When a warrior kills his conscience, he becomes a demon: LTTE and the murder of Rajini Thiranagama

Rajini Thiranagama

Rajini Thiranagama was a doctor,an LTTE member and a human right activist. Her personal trajectory explains much of the Tamil independence movement and represents also a clear evidence of the derangement of such movement in the LTTE incarnation.

In the early years of the armed struggled, she was very much in tune with the aspiration of the Tigers; later on, she become increasingly critical of both the Tigers and the central government. Sge begun to collect evidence of human rights violation by the LTTE and the Indian Peace Keeping Forces (IPKF). She was one of the founder of the University Teacher for Human Rights, whose activity culminated in September 1989 with the publication of “The Broken Palmyra”, a book reporting the violence in Jaffna in the 1980s, committed by all parties involved: Sri Lankan government, LTTE and IPKF.

A week later, she was shot dead in front of her house in Jaffna.

courtesy University Teacher for Human Rights, Jaffna, Sri Lanka (uthr.org).

Her spirit is a guidance for everyone who’s committed to bring back Sri Lanka from the hell where has fallen. It is interesting that a person like Rajini in the first stage of the conflict, was aligned with the military struggle. To me it is a clear sign that the discrimination and the oppression of the Tamil community reached such a point that no other choice was available but to embark on a open warfare with the government. And with equal clarity, her condemnation of the LTTE and her subsequent assassination are the crystal evidence of the Tigers brutality. The LTTE stemmed from a natural sentiment of self-defence and justice, but very soon their ideal spiralled into a blind perpetuation of violence for the pure sake of it.

Students walk past a destroyed building in Jaffna [CC HumanityAshore]

The LTTE mutilated any attempt from the civil society to emerge as an expression of the Tamil community and the result was that no other path was available but to fight till victory or dying trying. The horrendous truth is that the leadership chose that direction intentionally: Prabhakaran eliminated such person from the political and intellectual landscape, precisely because they were representing a voice of conscience and a limit to his delirious warmongering.

The LTTE bears heavy responsibility for the way the IV Eelam War ended. Certainly the strategy on the field has been criminal; but much worst than the frantic decisions of a bunker situation, the two decades of terror imposed first of all on the Tamil people are the moral culprit of the tragic end of the conflict.

The responsibility of Sri Lankan government stands in full, despite this evil collaboration. That is why we must keep on, taking inspiration from people like Rajini Thiranagama towards a salvation of Sri Lanka. The German philosopher Heidegger said that: “where danger threatens, that which saves from it also grows”.

So I’m not surprise that in the moral devastation of the Sri Lankan war, you can find great spirit like her.

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