Tigers of Tamil, Part-3 Enemy to The Country, Allied to The Neighbors

From the first establishment, the Tigers applied strict rules to their members. They are prohibited from consuming alcohol, smoking, having a mate, and communicating with members of their family. It has been expressed that Prabhakaran sought to “refashion the old TNT / new LTTE into an elite, ruthlessly efficient, and highly professional fighting force.” Prabhakaran kept the quantities of the group small and maintained an exclusive and high standard of training

moreover, Tamil Tiger personnel are likewise required to swallow cyanide poison pills when caught by enemy troops to prove their loyalty to the Tamil Tigers & prevent enemies from extracting information from Tamil Tiger personnel captured alive. With such strict rules, the Tamil Tigers have grown into one of the most influential rebel groups in the conflict in Sri Lanka.

A year after its founding, in 1977 the Tamil Tiger managed to gain political and financial support from Appapillai Amirthalingam, the Tamil United Liberation Front leader also the chosen opposition leader in the Sri Lankan parliament. Amirthalingam believed that if he could exercise control over the Tamil insurgent groups, it would enhance his political position and pressure the government to agree to grant political autonomy to Tamils

In 1980 following the escalation of acts of attacks by Tamil rebels, the central Sri Lankan government finally agreed to grant a greater share of power to Tamil politicians. Nevertheless, the policy did not necessarily stop the armed conflict in Sri Lanka because the Tamil Tigers and other Tamil rebel groups wanted only “the independent Tamil state” as a final solution to their armed struggle

In April 1984, the armed conflict in Sri Lanka entered a new phase after the Tamil Tigers and other pro-Tamil armed groups joined forces to form a joint rebel group called Eelam National Liberation Front (ENLF). The ENLF consist of LTTE itself, the Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation (TELO), the Eelam Revolutionary Organisation of Students (EROS), the People’s Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE) and the Eelam People’s Revolutionary Liberation Front (EPRLF).

Indian Support

Also in this period (1983-1987), the Indian military & intelligence, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) quietly began training & arming the ENLF personnel because of sympathy considering that India does have a sizeable ethnic Tamil population. During that period, 32 camps were set up in India to train these 495 LTTE insurgents, including 90 women who were trained in 10 batches. The first batch of Tigers were trained in Establishment 22 based in Chakrata, Uttarakhand. The second batch, including LTTE intelligence chief Pottu Amman, trained in Himachal Pradesh. Prabakaran visited the first and the second batch of Tamil Tigers to see them training. [45] Eight other batches of LTTE were trained in Tamil Nadu

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