A Sinhala activist addresses the funeral of Prabakaran's father challenging taboos of the polity

(January 11, Colombo - Lanka Polity) Dharmasiri Lankapeli, a journalist and trade union activist who is also a member of Nawa Samasamaja Party and the Kaluthara district representative of Left Front presidential candidate Dr. Vickramabahu Karunaratna was arrested and later released by Velevetithurai police of Jaffna. The reason for the arrest was his Sinhala language address at the funeral of Veerasami Thiruvengadam Velupillai on January 10th. Late Velupillai is the father of Velupillai Prabakaran, the founder leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam (LTTE), who was killed in the final battle with the Army on May 18 in the last bastions of the rebel-held Vanni in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka.

Mr. Velupillai was a peaceful man who never followed his youngest son's extremely violent path for the liberation of the Sri Lankan Tamils. He lived most of his life since 1983 to 2002 in south India and settled in rebel-held Mallavi during the Norway-brokered ceasefire. He was arrested by Sri Lanka security forces from a IDP camp following the defeat of the Tamil Tigers and the government says he was kept in protective custody in Panagoda Army camp since then.

He passed away on January 07 and with the legal permission of the dead man's sons and daughters, the body was taken by Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP M.K. Sivajilingam to his village Valvetithurai for cremation. Dharmasiri Lankapeli accompanied Sivajilingam and he dared to address the funeral in Sinhala language challenging the taboos of the Lankan polity over Prabakaran and his family.

Prabakaran's siblings Manoharan (Denmark) Jegatheeswari (India) Vinodini (Canada) decline President Mahinda Rajapaksa's offer to come to Sri Lanka for the funeral.

Photos of the dead bodies believed to be of late LTTE leader's two sons and daughters were in internet and the taboos do not open space for questioning these killings. The killing of the youngest son of Prabakaran, 12-year-old Balachandran was also readily approved by the Sri Lankan polity that is predominantly Buddhist in religion wise.

According to Buddhist history Suprabuddha was the father of Devadatta who conspired to assassinate Lord Buddha. He was also the father of Yasodhara, the wife of Siddhartha Gauthama who attained the Buddha status later. No one denounced Suprabuddha for being Devadatta's father. In the same way, no one denounced Yasodhara for being Devadatta's sister.

Sri Lankan media did not dare despite all of their so-called liberal policies to address this dead man as ‘Mr. Velupillai’ although he is completely innocent. Mr. Velupillai was a loyal public servant who retired as a district land officer. He hailed from the reputed "Thirumeni" family in Valvettithurai. The family holds hereditary trusteeship of Velvettithurai Sivan temple.

Mahawansa, the prominent historical chronicle venerated by Sinhalese describe how the hero of the Sinhalese King Dutugemunu respected his enemy Tamil King Elara who was defeated by him. That history did not repeat even before the children and the elders of Prabakaran.


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