Pazha Nedumaran, a veteran Tamil nationalist leader and former Congressman, on Monday claimed Velupillai Prabhakaran, the leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), who was declared dead in May 2009, was alive and fine. His wife and daughter, who are believed to have escaped during the end stage Eelam War – IV, too are alive, he claimed.
Making the startling claim at a press conference at Mullivaikkal Mutram in Thanjavur in central Tamil Nadu, Nedumaran, who had made several clandestine trips to LTTE-held Jaffna during the civil war in Sri Lanka, said Prabhakaran would emerge in public soon.
Claiming that he was making the statement with the consent of Prabakaran’s family members, Nedumaran said with Sri Lanka reeling under an economic crisis and the Sinhalese people protesting against Mahinda Rajapaksa, the time was now appropriate for Prabakaran to come out in the open.
According to him, the Tamil Desiya Thalaivar (leader of Tamil Nation) – as Prabkaran is described – is hale and healthy and this announcement should end “rumours about his death”.
𝗪𝗵𝗼 𝘄𝗮𝘀 𝗩𝗲𝗹𝘂𝗽𝗶𝗹𝗹𝗮𝗶 𝗣𝗿𝗮𝗯𝗵𝗮𝗸𝗮𝗿𝗮𝗻
Velupillai Prabhakaran was a Sri Lankan Tamil nationalist and separatist rebel leader, who was the founder and leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), commonly known as the Tamil Tigers. He was born in Vallipunam, Sri Lanka on November 26, 1954 and was one of the most prominent and controversial figures in the country's recent history.
𝗥𝗶𝘀𝗲 𝗼𝗳 𝗟𝗧𝗧𝗘 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗶𝘁𝘀 𝗶𝗻𝘀𝘂𝗿𝗴𝗲𝗻𝗰𝘆
Prabhakaran formed the LTTE in 1976 with the aim of creating an independent state for Sri Lanka's Tamil minority in the north and east of the country. The group was known for its ruthless tactics, including suicide bombings, assassinations and the use of child soldiers, and it was designated as a terrorist organization by 32 countries, including the United States, India, and the United Kingdom. Despite this, the LTTE gained significant support among Sri Lankan Tamils and became one of the most effective insurgent groups in the world, controlling large swathes of territory in the north of the country.
𝗕𝗹𝗼𝗼𝗱𝘆 𝗽𝗮𝘀𝘁 𝗼𝗳 𝗣𝗿𝗮𝗯𝗵𝗮𝗸𝗮𝗿𝗮𝗻 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗟𝗧𝗧𝗘
Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the LTTE fought a brutal civil war with the Sri Lankan government, in which tens of thousands of people were killed. Prabhakaran was a charismatic and effective leader, who was revered by many Tamils as a hero fighting for their rights and independence. However, his methods and the LTTE's human rights record also attracted widespread criticism and condemnation from human rights organizations and the international community.
𝗜𝗻𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗺𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗮𝘃𝗮𝗶𝗹𝗮𝗯𝗹𝗲 𝗼𝗻 𝗣𝗿𝗮𝗯𝗵𝗮𝗸𝗮𝗿𝗮𝗻'𝘀 𝗱𝗲𝗮𝘁𝗵
As the Sri Lankan military pushed into the remaining territory controlled by the LTTE during the final stages of the 2008-2009 Sri Lankan Army Northern offensive, the leadership of the group, including Velupillai Prabhakaran, retreated. Intense fighting took place between the LTTE and the Sri Lankan Army during these final days.
On May 19th, the army commander, Sarath Fonseka, announced Prabhakaran's death on television at 12:15 p.m. Reports indicate that his body was then displayed on the television channel Swarnavahini around 1:00 p.m. However, there has always been a faction of Sri Lankan Tamils who believe that Prabhakaran is still alive and was not killed.
𝗦𝗿𝗶 𝗟𝗮𝗻𝗸𝗮'𝘀 𝘄𝗶𝗻 𝗮𝗴𝗮𝗶𝗻𝘀𝘁 𝗶𝗻𝘀𝘂𝗿𝗴𝗲𝗻𝗰𝘆 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗣𝗿𝗮𝗯𝗵𝗮𝗸𝗮𝗿'𝘀 𝗶𝗺𝗽𝗮𝗰𝘁
The Sri Lankan government eventually succeeded in defeating the LTTE in 2009, with the death of Prabhakaran and many of his top commanders. Prabhakaran's death marked the end of one of the longest and bloodiest civil wars in recent history, but it also sparked intense debate and controversy over his legacy and the methods used by both the LTTE and the government in the conflict.
To this day, Velupillai Prabhakaran remains a deeply polarizing figure in Sri Lanka. While many Tamils view him as a freedom fighter and a martyr, others view him as a ruthless terrorist who was responsible for countless atrocities. Regardless of one's views on Prabhakaran, it is clear that he had a profound impact on the course of Sri Lanka's history and the lives of millions of people in the country.
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