Posted on May 18th, 2009

By Walter Jayawardhana

Karuna Amman alias Vinayagamoorthy Muralidharan , former body guard of Velupillai Prabhakaran , and presently Minister of the Sri Lanka government told BBC-Radio 4ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s respected reporter Andrew Hosken that the dead terrorist leaderƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s down fall started with the assassination of former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi by a Tamil Tiger suicide bomber.

Referring to the assassination Karuna said “That was a big mistake because following that, 20 countries banned us as a terrorist organisation. Before that, many governments had been supportive of us behind the scenes.”

In the interviewƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Karuna has not mentioned about the countries supporting the terrorist group behind the scene.

Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated through a plot by Prabhakaran and Pottuamman who died at the hands of the military few days ago ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ and the actual killing was done at Siriperumbudur, a suburb of the Tamil Nadu city of Chennai.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  The former ideologue of the LTTE, the late Anton Balasingham also calling it a monumental historical tragedy, regretted it but immediately after that the LTTE officially backtracked on it.

In TodayƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s program Andre Hosken reported, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-According to Karuna, Prabhakaran’s first serious strategic mistake came in May 1991 with the assassination of the Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. By then the Tigers’ eastern military commander, Karuna claims he had no fore knowledge of the operation but immediately suspected Prabhakaran and his intelligence chief Pottu Amman because the assassination had been carried out by a suicide bomber, an LTTE hallmark.

“I told Prabhakaran that he had made a big mistake,” says Karuna. “He denied it but I knew.

“That was a big mistake because following that, 20 countries banned us as a terrorist organisation. Before that, many governments had been supportive of us behind the scenes.”

Prabhakaran killed Gandhi to punish India for its military intervention in Sri Lanka in the late 1980s, but in the long term, the killing would severely damage the LTTE’s cause.

Kruna in the program also told Hosken that Prabhakaran never came forward and fought face to face with the foe during a battle. That corroborates with what happened during the final hours of Prabhakarans life. Without fighting with the enemy or biting the cyanide capsule as he had ordered others to do , he boarded an armor plated vehicle with ambulance markings and fled. Prabhakaran , died when it was destroyed by rocket fire.

Andrew Hosken in the Karuna interview said, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-He also grew contemptuous of Prabhakaran. He says, “In my 22 years with Prabhakaran, he never once came to the battlefield; he always stayed behind the lines. Everyone knows Prabhakaran as this iron man; Prabhakaran – the very big man and the born leader. But he was never like that.”

Karuna also said , during this interview broadcast before the demise of Prabhakaran, ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Prabhakaran will never surrender to the army because he knows his crimes. Or he will be killed by the army, and for the future peace of Sri Lanka, that would definitely be a good thing

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