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Balasingham, LTTE ideologue, dies in London

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Anton Balasingham
Anton Balasingham

B. Muralidhar Reddy

COLOMBO: Anton Balasingham(68), theoretician and political adviser of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), passed away in London on Thursday after a spell of illness.

Mr. Balasingham has been associated with the Tamil liberation struggle for more than 30 years and participated as chief negotiator of the LTTE in almost all political negotiations, beginning with the Thimpu talks in 1985.

Associate of Prabakaran

As a close associate of LTTE chief, Velupillai Prabakaran he was regarded as the `ideologue' of the Tamil Tigers.

A section of the media had speculated that the November 27 `Heroes Day' speech of Mr. Prabakaran was drafted by Mr. Balasingham.

Downplayed illness

According to TamilNet, Mr. Balasingham was suffering from diabetes for 35 years and in the late 1990s developed renal disease, for which he underwent a kidney transplant.

Commenting on his illness to TamilNet on November 22, Mr. Balasingham had said: "It is an unfortunate personal tragedy. However, when compared to the vast ocean of the collective tragedy faced by my people, my illness is merely a pebble. I am deeply sad that I am crippled by this illness, unable to contribute anything substantial towards the alleviation of the immense suffering and oppression of my people."

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