Sri Lankan President Rajapaksa Jokes about LTTE Leader Prabhakaran's Death

T. Arumugam

TAMIL TRIBUNE, March 2009 (ID. 2009-03-01)
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DPI - Dalit Panthers of India (also known as VCK)

IDP - Internally Displaced Persons

LTTE - Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam

MP - Member of Parliament

VCK - Viduthalai Chiruththaikal Katchi (also known as DPI)

A retort to Sri Lankan President Rajapakse’s distasteful joke about LTTE leader Pirabhaharan's death.

A delegation of ten members of Indian parliament from Tamil Nadu went to Sri Lanka in October 2009 on a four-day visit to Tamil internally displaced persons camps (IDP camps) and other Tamil areas. They also met Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa on October 13, 2009. One of the delegates was Viduthalai Chiruththaikal Katchi (VCK) leader Thol Thirumavalavan. He held LTTE leader Prabhakaran in high regard and his party cadres often carried large photographs of Pirabhakaran in some of his party rallies in support of Sri Lankan Tamils. When Thirumavalavan was introduced to President Rajapaksa, the latter said, "Had you been with Prabhakaran during the war, you would have died too. I would not have the opportunity to meet you." [Sri Lankan army shot and killed Prabhakaran in the final days of the fourth phase of the ethnic war (Eelam War 4).]

When reporters asked about it after Thirumavalavan returned to Tamil Nadu, he answered, "Rajapaksa said that as a joke and I also took it as a joke." If it is a joke, it is in very bad taste. May be Mr. Thirumavalavan should have responded with an equally bad joke. Here is a suggestion: "Too bad Tamil Nadu does not have its own military. Otherwise, with your navy having shot and killed hundreds of Tamilnadu fishermen in the sea, your head would have been hoisted at the point of a spear at the gates of Madurai. I would not have the opportunity to meet you here." I know that it is a "joke" in very bad taste but no worse than what President Rajapaksa said. [Madurai is a city in Tamil Nadu. Historically it was the capital of Padiya Nadu, one of the three Tamil kingdoms in Tamil Nadu.]

There is a historical background to "head hoisted at the point of a spear at the gates of Madurai" reference in the preceding paragraph. During the reign of Rajathi Raja Cholan II over Chola Nadu  (1163 - 1179), one of the three Tamil kingdoms, Sinhala king Parakramabahu sent an army under the command of a Sinhala General, Lankapura, at the invitation of a Pandiya prince to help him over a dispute for the throne of Pandiyan kingdom. The Sinhala army captured the coastal town of Rameshwaram and damaged the famed Hindu temple for Lord Sivan (Lord Siva), and then marched inward into Tamil Nadu looting and burning villages. Rajathi Raja Cholan II sent his army under General Pallavarayan (Pallavarayar) to confront the Sinhala army. Pallavarayan defeated Lankapura, captured him and beheaded him. The severed head was hoisted on a spear at the gates of Madurai, the Pandiyan capital. Thus ended the incursion of Sinhala army into Tamil Nadu. 

You may read a more detailed discussion of the Tamil-Sinhala war about 850 years ago in References 1. You may read more about Sri L:ankan Navy shooting and killing TamilNadu fishermen in Reference 2.

[EDITORIAL NOTE: Some South Asian names are spelled differently by different people. Here are some variations of names used in this article: Cholan - Chozhan, Chozan, Pandiyan - Pandian, Prabhakaran - Pirabhakaran, Prabakaran, Pirabhaharan, Prabaharan, Rajapaksa - Rajapakse, Rajathi Raja - Rajathiraja, Rameshwaram - Rameswaram , Rameshvaram, Ramesvaram.]


1. Nine Hundred Year Historical Perspective of how Tamil Nadu Lost its Sovereignty and How Selfish Politicians are Selling out Tamil National Rights Today: Part I (by Thanjai Nalankilli), TAMIL TRIBUNE, December 2001 (30 KB)

2. India, Sri Lankan Navy and Tamil Nadu Fishermen: Is Tamil Blood Cheap in the Eyes of Indian Government? (by Usha Ramanathan), TAMIL TRIBUNE, April 2007 (6 KB)

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