Remembering Tamils killed by LTTE | Sunday Observer

Remembering Tamils killed by LTTE

28 November, 2021
Dr. Ranjini Thiranagama
Dr. Ranjini Thiranagama

Maaveerar Naal or Great Heroes Day has been commemorated since November 27, 1989 with a Heroes Week held annually from November 21 ending on 26 on LTTE leader Velupillai Prabakaran’s birthday.

It is an event to remember LTTE combatants killed. While the LTTE propagandists shed crocodile tears telling the world that the Sri Lankan Government denies them to commemorate fallen Tamils, what these LTTE propagandists do not disclose is that they forbid Tamils from commemorating Tamils killed by the LTTE and this is a long list.

Ironically, some foreign politicians, falling prey to LTTE propaganda, attend these commemorations and may probably have already accepted invitations for 2021 events too. However, everyone conveniently ignores that the Mahaveerar Naal do not shed a tear for the likes of Alfred Duraiappah, Lakshman Kadiragamar, Sarojini Yogeswaran or even the leaders of the other Tamil terrorist groups that the LTTE killed to reign supreme. If Prabakaran and the LTTE had an objective to create an Eelam for Tamils, why kill their own people including leaders of other Tamil militant groups fighting for the same cause?

Maaveerar Naal is to commemorate only the fallen LTTE cadres. Maaveerar Naal does not commemorate Tamil civilians, politicians, academics, public servants, clergy, children or even Tamil combatants who are killed by the LTTE. Don’t they deserve a commemorative event too?

The LTTE’s first victim was a Tamil – Mayor of Jaffna, Alfred Duraiappah - shot dead after stepping out of the kovil on July 27, 1975.

The second victims were also Tamils – scores of Tamil policemen creating fear among the Tamils to join the police. The LTTE propagandists twisted this truth to claim that the government was not recruiting Tamils to the police.

M Canagaratnam – a Tamil United Liberation Front’s candidate for Pottuvil was shot outside his home in Kollupitiya on January 24, 1978 and succumbed to injuries on April 20, 1980.

C E Anandarajah – Principal of St. John’s College, Jaffna was assassinated on June 26, 1985 for organising a cricket match with the Sri Lanka Army.

Dharmalingam – a TULF MP for Manipai and father of D. Siddarthan (PLOTE leader) was killed by the LTTE on September 2, 1985.

K Sabaratnam – a TELO leader was killed by the LTTE’s Kittu on May 6, 1986.

S Nadarajah – a Tamil lawyer, Pioneer of All Ceylon Tamil Congress and first and only Chairman of the Jaffna District Development Council was shot on February 12, 1988 for associating with the Indian Peace Keeping Force.

M. Panchalingam – a Tamil civil servant educated at the Jaffna Hindu College and Ananda Colombo was shot dead on May 1, 1989 at his brother’s house in Nallur.

Amirthalingam MP, Secretary General of the TULF/ a Former Opposition Leader was killed by the LTTE on July 13, 1989 at his residence after his wife offered the assassins tea and biscuits. He called LTTE ‘our boys’ before he was killed.

V Yogeswaran – husband of Sarojini Yogeswaran – a Tamil lawyer and MP was assassinated along with Amirthalingam on July 13, 1989. Sivasithamparan escaped with injuries.

Human rights activist

Dr. Ranjini Thiranagama – a Tamil human rights activist was killed on September 21, 1989. She was 35 years. Her sister was a member of the LTTE and she too helped the LTTE initially.

Sam and Kala Tambimuttu – Member of TULF who contested the 1989 General Elections under EPRLF was shot outside the Canadian High Commission on May 7, 1990. His wife was also shot and succumbed to her injuries on May 16, 1990.

Pathmanabha – an EPRLF leader was killed by the LTTE in India on June 19, 1990.

Veerasingam Ganeshasangari Yogasangari – son of V. Ganeshasangaree, brother of Tamil United Liberation Front Politician V. Anandasangaree was assassinated on June 19, 1990 in Madras, India. The LTTE killed seven members of the EPRLF.

Gopalswamy Mahendraraja (Mahaththaya) - Deputy Leader of the LTTE was executed by Prabakaranon December 28, 1994 for being an informant to Indian intelligence.

Chelvy Thiyagarajah – a journalist, who won the International Pen Award in 1992 was abducted and executed in 1997 in an LTTE prison along with another Manoharan.

A Thangathurai – a lawyer and MP was killed on July, 5 1997.

Thangathurai and six others (Sri Shanmuga principal Rajeshwari Thanabalasingham, Namagal Vidyalayam Principal S. Joseph, Principal K. Seevaratnam, civil engineer V. Retnarajah, social worker P. S. Ganeshalingam and a police bodyguard) were killed by the LTTE.

Sarojini Yogeswaran – Mayor of Jaffna was shot five times with a pistol near her Jaffna home on May 17, 1998.

S Shanmuganathan - Senior PLOTE member was killed on July 15, 1998.

Neelan Tiruchelvan - President’s Counsel / MP and Director of the International Centre for Ethnic Studies was assassinated on July 29, 1999.

Nimalan Soundaranayagam – teacher and MP was assassinated on November 7, 2000.

Kandasamy Iyer Balanadarajah Iyer (Balanadarasan), Senior Member of EPDP was killed on August 16, 2004 in Colombo.

He was initially a member of the EROS but left when it merged with LTTE and joined the EPDP.

Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadiragamar was assassinated in his own home during the infamous cease fire agreement on August 12, 2005.

Relangi Selvarajah and her husband – Tamil journalist - was killed on August 12, 2005 during the infamous ceasefire and on the same day that Lakshman Kadiragamar was assassinated.

Kethesh Loganathan– Human Rights Activist, Deputy Secretary General of the Secretariat for Coordinating the Peace Process (SCOPP), recipient of Hubert Humphrey Fellowship who joined the EPRLF after returning to Sri Lanka was assassinated outside his home August 12, 2006.

Selliah Parameshwaram Kurukkal - Chief Pujari of the Santhiveli Pilleyar Kovil was killed on February 7, 2007.

Jeyaraj Fernandopulle – an MP was killed on April 6, 2008 along with 14 others by an LTTE suicide bomber while raising flag for a marathon race.

Sivashri Kungaraja Kurukkal - head pandit of the Koneswaram temple of Trincomalee, was shot dead on September 21, 2008.

Kumaraswamy Nanthakopan (Ragu) was killed in Colombo on February 14, 2008.

The families that participate in the LTTE Maaveerar Naal commemorations are all families of the LTTE and known as Maaveerar Kudumbangal (Great Hero Families) who had a privileged life under the LTTE. We witnessed this during the last phase in the way some Tamils were better fed than the rest.

The Maaveerar Naal commemorations are held overseas as well. It is another income generator and a camouflage to fool the gullible international community. The LTTE diaspora lighting candles and holding commemorations are all LTTE runaway families. Probably the missing or disappeared persons are amongst them with new names and identities.

Pomp and pageantry

While these commemorations are held with pomp and pageantry, the families of those killed by the LTTE can only mourn their dead in private inside their homes. No public ceremonies are allowed by the LTTE for them.

How can we forget the LTTE combatants killed by the LTTE – the children, women, and men? How many did the LTTE kill? Are their deaths in the account of the Sri Lanka Army? During the last phase, scores of injured LTTE terrorists were put into buses and set on fire. Many Tamils living overseas were killed for not towing the LTTE line. Some continue to be threatened.

Who is Wigneswaran and the TNA actually fooling by attending these LTTE Heroes Day commemorations? Decorations are in the LTTE colours (red and yellow), the LTTE flag is hoisted, the Eelam map is displayed, and the garland for the first LTTE hero Shankar is a dead giveaway (pun intended).