Velupillai Prabhakaran: His life, times and death

May 18th, 2009 - 5:23 pm ICT by IANS  

By M.R. Narayan Swamy
New Delhi, May 18 (IANS) From Nov 26, 1954 to May 18, 2009 - the following is a chronological account of the life and times of Velupillai Prabhakaran, the Tamil Tigers chief who was killed Monday in the north of Sri Lanka:

1954 (Nov 26): Born in Jaffna in a Hindu middle class family, the youngest of two sons and two daughters.

1960-70s: Takes to militancy, indulges in minor acts of violence.

1972: Forms Tamil New Tigers (TNT), flees home for good.

1975: Assassinates Jaffna Mayor Alfred Duriappah at Hindu temple.

1976: TNT becomes Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

1978: LTTE issues first press statement.

1982: Arrested in Madras (now Chennai) after a shootout with a rival Tamil militant. Jailed, bailed, escapes to Sri Lanka.

1983: Ambushes army patrol in Jaffna, killing 13 soldiers. Anti-Tamil riots sweep Colombo, leaving hundreds dead and igniting Tamil insurgency.

1983 (September): Moves to Tamil Nadu, sets up home in Chennai. LTTE training camps come up in Tamil Nadu.

1984: Meets Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.G. Ramachandran and seeks support. Marries Jaffna university student, fathers two sons and daughter.

1985 (May): Orders massacre of Buddhists in the holy town of Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka.

1986 (April-May): Orders slaughter of Tamil militants from rival group TELO.

1987 (January): Quits India for good, saying there is an attempt to kill him.

1987 (July): Meets Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in New Delhi and says he accepts India-Sri Lanka accord meant to end Tamil separatism.

1987 (August): Gives speech in Jaffna, saying “We love India”, but tells aides he will teach India a lesson for betraying Tamil Eelam cause.

1987 (October): Launches war against Indian troops deployed in Sri Lanka’s northeast.

1989 (April-June): Goes into peace talks with Sri Lankan President Ranasinghe Premadasa, who asks Indian troops to go home.

1989 (July): LTTE kills well known Tamil politicians A. Amirthalingam and V. Yogeswaran in Colombo.

1990 (April): Takes control of Jaffna, addresses the media.

1990 (June): Resumes war against Sri Lanka for Tamil Eelam, orders 100,000 Muslims living in Jaffna to quit. Rival militant K. Pathmanabha and aides killed in Chennai, India.

1991 (March): Sri Lankan Defence Minister Ranjan Wijeratne killed by car bomb.

1991 (May): LTTE woman suicide bomber assassinates former Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi at election rally near Chennai.

1992 (August): Sri Lanka’s northern army command wiped out.

1992 (November): LTTE suicide bomber riding motorcycle kills Sri Lanka Navy chief Clancey Fernando.

1993: Sri Lankan President Premadasa killed at May Day rally.

1993 (August): Arrests LTTE number two Mahattaya on charges of being Indian spy, executes him in December 1994.

1994: Agrees to talk to President Chandria Kumaratunga. Fighting halts.

1995: Sri Lankan presidential candidate Gamini Dissanayake assassinated. Resumes war against for Tamil Eelam.

1995 (December): Loses Jaffna to Sri Lankan troops.

1996 (July): LTTE slaughters 1,200 soldiers and policemen in military complex in just 72 hours.

1997-99: Takes control of large parts of north and east in Sri Lanka.

1999 (December): President Kumaratunga escapes assassination attempt, is blinded in one eye.

2000-01: Sri Lanka approaches Norway to facilitate peace talks with LTTE.

2001 (July): LTTE suicide cadres overrun Sri Lanka’s only international airport, destroys 13 aircraft.

2002 (February): Signs Norway-brokered ceasefire agreement with Sri Lanka.

2002 (April): Addresses Sri Lankan, international media in Kilinochchi, says he will never give up Tamil Eelam cause.

2003 (April): Walks out of Norway-backed peace process.

2004 (March): Faces revolt by LTTE eastern regional commander Karuna and hundreds of cadres in eastern province.

2005 (August): Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar shot dead by LTTE sniper.

2006 (April): Army General Sarath Fonseka badly hurt in attack by woman suicide bomber.

2006 (December): Defence Secretary Gothabaya Rajapaksa, brother of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, survives assassination attempt

2007: Launches air strike near Colombo. LTTE loses eastern province to Sri Lanka. Prabhakaran vows to fight back.

2008 (January): Sri Lanka spikes ceasefire agreement. LTTE begins to lose territory in north.

2008 (November): Mocks President Rajapaksa, says LTTE territory can never be seized.

2009 (January): Loses Kilinochchi, hub of de facto Tamil Eelam state; retreats into Mullaitivu district.

2009 (May 17): Decides to “silence” guns and end armed struggle.

2009 (May 18): Prabhakaran killed while trying to escape from war zone in Mullaitivu district. Heir apparent son and all key aides also killed.

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