Chennai based ‘man of many faces’, Prof. Emeritus best known as ‘Kargil’ M. Subramaniam, former Indian Naval Marine Commando involved in covert operations for India, claims that the body of the man exposed as LTTE leader Prabhakaran was in fact not him and that there were more chances that Prabhakaran, his wife and daughter may have been killed in the white van that was ambushed a few days before the final day of the war by the Sri Lankan troops.
By Sulochana Ramiah Mohan in tamil nadu
In an exclusive interview with Ceylon Today, Prof. Subramaniam who also served as an official of the Indian Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) explained the reasons why India was not given a proper death certificate and a DNA test was ‘not’ carried out in Sri Lanka or in India till today.
A civil engineer by profession, Prof. Subramaniam was in Sri Lanka to undertake the building of the Sapugaskanda Fertilizer Factory which was closed down by former president J.R. Jayewardene.
Elaborating why it could ‘not’ be Prabhakaran’s body that was photographed and telecast to the public, the professor said, “There were no chances of Prabhakaran shooting himself as many are claiming now. If so there would have been a proper fingerprint and a DNA test conducted.”
He also said the death certificate of Prabhakaran was a mere ‘statement’ the Attorney General obtained through the Colombo High Court due to the pressure India applied on Sri Lanka.
“It was only a statement, not a death certificate that was issued to India which only says Prabhakaran was ‘presumed’ dead. He said the Attorney General issued the statement through the Colombo High Court that Prabhakaran was presumed dead.
The ‘statement’ that was issued to the government of India said, ‘LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran was presumed to have been killed on the last day of the Eelam War IV at Mullivaikkal in Nandikadal on 17 May 2009 and no evidence exists for him being alive, therefore, he is presumed to be dead judicially’.
He said that officially Prabhakaran’s death was announced only on 19 May.
He added that Prabhakaran’s death statement was issued to India after India had subsequently asked for a death certificate from Sri Lanka so that Prabhakaran’s name could be erased off the list of the accused in the former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination case.
DNA of Prabhakaran
Expressing his views on the DNA that Sri Lanka ‘obtained’ to ascertain whether it was Prabhakaran’s body that was exposed is still in the ‘dark.’
He said the DNA could not be done in Sri Lanka as there was no laboratory facility then. When asked that the public saw the military taking samples from Prabhakaran’s body and later on confirmed that it was him, he said India asked for the samples to test the DNA but Sri Lanka never gave it to be tested in India. He said if the DNA was done in India who did it and which laboratory? “Why weren’t the fingerprint and the DNA results revealed yet?”
Cause of death
He also said no one knows the cause of death and no medical certificate had been issued on his death. These facts attribute to Prabhakaran’s body being ‘not found.'”He was killed in an ambush prior to the war ended, and there was no trace of his body. However, to convince the public they showed another man’s body, a look alike,” claimed the professor.
When Ceylon Today asked, whether India is satisfied with the statement on Prabhakaran’s death, he said India is not bothered about it anymore because they have to look forward in terms of development and progress of the region.”Today no one wants a Tamil Eelam in Jaffna because again it would bring chaos and suffering to the people. Those who want an Eelam are the people who live outside Sri Lanka, he reiterated.
Talking about Sri Lanka’s affairs he said India is not interested in Sri Lanka after the new government came into power because we have convinced the Government of India that Tamils must be accepted by India as part of its diaspora.
Tamil speaking Sri Lankan diaspora from all corners of the world must rely on India if they want a better service for their country because India has stood by Sri Lanka in good and bad times, he said.
As long as the Tamil diaspora identifies with Tamil Nadu then we will be able to stretch out, he added.
A true Indian patriotic by deed and thoughts, Prof. Subramaniam who hails from three generations which served the Indian Defence Forces in many capacities such as Colonels, Admirals and Majors, he said Prabhakaran’s failure was that he trusted too many Tamil Nadu politicians.
How do you look at the defeating of LTTE?
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa, Vaiko, Nedumaran and Seeman
“Although many people in Tamil Nadu knew that Prabhakaran was a good man, he later on relied on persons such as Nedumaran and Vaiko. When the government of India asked him to surrender and return the arms, they advised him to continue the war. That was the downfall of Prabhakaran,” he said. Pointing out the persons such as Vaiko, Nedumaran and Seeman as ‘accidents of history’ he claimed that Prabhakaran listened to them and finally lost the battle.
He said Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa could be trusted only on the political arena towards bringing a solution for Sri Lanka’s national problem. “All the others are using the Sri Lankan issue for their own vested interests. Nobody will avenge them. Forget about them. Only 1 per cent of the young people are going behind them,” he remarked.
What is RAW’s role in Sri Lanka’s affairs? “RAW wants to see a political stability in Sri Lanka. When asked whether it means ‘stable in favour of India?” he said, “RAW has always been supportive of the Tamils.”
He said RAW does not intend to keep the Sinhalese at bay. Referring to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s defeat he said RAW may have played a direct role.”Sri Lanka is a very sensitive society, but what could have happened is, if you had come and asked me what we could do, I could have given you advice,” he asserted.
When asked whether any Sri Lankan politicians have stashed money in India, he said some politicians had monetary transactions with the State Bank of India because they didn’t trust their own government.
Referring to the present political scenario he said Maithri-Ranil government will not be able to solve the Tamil issue and it will have to go for a referendum in years to come. “They have no choice if they are pushed for a federal government because the voting power has come to the hands of the Tamils.”
Is a federal government the ultimate solution for the Tamil problem?
“It will take a little more time to come to that. In the annexure C of the draft of the 1987 Pact, the word ‘autonomy’ is mentioned.
“There are two worrying factors. They are police and land powers. The European Union (EU) has not removed its ban on exports. The major part of foreign exchange comes from the Middle East and Sri Lanka has to pay back its creditors. Sri Lanka has to settle 46 foreign debts,” he claimed pointing out that Sri Lanka is indebted to China to the tune of some billions of US dollars.
On the UN review on Sri Lanka, the war veteran Subramaniam who was sent to Bangladesh borders during partition said India should join hands with the UN and the US to implement the local probe on alleged war crimes. He said it is in the agenda this month in Geneva.
“It will be done based on the UN records,” he said. EU has already done a detailed study. US has done three studies and the UN Secretary General has done a separate study on Sri Lanka’s alleged war crimes.”
Prof. Subramaniam said the local investigation and prosecution is good. “In your law local investigation will only lead to a local prosecution. The evidence is in Sri Lanka.”
When asked if the prevailing evidence and local probe would match, he said, “Even if 20 per cent goes wrong 70 per cent will be matching. As long as UN is supervising, it is possible to hold a credible probe,” he added.
He also admitted that Sri Lanka will not be able to stand against the investigation. “There are UN reviews which one by one Sri Lanka will have to work on. In the UN assembly there is a section called Right to Protect (RTP) under which UN can intervene anywhere for any persons or people under that Act.”
Prof. Subramaniam said he would like to see a solution to the Tamil issue. He also said he has convinced the government of India on many issues pertaining to Sri Lanka.
On the choice of a federal system for Sri Lanka, he said everyone will have to wait for a while to see the political developments taking place.
He also said the debts Sri Lanka has to repay are enormous. The loans taken from China are running into more than 10bn USD. Iran too has given oil on credit and it is asking Sri Lanka to settle the debts, he noted.
He said truth will come out in Lasantha’s murder, political abductions and missing persons. However, he said he is not sure whether anyone would be punished. “I am sure their image in the public is already tarnished.”
He said the UN is expecting Sri Lanka to be more responsible. Any failure to do so would lead the country to face sanctions. A proper war crime probe and a political reconciliation would be ideal for the country.
He said, Sri Lanka was far ahead of many other countries in the region. But problems began when estate Tamils were disenfranchised and Northern Tamils supported it. Chelvanayagam said it was not right to disenfranchise estate Tamils.
He said he wants to find a solution that could bring lasting peace and prosperity to Sri Lanka. The war veteran of Tamil Nadu said from six years from now Sri Lanka will be a ‘changed’ country. The government should continue as it is now and if it collapses, in ten years again there could be ‘militancy emerging.’ Children of the war victims are growing. There can be political and sociological vengeance emerging and the national issue of Sri Lanka is very sensitive,” he opined.
Tamils still do not know which country they belong to. The transitional government of Tamil Eelam trusts the US but America is never going to hear that cry.
He appealed to the Tamil diaspora to come to Tamil Nadu. “India is too big for anyone to come and fight. Tamils by identity are Indians,” he said.