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Vellore: Santhan and Murugan, members of LTTE, the Sri Lankan militant organization, believed that the LTTE erred in going against the Indian Government and proceeding against Indian leaders. Had that not happened, the Sri Lankan Tamils would not have faced the present setback, they said adding that the way forward is not an armed struggle but an attempt at a political solution with the support of India and the global community.

Santhan, in an exclusive interview at Vellore prison in October 2011, said, “The present setback to the cause of the Sri Lankan Tamils is extremely unfortunate. It was sad to see the effect of the 2009 war against the LTTE. It was also sad to see the LTTE crushed in the war.”

“The LTTE committed a big blunder in going against the Indian Government.” – Sandthan

Asked if the LTTE had committed any mistake in the past, Santhan said, “The LTTE committed a big blunder in going against the Indian Government. Right from the seventies and the eighties, the Indian Government and people supported the cause of the Sri Lankan Tamils, by providing them moral and financial support. At that time, the global community also listened to India and the LTTE was free to go all over the world and campaign for the Tamils’ cause.’

“However, when the LTTE took a stand against the Indian Government and the other events followed like the Rajiv Gandhi assassination, we lost the support of India, the people and also the global community,” Santhan added.

Perarivalan agreed that the global situation had changed from the nineties and especially after the 9/11 attack on the Twin Towers in the US. “The global war on terror meant that no country was willing to give any kind of support to any militant organization,” he pointed out.

Asked about their opinion of India, Santhan said, “This is our fatherland. India was always everything to us. We depended on India’s support in so many ways. That has to happen again.”

Murugan said, “India is our spiritual home, more than anything else. We have so many things in common like common culture, language and historic ties and so on. But more importantly, India is our spiritual guru. We draw sustenance from the gurus here, the religion and the temples here.”

“The global situation today is such that the way forward is not an armed struggle but a political solution. There is no clear Tamil leadership in Sri Lanka today but whoever is there must find a way forward through a political solution with the help of India and other countries in the interest of the Tamils there,” Murugan added.

Asked what could be the basis of a political solution in Sri Lanka now, Santhan quipped, “The Rajiv-Jayewardene accord for the Lankan Tamils is far better than anything that could happen now,” Santhan added.

Perarivalan pointed out, “The problem was that the Sri Lankan government made no attempts to implement even that accord.”

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