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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2702

Myth of 'Living Prabhakaran'

Myth of 'Living Prabhakaran'

Paris, 26 May, ( While the top diaspora members fight over the future strategy of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), the Tamil professionals and commercial establishments in Europe have expressed disgust over 'utterly selfish motives' of the LTTE’s Department of Diaspora Affairs (DDA). They were referring to the DDA’s statement that the 'LTTE leadership is safe and it will re-emerge when the right time comes.'

"The DDA has kept on feeding us stories that Tigers would fight back and deal a fatal blow to the Sri Lankan army and collected thousands of EUROs for various emergency funds," stated Gopal Sivarasa, a trader in Tamil predominant La Chapelle in Paris. "Even last week we donated funds after the tiny beachhead of Mulaithivu was encircled by the Sri Lankan army. The DDA said that they wanted funds for missiles for the final assault which will kill 'thousands of soldiers.' Because we had hopes against hope, we donated as much as we could. I wonder where all that money is?" he lamented.

Another trader, who did not disclose his name, wanted the French police to investigate into the affairs of DDA which included extortion, intimidation and money laundering. "I am sure large part of the funds went into their pockets," he said furiously. "That is why the DDA says Prabhakaran is alive. The whole world including LTTE leaders such as Kumaran (Selvaraja) Pathmanathan knows the truth that Prabhakaran was killed on May 17."

It is apparent that the LTTE dispora leadership is split on future strategies. While Pathmanathan has acknowledged the death of Prabhakaran in an interview with BBC, the LTTE’s DDA wants to keep the myth alive to ensure future fund collections. The DDA got hold of LTTE mouthpiece Tamilnet, which carried a statement that "the Tamil national cause cannot afford to be deviated and exploited by others through questions such as whether the LTTE leader V. Pirapaharan is alive or not or whether the armed struggle has to be continued or not. The Tamil diaspora, the only section of the Eezham Tamil community that has the freedom and means to come out with authentic voice, has a historic responsibility in telling the world what they aspire for in no uncertain terms, and in seeing their righteous cause not hijacked by their enemies."

It is evident hat the DDA believes that Pathmanathan is 'hijacking' the organization and he is ‘the enemy’.

Pathmanathan, as the head of the LTTE’s Department of International Relations, on Sunday announced that the LTTE Leader Velupillai Pirapaharan attained 'martyrdom fighting the military oppression of the Sri Lankan state on 17 May.' However, the LTTE’s Department for Diaspora Affairs (DDA) told TamilNet that it would not comment without explicit authorisation from the LTTE leadership. In the meantime, the Intelligence Department of the Tigers reiterated on Sunday that the LTTE leadership is safe and it will re-emerge when the right time comes.

The DDA has funded the election campaigns of Tamil Nadu politicians such as V Gopalasamy alias Vaiko of MDMK and Pazha Nedumaran of Kamraj Congress. Hence they immediately expressed scepticism Sunday on the reports of Mr. Pirapaharan's demise, thus supporting the DDA.

"Whoever emerges victorious in this leadership struggle, we will not donate a cent hereafter," says Kumarappah Nathan of the phone-card shop at La Chapelle. "We have been fooled many times but we continued to contribute as long as Prabhakaran was alive and the LTTE held territory. Now any contribution is just like throwing water in the river".

Many Tamil diaspora members pointed out that evidence for Pirapaharan's demise was conclusive. "There is no doubt about Prabhakaran’s body and the Sri Lankan military displayed it as proof it had won a quarter-century civil war," Gopal said. "Now we have accepted that and we will send remittances to our poor relations in the north and no more donations for the LTTE".

- Asian Tribune -

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