Tamil nationalist movement leader Pazha Nedumaran claimed, on February 13, 2023, that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) leader, Velupillai Prabakaran was still alive, and would emerge in public soon.
Reading out a statement at a press conference in Thanjavur at Mullivaikkal Mutram, Mr. Nedumaran said the time was now appropriate for the LTTE leader to come out in the open in the context of the Sinhalese protest against Mahinda Rajapaksa and the international situation.
Stating that it was a pleasurable moment to declare that ‘Thamizh Desiya Thalaivar’ (Tamil Nationalist Leader) Prabakaran was hale and healthy, he said that this announcement should put an end to the ‘rumours’ about his death.
Calling upon the people of Tamil Eelam and Tamilians all over the world to extend their support to Prabakaran, he said the LTTE leader would be announcing a course of action for the “dawn” and betterment of the Tamils.
The LTTE had never allowed the countries which opposed India to set foot on their land nor did it have any relationship with these countries. It did not take help from then, he said. Mr. Nedumaran exhorted the Indian Government to initiate necessary steps to prevent China from firming up its presence in the island nation.
He also urged the Tamil Nadu government, all political parties in Tamil Nadu, and the people of Tamil Nadu to express their support to the LTTE leader Prabhakaran at this “crucial juncture.”
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He declined to answer queries seeking proof of his claim that the LTTE leader is still alive. He maintained that “they were in touch with the LTTE leader” and would say nothing more than that.
Prabakaran who led a separatist war for the island nation’s Tamil minority as the head of LTTE was declared killed by the Sri Lankan government troops on May 18, 2009 in Mullaivaikkal in the northern Mullaithivu district.
The ‘discovery’ of the body marked the end to the two-and-a-half-decade-long civil war.
However, some Tamil nationalist hardliners doubted the government’s version and claim that Prabakaran may still be alive, after escaping from the final battle zone in 2009.
No confirmation: Vaiko
MDMK leader Vaiko, on Monday, said the LTTE fighters who were in touch with him had not confirmed Mr. Nedumaran’s claim.
“The fighters who were with Prabakaran in the battle for Tamil Eelam are still alive. Those who are in touch with me have not confirmed the announcement of Nedumaran,” Mr. Vaiko, an ardent supporter of the LTTE said.
Seeman sidesteps claim
Naam Tamilar Katchi chief co-ordinator Seeman, on Monday tried to side-step the startling claim made by former Congress leader Pazha Nedumaaran.
Speaking to the reporters in Erode while campaigning for bypoll in Erode (East) Assembly constituency, Mr. Seeman said he too got a call from London on ‘Maveerar Day’, which is observed on November 27 each year to remember the sacrifices of fighters of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, to announce that LTTE chief Prabhakaran was indeed alive.
“I got a call from London on ‘Maveerar Dhinam’ that I must make a statement that ‘Annan’ [Prabhakaran] is alive. I said, ‘Let Annan himself communicate this to me’ and moved on. Ayya (Nedumaran) did not tell me anything. Like everybody else, I too learnt about this from press conference. There is no need to debate this,” he said.