Tamil Eelam leader Vellupillai Prabhakaran, who was the chief of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in Sri Lanka, is back in the headlines as the latest remark from Tamil nationalist leader Pazha Nedumaran has sparked a political storm and divide. Prabhakaran was declared dead by the Sri Lankan Army during the final phase of the Sri Lankan civil war in 2009. However, Nedumaran has for yet another time come up with his claim that Prabhakaran is still alive and living with his wife.
Speaking at a press conference in Thanjavur on Monday - February 13, Nedumaran said, "The current global situation and following the protest by the Sinhala people (in Sri Lanka) that brought down the Rajapaksa regime, this is the time to make this announcement, Prabhakaran is alive and well. I am happy to announce this to the Tamils living across the world. This news will put a full stop to all the rumours and fears spread about him so far."
He went on to say that Prabhakaran will announce the plans soon for the Tamil Eelam people. "We ask that Eelam Tamils and Tamil across the world offer their support to him", Nedumaran added. He also issued a statement pressing his assertion. His remarks that came from nowhere had sparked political storm in Tamil Nadu with a debate between the political leaders. Responding to his claim, the Sri Lankan Army has rebutted Nedumaran's remarks. Sri Lanka's Director of Media and Army Spokesperson Brigadier Ravi Herath had denied that Prabhakaran is still alive.
By claiming that Prabhakaran is still alive for yet another time, Nedumaran has displayed that he will stick with his notion despite the rebuttals and with such repeated claims, he has been courting controversies. Looking back at the history, this is not the first time that Nedumaran made such claim. In February 2016, Nedumaran said in Coimbatore that Prabhakaran was alive and that the Indian government has never declared that he had died.
In 2010, a year after the end of Sri Lankan civil war, Nedumaran claimed that the war would happen again in Eelam and Prabhakaran would lead the war. Several political leaders in Tamil Nadu have been reacting and rebutting to Nedumaran's claim. Tamil Nadu Congress Committee chief KS Alagiri said that he would go and meet Prabhakaran if Nedumaran shows him. Speaking to ANI, Alagiri said, "I am very happy. If Pazha Nedumaran shows me Prabhakaran, I will go and see him. No problem."