Inside the elusive mind of Prabakaran

by Bandula Jayasekara

Indian journalist and author M. R. Narayan Swamy’s second book, ‘Inside An Elusive Mind — Prabhakaran’, described as the first profile of the world’s most ruthless guerrilla leader does one thing. It exposes the ruthless Prabhakaran giving a clear message to the world, that Prabakaran will not settle for anything less than Eelam and he is the only man and that no peace secretariats, spokespersons, delegations, committees would do and only Prabhakaran alone will decide what do and what not to do.

Narayan Swamy says that a person who met Prabhakaran said he does not need a spokesman at all. It was former Foreign Minister, Lakshman Kadiragamar who said once "War or no war is in the mind of one person only and that is Prabhakaran" Narayan Swamy’s book reaffirms Kadirgamar’s words. Narayan Swamy says that Prabhakaran is obsessed with centralized control. The irony is that a man who is obsessed with centralized control wants for himself a part of the country more than what a legitimate government could give. God help those people under him.

Swamy had met Prabhakaran only once in his life and that too for a very short time. However, as a follower of the conflict (he is also the author of Tigers of Lanka) he has succeeded in giving the readers Prabhakaran’s single mindset that nothing would do but Eelam. Though Swamy also makes an attempt to romanticize Prabhakaran in his book, Prabhakaran is well exposed and his brutality comes to light. Having read the book, readers may want to ask few questions from the government and the LTTE. Why is Prabhakaran talking peace? Is he trying to somehow achieve Eelam in some other way? What is the waiting game he is playing? Is Ranil Wickremasinghe so foolish? When will we have lasting peace? Who is fooling whom? And many more questions.

Swamy says that what Prabhakaran’s teacher said when he was small stuck to his mind about seceding from Sri Lanka and to have a separate state and nothing had changed since then. It is clear that it was Prabhakaran who initiated the recruitment of child soldiers and it is he who led the way with the brainwashing even in the school system with the help of his old friend Baby Subramaniam, who is in charge of education. No matter what the international community or his friends at UNICEF make us believe, Prabakaran will not change. He knows that when a child mind is brainwashed it is until his death. But, that is also the tragedy. Swamy also notes that Prabhakaran loved Phantom comics.

But, Phantom and Prabhakaran are far apart. Phantom does good but Prabhakaran terrorizes people, only common thing is the symbol of the skull. While Phantom used the symbol, Prabhakaran piled up many skulls with his brutal killings. Phantom brought relief to the people while Prabhakaran make innocent people cry.

According to the book, Prabhakaran had shown his brutality even when he was a child by killing birds, animals first by using a catapult and thereafter by using an air gun. He also loved to prick insects to death, which most children wouldn’t do at a tender age. But, Prabhakaran did that first with insects as a child and then with innocent human beings, children, infants, and all those who opposed him later. There was an instance where he wanted a head of his opponent brought to him. He went against all norms of decency and international humanitarian laws and massacred 700 policemen who asked for pardon in Batticaloa. Such is his brutality exposed in the book.

He is a man who broke his rules when it was best suited to him. He asked Uma Maheswaran to quit because Uma got involved with a woman. He also killed one of his closes bodyguards and a woman cadre the bodyguard made pregnant. But, he broke the rule when he found a girl he loved and made her is wife. Though its not written in the book nor talked about much, another instance where Prabhakaran breaks the rules to suit him is the recruitment of children for his baby brigade while his children are protected may be in the safety of some foreign country. The author clearly says that Prabhakaran emitted different notes at different times and has cocktails of truth, lies, and slander. He has proved that he cannot be trusted borrowing time during peace deals and other events. Narayan Swamy says that Prabhakaran did not like to be eulogized or to be garlanded and other tamashas. But, one wonders if that is correct. The journalists who attended the now famous press conference were fed up of listening to the song ‘Prabhakaran, Prabhakaran’ and many would wonder why Prabhakaran’s cutouts have sprung up in many places. According to Narayan Swamy Prabhakran’s knowledge of English is good. Though he pretended not to know English and got Balasingham to translate what was said in English at the press conference in Kilinochchi. .

Prabhakran has always stated that US has some interest in Trincomalee and also of India’s interest. He never trusted India does not trust India even now though the LTTE asked India to forgive and forget the killing of Rajiv Gandhi without shame at the now famous press conference. Prabhakaran is aware that New Delhi will never allow Sri Lanka to break up having learnt a bitter lesson from the Sri Lankan experience. Swamy also writes that Prabhakaran always provoked India and during the IPKF time provoked India to attack Tamils and then forced Thileepan to fast unto death to embarrass India. Prabakaran is well aware of former Indian High Commissioner Dixit’s words that under no circumstances will India recognize an independent Tamil Eelam. Prabhakaran is also known as a man who always bit the hands that fed him. He did that to India, he did that to Premadasa, he did that to Chandrika, to Amirthalingam, he did that to some of his friends who stood by him and to other Tamils and he would do that to anyone. Though it is no secret one got to read Swamy’s book to remind us of the man with the elusive mind.

To understand Prabhakaran more here are some quotes taken from Swamy’s book

‘You cannot impose upon people anything against their will" (who are these people he is talking about? Are the innocent Tamils paying taxes to the LTTE willingly and going through hardships willingly)

"There will never be a civilian administration in our areas" (his one time deputy Mahattaya who was later brutally assassinated by Prabhakaran).

"Until we achieve our freedom we will not surrender our weapons"

"It would be a system where people elect a single party"

"Under no circumstances will we contest any election"

Prabhakran refers to Sinhalese (Sri Lanka) as the devil. But, the question is will Prabhakaran go to bed with the devil.


(Inside an Elusive Mind is a Vijitha Yapa Publication and is available at all Vijitha Yapa Bookshops).