Velupillai Prabhakaran, the slain leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), ordered the assassination of former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi thinking that the Indians had tried to kill him, says Kumaran Pathmanathan, the LTTE’s arms procurer and head of its International Wing in the final stages of the 2006-2009 Eelam War IV.
“Prabhakaran made the decision to kill Rajiv Gandhi. Prabhakaran thought the Indians had tried to kill him, so he thought he will kill Rajiv Gandhi first,” Pathmanathan told Greg Sheridan of The Australian on Friday.
Asked about the idea of using human bombers which the LTTE gave birth to, Pathmanathan said: “It was Prabhakaran’s own idea. We used it first in the 1980s, actually. Early in the ‘80s, some people sat with us and we talked of the Japanese in World War II and the kamikaze bombers. Somehow, it came from Prabhakaran’s mind. Also, in Tamil Nadu, there was the tradition that people sometimes set themselves on fire (in protest).”
Better known as KP, Kumaran Pathmanathan was captured by Lankan agents in Kuala Lumpur on August 5, 2009, within three months of the end of the war.
Though under the Lankan government’s protective custody, he has been allowed to run Sencholai, an NGO working for war-affected children in the Northern Province.