Sri Lanka: Prabhakaran and Sri Lankan leaders

Prabhakaran has a leadership quality. He did not leave the jungle of north until his death. He continued to lead the battles. In the history of all other guerrilla movements, most of the leaders were outside the battlefields.

by a Special correspondent

( December 30, 2016, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) There is no doubt that Prabhakaran, leader of the LTTE is a ruthless killer. He made all attempts to reach his aim sacrificing lives of many people. He did not care about anything other than reaching his aim of carving a separate state for Tamils in the north and east of Sri Lanka. There was no democracy in his organisation. He remained the supreme leader of the LTTE until his death. However, none can disagree with the fact he altered the cause of Sri Lanka and changed the entire political landscape of the country.

Politicians in the South adjusted their programmes according to the signals emitting from the north. Politicians of the South got up in the morning looking at the east. This was the reality. However, Prabhakaran made a number of strategic mistakes. He did not believe in peace at all. He thought guns can deliver the results. More importantly, he suspected everyone including his closest friends. This nature of the politicians has been vividly depicted in Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Now, Prabhakaran is no more. Yet, some Tamils still believe he is alive. Others think that Prabhakaran is a true leader. One of them is State Minister of Child Affairs, Vijayakala Maheswaran

She recently stated, “if LTTE leader Prabhakaran had been living today he could have become the Prime Minister of the country.” For some, this is a heroic statement and for others, it is nothing more than a joke. However, there are two hidden meaning in this statement. First, except Prabhakaran, all other Tamil leaders are merely liars and puppets who misled the Tamil people. Second, Sri Lanka lacks charismatic leaders like Prabhakaran to steer the country towards development.

To a certain extent the both interpretations are correct. Prabhakaran has leadership qualities. He did not leave the jungle in the north until his death. He continued to lead the battles fearlessly. In the history of almost all guerrilla movements, many of the leaders were outside the battlefield. They are mostly abroad.

However, Prabhakaran was in the jungle. In this sense, right or wrong he dedicated his entire life to the struggle. He was a ruthless leader with an exemplary character. He trusted his fighters and believed in his cause. During the three decades of fighting, he never thought of giving up his fight even losing many battles. He never bowed to India like many other leaders do today. He even challenged the Indian Army. This is the quality of a true leader.

Why should he become the Prime Minister of the country as the State Minister stated? In this point, the State Minister is lamenting about the lack of courageous leaders in the country. A true leader thinks about his people, leads the men in the correct path, and ready to take decisions even he loses his life. In this context, many of our leaders are far behind Prabhakaran. Although he died in 2009, he could have changed the course of Sri Lankan history. Still, his ideology is haunting in the minds of Sri Lankans. More importantly, he was able to change the mindset of Sri Lanka politicians. In this sense, we are all in debt to him. Yet, we never forget that he was a killer in the eyes of any law in the world.

We should carefully think about the statement of the State Minister paying special attention to the fact where our country is heading towards today.


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