While most Tamil people are Hindus, they also have significant populations of Christians and Muslims in both India and Sri Lanka.

The LTTE, the Sri Lankan ethnic Tamil separatist group that engaged in terrorist activities, was not a “Hindu group.” The tigers’ ideology on paper was mostly secular “Tamil nationalism”, but it also had anti-Hindu aspects to it such as its members shunning their given Sanskritic Hindu names to assume “native Tamil” (or Christian) ones, eg, Prabhakaran became Pirapaharan in later years.

One of the best kept secrets is that the LTTE had many ties to the Church. For example, most of the top cadre of the LTTE were apparently Christians:

Prabhakaran aka Pirapaharan (Christian convert, a lapsed Methodist)
S.P. Tamil Selvam – Christian
Balraj (Balasegaram Kandiah) – Christian
Pottu Amman (Christian)
Prabhakaran’s son Charles Anthony – Christian
Anton Balasingham – Christian
Soosai (Thillaiyampalam Sivanesan) – Christian
Thenmozhi Rajaratnam (nickname Dhanu), Rajiv Gandhi’s suicide bomber assassin – Christian

While the LTTE’s terrorist methods should be squarely condemned, one cannot lose sight of the fact that the Sinhalese majority was egregiously persecuting their Sri Lankan Tamil minorities since the country became independent from the British, such as denying jobs and seats in educations institutes to Tamils. Rajiv Gandhi tried to broker a peace agreement in the 1980s, but it backfired, with Christian suicide bomber Thenmozhi Rajaratnam taking his life in 1991.

The following news article mentions that Pirapaharan (Velupillai Prabhakaran) was a lapsed Methodist Christian.

Would-be mediators – Sri Lanka – Cover Story

Duleep Fernando (no relation), newly elected president of the Methodist Church, also began visiting congregations in the North. Both leaders met with various Tamil leaders, including Velupillai Prabhakaran (a lapsed Methodist), who is now the virtual dictator of the rebel-held territory.

President Chandrika Kumaratunga was initially annoyed and then embarrassed by Christian clergy who met openly with the ostracized Tamil Tiger leaders.

I talked with Singalese Christians in the South who showed great empathy for the sufferings of the Tamil minority, whether Christian or Hindu, and condemned Buddhist-influenced national governments for pursuing an only Singalese need apply” policy since 1972 in school admissions, government jobs and distribution of official largesse.

Here is a reproduction of a post by a Hindu Tamil blogger.

Thursday, April 17, 2008
Is the LTTE a Hindu terrorist group?
Edited title: LTTE was a terrorist group with many Christian ties

Since the 9/11 carnage, every Islamic apologist and his uncle, including writer William Dalrymple and General Pervez Musharraf (President of Pakistan), have tried to whitewash Islamic terrorism by saying: “Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated by Sri Lankan Hindu extremists” and “Why blame terrorism on only Islam? The LTTE is a Hindu terrorist group”.

So, is the LTTE a Hindu group? Let’s see the evidence of their mendacious claim:

1) Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) was founded on Dravidian ideology and defined by Marxist principles of struggle against the “oppressor”. LTTE’s speeches, pamphlets and websites are full of Marxist rhetoric and Marxist principles – Their ideology is very similar to Naxalites and Maoists who base their violent insurgency against the Indian and Nepali governments on Marxist-Leninist and Maoist principles. Would any Hindu group follow Marx as their leader?

2) LTTE is “secular” and its constitution never claims to fight for people of any religion. It openly claims to fight on behalf of the minority Tamil ethno-linguistic race in Sri Lanka, whose members consist of Tamil Christians, Tamil Hindus and Tamil Muslims.

The “oppressor” of the Tamil language and Tamil race is identified by the LTTE to be the Sri Lankan Government who represent the majority Sinhala ethno-linguistic race (whose members are either Buddhist or Christian).

3) Tamil Language and Tamil Ethnicity are the defining raison d’être in LTTE’s ideology, not any religion, be it Hinduism or Christianity or Islam.

4) In its entire history and over three decades of existence, has the LTTE ever claimed to represent only the Hindus, or quoted any Hindu scriptures or dedicated itself to any Hindu God or Goddess? The answer is NO. NEVER. Then, why label the LTTE a Hindu group?

5) LTTE’s Dravidian ideology is also shared by their biggest supporters: Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and Dravida Kazhagam (DK), two anti-Hindu and atheist organizations in India who since the 1950s, have:
▪ run a hate campaign against Hindu religion
▪ broken Hindu temples and desecrated Hindu murtis (sacred icons)
▪ beaten Lord Rama’s posters with shoes and garlanded Lord Ganesha’s image with slippers
▪ cut off the sacred threads worn by Hindu priests
▪ savagely beaten up Hindu worshippers in broad daylight
▪ vilely abused Lord Rama, Lord Krishna, Goddess Sita etc as drunkard, promiscuous, unchaste
▪ shown us that they are bent upon destroying the sacred Rama Setu (Rama’s Bridge)

Would any Hindu group do any of the above? Ergo, only Dravidian organizations do all of the above.

These Dravidian groups are all inspired by the anti-Hindu, anti-Brahmin, Ravana-worshipping ideology preached by the notorious E.V. Ramasamy Naickar (a.k.a. EVR or Periyar).

To this very day, the LTTE’s strongest supporters in Tamil Nadu are these Hindu-hating Dravidian parties, the DK and DMK.

Since these Hindu-hating Dravidian groups love and openly support the LTTE, therefore it is logical that the LTTE is not a Hindu group.

6) Inspired by Dravidian zeal, a senior LTTE official, “Colonel” Ramanan, demolished 9 Hindu temples in Eastern Sri Lanka and erected other buildings, including a fish market, in their place. Would any Hindu group do that?

7) LTTE’s website ( http://www.TamilNet.com ) openly promulgates the divisive Aryan-Dravidian theory, which was cunningly constructed about two centuries ago by the wily Bishop Caldwell, a Christian missionary and proselytiser, who wanted to divide Hindu society so that he could easily convert the non-Brahmin communities calling them Dravidians, a separate entity. Would any Hindu group promote this divisive theory?

8) The LTTE found mass support by portraying themselves as inheritors of the legacy of Samuel James Veluppillai Chelvanayakam (a.k.a. SJV Chelvanayakam), a beloved figure to Sri Lanka’s Tamils who called him Thanthai Chelva (‘Father’ Chelva).

SJV Chelvanayakam, who led his Federal Party (FP) into agitations and tried in vain to get the Sri Lankan government to get power devolved for the Tamil minority areas, grew bitter over his failure to win any meaningful concessions from the Sinhalese, and became sympathetic to the cause of Tamil separatism. The FP and other parties merged into the Tamil United Liberation Front towards that end, with Chelvanayakam as their leader.

The TULF leadership nurtured and treated the separatist LTTE as its armed, youth wing. Soon, the LTTE subsumed the TULF.

9) Several Tamil opponents and renegades of the LTTE have been assassinated while they worshipped inside Hindu temples, Christian churches and Muslim mosques. Would any Hindu group kill anyone inside a Hindu temple? Go figure. The LTTE must be secular.

10) Many of LTTE’s top leaders and many of the LTTE cadres have been Christian or Muslim, including the following:

▪ Anton Stanislaus Balasingham: The chief political advisor, strategist and mentor to LTTE for over two decades.

▪ Marcelin Fuselus (nom de guerre: Victor), a senior LTTE commander from Mannar after whom the LTTE’s Anti-Tank Unit has been named.

▪ Charles Lucas Anthony (nom de guerre: Lt.Seelan), from Trincomalee, the first LTTE fighter to die in combat

▪ Many of the Tamil Tigers are Christian, including the late Miss Dhanu (Thenmozhi Rajaratnam) who was Rajiv Gandhi’s suicide-murderer

▪ Norwegian film maker Beate Arnestad’s recent acclaimed documentary film on the LTTE, “My Daughter the Terrorist”, follows two young, Catholic Tamil females, with the nom-de-guerre ‘Tharsika’ and ‘Puhalchudar’, who have been LTTE fighters since their teens and have become part of LTTE’s elite force, the Black Tigers.

Tharsika’s mother, Maria, says that her daughter, the main character in the documentary, had wanted to become a Catholic nun when she was young. This same girl, Tharsika is now shown wearing a LTTE uniform and kneeling before a statue of Mary and Infant Jesus and crossing herself during worship, in the documentary. This shows that the LTTE accommodates Christian religious beliefs in its ranks.

▪ Jesumy Fernando (nom de guerre: Kennedy) is a LTTE commando who was captured on a raid on the sole airstrip of the Sri Lanka army’s sprawling Palaly base in Jaffna in 1994. The LTTE received him back in a prisoner exchange with Sri Lankan Army POWs on 28 September 2002.

▪ “Second Lieutenant” Robert Kanthamarajah Uthayakumar who was killed in an army ambush near Kirumichchai on March 5, 2005.

▪ Lawrence Thilagar, former International spokesman of the LTTE and now the TRO Project Co-ordinator.

▪ Basheer Kaka, a Trincomalee Muslim, was first made in charge of training the LTTE members in the eighties and then was promoted LTTE’s Batticoloa leadership in the nineties.

9) Hence, in Sri Lanka, the biggest supporters of the LTTE have been the Tamil Christian clergy, from the Catholic, Methodist, Anglican and evangelical churches.

To this day, not a single Tamil Christian church or clergyman has condemned the LTTE as being pro-Hindu or anti-Christian.

Normally, Christian groups, lead by the likes of John Dayal, are quick to condemn any organization that is pro-Hindu or anti-Christian.

10) The Sri Lankan Police investigating the seizure of suicide jackets in Mabole on February 1, 2008, two days prior to the Sri Lankan Independence Day celebrations, have arrested 3 Christian priests from a fundamentalist religious sect and recovered several suicide kits.

Under interrogation the priests have confessed that they had brought down around 30 suicide cadres from Mannar to Kandy and Nuwara Eliya. They also admitted to transporting several suicide kits and weapons to these areas. Police were able to arrest the person suspected to have transported a parcel (containing two suicide kits, eight detonators, eight batteries, and six remote controlled devices) to Mabole area.

The arrested person was identified as Nagulan, a pastor of a church in Mannar which is a branch of Four Square Church, a Christian evangelist group. After searching the priest’s church at Pahankammukotte in Mannar, security forces were able to recover three suicide kits, two claymore mines and three magnet bombs.

Read more at: The deadly triangle of LTTE + NGO + Christian extremists exposed. (non-working link: http://www.srilankawatch.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=172&Itemid=1 )

11) A senior Christian priest, Rev. Sam T. Jayathilakarajah of the Achchelu Methodist Church and his brother, Dr. Jayakularajah enthusiastically gave shelter and performed surgery on injured LTTE members (including Pulenthiran and Seelan) after they attacked the Chavakachcheri Police station in 1982.

12) A second Christian priest, Father Aabaranam Singarayar provided a constant supply of painkillers to these LTTE members as they recuperated from surgery. This is confirmed by Maj.Gen. Sarath Munasinghe, the head of the army intelligence unit of Sri Lanka, who arrested interrogated both these priests.

13) A third Christian priest, Father Anton Sinnarasa was also arrested by the Sri Lankan army for sheltering the LTTE members and for his involvement in the LTTE bank van holdup at Neervely, where 81 lakhs of rupees was robbed on March 25th 1981. In September 1983, Father Sinnarasa later escaped from custody during the famous Batticoloa jailbreak. He slipped away to Canada a few years later and continues to lead LTTE-front activities in Tamil-dominated suburbs of Toronto under the name “Anton Philip”.

14) Canadian Broadcasting Corporation ran a detailed report on another Christian priest, Father Francis Xavier who is a leading organizer and fundraiser for the Tamil Tigers in Toronto, Canada.

Read the three-page feature about him at: Whose Truth? ( http://www.cbc.ca/toronto/features/whose_truth/xavier.html )

15) All the top people in LTTE’s front charity group, Tamil Rehabilitation Organization (TRO), now under FBI scrutiny in the USA, are Christians:

▪ Mr.K.P.Regi, Executive Director of TRO,
▪ Mr. Lawrence Thilagar, TRO Project Co-ordinator,
▪ Mr. Lawrence Christie, Planning Director of the TRO
▪ Mr.E.Robert, Administrative Head of the TRO Accelerated Rehabilitation Project.
▪ Mr. Vincent, TRO’s Director of Tsunami Rehabilitation and Construction
▪ Mr.P.Mariyanayagam Croos (Cruz), President of the Mannar TRO,
▪ Ms. P.Mariina Croos (Cruz) of the Mannar TRO
▪ Yude Genoba of the Mannar TRO

16) Not surprisingly, the TRO works in alliance with the Church of South India in the Tamil areas of Northen and Eastern Sri Lanka.

Reverend Father A.Jeyakumar, Reverend Father S.E. Arnold, Reverend Father P. Anukular and Reverend Father J. Thevarudchelvam from Mullaitivu Diocese (Church of South India) and Mr J Rajanayagam from Jaffna Diocese (Church of South India) are the chief guests at TRO functions held to distribute fishing nets, boats and houses to the Tsunami victims.

17) The top 3 Catholic Bishops of Jaffna, Mannar and Trincomalee-Batticaloa (Rev. Thomas Soundaranayagam, Rev. Dr. Joseph Rayappu and Rev. Kingsley Swamipillai) regularly meet the LTTE leadership and grace LTTE events.

18) The LTTE supremo, Velupillai Pirapaharan, named his first born son with a Christian name, Charles Lucas Anthony, in memory of his dead comrade. Would any religious-minded Hindu father ever give his son a fully Christian name?

19) In April 2008, LTTE desperately appealed to the Sri Lankan army to stop the shelling and rocket attacks of the Catholic “Our Lady of Madhu” church in Madhu; and even helped the Catholic clergy to carry away the sacred statue of Mary beyond the warzone, when the Sri Lankan army’s barrage hit the adjacent “Infant Jesus” church.

20) The LTTE is indeed secular. Many of the Members of the Sri Lankan Parliament from the LTTE-affiliated political party, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) are either Tamil Christians or Tamil Muslims.

In February 2008, the LTTE appointed a Muslim lawyer, Rizwan Mohammed Imam, to be the TNA Member of Parliament from Jaffna.

Other key TNA Members of Parliament from Vanni are Selvam Adaikkalanathan (a Tamil Catholic from Mannar) and Solomon Cyril from Jaffna.

In the past, the LTTE had appointed another Christian, Joseph Pararajasingham as the TNA MP from Batticaloa before he was assassinated.

21) Since the eighties, the LTTE has embarked on a rigourous campaign of de-Sanskritisation, i.e. a removal of Sanskrit names from their cadres and changing it to Dravidian names.

Prabhakaran became Pirapaharan; Dinesh became Tamilchelvan and so on. Would any Hindu group do that?

22) Simultaneously, with the de-Sanskritisation, in order to show the LTTE’s secularism, several other LTTE leaders adopted a Christian or Muslim nom-de-guerre.

▪ The Head of LTTE’s Military Intelligence “Colonel” Shanmuganathan Ravishankar was renamed “Charles”.
▪ The first Black Tiger, Vallipuram Vasanthan was christened Captain “Miller”.
▪ The Amparai district LTTE Economic Division Head became “Henry”.
▪ The LTTE spokesperson, Rasiah Ilanthariyan became “Marshall”.
▪ The commander of LTTE’s Vinothan brigade was renamed “Jim Kelly”, and another LTTE commander was renamed “Robert”.
▪ The LTTE delegate to the Thimpu talks, Sivakumaran became “Anton”
▪ And Lt. Col. Thambirasa Kuhasanthan was renamed “Nizam”
▪ The LTTE head of the Victor anti – armoured artillery unit was renamed Lt.Col. “Akbar”
▪ The LTTE head of Sathurukondan area (Batticoloa) was renamed “Gadaffi” after the Libyan Muslim dictator (Muammar Gadaffi)

23) The LTTE is alleged to have murdered the 61-year old Hindu priest, Parameshwara Gurukkal, as described in the article: Pathetic plight of Eastern Pillaiyar Temple Priest ( http://transcurrents.com/tamiliana/archives/285 ).

To maintain its balanced, secular nature, will the LTTE dare to murder any Christian priest? I hope not.

Now, after reading all this proof, why would anyone in their right mind call the LTTE a Hindu group?

Another article that sheds more light.

Thursday, July 2, 2009
Tamil Hindu reflections on Tamil separatism

By Arundhati Rajasingham

Tamil Hinduism versus Christianity:

(July 02, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) 

The LTTE sought a separate Tamil state. But at what cost? The Sri Lankan Tamils are defined by two factors i.e. the Hindu religion and the Tamil language. The Tamil Tigers sought to defend the Tamil cause but intentionally weakened the Hindu identity. This explained their failure. The Christian influence on the top LTTE leadership was immense. This was despite the fact that Christians only constituted 14% of the Tamil population.

An internationally-financed Christian evangelism was initiated in LTTE-held areas in the 1990s. The Ceylon American Mission embarked upon a ‘church planting campaign’. They opened new orphanages and new churches. The Methodist Church did likewise. The Roman Catholic church under its social service arm, HUDEC was not far behind. The pro-LTTE ‘TamilNet’ website was unabashedly anti-Hindu, anti-Buddhist, anti-Indian and pro-Christian. ‘Tamil Canadian’ republished articles from Christian journals but failed to reproduce Hindu media clips. The ‘Tamil Nation’ in London even urged Tamils to jettison celebrating the traditional Hindu new year in mid-April.

The LTTE discouraged people from following the time-honored Tamil Hindu custom of cremation. It supported the burial of the dead. It attempted to jettison the traditional Tamil wedding ceremony introducing a civil ceremony instead. It encouraged beef-eating. It promoted the use of so-called Dravidian names that had no basis in our history. While Hindu temples flourished in Government-held areas, they were neglected in LTTE-held territory. The LTTE strategy entailed a de-Hinduization of Tamil identity. Was this not Christian evangelization under the guise of a Tamil revolt?

The continuation of the war was only intended to facilitate a gradual Christianization of the Tamil people in Sri Lanka. The LTTE claimed that it was secular and neutral between the overwhelming Tamil Hindu majority and the better financed Tamil Christian minority. Religious dualism – the overt tolerance of two religions with the intent to undermine one while allowing the other to expand – was the ugly face of Tamil Tiger secularism. Its real intent was to weaken the Tamil Hindu identity under the guise of fighting the Sinhalese.

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