MIC President, Samy Vellu issued a statement in Tamil Nesan on the demise of Vellupillai Prabakaran, the Chief of Liberation Tigers Of Tamil Elam (LTTE) Samy Vellu glorified Prabakaran in MIC’s official mouthpiece saying that Prabakaran is matyr, praising his determination to defend the Tamils in Sri Lanka and his decades long struggle to seek a separate state for Tamils.
In short, Samy Vellu says Prabakaran death is a great loss to the Tamils worldwide and he will go down in the history as one of the greatest Tamil Warrior.
If anyone had cared to notice, Tamil Newspapers had, in the last week or so, turned into somewhat a Tamil Nadu newspaper. All the main stories are either about the war in Sri Lanka, IPL (Indian Premier League cricket) or the Indian elections. I am not surprised as this has been the case for quite some time. I myself had to check the newspaper masthead to verify if I am actually looking at a local newspaper at the newsstands.
Indian Malaysians affinity with India and SriLanka has never wavered over the decades since independence. Indian Malaysians still worry about the happenings in India although the number of people with direct relatives and friends has dwindled. I for one, no longer know or in touch with any relatives in India.
Samy Vellu’s statement would be no different from sentiments, feelings and opinion of fellow Tamilians in Malaysia, be it from BN or Pakatan Rakyat supporters. They have over the years been a silent sympathizers and supporters LTTE and Prabakaran. Some have gone to the extend of donating to LTTE although this has never been published or verified.
The recent demonstration by Tamil Malaysians, led by an opposition leader at the Chinese Embassy reflects the sentiment on the ground. They carried Prabakaran’s portrait during the demonstration which was called to protest purported involvement of the Chinese government in supplying arms to the Sri lankan government
Local Tamil newspapers have always been featuring stories on LTTE and Prabakaran since it’s (LTTE) existence. I still remember that a local Tamil Newspaper (can’t recall which one) was reprimanded and had it’s license suspended for running a series of articles glorying the LTTE, few years ago.
Due to this huge support from Malaysian Tamils, Hindraf have been many times labeled as Malaysian version of LTTE by Tamil Malaysians themselves. This may have caused HINDRAF to be inadvertently associated with LTTE by the authorities.
Tamil people in Tamil Nadu and it’s government have been supporting LTTE for many years . Successive Chief Ministers of Tamil Nadu met Prabakaran and supported LTTE financially until the 90s when Rajiv Ghandhi was assasinated and when LTTE was declared a terrorist organization by the UN.
I have, not long ago, come in contact with some Sri Lankans in the course of my work. I have befriended both Tamils and Sinhalese (the majority race in Sri Lanka) and I do get two different versions of events and stories on the claim for separate Tamil State in Northern Sri Lanka.
The Tamil Lankans (as they call themselves) told me various stories of discrimination, intimidation, mysterious disappearance of loved ones, murder and torture by the Sri Lankan police and related authorities. The Sinhalese friend on the other hand, related his father’s experience of witnessing LTTE’s killing of Sinhalese Lankans.
While I cannot judge who is right or wrong, one thing is quite clear, there is so much of hatred there. These Sri Lankans came to Malaysia together only in name and profession but they refused to go lunch/dinner or weekends outings together. They did work together as a matter of professionalism though.
While both Tamils and Sinhalese claim that they are right to pursue their interest (One country and Separate Tamil state respectively ), it cannot be denied that something is not right with them as some point as diplomacy were not seriously explored despite the mediation by the Norwegian government.
Norway, unlike other major powers, not only took the war seriously, they also provided aid to the Sri Lankan government. LTTE has been accused many times of breaking promise of ceasefire brokered by the Norwegian government. On the other hand, the extend of violence, death and displacements of Lankan Tamils has never been ably and independently verified as the foreign press have never been freely allowed into the war zone (northern Sri Lanka).
Prabakaran is not dead, claims the LTTE spokesperson from Toronto and Tamil Malaysians in general believes he is still alive. A Tamil daily in India even published a picture of Prabakaran (see above) watching news of his death on television while holding a daily with news of his death as headline. This reminds me of the time when notorious gangster bentong Kali was killed by the Police. Many at that time, believed that Bentong Kali was ‘protected’ and never trusted polices’ version of event.
Samy Vellu and Tamil Malaysians must have conveniently forgotten that LTTE was responsible for introducing suicide bombers to the world, cyanide usage and scores of other guerilla tactics now employed by various terrorist groups in the world.
Samy Vellu and Tamil Malaysians also forgot that LTTE was responsible for the assassination of Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Ghandi, A Sri lankan President, nearly killed the Sri lankan Prime Minister and not to mention, nearly 30,000 soldiers and civilians (both Tamils and Sinhalese) in the last 2 decades. It is said that the Lankan soldier killed more than 50,000 Tamils.
Samy Vellu was a minister when Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated by LTTE suicide bomber in Tamil Nadu and he, with fellow Tamil Malaysian expressed their outrage, condemned the violence and expressed their sympathy to the Indian government then. He and fellow Tamil Malaysians seems to have forgotten all that now.
Tamil Malaysians and the likes of Samy Vellu appears failed to weigh and judge what is right or wrong in Sri Lankan war as RACE and RACIAL interest and nothing else clouded their mind, judgement and mass murderer Prabakaran is now a Tamil Warrior.