'Letter from the east gave Pirapaharan confidence' – author

[TamilNet, Saturday, 22 February 2003, 00:03 GMT]
"On August 4, 1987 our leader asked the large gathering on the Suthumalai grounds in Jaffna whether the Liberation Tigers should hand over their weapons to the Indian army. He was deeply distressed when many cheered him to do so. But it was a letter from this soil that convinced him not to surrender the arms," said Manalaaru Vijayan, the author of a book on massacres of Tamils in the Batticaloa-Amparai Districts by the Sri Lankan armed forces, released Friday.

He was addressing a meeting in the Eastern University organized to launch his book.

Massacres of Tamils in the Batticaloa-Amparai, book release.
Manalaaru Vijayan
"Eastern province should be proud of people like Lingaiah who wrote to our leader at that time, urging him not to surrender our arms as these weapons were acquired with great difficulty and with a lot of sacrifices from our fighters," Vijayan said.

Lingaiah was killed by the SLA while trying to protect a group of the Liberation Tigers near the Verugal river, north of Batticaloa. "He died while he prayed to Mother Verugal, pleading with her to protect the boys. He fell dead, with his hands still clasped in prayer; but he saved our colleagues,” the author said.

Massacres of Tamils in the Batticaloa-Amparai, book release.
Krishan, LTTE's media coordinator for Batticaloa-Amparai
"What happened in Sri Lanka during the last two decades is genocide of Tamils. It is inappropriate to call this an ethnic conflict," Vijayan said.

The LTTE's special commander for the Batticaloa Amparai District, Mr. T.Ramesh, released two books by Vijayan one on mass murders by the SLA in the region, the other, a book of biographical sketches of men and women who were murdered for their association with the Tamil Liberation movement.

"Vijayan's book very forcefully documents how we, the Tamils, have been subjected to continuous and gross violation of our right to life by the Sri Lankan state. What he has documented is only a small part of the suffering of the people here.

"When we bring to light all the massacres that were perpetrated on our people and how whole villages were razed to the ground by the Sri Lankan armed forces it would be clear that we have been subjected to a genocide project by the Sri Lankan state. Under UN conventions this entitles the Tamils to exercise the right of self determination,” said Mr. S. Krishan, the LTTE's media co-ordinator for the Batticaloa-Amparai District, introducing Mr. Vijayan's work.

Massacres of Tamils in the Batticaloa-Amparai, book release.
(R-L) Mr.Ramesh, Manalaaru Vijeyan and Dr.S.Mookaiah, Vice Chancellor of the Eastern University.
The Vice Chancellor of the Eastern University, Dr. M. S Mookaiah also addressed the book launch.


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