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One of the first two genocides of the century befell the Tamil community, the other being Darfur, 2003. To secure justice for this Tamil genocide is essential to prevent any other community of the world from facing such an outrage. And thus the lofty ideal of uprooting the world of evil wars and creating a new world is for the present dependent on the Tamil struggle for justice.

The Tamil genocide is not over with the Mullivaikkal massacre. Structural genocide continues in the Tamil Homeland. Poisonous seeds of genocide were sown from day one itself since Sinhala supremacism took over the reins of power in the island of Lanka. Denial of citizenship, denial of franchise, denial of linguistic rights, denial of the right to education, burning of the library, expropriation of the land, racial discrimination, ethnic oppression, pogroms, and state terrorism at various stages and in various forms raised their ugly heads, and stretched out their ferocious claws and culminated in the Mulivaikkal outrage.

Remedial Justice for the Tamil genocide not only implies bringing those to justice who are guilty of the international offences of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity and punishing them, but finding a political solution to prevent the recurrence of such an outrage. The Tamil community has been raising in one voice the demands for an independent international investigation for genocide and a referendum for a political solution.

The existence of the Tamil Eelam nation has for historical reasons split into two entities. The present-day polity of the Tamil Eelam nation consists of both the Homeland comprising the North and the East of the Lankan Island, and the Tamil Diaspora spread over tens of countries across the globe. The Diaspora Tamils operating on the international plane are duty-bound to create a space for the relentless struggle of the Tamils, oppressed and repressed back in the Homeland. Joining these two fronts is the third important one of the motherland of Tamilnadu in India.

The Rajapakshes who scored their military triumph by killing one-and-a-half lakhs of lives secured nothing thereby for the Sinhala people. Their self-deception of drowning the dream of Tamil Eelam in the lagoon of Nandhikkadal has already evaporated away. The Sinhala government has failed to contain or prevent the Tamil people’s struggle. Nor has it managed even to offer a political solution even remotely acceptable to the Tamil people.

The Sinhala state, which received the acclaim and appreciation of the imperialist powers at the UN Human Rights Council in May 2009, has in the last 11 years taken beating after beating and has now reached the stage of running away from the UN arena itself. There are three UN Reports and the volumes of evidence collected for them which are virtually bombs strapped under the belly of Sri Lanka.

The liberation of Tamil Eelam beckons us as a historical necessity. The nation of Tamil Eelam in the Homeland and in the Tamil Diaspora is engaged in a hard and protracted struggle towards this cherished goal. We must act with the spirit of warriors on the field of battle armed with weapons of knowledge.

History implies the path we have come along. And one who does not know the path traversed cannot perceive the path to proceed along. What is the essence of our history? At the same time, as oppression commenced the rightful struggle against it also started. For nearly a quarter of a century, Tamil Eelam with its moral strength fought by peaceful means. Selva, the father of the nation, signed one by one a series of agreements with the Sinhala leaders, which were torn away before the ink of the signatures thereon dried.

Sinhala supremacism was more and more consolidated. And ethnocracy congealed itself in the name of democracy to a stage when it took the shape of the Republic of Sri Lanka and its constitution in 1972. Almost simultaneously with this process, it is no accident that the thinking of the Tamil youth towards armed struggle took organizational forms. The historic responsibility of realizing the political aspiration of the people of Tamil Eelam was gradually transferring itself to young shoulders. The birth of the New Tamil Tigers was but a manifestation of this process.

prabhakaran and kittuHow Thambi (younger brother) Prabhakaran and his comrades who were incubated in the history of the rightful struggle of the people of Tamil Eelam took off in the sky of freedom – the real story of how they launched this struggle is beautifully painted in this short monograph entitled 'RISE OF THE TIGERS'.

History has identified guerrilla warfare as the most suitable form for a nationality with a small population to stand up to and fight a tyrannical state with a huge military force armed to the teeth. It was the same with the launch of the armed struggle in Tamil Eelam, as well. Pon. Sivakumaran who bit the cyanide capsule even before the first operation, the red point when the account was opened with the elimination of Alfred Duraiyappa, and the subsequent guerilla operations are all listed here,

The same year 1976 and the same month of May, as the New Tamil Tigers evolved into the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, the historic Vaddukkottai Resolution demanding a separate sovereign state of Tamil Eelam was adopted. The people’s mandate for this resolution obtained through the 1977 General Election was cited by Leader Prabhakaran as the historic justification for the armed struggle of the Tigers.

In response to the growth of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, the Jayawardene government enacted the Anti-Terrorism Act. The Sinhala army was concentrated in the Tamil Homeland. Only gun-wielding young men had the power to protect the life and honor of the people against the ‘army’. The capability needed to face up to the ruthless enemy firmly established the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and the leadership of Thambi Prabhakaran. If the vote politics of Tamilnadu found the leader in Anna (the elder brother), the gun politics of Tamil Eelam found the leader in Thambi (the younger brother).

Of all the armed groups it was the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam that emerged as the predominant force thanks to its conviction and efficiency, as seen from the present depiction. In accordance with the saying that a germ shows its future, the basis on which the Tigers blossomed into a great liberation army, admired by the world, could be seen then itself.

One of the notable stories is that of Lieutenant Sankar who attained martyrdom on the 27th of November 1982 and became the first martyr of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. It is to this day the Martyr-heroes Day observed by the Tamil world.

It was a sign of the old political leadership getting discredited and the time of the militants having arrived that the polls to the local bodies in May 1983 was so widely boycotted. Even as the polling was going on, there was an assault by the Tigers on the Sinhala State armed forces.

It was as a culmination of the process of the successive armed attacks that on the 23rd of July 1983 the Tirunelveli ambush took place. It was a historic attack in which 13 Sinhala army men were killed, and Lieutenant Chellakkili who led the assault was martyred.

Thalapathi (General) Kittu was one of those who were part of the Tiger squad that made history by participating in the Tirunelveli Ambush. His own depiction of the attack is proudly a high point in this short narration. His write-up nearly makes up the lack of a video recording of the great attack. As Thalapathi Kittu narrates how the event unfolded and how each Tiger militant including Leader Prabhakaran then known only as Thambi played his part, we get the feeling of having been eye-witnesses to that piece of history. I am not anticipating anything and let the reader read for himself.

What a valor! What a sacrifice! History written in blood should not go waste. We all need to be proud of having been born in the same community. What is more, let us carry on the journey keeping in mind that Mother Tamil has handed us this struggle for the objective they had set themselves! The forms of struggle have undergone changes in accordance with the nature of the field and the time. But the goal of liberation is the same. This brief monograph would be a torchlight enlightening our journey to that goal. Let there be many a torchlight to follow.

- Thiagu

(An Introduction to the upcoming book 'RISE OF THE TIGERS')


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