We have come together in a virtual remembrance to commemorate two legendary heroes in our national liberation struggle.
Brigadier Balraj was an enigma, Eelam’s senior military commander known as சமர்க்கள நாயகன் and Lima. He was the first commander of the Charls Anthony Regiment. A renowned battlefield genius that always led from the front. Due to the revolutionary nature of our struggle he was under-resourced & heavily outnumbered, but as soon as his name entered the radiowaves jubilation entered our cadres and fear struck our enemies. He bought unparalleled glory to Eelam, his unimaginable feats were bought to American military school manuals. Under the tutelage of Thalaivar he became an invincible icon. Thalaivar had noted a special talent in the young Balraj Anna early in his service for the nation. Balraj Anna had an innate leadership quality to prepare well even under the toughest conditions and always found a way to complete the objective. His courage was second to none. He always led from the frontline. A huge morale boost to his battalions. Thalaivar often assigned bodyguards to contain Balraj anna’s zealous characteristic in the battlefield to protect him.
At Anai Iravu he held the position for 34 days without sleep, proper food nor water with 1,200 newly trained personnel and surrounded by 40,000 Sri Lankan soldiers. Amongst them were 4 generals, including commando forces trained by Israel and America. He kept everyone’s spirits alive through his exuberant charisma and relentless courage. In the end coming out with relatively few casualties and sent the Sri Lankans running. Since before Dutch colonial times this was the first time Tamils ruled over Elephant pass. Once the battle was over Thalaivar congratulated everyone personally aside from the general that was responsible for the victory to everyone’s shock. Then with a smirk, Thalaivar said it is not possible for me to praise you more than this and played a Sri Lankan recording of walkie talkie communication. Where a frustrated general asks ‘how is this happening?’ To which the respondent says, ‘Even if Pirapaharan himself commanded we may have had a slight chance but against Balraj this was a predetermined outcome.’ It was Testament to his character, throughout his service he was loved by all in the defacto state & revered by his opposition generals in the Sri Lankan army. A legend amongst his friends & foes. Brigadier Balraj was a leader who was genuinely admired and loved by the Tamil people he associated with. He was simple, courteous and accessible. He was deeply committed to the people, Thalaivar and Tamil Eelam, this is what drove this great commander. Today, we take a moment to show our love for this beloved Maaveerar at his 12th year remembrance event.
For anyone who knows about the Tamileela liberation struggle would have come across Lieutenant Colonel Ratha and his great achievements. He enlisted with the LTTE in 1983 having witnessed the genocide that took place in July of 1983 known as Black July. He was issued with his military name Ratha by Thalaivar and throughout his journey in the freedom struggle became ranked Lt Colonel Ratha.
Having recognised Ratha anna’s strengths Thalaivar chose him to lead a training camp. He was a revolutionary commander and introduced the use of real bullets in training to achieve realistic expectations of the battlefield. Whilst a formidable cadre he was also a friend of his peers. During down time he would share amusing stories of events that took place during his school days and won over the hearts of his fellow comrades.
He was well versed in all three languages, Tamil, English and Sinhala and was a keen reader. An example of an incident that showed his expertise was multifaceted was when Ratha Anna was travelling through the forest one day accompanied by the likes of Thalaivar and Ponnamman Anna, he commanded everyone to take the down position. Everyone followed his directive immediately and moments later a colony of bees flew over their heads. He then elucidated that he had read this once and suspected this is what it could be based on noise he had heard. He also went onto explain that these bees do not change course of direction and had they remained standing they would have lost their eyes. Ponnamman Anna took this as a teaching opportunity and for the others, when instructed you do as told, no questions asked, had you not in this instance you could have lost your eyes.
Ratha Anna achieved many remarkable wins and helped bring recognition to the movement on an international scale. His gallant nature, unequalled for made him special commander of Mannar and later special commander of Jaffna. In a short period of time, he succeeded in attacking several army camps and the Kankesan Harbour camp was one such example. He was fearless of the enemy and often said
that only a bomb or a fragment from an artillery shell would kill him. We lost this incredible, mighty hero 33 years ago to an enemy bomb.
Brigadier Balraj and Lieutenant Colonel Ratha, two devoted men to the liberation of the Tamils and for the welcoming of our homeland, Tamil Eelam. We will continue to keep them as we keep the struggle alive, fighting for the freedom of our people. As the Tamil Youth Organisation, we look up to them and follow in their footsteps for the salvation of Eela Tamils!
Thamilarin Thaham, Thamileela thayaham