Pirabaharan with Charles Anthony
During these years, the Indian government which was closely monitoring developments in the island of Ceylon and the direction of the liberation struggle, especially the political and military maneuvers of the LTTE leader Pirabaharan, decided to intervene. Prime Minister Indra Gandhi decided to intervene on the basis of July 1983 pogrom against the Tamil people.
In July 1983, the Indian government to advance its own geo-political interests in the Indian ocean, decided to bring the island of Ceylon under its sphere of influence by applying political and military pressure.
The Indian government through RAW provided arms and training to the cadres belonging to the various militant groups fighting for the liberation of Tamil Eelam. The Indian government strategy was to give extra arms and money to some of the movements, so that it could manipulate at will the military balance between them in such a way as to bring the LTTE and its leader, who took an uncompromising stand on the question of Tamil Eelam liberation, under its control. If this was not possible then to destroy the LTTE completely.
Pirabaharan who was sharp enough to see through the Indian government's machinations drew up his own plans. While accepting Indian government offers of arms and training, he secretively and without the knowledge of the Indian government and its spy agency RAW managed to induct supplies of arms and ammunitions necessary for a liberation war into Tamil Eelam.
Military operations commenced on 24th February 1984. Under the leadership of Pirabaharan armed struggle in Tamil Eelam became intensified. Tiger formations launched systematic and continuous guerilla attacks on the army and killed hundreds of soldiers. The infuriated army in retaliation attacked and killed unarmed civilians. Yet the people of Tamil Eelam in spite of the suffering were highly elated at the unprecedented military feats of the Tigers under the leadership of Pirabaharan.
On October 24, 1984 Prime Minister Indra Gandhi was killed by her own bodyguards. Rajiv Gandhi who was an air pilot by profession and the eldest son of Indra Gandhi was appointed Prime Minister of India. He had no experience in politics and entertained wrong notions about the ethnic conflict raging in Sri Lanka. He was ignorant of the dynamics of the Tamil Eelam liberation struggle, especially about understanding Pirabaharan. Right from the time of assuming office, he failed to appreciate the fact that Tamils in Sri Lanka suffered oppression at the hands of the Sri Lankan government and they have been denied even the basic rights as a people. Hence he started acting favorably towards the Sinhalese government and in hostility to the Tamil Eelam freedom struggle. This attitude created tensions between the Indian government and Pirabaharan, more precisly between Rajiv Gandhi and Pirabaharan.
Pirabaharan at the age of 31 married Mathivathani, an under-graduate student of the Jaffna University in 1984. She is from Punkudutivu, an island situated off the Jaffna peninsula. They have two sons and one daughter.