The Eelam war IV, is likely to permanently seal the
fate of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE),
who are pushed against the wall as the war is
restricted to small patch.
According to the military, the Tigers are confined
to the remaining 58 square kilometers of land space,
which is yet controlled by the Tigers. Pressure is
mounting from the international community for both
the government and the LTTE to hammer out a
However, the government led by President Mahinda
Rajapaksa is determined to defeat the LTTE
One wonders what is in store for the LTTE after they
are defeated. At present, the Tigers have not given
up their struggle to counter the thrust of the
government Forces, in whatever possible way.
Though astrologers have predicted that LTTE leader
Velupillai Pirabhakaran has left the country,
intelligence reports strongly indicate that he is
still present – and intact, and heavily engaged in
fighting the government forces along with the
As the fierce battle between the Armed Forces and
the LTTE is fast reducing the territories held by
the LTTE, the public obviously would be interested
to know the details of the number of hardcore LTTE
cadres who are still loyal to LTTE chief
Pirabhakaran and fighting the war.
The LTTE chief is still supported by his loyal
lieutenants who wittingly or unwittingly joined the
outfit some years ago. Except for the breakaway that
occurred in 2004 by Karuna Amman, there has not been
any record of similar occurrence in the past.
In the Tiger history it is only Karuna who has had
the gumption to secede from the LTTE, and is also
the only one to have survived so far, unhurt. Others
who have made similar attempts had been executed by
Pirabhakaran himself. There has not been any room
for mutiny in the LTTE in the past.
With the territory held by the Tiger rebels is fast
shrinking following the ongoing onslaught by the
government Forces, it is believed that all the top
LTTE cadres are also trapped within the 58 square
kilometers of land space in the Mullaitivu district.
Birth of militants
The armed struggle of the Tamils in the north first
sparked off in 1970. This was following the failure
of the moderate Tamil political party leaders, to
provide a concrete answer to the many injustices
caused to the Tamil minority by the successive
The political structure of the Tamil United Front (TUF),
founded on a conservative ideology, could not
provide the answer to the youths who demanded a
It became very clear to the Tamil youth that the
Tamil national leaders, though they championed the
cause of the Tamils, had failed to formulate any
concrete practical programme of political action to
liberate the oppressed Tamils.
The inability to make any offer to the Tamil youth
prompted the youths in turn to take it upon
themselves the responsibility to fight for their
It is the Tamil Student Federation (TSF), which was
formed in 1970, that encouraged student activists to
take up the militant path. Thereafter, the TSF
organised massive student protests against the
government’s discriminatory educational policy of ‘standardisation,’
and organised various seminars and conferences,
thereby providing the ideal platform to voice their
By this time the disenchanted young militants had
resolved to launch violent campaigns individually,
and as groups. As a result, violence flared in the
form of political assassinations, bombings,
shootings, arson against government property and
raids on state banks.
The government Security Forces, counter attacked
extreme violence by arresting those involved in the
arson. The Police started to raid the offices of the
TSF, and arrested the leaders, including the TSF’s
Subjected to intolerable torture, the leaders of the
TSF confessed the names of important militant
activists who were engaged in the series of
political violence that rocked the very foundation
of the north. Faced with the threat of a Police
hunt, most of the notorious militant activists went
Among them was a young boy of 16, who was
passionately committed to the cause of the freedom
struggle, and who became a hunted and most wanted
He was none other than Velupillai Pirabhakaran who
now heads the LTTE.
Since then, Sri Lanka has witnessed the struggle led
by the LTTE, with a clear demand for a separate
While the media, both local and international have
spoken much about the trapped civilians and their
plight in the north, very little is mentioned about
the trapped LTTE cadres who are fighting, perhaps
their last battle, before they are either caught
alive or annihilated. It is very unlikely that they
would surrender to the government Forces.
The Nation, in the pure interest of the public will
today give out some details of the trapped LTTE
cadres and their back ground, as most of the cadres
loyal to Pirabhakaran, and fighting the battle in
the jungles of the north, are more or less the last
remnants of the LTTE, as explained by UPFA
Parliamentarian Karuna Amman.
It is no secret that the LTTE which used to be once
a powerful force, has now been reduced to such a few
numbers, that even a head count at present might be
According to the available information with the
local media, it is learnt that Pirabhakaran is
determined to fight the last battle with a selected
number of his loyalists.
The Nation learns that an estimated 13 hardcore
Tigers are still with Pirabhakaran, and are engaged
in the present conflict. Most of the well trained
cadres have either been executed by the LTTE
leadership, or have lost their lives during
different military operations with the government
Forces, over a period of time.
The last remaining Tigers
Velupillai Pirabhakaran was born on
November 26, 1954, in Valvettiturai, a northern coastal town
in the Jaffna Peninsula. Historically, Valvettiturai is
known for its adventurous seafarers and daring smuggling
exploits. The place is also famous for militant resistance.
Pirabhakaran is the last child of Vallipuram Parvathy and
her husband Thiruvenkadam Velupillai. He has two sisters and
a brother. His father was a government civil servant working
as a District Land Officer. Pirabhakaran fell in love with
Madhivadani, a Jaffna university undergraduate and married
her in 1986. The marriage took place in Madras. He is a
father of two.
Bhanu (Special Commander): Bhanu is a
resident of Ariyalai, Jaffna and was born in 1964. He joined
the movement in 1983. He has studied up to the GCE Ordinary
Level. He is one of the cadres who was given military
training in India, along with Karuna and other senior
He was also a member of the first batch of 360 cadres who
were sent to India for an extensive military training
course. This batch of 360 was broken into three small
batches, and Bhanu was in the second batch, while Karuna was
in the third batch.
He was based in Madurai during his training period. He is
married with three children. Upon his arrival from India
after his training, he was closely working with the LTTE
area commander for Mannar called Victor.
During the Jayasikuru operation which was led by Karuna, he
was appointed as Karuna’s deputy, and was in charge of the
mortar unit -120. There were two units, namely the mortar
unit and the artillery unit in the LTTE. The mortar unit was
handled by Bhanu. He continues to be loyal to Pirabhakaran,
and still remains in the jungles. Before joining the
movement he was an employee attached to the Kankesanthurai
Commander): He is a resident of
Pavatkulam Vavuniya and was born in 1965. He too obtained
extensive training in India in 1983. He was in the third
batch with Karuna, but was loyal to the former LTTE deputy
leader Mahatya, who was later executed by Pirabhakaran.
After Mahatya was arrested, Jeyam was also tortured and was
to be executed along with Mahatya.
According to information, his nails had all been removed
during the period he was under torture. But he was not among
the 17 cadres branded as Mahatya loyalists, who were killed
along with Mahatya. On a directive issued by Pirabhakaran,
Mahatya and the rest were killed by Pottu Amman. Jeyam
became popular after he obtained a pardon from Pirabhakaran,
following a letter he personally wrote to Pirabhakaran.
The letter written by Jeyam was so moving and apologetic,
that it immediately changed Pirabhakaran’s mind. This change
of heart gave Jeyam a second chance to live. Thereafter he
decided to give up the armed struggle, but could not do so
due to pressure. He then ran to Trincomalee for safety. But
during the Jayasikuru operation, he was picked up by Karuna
and was used in the operation. The Jayasikuru operation was
led from the LTTE side by Karuna, who is a Member of
Jeyam is married with two children. He has also studied only
up to the Ordinary Level. He is one cadre who is said to
have the highest knowledge of the entire terrain of the
north and east.
(Deputy Intelligence Leader): He is
a native of Trincomalee and was given training in India.
However he was not fortunate to obtain training from the
Indian military experts like his seniors. He was from the
fourth batch that went to India for training. The first
three batches were the ones who obtained extensive training
from the Indian experts.
Cadres who went thereafter, were given training by the LTTE
seniors themselves who were based in India. He worked with
Santhosam Master in Trincomalee. He is not described as a
fighter, but has from the inception, he worked in the
Intelligence Unit of the LTTE.
He has also studied only up to the Ordinary Level. He is
married with two children.
(Commander, Sea Tigers): He is
wanted by the Interpol. He has also lost his sea base during
the ongoing conflict. He is a native of Vadamarachchi like
Pirabhakaran, and was born in 1962.
He too obtained training in India with Bhanu. He is
originally from a fisher family, but is a capable and
energetic sea fighter. He became very popular within the
movement after he started to smuggle various things from
He became a confidante of Pirabhakaran because he was a
native of Vadamarachchi. The creation of the Sea Tigers was
the result of the daring acts of Soosai in smuggling things
through the various sea routes. This was how he became the
head of the Sea Tiger unit. He is not a ground fighter, but
he shows his ability only in the sea.
During the IPKF operation in the north, he was caught in an
ambush and was injured. He, at present is not able to walk
properly due to his injury. He has also been punished
several times by Pirabhakaran for his involvement with
various women, but has been pardoned because he is a native
of the Tiger leader’s native birth place-Vadamarachchi.
He too has studied only up to the Ordinary Level. He is
married with three children.
(Commander, Black Tigers): He too is
wanted by the Interpol. A warrant has also been issued by
the Sri Lanka and the Indian courts, over the assassination
of the late Indian Premier Rajiv Gandhi.
He too obtained his training in India, in the second batch
of cadres to be trained. He is a native of Ariyalai in
Jaffna. During the IPKF presence in the north, he ran away
to India without the knowledge of Pirabhakaran, and returned
only after the complete withdrawal of the IPKF.
As a punishment, he was later sent to the east to serve in
Batticaloa for one year. During this time he was kept under
special observation under the leadership of Karuna. He has
been used by Pirabhakaran to execute LTTE cadres who defied
He married a woman in Batticaloa and is the father of three
– two boys and one girl. He also suffers from an acute back
ache and is not fit for ground battle.
(Special Commander): He is one of
the junior members of the LTTE. He is not a ground fighter
but is used for intelligence work. He is assigned to look
into the monitoring of the intelligence reports the LTTE
receives from various sources.
He obtained the title ‘Master’ after he was appointed to
instruct physical training to the LTTE cadres. He is a
native of Jaffna. He was also in charge of the physical
training units of the Imbram and Pandiyan regiments of the
The two regiments have been named after two of Pirabhakaran
loyalists who lost their lives in an operation. Ratnam
Master was originally Pirabhakaran’s body guard.
(Special Commander): He is a native
of Vattakkatchi in Jaffna and is believed to be the
brightest of the cadres. He was born in 1965 and has
completed his Advanced Level. He was a science student from
a leading college in Jaffna.
He was trained by the former LTTE deputy leader Mahatya. He
is generally rated as number one in defensive battle. He was
also appointed as the second in command by Karuna, during
the Jayasikuru operation against the Sri Lanka Forces. He is
married but has no children.
(Special Commander): He is a native
of Trincomalee and was originally Pirabhakaran’s body guard.
He was born in 1962. He also obtained his initial military
training in India. He was a member of the third batch that
was sent to India for training.
After Mahatya’s execution, he was also subjected to torture
and various other punishments. But later became very loyal
to his master.
He is married with three children. His mother is a native of
Jaffna while his father is from the east. He has also
studied up to the Ordinary Level.
Though not recognised as a ground fighter, he is supposed to
be having a good leadership quality and is capable of being
(Special Commander): He is a native
of the east. He was born in Arasadi Thivu in Batticaloa in
1963, and was educated at Shivananda College in Kallady,
Batticaloa. He has studied up to the Advanced Level. Though
not categorised as a good fighter, he is known for his
He is capable of handling logistics and preparing reports.
He is also good at conducting researches. He has not been
working in close association with the LTTE leader, but has
been loyal to the former eastern commander Karuna.
After Karuna broke away from the LTTE, he went to the north
to join the LTTE leader. He is married with two children.
His wife is originally from Mutur in Trincomalee.
(Political Wing Leader): He was
originally a Police Constable (PC) attached to the Sri Lanka
Police. He is a native of Vadamarachchi and studied in
During his service in Jaffna he passed on some important
information about the Police station to the LTTE Jaffna
commander Kittu. And this piece of information was helpful
for the LTTE to successfully overrun the Jaffna Police
station later on. He was subsequently absorbed into the LTTE.
He was also the first head of the Police unit of the LTTE
and succeeded Tamil Selvan after he was killed, as the head
of the political wing of the LTTE.
He was sent to India, not for any military training, but to
work in the military office of the LTTE in India.
He is married with three children. His wife is a Sinhalese
woman from the South.
of the Sothiya Women’s Brigade): There
are two women’s brigades in the LTTE, both named after two
women fighters who had died. One of them was Sothiya. Thurga
is the head of this unit.
She was born in 1971 and is a native of Waligamam in Jaffna.
She was trained by Karuna. She was also injured during the
Jayasikuru operation and became partially disabled.
She was originally a body guard of Pirabhakaran, and has
studied up to the Advanced Level. Unmarried, she is brave
of the Malathi Brigade): The other women’s
brigade in the LTTE is the Malathi brigade, also named after
Malathi – a woman fighter.
Vithusha was born in 1969 and is from Chavakachcheri. She
was also an active member during the Jayasikuru operation
under Karuna. She received her training locally and remains
of the political press department): Illango
is a native of Jaffna. He donated one of his kidneys to the
LTTE theoretician Dr. Anton Balasingham, when the latter
suffered a severe kidney failure.
Illango has also spent a number of years abroad. He is not
categorised as a hardcore fighter.
Following are details of a few other senior LTTE cadres
who are no longer seen and believed dead:
who has been a close friend of the
local and international media, is said to have been silenced
due to his overt intimacy with the Southern based media
alias Marshall has also been
reportedly silenced. According to a website he has also
allegedly been executed due to his links with the Southern
Marshall, a native of the east, was also a musician. He was
a product of St. Michael’s college Batticaloa. Married with
The names of these cadres who have been killed in the war
will go down in the history of their struggle for a separate
state, martyrs or heroes. But the question is whether their
personal sacrifice has served the purpose of the struggle they
took upon themselves. We, as a nation, will have to wait and