Seventh Day -21st Sept 1987
The journey of his sacrifice.
What would have been the result of yesterday’s negotiations? Suddenly, a reporter from India Today and a videographer from India’s Doordarshan (Indian television channel) came with Yogi Anna and started to film Thileepan Anna. The India today reporter kept probing and found out about Thileepan Anna’s health. He was informed as accurately as could be of Thileepan Anna’s health deterioration since the first day of the hunger strike to today.
After they left Yogi Anna explained that the following commanders from the Indian Peace Keeping force, Brigadier Raghavan, Higher commander Jeyakumar, Navy commander Apayasundar came to negotiations without the diplomat and they couldn’t reach a finite decision regarding Thileepan Anna’s issue. He asked Thileepan Anna as to what to do next. The soul despite not being able to talk, not being able to walk, slowly opened his eyes and smiled. Then he responded each word at a time in his cracked voice: “Whatever the decision may be it has to be a positive one. They must say in writing that all five demands will be fulfilled. If not I will not give up this fast unto death.” As Thileepan Anna finished speaking in his shaken but firm voice, Yogi Anna was no longer on the stage.
After the Jaffna peninsula was back in the LTTE’s full control in late 1985, Thileepan Anna was in charge of the political wing and resolved several issues amongst the public tactfully. In 1986 due to a misunderstanding in Achuvelli the owners of minibuses protested and prohibited the minibuses from running for a week. The public had suffered greatly as a result of this. Thileepan Anna spoke simplicity to them and within two hours the minibuses were running again. Misunderstanding amongst the Jaffna district fishermen, issues occurring at the sea boundaries, universities, issues between the employers and their employees, labour workers, doctors, nurses, other staff working at the hospital, lawyers, teachers and lorry owners, were all talked through and solved imminently by Thileepan Anna.
In Navanthurai, a coastal village in Jaffna racial riots broke out between Tamils and Muslims. Knives, poles, hand grenades and guns were used in abundance. In one day many lives were lost from either side. Lots suffered serious injuries. Overnight, Thileepan Anna alone met both communities. The result? The next day the issue resolved as if a monsoon had done its deed and left.
The reason the people had such high regard for the LTTE was not only because they sacrificed their own lives in the fight against the Sri Lankan Government but also because they believed their social and economic issues would certainly be resolved by Thileepan Anna, one of the leaders of the political wing.
When it came to resolving other’s issues, Thileepan Anna worked tirelessly night and day. No-one did it better than Thileepan Anna. He never dressed in neat, ironed clothes by choice. He only owned one blue trousers and one shirt. He would travel all over regarding political matters and come to the office around midnight to one o’ clock with an empty stomach. Even at that time he would wash his dirt filled clothing and hang it up to dry before going to sleep. Then in the morning like a machine he would once again set out to carry out his duties.
A man with such attributes lay tired and withered for his tamil nation, sacrificing himself. A man who resolved so many issues, but who will resolve his- the tamil nation’s issue?