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-My reminiscences regarding the fall of Elephant Pass military base and the rise of the Tigers- -

 

- Nadarajah Kuruparan-

-My reminiscences regarding the fall of Elephant Pass military base and the rise of the Tigers- -

 

Liberation Tigers captured the Elephant Pass military base on today’s date in year 2000 (April 22). Subsequently, the Sri Lankan troops recaptured Elephant Pass and erected their war trophies there.

Let me look back to the year 2000. I remembered those days when I was preparing the news reports at news section of Sooriyan FM which was located at 35th floor of a building situated in Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka.

Those exciting days were as very challenging. That was the time during which ferocious and inflammatory war was going on between Sri Lankan troops and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

That was the time of Chandrika’s ruling. Very tight full media censorship was prevailing at that time. Those days, we were compelled to fax the war related news reports to the government Department of Information and thus accept the cut and delete of some of the contents of news reports whichever related to war.

Media censorship that was being prevailed at that time did not permit us to directly reveal the news regarding the advancements of the LTTE and the positions of the Military after being chased out.

Despite the fierce media censorship was prevailing at those difficult times, Sooriyan FM, that was trusted by the audiences nationwide, kept on revealing the news by making the eyes of the officials of media censorship in a sort of delusion. It could not be said that the tigers had positioned at Palai. Instead of revealing the fact openly, if we had sent the news to the Media censorship board stating that the tigers were harshly attacked by the government troops while they were advancing towards Palai, then it would have been allowed to be revealed. Thus, we nicely and wisely revealed the news related to the advancements of the tigers. 

I cannot forget Nimalrajan, who was assassinated, forever in my life. I am still adoringly thinking of his scarification, and commitment in speedily sending the news by roaming by his bicycle.

We got the confirmed news that Elephant Pass had completely captured by the Tigers. Nimalrajan had also confirmed that. But, unfortunately, we were not permitted to reveal this news. However, we were thinking of revealing this news somehow. I was positioned as the news editor at that time. At once, I got an idea.

I prepared the historical note about the Elephant Pass as a news report. The news report, stating that the tigers were fighting in a battle with the determination of capturing the Elephant Pass which has such a long history whereas the Sri Lankan troops were endeavoring to prevent it from falling into tigers’ hands at their final phase of attacks, was allowed by the media censorship committee to be revealed. The news had been broadcasted. Thus, the audiences understood that the tigers had captured the Elephant Pass.

Though the happy tigers congratulated me for broadcasting this news, they scolded me with vulgar words also over the phone in another occasion. Nimalrajan, who made available whatever the news very speedily, sent us a news report stating mistakenly that commander Banu had been killed in the battle whereas actually the one who killed was a cadre whose name was also Banu. We aired this news. Whatever it is I should tell that I had been scolded with vulgar words by the tiger cadres who made me known that the Commander Banu was hoisting the flag at Elephant Pass. 

The fall of Elephant Pass military base and the consecutive war victories gained by the Tigers following to that had persuaded Chandrika-Ranil government to go for negotiation. Also, this made the world to turn their eyes towards the tigers. 

Apart from the criticism on the tigers, the bravery and the war strategy of tigers were amazingly praised by the South. As I had relationships with South's political figures, diplomats, intellectuals and journalists, I could understand how the South, India and the entire world were shocked about this victory. 

But unfortunately, the Tigers failed to calculate that the regional and international politics would not ever accept the growth of a freedom movement that had an evolution of strengthening its war strategy as a conventional warfare from the guerilla warfare.

It should anyhow noted here that the Tamils were unfortunately subjected to mar at Mullivaikal as a consequence of the arrogance caused by the serious of consecutive war victories and the concentration on short term war tactics instead of long term war strategy.

No liberation movement was able to be annihilated or subjugated if an ethnicity could gain its liberation using the armed strength and money strength alone. Will those, who raised their meaningless soundings such as “fifth phase of battle will explode”, “ultimate way is to gain Tamil Eelam” and “the thirst of the Tamils is Tamil Eeelam”, understand that there are many things beyond that to be liberated?

 

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