COLOMBO: The book “Oru Koorvaalin Nizhalil” (In The Shadow Of A Sharp Edged Sword) by S.Thamilini, former head of the Tamil Tigers’ Women’s Political Wing, has become controversial, with one section of Tamils saying that its criticism of the militant outfit will weaken the Tamil case at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), and another saying that the book will help get at the truth, which is what the Tamils want to know.
The Tamil nationalist lobby says that by alleging that atrocities were committed by the Tamil Tigers also, the book weakens the Tamil case that it was the Sri Lankan armed forces which had committed all the war crimes.
Activist Thyagarajah Nirosh told Express that Thamilini had played into the hands of the international community which has been saying that both the armed forces and the Tigers committed war crimes.
Nirosh felt that Thamilini might have written the book under duress as she was in a Lankan prison and had undergone army-organized “rehabilitation” for four years. He also suspected that new material might have been inserted to suit the Lankan government’s interest after her death due to cancer in October 2015.
However, a moderate Tamil leader said that the argument that war crimes were committed only by the Lankan armed forces will not hold water in the international arena because all UN reports, including the one released last September, have listed violations by both sides.
“The Tamils’ aim is to find out the truth. That is why they have been asking for an independent international inquiry. A one-sided argument will not help the search for truth,” the leader said.
He did not think that works such as the one by Thamilini, can be stopped from being written. “ Writings on the war by participants and by those who had been through it, will keep coming out. That’s inevitable.”
The book release function at Kilinochchi attracted 250 persons, half of them former Tamil Tiger cadres, said Thamilini’s husband, Jeyakumar Mahadevan. No Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leader attended it.