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Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !."

- Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C 

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Selected Writings by Sachi Sri Kantha

The Pirabaharan Phenomenon

Introduction & Index of Contents

[see also Velupillai Pirabaharan, Leader of Tamil Eelam}


Velupillai Pirabaharan Hoisting Tamil Eelam FlagIt's time that the Pirabaharan phenomenon be studied somewhat in depth. 

His adversaries from India and Sri Lanka have called him names - a Hitler, a Pol Pot, a megalomaniac and a mass murderer. 

The problem with these self-serving outbursts is that, the 20th century Indian subcontinent had not seen a leader like him. 

In ideals and action, the closest one who can be identified with Pirabaharan is Subhas Chandra Bose (1897-1945), though there are noticeable differences in the lives between both. Thus, the critics of Pirabaharan had groped in the dark to pigeonhole him into slots with which they are familiar. In this exercise, they fail miserably because, Pirabaharan is a trend-setter (aligned in the ranks of Mao Ze Dong) and couldn't be fit into pre-conceived slots. 

Thus, the only reference his critics (which include some prominent Tamils as well) make is to depict him as a tyrant. Their behavior is like the cry-babies who scream when what they had in their hands does not work according to their whims.

Nevertheless, a couple of commentators and journalists who are knowledgeable (like Mervyn de Silva and Anita Pratap) had identified Pirabaharan as an unusual brand of leader - in contrast to the tub-thumping variety of politicians in the Indian subcontinent who are dozen a dime in every decade. Mervyn de Silva, in selecting Pirabaharan as the 'Man of the Decade' in 1990, wrote,

"As we look back to the 1980s, and study the decade as a whole, we are inclined to concede primacy to the Tamil threat to the unity, and indirectly, the sovereignty of Sri Lanka. In that struggle, there is one commanding personality, the LTTE supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran, regarded by many western experts as leader of one of the toughest guerrilla organisations in the world, and by military analysts as a 'genius' in the theory of unconventional warfare" (Lanka Guardian, Jan.1, 1990).

Eleven years have passed since this assessment was made. Hitler's rule could last only 12 years. Pol Pot's dictum couldn't fly more than 4 years. But Pirabaharan had set the political agenda for nearly two decades now in Sri Lanka and India. 

An interesting, thoughtful comment I read in the internet web page of one Sam Sloane (Ishi Press International, USA) following the verdict on Rajiv Gandhi assassination trial by the Indian Court is worth repeating here. Under the caption, 'Who really killed Rajiv Gandhi?', Sloane had written as follows:

"For nearly two decades, probably more people have seriously been trying to kill Velupillai Prabhakaran, the leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, than any other person in the world. On Wednesday, an Indian court sentenced Velupillai Prabhakaran to death in absentia, just for the little thing of killing Rajiv Gandhi. Ha! Ha! Ha!"

The judge in the Indian court came to the ridiculous conclusion that the only person who wanted Rajiv dead was Prabhakaran, and therefore he must be guilty, without any evidence linking him to Dhanu. I am no admirer of Prabhakaran, but I know for a fact that there were 16 million other Sri Lankans who wanted to kill Rajiv Gandhi, plus a number of Indians as well..."

(continued)

INDEX OF CONTENTS 
Last updated 28/02/07

01. Premature Obituary in the Madras Hindu 02. What is Leadership?
03. Learning from Mistakes  04. Humor in anti-Pirabaharan polemics 
05. Pirabaharan - the Morale Booster  06. A Brando in the Battle Front 
07. Violating the Seventh Commandment  08. Pirabaharan as a cash-cow
09. Four Musketeers of UNP  10. Civil War Leader for Tamils
11.1987 - Paradigm Shift in Eelam 12. In the eyes of Foreign Journalists 
13. Pirabaharan and Duraiappah  14. Casualty Breakdown in Eelam Civil War
15. Demand of Discipline  16. Colombo Beggars in the bin Laden Bandwagon
17. Emerging Truth in the 'Terrorist' Label  18. A Ramanujan in Military Science 
  19. Repercussions of Rajiv-Jayewardene Accord  20. Implications of Indo-LTTE War 
21. ‘Pol Potist’ Label: Facts and Fantasy 22. 1989 - The Year of Indian Intrigue
23. Standing-up Against India's Imperial Itch 24. Surviving the Plots of RAW and Premadasa
25. Rajiv Gandhi Assassination: Wading through the Paper Maze 26. Rajiv Gandhi Assassination: The Forensic Science Angle
27. Rajiv Gandhi Assassination: The Political Angle  28. Rajiv Gandhi Assassination: the judicial angle of Justice S.S.M.Quadri
29. Rajiv Gandhi Assassination: the judicial angle of Justice K.T.Thomas  30. Rajiv Gandhi Assassination: the judicial angle of Justice D.P.Wadhwa
31. Rajiv Gandhi Assassination: Jigsaw puzzles in the judicial angle 32. Rajiv Gandhi Assassination: The Conspiracy Angle
33. Rajiv Gandhi Assassination: The Sinhalese Angle 34. Tamil Sentiments and V.P.Singh’s Views
35. Rajiv Gandhi Assassination - International Links 36. Rajiv Gandhi Assassination - One Spoke in the South Asian Wheel of Intrigue  
37. Why is He ‘Loved’ by the Tamils?  38. The Quality of Sinhalese Military Competition 
39. The Paradigm Shifter  40. Valveddithurai’s Gift 
41. Biographers Interlude 42. Even the grass is a weapon for the courageous
43. Prime antagonist to brown skinned Buddhist aryanism 44. Countering the fangs of brown skinned Buddhist aryanism
45. The Scenario of the Eastern Front 46. Torment in the Eastern Front
47. Nuda Veritas on the Muslim Factor  48. Projecting Tamil Power 
49. Analyzing the Tamil Victims of LTTE’s Power  50. Thwarting the Careers of Closet Tamil Operatives
51. Is Pirabhakaran a deviant and a merchant of death?  52. Eelam’s Karma – The Good, The Bad and the Ugly 
53. Being a Tamil Hero   54. Time Out - A Message to the Readers
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