Fourteen years after the Sri Lankan government declared LTTE chief Velupillai Prabhakaran dead, Tamil Nationalist Movement leader Pazha Nedumaran on Monday claimed that he is alive and healthy, and will soon “announce a plan for the liberation of the Tamil race.”
Addressing a press conference in Thanjavur, Nedumaran said that the changing global scenario and Sri Lanka’s political crisis including the removal of the Rajapaksa Government breathed a new lease of life in the LTTE chief prompting him to step outside.
Nedumaran, who is the Tamil president of the World Tamil Federation Pazha Nedumaran, said it was time to set at rest “rumours” about the death of the ‘Thamizh Desiya Thalaivar'(Tamil Nationalist leader) Prabhakharan
“Let me inform you that he (Prabhakaran) is soon going to announce a plan for the liberation of the Tamil race. All the Tamil people of the world should support him together,” Nedumaran said.
“I would like to reveal some truths about LTTE chief Velupillai Prabhakaran. I am happy to reveal a truth which would dispel doubts about Prabhakaran. We would like to tell all the Tamil people that LTTE Chief Velupillai Prabhakaran is healthy and fine,” Nedumaran said.
Tamil Eelam is a proposed independent state that many Tamils in Sri Lanka and the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora aspire to create in the north and east of Sri Lanka.
Pointing out that China is expanding its influence in Sri Lanka through investment schemes and projecting India as an enemy of Sri Lanka, he exhorted the Indian government to initiate necessary steps to prevent China from firming up its presence in the island nation.
Nedumaran recalled when the LTTE was strong, they never allowed any country which was opposed to India to set foot in Sri Lanka.
“LTTE has fought against that. In any situation, the LTTE never sought any help from the countries which were against India. China has set its foot in Sri Lanka and is trying to project India as Sri Lanka’s enemy,” Pazha Nedumaran noted.
Nedumaran expressed concern over the fact that China has extended its dominance in the Indian Ocean also. “We request the Indian government to take steps to counter China,” he added.
“In these critical times, we request unity among the Tamil Nadu government, Tamil politicians, and Tamil Eelam people to stand with Prabhakaran” Nedumaran added.
When asked whether he had contacted Prabhakaran, Nedumaran said he had contacts with Prabhakaran’s family members and based on the information he received he was “releasing this based on their approval.”
Queried on how the LTTE leader who was declared dead by the Sri Lankan government managed to survive, Nedumaran said, “No doubt that everyone including me wants to know where he is. However he will soon come to the fore and the world will know about it.”
Prabakaran was declared killed by the Sri Lankan government troops on May 18, 2009 in Mullaivaikkal in the northern Mullaithivu district of the island country.
The LTTE chief was a prime accused in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in a suicide bombing at Sriperumbudur in 1991 after which he was declared a proclaimed offender. He was also charged in some other assassination cases in Sri Lanka and LTTE was declared a banned terror organisation.
What began as a liberation movement with few other groups opposing decades of discrimination against Tamils in Sri Lanka, LTTE chief Prabhakaran had later switched to armed struggle, known for its guerrilla warfare and suicide attacks. The LTTE became the first terror group to have an air force.
The Sri Lankan forces, on the other hand, were accused of human rights violations on a large scale.