‘Pirapaharan,’ Volume 1 & 2 by T. Sabaratnam Reposted

From the Editor

T Sabaratnam

T. Sabaratnam

Mr. T. Sabaratnam wrote a two-volume historical biography of Velupillai Pirapaharan and his time from 2002-2005 that was posted on the Sangam website.  This history is of the period before the war began and of the early stages of the war.  It dwells on the root causes and the background of those involved, along with their actions, all of which he often covered himself as a news reporter.

First, as most of this material is not available elsewhere from a Tamil point of view or in such detail, second, because many of the chapters have become corrupted in our archives and third, because most of the issues discussed remain alive today, we have decided to repost these chapters.

T. Sabaratnam was a long-time news reporter who had intimate access to most of the players in this history, which gave him a unique position as an historian of the period.  Mr. Sabaratnam wrote Volume 3 of the series, which dealt with the period after 1985, before his death in 2010, but Vol.3 did not make it onto this website, much to our regret.

Volume One is covers 1954-1983.  Volume Two covers 1983-1986.

Original index of series



by T. Sabaratnam, 2003-2005

Volume One

Introduction, Part 1

Introduction, Part 2

Chapter 1:  Why didn’t he hit back?

Chapter 2:  Going in for a Revolver

Chapter 3:  The Unexpected Explosion

Chapter 4: The Tamil Mood Toughens

Chapter 5: Tamil Youths Turn Assertive

Chapter 6: Birth of Tamil New Tigers

Chapter 7:The Cyanide Suicide

Chapter 8: First Military Operation

Chapter 9: TNT Matures into the LTTE

Chapter 10: The Mandate Affirmed

Chapter 11: The Mandate Ratified

Chapter 12:  Moderates Ignore Mandate

Chapter 13:  Militants Come to the Fore

Chapter 14:  The LTTE Comes into the Open

Chapter 15:  The Ban, J.R.’s Gift

Chapter 16: Wresting Weapons from the Enemy

Chapter 17: Sinhala-Tamil Tension Mounts

Chapter 18: Tamils Lose Faith in Commissions

Chapter 19: Balasingam Enters the Scene

Chapter 20: Jaffna Turned Torture Chamber

Chapter 21: The Split of the LTTE

Chapter 22: The Burning of the Jaffna Library

Chapter 23: Who Gave the Order?

Chapter 24: Tamils Still Back Moderates

Chapter 25: Parliament Discuses Ways to Kill Amir

Chapter 26: The First Attack on the Army

Chapter 27: Amirthalingam Taken for a Ride

Chapter 28: RAW Meets Pirapaharan

Chapter 29: The Indian Interest

Chapter 30: LTTE Guerrillas in Action

Chapter 31: The Death of the First Hero

Chapter 32: The Return of Pirapaharan

Chapter 33: Knocking Out the Base

Chapter 34: Tamils Follow Militant Leadership

Chapter 35: Tamil Blood Boils

Chapter 36: ‘We Are Going to Break Heads’

Chapter 37: The Heroic Death of Seelan

Chapter 6: Indira’s Telephone Call


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