Indian Maoists Pledge Support for Renewed Tamil Eelam Struggle
Posted by Ka Frank on November 12, 2009
Asian Tribune, October 23, 2009
Indian Maoists pledge support for armed Eelam struggle
Indian Maoists have pledged support for another armed struggle by the Sri Lankan Tamils for an independent Eelam.
Indian website thatstamil.oneindia.in has quoted Maoist general secretary Muppala Lakshmana Rao alias Ganapathi as having told a pro-naxalite website in an interview that the Eelam struggle has not died down with the passing of LTTE leader Prabhakaran. “It is still alive and we shall support it with arms”.
Apparently keeping in mind the Indian experience where naxal groups like Maoist Communist Centre, the People’s War and others have come together and are controlling vast areas in Bihar, Orissa, Jharkhand and West Bengal, he said: “The battle for Tamil Eelam is not lost yet. Eelam will blossom one day if all the (Tamil) groups come together and, with changed strategies, resume the struggle”
Mr Ganapathi said: “We shall smuggle in sophisticated arms in ultra-modern boats to the rebels to revive the armed struggle in Sri Lanka and nobody can stop us. We are formed groups for this”.
Admitting that the Eelam struggle has suffered a big setback, maybe a virtual defeat with the elimination of the LTTE, Mr Ganapathi has said, ” the Eelam movement has now become rudderless, but the thirst for freedom has not died down among the Eelam Tamils”.
He said, “there is no change in the situation” which led to the armed struggle for an independent Eelam” in the early 1980s. The “celebration of Prabhakaran’s death by Sinhala chauvinists in Colombo and the encouragement given to them by the fascist Sinhala Government show the Sinhalese’ hatred for Tamils and the Tamil nation”.
He also expressed the fear that there would be another State-sponsored colonisation of Tamil areas by the Sinhalese, leading to a change in the demographic pattern in the “Tamil homeland” of northern and eastern provinces.
Mr Ganapathi accused the Mahinda Rajapaksa Government of having carried out a “genocide” of Tamils. He expressed anguish over the confinement of displaced Tamils in “internment” camps fenced off by barbed wires and said,”whoever tortures people like this deserve to be punished and no one can stop us from arming these people”.
The Maoist leader said “we are not only willing to extend all help the Eelam Tamils achieve their independence but also guide leaders of resistance movements on how to achieve the goal of a Democratic People’s Republic of Tamil Eelam”.
Answering questions, Mr Ganapathi said the Maoists had consistently denied having received any arms training from the Tamil Tigers and added, “but we always supported their struggle”. He said “we did receive training from the renegades of the LTTE in the early 1980s, but not in recent times”.
Defence experts have from time to time spoken about links between the LTTE and the Maoists and the interview confirms this.
Speaking in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly in early 1991, the then Home Minister M V Mysoora Reddy said the Maoists (in their then avatar as People’s War) had acquired 60 AK-47s and 20 Sten guns from the LTTE. This was reiterated in the Lok Sabha, on Dec 10, 1991, by Bandaru Dattatreya, then an opposition MP who later became Minister of State for Railways.
In 1995, Mallojula Venugopal, the then secretary of the Dandakaranya Special Zone Committee, claimed that some ex-LTTE cadres had initially trained them in fabricating landmines.
Maintaining the same line, Ganapathi himself said in an interview in 1998: “They were not LTTE. They were ex-LTTE. What happened was that these people came to India after leaving their organisation and formed Communist groups. (We) had relations with these groups. As part of that, they held training camps for us”.
Further proof of the Maoists’ LTTE links surfaced, once again, when two video cassettes containing LTTE’s training modules were recovered in December 2001 from an arms dump of the rebels in Nelimaliga village of Visakhapatnam district, Andhra Pradesh.
In the aftermath of the failed Oct 1, 2003 assassination attempt on the then Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, the then Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani said that the rebels had received expertise in using improvised explosive devices (IED) from the LTTE.
Speaking to mediapersons in a village in Madhuban block in Supaul district of Bihar, CPI-Maoist spokesman Azad said on Dec 14, 2005 that they had learnt “new warfare tactics from the on-the-run and purged LTTE military commanders in 1986-87”. He added that the LTTE commanders gave them training in making and laying landmines.