He was a killer machine. He served as a normal Tiger cadre as well as a Black Sea Tiger. While on a suicide operation he was injured in a clash with the Navy; the injury saved his life. Fortunately he caned escape the life after sea confrontation. His real identity cannot be revealed for obvious reasons.
Q.When and where are you born?
A.I was born in February 02nd 1978 at Valachchenei, Batticaloa.
Q.How many members are there in your family?
A.Five, including myself. My father died some time ago. My sister and brother are living some where in East.
Q.How about your family situation?
A.Ours was a poor family. On some days we had only one meal a day. It was a very hard life.
Q.When did you join the LTTE?
A.In 1989. It was my own decision. No one forced me.
Q.Why did you join? What were the factors which influenced your decision?
A.Actually I cannot explain why I joined the LTTE. Perhaps because we thought that the LTTE was fighting for the liberation of the Tamil Peoples, for their freedom. I didn’t have a good education. We felt it was necessary to win our freedom as the Government of Sri Lanka failed to supply the basic human needs of the Tamil people.
Q.Who was your first leader in the LTTE?
A.Col. Thambirajah Ramesh. He is the brother-in- Law of the Special Commander of the LTTE Navy, Thillayampalan Sivaneshan alias Colonel Soosai. Ramesh was appointed as the special Commander of the Amparai – Batticalao districts after Colonel Karuna broke away from the LTTE on 01 March 2004.
Q.Where did you receive your initial military training?
A.At one of the LTTE military bases in (Kudumpimalai) Toppigala. Our team leader was called Ruben. He was killed by Sri Lankan forces during a confrontation in the early 90s.
Q.Can you give us some details of your training?
A.It was very hard. We had to wake up every day at 4.30. We would drink some water and run till 5.30 am. At 6.00 am we would have a meeting with our leaders; they would explain the current situation in the country and provide us with news. They usually told us that Sinhala people hate Tamil people; they told us that innocent Tamil people are being killed everyday. We were not allowed to listen to any radio broadcasts. The leaders just told us the news and we were told to accept what they said. We were not allowed to argue. At 8.30 we took our Breakfast. After that we had arms training till launch time. We were not allowed to communication with parents or other family members directly. Our only communications with our families were though our group leader.
Q.Did you take part in any operations against the Sri Lankan forces?
A.Yes, I has involved with many operations in Jaffna, and East.
Q.Why did you go to Jaffna? Who did you go with?
A.In 1990 I went to Jaffna with Co. Ramesh. We walked to Jaffna. It took us seven days; our meals were made of biscuits and drinking water. We went to Jaffna as a small group. Some cadres died along the way due to fatigue and lack of food. Some were killed by the Sri Lankan forces as we traveled through the jungle.
Q.How was your life in Jaffna?
A.When we went to Jaffna, we started our duties and military training. We were wanted by the LTTE leadership for operations. I took part in Jayasikuru and other major operations in the North. Once I was seriously wounded and was treated in Killinochchi.
Q.How did you join the Black Tigers?
A.I thought of joining the Black Tigers while being treated at one of the hospitals in Killinochi. After that I sent a letter to V. Pirabaharan who is the leader of the Black Tigers. That was what anyone who wanted to join the Black Tigers had to do. The rule was, you write a letter to Pirabaharan. He will read it and call you for an interview.
Q.Can you tell us your thoughts on Pirabahan? What kind of person is he? Where is he living?
A.We don’t know where he is living. It’s very much a secret. He has a good personality and is also very friendly. He gives us a time and place to meet him when we want to talk to him or he wants to talk to us. When we go there he is already there. We do not know where he came from.
Q.What did Prabakaran discuss with young cadres seeking to join the Black Tigers?
A.Basically he asked us about our family background and why we want to join the Black Tiger Squad. Then he explained to us about the Black Tigers. He said, “It is heart for the LTTE and Prabakaran”. He said that the Black Tigers are like his own children.
Q.What happened afterwards?
A.Prabakaran asked us about our favorite field of operations during the interview, whether we like ground operations or we prefer the Sea Tigers. They them supervise the swimming skills of those who want to join Sea Tigers. If we have good swimming skills we are allowed to join the Sea Tigers.
Q.Why did you decide to become a Black Sea Tiger?
A.When I finished my military training, I took part in many military operations as a cadre. Meanwhile I thought if we want to win this war we should be give our lives. I thought of becoming a hero of our land and our people by giving my life. I planned to join with the Black Sea Tigers because during this time the Sea Tigers were winning more operations than the land forces in the LTTE. And I can swim very well.
Q.You have met with Col. Soosai?
A.Yes… My Sea Tigers training started under Col. Soosai. He is the leader of the Black Sea Tigers and the Sea Tigers. It’s naval Wing of the LTTE.
Q.What kind of leader is he? What is his family?
A.He is a good leader. We don’t know full details about his personal life and we do not know where his home is. But according to colleagues of mine he came from Wadamarachchi, Jaffna and has two children.
Q.What kind of training did you receive as a Black Sea Tiger?
A.Normally we wake up at 4.30 and run on the beach and swim in the sea till 8.30am. At 8.30am we have breakfast. Then we have training till 12.30. After lunch we have our weapons training at sea till 5.00 pm. At 5.00pm the training is over and we can play games with our colleagues. There is no set time for dinner. We can have it whenever we are free.
We were taught everything about the use of weapons in naval battles. We were taught the latest technology by Col. Soosai. We also learned how to make boats including the V shape suicide boats using local materials.
Q.Do Black Tigers have special privileges denied to other cadres?
A.Yes… we can have anything we like. We also have all facilities including food, films, songs and weapons.
Q.Which films you have watched?
A.Only war films. It’s a basic condition. Every LTTE member should watch war films; we can’t watch love stories or sex movies or other films. Even our songs are about our pride in Prabakaran and Tamil Eelam.
Q.How many members trained with you?
A.20 male and 10 female cadres trained with me as Black Sea Tigers off off Mullativu.
Q.What is the total strength of the Naval Wing of the LTTE?
A.Less that 1,500 member. After Col. Karuna Amman broke away from the LTTE, a few Sea Tigers joined with him. Some fled to Colombo looking for jobs. Some went abroad.
Q.Did any of your friends join the Black Sea Tigers?
A.No. The Black Sea Tiger units are very small. They are very exclusive. The LTTE leadership allows only the best to join because it is like the heart of the Tiger.
Q.How did you flee from the LTTE?
A.It’s a long story. Few years after I became a Black Sea Tiger I began to realize that Eelam was a myth. It cannot be achieved. Perhaps the LTTE leaders know this and they really do not want Eelam. I think they want to live prosperously with their families while our people die and are killed. They are selling our blood for their good life.
I came for a Black Sea Tiger operation in the Trincomalee harbour. There were five of us. The other four committed suicide because we were unable to face the Navy counterattack. I am alive because I drove my my boat off to Sampoor, which was under the LTTE then. After that I fled to Batticaloa.
Q.Can you explain about the LTTE weapons supply system and the role played by the Sea Tigers in this?
A.Basically, the sea is the main supply and training base for the LTTE. The LTTE cannot grow without the sea.
They have ships. I don’t know how many. The supply ships wait in international waters for small boats. The weapons are transferred to these boats. We use the GPS and the compass to guide the ships and the boats. The weapons are then taken to LTTE control areas.
Q.Have you taken part in any of these operations?
A.Many times. Especially during the Cease Fire Agreement we were very busy with our arms supplies.
Q.In which countries are these ships registered? Which flags do they fly?
A.I have no idea. But I have seen Arab letters on the ships; they also have Arabic names.
Q.Who are the people working in the Ships?
A.I do not know as we deal only with the leader; we did not have any contacts with the crew members.
Q.How do you set off on a Black Sea Tiger mission?
A.It is a very interesting and historic day for us and our generation. In the evening before the operation, we receive an invitation from V. Pirabahan for dinner. When we go, Pirabaharan is waiting for us. During dinner the mission is discussed with the group.
When the dinner is over we pose for a final photograph with V. Pirabahan. That photograph will be published in some Jaffna based newspapers. After that we set off on the mission. After that final meeting with Prabakaran we wait for Death because it’s the only way to glory for ourselves and our families.
While on the tour we discuss about our families and share our photos with each other. If anyone of us escapes death he must return the photos to the families of those who perished.
Q.Did you hand over the photos of your friends?
A.Yes. I sent the picture of one of my friends involved in the 2000Trincomalee harbour attack to his family members. They live somewhere in East.
Q.Do you think V. Prabakaran can win Eelam?
A.No. It is just a dream. He won’t win Eelam. All he does is to trade the life of every Tamil child for a cyanide capsule. He is not concerned about the freedom or the liberty of Tamil children.
But I never thought about all this during my Black Tigers period. During that period I thought Pirabaharan was our God of liberation.
Q.What do you think about your past struggle?
A.This is not own my struggle. We were pulled into it by different social factors, especially the political system in the country. We wanted an alternative to this system and the LTTE and Prabakaran seemed to be that alternative. We believed in him and thought that he could lead us to freedom. We thought he could free the Tamil people. But he trapped us just as such much as Southern politicians did. The LTTE and the Southern politicians are just two sides of the same coin. We can’t trust any of these people. However the LTTE is more constant than selfish politicians. Prabhakaran never changes. When people die in operations he knows how to pay homage to them. This in turn helps in the recruitment of new members for the LTTE.
Q.Do you think Sri Lankan Forces can wipe out the LTTE?
A.Yes, they can. But they need a good brain. If they think they can just wipe out the LTTE from the North like they did in the East, it is a dream. Any way you saw what really happened in the East.
The first and most important thing is we must give a political solution to the war affected people. Second one is to develop the strongest possible military strategies for counter terrorism. Sri Lankan intelligence apparatus is very weak. Many of our (LTTE) best cadres escaped during the past thanks to this weakness.
We must not think that Prabhakaran is like southern politicians. He has a good brain and he uses the latest technologies. He is good at finding the weak points in his enemies.
Q.What is your goal?
A.Doing this job alone and living without troubling any persons.