Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Velupillai Pirabaharan is the leader of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and also the National Leader of Tamil Eelam.
Valvettithurai was one of the important Northern ports during the period of the Jaffna Kingdom and even before. It served as a bridge between northern Tamil Eelam and the port of Kodikkarai in Tamil Nadu. The people of Valvettithurai are brave sailors who traveled the stormy seas and amassed great wealth through trade. This sea-port has earned an indelible fame in the annals of Tamil Eelam. This is because it is the birthplace of Pirabaharan, founder of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Liberation (LTTE), who with popular support of the people is leading the Tamil Eelam National struggle. He is now unanimously accepted as the National Leader of Tamil Eelam. He was born in this historic village on 26th, November 1954.
“Thirumeniyar family” is one of the reputed families in Valvettithurai. Thirumeniyar is one of 4 sons born to Iyampillai Velayuthar. His brothers are Gnanamoorthiyar, Puniyamoorthiyar and Arumugathaar. Thirumeniyar’s maternal uncle Ponnambalam was a successful businessman and was conferred with the title of Mudali during the Dutch period. Thirumeniyar Venkadasalam alias Thirumeniyar Periyathambiyar erected the famous Vaitheeswaran Sivan temple of Valvai according to the wish of his father.
The temple construction commenced in 1867 and was consecrated in 1883. He renovated two more temples viz Vaikunthap Pillayar and Puddanip Pilaiyar temples. He also built many Madams for the use of pilgrims at Mullaithivu. The family also built two more temples. Valvai Muthu Mariamman temple and Nediyakadu Pillaiyar temple. Another family called Methaiveedu Nagalingam lived in the adjoining town of Point Pedro. This family was also reputed for building many temples in this area. These two families were joined together through marriage. Thiruvenkadam Velupillai of Thirumeniyar family married Paarvathy of Nagalingam family.
Pirabaharan was the youngest child born in that family. Pirabaharan has one elder brother and two elder sisters. All of them are happily married and settled down in life. One of his sisters, Vinothini Rajendram is in Canada. The other sister and brother are living in Denmark.
Pirabaharan's father served under the Ceylon government as a District Land Officer for several years. Pirabaharan’s father and mother are domiciled in Tiruchi, Tamil Nadu at present.
Pirabaharan had his education upto 10th grade at Sithamparam Vidyalayam in Oorikkadu, Valvettithurai.
In those days the sole ambition of children from affluent and middle class families was to receive good English education and then seek employment abroad or secure employment in the government. But from his childhood days Pirabaharan's way of thinking was completely different.
When he travelled with his father to the other parts of Ceylon he saw for himself how the Sinhalese policemen ill-treated innocent Tamil people by kicking and beating them. Such incidents caused shock and pain and left deep scars in his psyche.
Especially, the first major genocidal attack against the Tamils during 1958 affected his mind profoundly. Still in his teens, he heard numerous heart-aching stories of inhuman and brutal murders of Tamils by racist Sinhalese goon squads and thugs.
He heard at first hand from a widowed mother who is well known to his parents the anguish and pain she suffered. How Tamil children were killed by heartless mobs by throwing them into cauldrons of boiling tar. How a Hindu priest was burnt alive at a temple in Panadura. So when he came to know how the unfortunate Tamils have been at the receiving end of horrible attacks at the hands of Sinhalese goons, he developed deep sympathy, love and a firm resolve to defend the defenseless the Tamil people.
So he perfected an irresistible urge in his mind to free the Tamil people from the clutches of the oppressive Sinhalese government. He came to the firm and resolute conclusion that the only way to confront the racist Sinhalese government which used military might against the defenseless and innocent Tamil people is through armed struggle.
So during his student days, he and his friends learnt the art of making improvised hand grenades. On one such occasion a grenade exploded accidentally and he received burnt marks on his leg. After medical treatment the burnt area became black. This earned him the nickname 'Karikalan' (person with a blackened leg) when he was still a young lad.
The standardization system introduced by the Sinhala government in 1971 acted as a stumbling block against Tamil students gaining entry to Universities after finishing high school. Pirabaharan who studied upto 10th grade could not continue his studies because of his involvement as a liberation fighter.
Pirabaharan's parents were completely unaware of his clandestine activities. But the opportunity for the parents to know of his clandestine revolutionary activities came knocking at the door on its own.
One day a posse of policemen came in search of Pirabaharan. They knocked at the front door of his house at the unholy hour of 3 a.m. in the morning. Immediately on hearing the knocks, Pirabaharan immediately knew it is the Police had come in search of him. Sensing trouble, he vanished thorugh the back door into the darkness of the night without anyone's knowledge.
Pirabaharan’s mother opened the door and was startled to see several policemen in khaki uniform standing in front of the house. She was shocked because at that time she was unaware of Pirabaharan’s involvement in any ‘clandestine movement’. Finally, after a thorough search of the house a disappointed Police went back empty handed failing to apprehend Pirabaharan. He was only 19 years old at that time and he never returned home thereafter.
When his father came to know of his involvement in revolutionary activities, he went to Pirabaharan’s hideout and brought him back home.
Pirabaharan told his parents "I will never be of any use to you or to other members of the family. Let there be no trouble for you because of me. Please allow me to go my own way. In future never expect anything from me." So saying he left the house. Then he plunged himself fully in the clandestine activities of the movement. He became a full time activist living under ground and moving from place to place to escape arrest by the Police.
Posted by mawatha silva at 3:06 AM