Apr 25 2009
Anita Pratap is the first journalist to interview Pirapaharan
I cannot know what is going on in Prabhakaran’s head, but I am certain he is neither frightened nor desperate. He is not afraid of death. He has been courting it since he was 17. He is an indefatigable warrior, one who is philosophically detached from all things tactical. Yet, paradoxically, in achieving his strategic goal of Tamil Eelam, he displays an unwavering attachment.
I doubt whether these military setbacks will discourage, undermine or erode his confidence or commitment to his goal. He is very clear in his mind-he is fighting to liberate his people. For that principle he lives. For that principle he fights. And for that principle he is willing to die. Victories and defeats come and go. Territories are lost and won. Cadres die, comrades betray. But to his dying breath, he will remain true to Eelam.
The LTTE has been written off many times before. Prabhakaran has been ‘killed’ or ‘nearly killed’ many times in the past. If the army ever reaches his bunker, he will swallow his cyanide and the legend of Prabhakaran will probably attain mythical proportions. Lacking independent assessments, journalists repeat Sri Lankan claims that this is the end game, this is Prabhakaran’s last stand.
Today, Prabhakaran’s situation looks dire. But the wheels of fortune are not static. Things change. America has changed. The world is changing. Capitalism is discredited. Socialism sneaks in from the backdoor. Big banks have gone bust. Misery replaces prosperity in headlines. As new winds blow away many certitudes of the recent past, new opportunities, alignments and paradigms take their place on the world stage. And they will inexorably weave their impact in remote corners of faraway Sri Lanka, this beautiful emerald teardrop island that awaits its tryst with peace.