SRI LANKAN TAMIL LEADER SAYS
PRABHAKARAN THE FILM CANNOT ADVERSELY AFFECT THE WHOLE TAMIL RACE AND
TO SAY SO IS A LAME EXCUSE
By Walter Jayawardhana
By showing a film exposing the atrocious activities of the Liberation
Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) cannot become a problem faced by the Tamils
in general and in no way bring discredit to the entire Tamil race ,
said V. Ananda Sangaree the President of the Tamil United Liberation
Front (TULF) , considered the leader of the moderate Tamils in Sri Lanka.
The Tamil leader , who is a veteran ex-parliamentarian and described
as one on the hit list of the LTTE, was speaking in reference to the
detained film entitled Prabhakaran allegedly by a pro-LTTE
political group at the Gemini colour laboratories in Chennai, Tamil
The film negatives were taken to the laboratories to process different
language copies to be distributed in India and Sri Lanka. When the director
of the film Thushara Peiris went to Chennai to collect the reels both
negatives and positives, he was set upon by a pro-LTTE mob at the Gemini
Colour Laboratories and his films snatched from him. Thereafter the
alleged mob leader obtained a temporary restraining order from the courts
to stop the release for a week arguing it would affect the whole Tamil
Ananda Sangaree said , With all respect to the film producers
of Tamil Nadu I wish to point out that every film produced in Tamil
Nadu cannot be categorised as a classical one. There are
thousands that can be classified as classical. But some
films produced in Tamil Nadu and screened here, cannot be viewed together
with children and grand-children. Some films, even a married couple
cannot view together. But no Sinhalese organisation ever bothered to
snatch away the copy of any film or bother to go to courts under any
circumstances. The democratic rights are so much respected by the ordinary
He further said that the Tamils do face many problems. Those problems,
no doubt, need a solution. Production of a film, exposing the LTTEs
atrocious activities, is not the problem the Tamils are facing today.
I do not known this gentleman Mr. Thushara Peiris who produced the film
Prabaharan. Neither I saw the film nor do I know what is
contained in it. My information is that, this person is a moderate non-communal
Sinhalese gentleman. In any case my contention is, a few people who
blindly support the LTTE, a ferocious and a ruthless terrorist organisation
for reasons best known to them, cannot bring discredit to the entire
Tamil race that is proud of its culture and civilization. Let the law
take its own course without some persons taking the law in to their
The Sri Lankan Tamil leader said that he hoped that good sense will
prevail and the film rolls will be returned to the owner on the orders
of the court.
He further claimed, I am aware that two film producers from India
had come to Sri Lanka and had visited the LTTE leaders in Kilinochchi.
They returned without getting behind the Iron Curtain to find out what
type of life the Tamil people are leading under the LTTE and without
speaking to any civilian. Even the facilitator Mr. Erik Solhein had
no access to those areas. If so, how can the producers who visited Kilinochchi
issue statements glorifying the LTTE merely based on the hospitality
shown to them in Kilinochchi by the LTTE cadre, who have deprived our
people of almost all their rights.
The people who live in the LTTE controlled areas want to be liberated.
Every family had already given over one son or daughter to the LTTE
under threat and compulsion. The LTTE is now waiting to take the children
who reach the age of 18 to joint their cadre. Only those, be it in India
or elsewhere who are prepared to hand over one child from his or her
family, to the LTTE to join the fighting cadre, have a right to talk
in support of the LTTE and no other person has any moral right to do
so. Let no one glorify the LTTE by sacrificing under compulsion, the
children of poor parents of Kilinochchi and earn the good-will of the
I am the only one, of all the Tamil politician in Sri Lanka, who
had lived in Kilinochchi since 1959 and represented the Kilinochchi
Electoral in Parliament for 14 years. I gave up my seat in Parliament
protesting against the decision of the Government in 1983 to extend
the term of Parliament by a full term of six years which is never done
in any country except during a world war. It was I who got the Kilinochchi
District carved out, from the Jaffna District. I know the sufferings
of the people. My appeal to Tamil Nadu once again is to have sympathy
for the Tamil people of Sri Lanka and to help to liberate them first
from the LTTE and thereafter to help to find a solution to the ethnic
problem. I plead to Tamil Nadu not to encourage the LTTE to continue
their atrocious activities and to pressurise them to give up the demand
for separation and to accept a Federal Solution or to accept the Indian
Model of devolution.
I had on a number of occasions in the past made it clear to the
Tamil Nadu Leaders that they have no moral right to demand a separate
state of Tamil Eelam in Sri Lanka. The Sri Lankans as a whole are much
concerned in safeguarding the Sovereignty and Integrity of Sri Lanka
as much as the Indians who are much concerned about the Sovereignty
and Integrity of their country. Which ever party that had come to power
in India at the Centre and in Tamil Nadu had not failed to declare that
they will not support a division in Sri Lanka.
Any one supporting the LTTE in Tamil Nadu can challenge any part
of this letter as untrue or as an exaggerated version. More than half
of the Sri Lankan Tamil population had left their traditional residences
and are living in the South among the Sinhalese and the Muslims, peacefully.
They left their homes mainly to save their children from compulsory
recruitment by the LTTE to their fighting cadre. Many more had fled
the country and sought asylum in various countries. Most of those who
had come to India did so to save their children from the LTTE and to
have them educated. All the Muslims living in the North were driven
out, deprived of all their possession including their houses and jewellery.
Even small childrens ear-studs had been removed and were allowed
to take only Rs. 500/- each. They are now in the 17th year languishing
in refugee camps in the south hoping to return to their homes one day
The children of leaders of the LTTE and of their spokesman are
having their education abroad, while children of poor parents are recruited
compulsorily and sent to the battle-front, with just two to three months
training, where they die daily in large numbers. Very soon hardly one
youth will be left alive in the LTTE held area.
I take full responsibility for all what I have written here and
I am prepare to meet any one and explain further. These facts can be
verified from a few TNA Members of Parliament who are presently camping
in Chennai. Tamil Nadu has a major roll to play in solving the ethnic
problem in Sri Lanka by independent thinking and not by being mis-guided
by the LTTE supporter.
At a time when relationship between India and Sri Lanka should
be strong, I fear that retention of the film Prabaharan
or delay in releasing it to the owner Mr. Thushara Peiris may cause
a lot of embarrassment and loss of good-will detrimental to all of us.
The Tamil speaking Deputy High Commissioner Mr. P. M. Amza attached
to the Sri Lankan Mission in Chennai can help to save the situation.