Ilankai Tamil Sangam

Association of Tamils of Sri Lanka in the USA

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A Book to Honor Pirabhakaran

by Sachi Sri Kantha

I have the pleasure in announcing to the readers that my Pirabhakaran Phenomenon series [which appeared in the electronic medium, from 2001 and 2003] has been edited, updated and compiled into a book with physical dimensions. From November 26th, it is being offered as an educational resource for researchers, diplomats, journalists, students and interested well wishers of Eelam Tamils.

‘A writer’s greatest pleasure is revealing to people things they knew but did not know they knew,’ wrote one of my favorite humorists, Andy Rooney, an American icon. In this book, I have tried my best to follow this dictum of Rooney. What I have written about Pirabhakaran is ‘known’ to all Eelam Tamils. But, as Andy Rooney noted, I have tried to shed light on Pirabhakaran’s character and skills, which have escaped the glance of many pundits.

Think for a while about the gigantic task Pirabhakaran has performed since 1975. All of us have chased our rainbows to succeed in whatever ventures we planted our feet. Pirabhakaran chased his own rainbow, which for other literate Tamils would have been a crazy dream. Among the over 60 million Tamils living in the world now, who else can claim that ‘I raised a successful Tamil army, which has given jitters to Indian and Sri Lankan ruling elites’ since 1983? And this claim would not be an empty boast for Pirabhakaran. One can also add that Pirabhakaran’s army also has given ‘jobs’ directly and indirectly to hundreds of thousands Sinhalese, arms dealers, academics, journalists and diplomats.

Thousands of Tamils have spent their lives raising capital. Hundreds of Tamils have spent their lives raising political parties. Only Pirabhakaran has spent his past 30 years raising a successful army. This stupendous feat deserves admiration. Being a human, Pirabhakaran has his faults. As a Tamilian, I will not deny it. But I wanted to celebrate Pirabhakaran’s great achievement, which has not been matched by any other Tamilian for the past few centuries. Considering the demands in perseverence, intelligence and discipline, raising a successful army is far more difficult than winning a Nobel Prize in science. There are hundreds of Nobelists in science, but none of them raised a succcessful army, though quite a number have contributed handsomely and indirectly to proliferation of all sorts of war weapons.

Though the book is entitled ‘Pirabhakaran Phenomenon,’ what I have attempted is also a recent history of Eelam Tamils since 1975. To achieve my aim, I spent countless hours reading, analyzing, collating and thinking on how to present the facts and analyses to complete this work. Ah! – Thinking about writing; I love it. But I struggle hard.

Hemingway (another American icon, who practised writing with distinction) anticipated my struggle, even when I was a toddler. In a message delivered on December 10, 1954 [when Pirabhakaran was hardly a two weeks old baby in Eelam] to those who have gathered to honor him in Stockholm at the Nobel awards ceremony, Hemingway wrote:

“Writing, at its best, is a lonely life. Organizations for writers palliate the writer’s loneliness but I doubt if they improve his writing. He grows in public stature as he sheds his loneliness and often his work deteriorates. For he does his work alone and if he is a good enough writer he must face eternity, or the lack of it, each day.

For a true writer each book should be a new beginning where he tries again for something that is beyond attainment. He should always try for something that has never been done or that others have tried and failed. Then sometimes, with great luck, he will succeed….”

In this Pirabhakaran Phenomenon book, I have tried to present Pirabhakaran and Eelam Tamil history of the past 30 years, as none have bothered to attempt. Now the book has been printed, in 53 chapters and 660 pages. Why have I labored with this contribution for four years? Because I subscribe to the dictum, ‘Veritas quae minime defensatur opprimitur; et qui non improbat, approbat’ [Truth which is not sufficiently defended is overpowered; and he who does not disapprove, approves.].

Contact details for receiving copies of this book are as follows:

In the USA: WTCC, 170-10 Cedarcroft Road, Suite 1L, Jamaica, New York 11432,  [tel: 718-657-9463] [fax: 718-523-7399] SOLD OUT

In the UK: Gopi [tel: +44 78 1011 6032] and Mahen [tel: 0208 530 3761]

In Australia: Param [tel: 03 9802 2089 or 0408 360 865] and Kumar [tel: tel: 02 8868 4727 or 0413 006 295]