knew you are more than capable of understanding the context of this phrase’s inclusion.

    What does Adele’s alleged crime got to do with review of this book? In doing so Muthu goes side way from the scope of his task and wrote something which I consider is irrelevant. This was written with the sole purpose of pleasing some, thus lost the academic flair which is expected, Muthu knows what is expected of a book review. This is not a avenue accuse some one remotely relevant to the subject. What you are trying to do here is to derail the discussions into something else from this topic.

    Coming to the point raised by you and Muthu included in his review regarding war criminals, UN’s report was forthright on this, saying both parties have allegedly committed war crimes- this is something investigated to get to the bottom. Would you support for an impartial inquiry to clear the names of all those concerned, given the reputation of the country is on line.

    Further, with respect to Adele, I am neither her fan nor LTTE’s, but again what I guess as Muttu’s problem here is, he was again overstretching the scope. The war crimes committed during the war that ended in May 2009 was the case in point here, and those who involved would be the ones that should be considered as alleged war criminals, not someone who lived in the UK during this period. Per definition, she may be considered as a terrorist but not a war criminal- that is my take. If you or Muthu want her into consideration for the purpose of war criminal then you have got to take all nexus of LTTE including KP and all regardless of where they were at that time. Do not you think she has got an alibi to exonerate herself from the crime you allege her as committed?

  90. M Sivanathan.
    I totaly agree with you. If any westerner pushing for war crimes in Sri Lanka, I think it is a good idea to start with Adele Balasingham who’s living in their midst, smelling roses.

  91. Why don’t you or your govt slap a case against her in a court of Law in her place of dwelling.

    Do slap a case against her as a war criminal, and we are very anxious to see that happen and also the allied drama that will unfold, thereafter.

    Also please tell what Premadasa was doing with these LTTE criminals.

    What is your govt doing with the LTTE criminals like Karuna and Pillayan, not to talk about the DD.

    Either you slap a case against her in her place of dwelling in Europe or you slap a case against her in your courts at Colombo and seek her extradition to your country.

    Or better still get her to Colombo in a KP style operation.

  92. In my view, she is the high ranking LTTE official alive today. Her RANK may be a Brigadier General in the LTTE.(haha)

    If any war crime tribunals or any other issues become reality, she shoud be arrested and presented at the tribunal. Then many witnesses will come up to tell her “atrocities” in Jaffna or elsewhere.

    KP never be in the field. KP acted as a businessman only. But this woman was in UNIFORM and in-charge of many LTTE activities!

    Book is always the tip of the iceberg.

    This is a politically “sensitive” forum and many unknown people read it. Now who are talking too much about WAR crimes? Only LTTE diaspora. They have to know about the high ranking LTTE official! Adele was not making making cookies to Anton and Prabhakaran.

    Both SL government and LTTE are accused of WAR CRIMES. So, she cannot go free as a “terrorist” but she has to face the charges of war crimes as well.

  93. Dear DBS,
    You are misleading the people by putting a photo (the 1st one) of K Yesudas as VP (LOL) and a happy new year.

  94. It is your wishful thinking.

    There is no legal basis for Adele to be indicted unless the investigation is extended to cover a period ( maybe the 30 odd years)beyond the time in which war had been waged. This is a war crime investigation, the fine difference is, to put it simply, killing cardes is not a crime, that was the immediate aim of the war- destroying the enemy. The issue here is how did they killed. I do not think Adele was part of it unless it is proven that she has had communication with LTTE and ordered killings during the subject war that does not confirm to internationally accepted standards. This is how I read, but is not my view.

  95. you mean agree to LTTE demands to a 2/3 rd coastline? and 1/3rd land mass as territory? Heh..thats a silly expectation or what?

  96. Hi DBS,
    What a wonderful piece of writing. You just brought me back my youth days. I was studying at Jaffna University during that time.

    Was Ajanthi involved in table tennis? I slightly remember seeing a face like this during the table tennis tournaments. I may be wrong.
    Just a small correction. There was a student from Arts faculty of Jaffna University (UJ) called Vijitharan who was abducted and the students of UJ started the massive protest. But it was crushed. Later, Rajakaran, one of the student leaders of Vijitharan Struggle too was abducted by LTTE. According the rajakaran, Mahathaya was personally involved in interrogating Rajakaran. As Vijitharan struggle was crushed, UJ students couldn’t organize a massive stike when Rajakaranwas abducted. (If I remember right, there was a strike for a day and we had a meeting but almost no one willing to come forward to “put the bell on the rat”. That’s all we have done at that time). SOme student leaders has inquired LTTE political wing leader Thileepan about this, but the later have denied any involved. Months later, Rajakaran sent the student leaders a message that he has escaped and wanted to continue his studies. It is only at that time, a student committee was formed to talk to LTTE. Kittu was not in the scene at this time. The new Jaffna LTTE leadership too was interested (I believe that LTTE Trinco Leader Santhosh was also there at that time and played a significant part in that) in mending the relationship with UJ students.
    LTTE said that they have no problem in allowing Rajakaran to study and even promised to meet the students and give the assurance. They came to the meeting to meet the university students (the meeting happened at Kailasapathy Auditorium; Thileepan, Mahathaya and some others – I think SOLT Murali too was there from LTTE. Owvai – was presiding the meeting) they said that the issue was Rajakaran was arrested because he was involved with “Samuka virothikal” (elements against the society) but now the case is over and rajakaran can study. But Rajakaran was there amoung the students and came forward and gave his side of the story. You can see his side of the story from http://www.tamilcircle.net.
    According to Rajakaran, Mahathaya has once told Rajakaran – during his inquiries – that he will finish his episode in a few days. If I remember right, I got an impression that Mahathaya mentioned in a way that the inquiry will be over in a few days, but it could also mean that rajakaran will be killed in a few days. Once Rajakaran mentioned that this statement gave him the strength the escape from LTTE.

    At that time, there were comments that “Kailasapathy Kalaiyarangam” (Kailasapathy Auditorium) is not “Raasiyanathu” for LTTE. At this place, Kittu tried to convince the students that they have not abducted Vijitharan but failed. Later Mahathaya tried to justify what they did with Rajakaran, but couldn’t succeed.
    Somewhere near the AL exams time SOLT leader Murali called a meeting for AL students where through his supporters he proposed that students to boy-cut the AL exams It was opposed by the Jaffna community and later revised.
    Afterwards, LTTE didn’t have any meetings at kailasapathy Auditorium for a long time.
    Just my two cents.

  97. Rajan, what is your problem? can’t someone enjoy something, you are not so special, that only what YOU think is RIGHT. HE is expressing his appreciation, if you don’t appreciate it you shouldn’t say anything. And by the way the fact that you are really taking the time to reply to him shows that you don’t have a life and you should probably go get one before u go tell other to…. k THANKS…

  98. look rahavan,
    from your comment i understand you are Rajapakshe supporter which is your choice, however i am VERY curious to know you beloved president WHAT has he done for the country, and be VERY careful because i want to know what he has done to help the country as a WHOLE. Not just the majority. If you were on the other side, you wouldn’t say anything like this, because you would be the one suffering. I want to make it clear that I am not supporting either side in this particular statement. I’m just curious, but if the president is as “GREAT” as you say, then please tell me what he has done, i do not know of anything. Also don’t get angry, be calm when you answer this because otherwise it is YOUR point that will get lost.

  99. visva i totally agree with you
    people like M.Sivanathan will NEVER look at things from both sides, and its people like him that are barriers that are preventing the world from becoming a better place. This is no longer about the struggle. It is rather about who can yell the loudest.

  100. Sir,
    I now could recollect your writings in Frontline. I used to collect all your articles with those photos and kept them as Binded reference books. But due to the circumstances that prevailed during the year 1991, I had to disown them due to the fear.(which I am now ashamed of). Sir, please let me know the link where I could be able to read all your articles and rejuvenate my thirst.

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