In my last episode I noted about Thamby Prabaharan, who asked to be allowed in the meeting I had with Kuddimany, Thangathurai and several others in Valvettithurai on 29.11.1970, was refused, and that he waited till the end of the meeting, and met me with his friend Sureshkumar, in front of the community Centre, when I came out after meeting. In this episode, I will detail what we talked about in this first meeting and about some incidents happened afterwards.
Prabaharan, who was waiting for around 2 hours outside, came to when I came out after meeting, identified himself, and clarified some matters I have talked in the previous day’s meeting at Sithampara College. After meeting in front of the community Centre we talked and walked towards the house of Sureshkumar. We reached Sureshkumar house and our conversation continued inside Sureshkumar’s house. After further clarifying about the standardization on a Tamil- Sinhala language basis, he asked me to take him as a member of the Manavar Peravai. I was reluctant to take him in as he was not an Advanced Level student and I asked him to wait till he reached Advanced Level.
But I could not push aside the insistence and the commitment of Prabaharan to join the Manavar Peravai. Although I had earlier refused requests from some students after the end of the meeting held at the Community Centre, attracted by the eagerness with which Prabaharan talked with me, I consented to take him and Sureshkumar into Manavar Peravai.
Prabaharan and his friend Sureshkumar were the first students who joined the Thamil Manavar Peravai after it was formed on 23rd November 1970. Yellow coloured membership cards were given to them as evidence of their membership. This became the first step to the Himalayan contributions of Prabaharan toward the Liberation Struggle of Tamil People. It is notable that Prabaharan who was born in 1954 had passed only two days after his 16th birthday when he joined the Thamil Manavar Peravai.
At the end of the meeting that day, I advised them to prepare well for examination and bid them good-bye after promising them to meet them after the examination. The meeting with should have given them much satisfaction. They came up to the bus stand and saw me off.
I returned to Jaffna and immersed myself in Manavar Peravai Propaganda works. Although I had advised Prabaharan to wait till G.C.E (O.L) and to concentrate on the examination the liberation flame blazing inside his heart did not permit him to concentrate on the exam. During the conversation with him I also told him about Badi-ud-deen.
Prabaharan decided to teach a lesson to him utilizing a conducive opportunity. He secretly made the preparation in a house belonging to one Yogaguru, located at Vembadi area in Valveddithurai. Yogaguru was running an eating house at Maharagama in the south. It was school holidays time. All the members of the Yogaguru house hold, except Prabaharan’s friend and a younger son of Yogaguru, Surajan, were away at Maharagama.
On the guise of combine study with Surajan, Prabaharan would leave his home and he planned the anti-Badi-ud-deen activity there. Using a khaki coloured trouser and an old shirt of his father he made an effigy of Badi-ud deen with the help of his reliable friends. He stuffed hay, rags and cotton into his father’s clothes and made the effigy. Sivapali alias Sivapalan, Kulam alias Kulasingam, Thambiyaiah alias Rajendra and Nades along with Prabaharan and his long time close friend Mahendrarajah alias Mohan participated in this activity.
On the last day of the 1970 December G.C.E (O.L), during the twilight hours, of the morning they hanged an effigy Badi-ud-deen written on it, from a branch of a Neam tree at Vembadi. This incident could be noted as the first anti- Government activity in the history of the liberation struggle for Tamil Eelam, led by Prabaharan. This was related to me later by Prabaharan. I will update in detail many information and incidents connected to Prabaharan later.
Meanwhile we under took propaganda in many parts of Jaffna and inducted many students into Manavar Peravai. Then we proceeded to Kilinochchi, Mannar, Mullaitheevu, Vavuniya , Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Amparai districts, undertook propaganda and recruited new members. By the last days of 1970, we have rallied large number of students and had build up Manavar Peravai into a strong organization. Our propagandas created a massive political consciousness not only among students but also among the Tamil people of North and East.
In the first two months of 1971, Manavar Peravai had started to undertake its political programs in the North and Eastern provinces. Public relations offices were opened in Jaffna and Chunnakam for Peravai.
Although we were an organization not registered like political parties, several Government officers and Tamil Nationalist enthusiast from not only Northern and Eastern provinces but also from Colombo and other places, supported us.
Although the standardization process against the Tamil students was the main factor behind the formation Tamil Manavar Peravai, the continuous oppression on Tamil people by consecutive Sinhala Governments had created and nurtured Tamil Ethnic Liberation Consciousness and struggling attitude. Several Brave youths including Periya Soth, Sivakumaran, Kuddimany, Thangathurai and Nadesuthasan commenced Liberation struggle with much commitment. Sinhala Governments and its racist politicians on one side and the Tamil politicians who supported the anti – Tamil activities of Sinhala Governments on the other side were seen as “enemies”. Especially The Manavar Peravai could not tolerate the activities of the Tamil politicians who belonged to the leftist parties in the Government.
Particularly, our anger turned towards Alfred Duraiyappa who was at that time was acting in support of Sri Lanka Freedom Party and was a Sinhala toady. But this Duraiyappa had done great services in modernizing and beautifying Jaffna Town. He was instrumental in constructing the famous Duraiyappa stadium of Jaffna. Further he was also the man who opened the historical Jaffna public Library for the first time.
Nevertheless, because of the power craziness, he maintained very close relationship with Sinhala politicians and showed great interest in making Sri Lanka Freedom Party grow in Jaffna. He had good relationship with high level members of Sri Lanka Freedom party.
More than being a toady, he was engaging in activities inimical to the Tamil culture and this increased our anger towards him.
He was using women to satisfy the Sinhala politicians who came to Jaffna, in order to secure power and authority. Because of this, Sivakumaran and myself tried to kill Alfred Duraiyappa. I will share the details of how we prepared a bomb with dynamite, why this attack did not succeed and how was Sivakumaran arrested, in my next episode.