A young KP at Prabhakaran’s wedding, far left
FirstPost has run an interview from KP saying that Indian political parties used the Tamil cause for votes. Well, duh. And the LTTE used them. It was a mutually exploitative relationship.
I liked FirstPost when it came out, but they have some rather loose standards for a news site. This article, for example, says that this is KP’s first interview since the war ended in 2009. It’s definitely not. Off the top of my head he’s given interviews to:
The Island, July 2010 – http://bit.ly/90b2bm
DBS Jeyaraj, August 2010 (printed in Daily Mirror I think) – http://bit.ly/9jpG5d
Sunday Leader, August 2010 – http://bit.ly/jTe4vK
Starting in 2010 he was trotted out quite regularly by the government. I think that this is his first interview to a foreign organization since the war ended, unless you count the interview he gave to Channel 4 basically the day of. Or the blog he maintained for a few weird months after. Or his interview to Indian publication Headlines Today in June 2009 (via Asian Tribune). Well, nevermind.
KP does say some interesting stuff.
On The UN Panel
You have to understand the reality on the ground. The past is past. War means first (many people) die. War means who dies first. Truth (also dies). War means the same everywhere. You cannot say good war and bad war. War is war.
On A Political Solution
if you go and ask the people in Vanni (Tamil-dominated Northern Sri Lanka) about the 13th Amendment (to the Sri Lankan Constitution for devolving power to the Tamil areas, which was never implemented), they look like this (looks up with a blank face). They only know about bread and rice.
In my experience, this is true. We talked to some refugees in Mannar district and they literally look at you like WTF? if you ask about democracy or devolution. The people we talked to just wanted a road and tangible benefits. To quote: “We point blank asked someone recently resettled (not from this war) if they cared about democracy or other parts of the country. They said no.” (Bread And Circuses)
On The LTTE Diaspora
These groups are well off in Europe. Their children are very well off. They are poisoning the younger generation. Their kids are well off, but they look (to see) where they can spread the poison.
From the time these people (Tamils in Sri Lanka) were born they have never seen happiness. The children of these (Tamil Diaspora) groups are very happy. They live a luxurious life.
On Negotiations, And The Peace Process
As I told you before, Prabhakaran never felt he should negotiate Tamil Eelam. Simple…
It was part of peace talks because they needed some time to regain strength. Everyone knows that at public meetings they spoke one thing, at the negotiating table another thing, and to the Diaspora another thing.
On The Killing Of Rajiv Gandhi
I want to say to the Indian people and especially the Gandhi family… I want to apologise for Prabhakaran’s mistake. Please forgive us, we beg you.
On Tamil Nadu
In India, if you look at Punjab, they too had an armed struggle, but now they are developed….when we see Punjab in TV, it has beautiful, educated people. They are well off. I need to see TN people develop and, second, here our own people are in enough pain.
Yes, and if you go by TV Switzerland is also in India, for people in love. Tamil Nadu has a higher GDP than Punjab, lower castes have made money rather than politics (NYTimes) and the two states have basic the same score on the Human Development Index. So, uh, no. Any thought that begins with ‘in TV’ usually doesn’t end well.
On Tamil Politicians
Vaiko, some DMK MPs and MLAs were very close to us. Karunanidhi is a senior politician but he also used this (LTTE) card from time to time…(he wants to say) “I am close to Prabhakaran” because that will get him the vote. They are a well off party, but they only need votes.
I don’t think that going for votes is necessarily a bad thing. The problem with foreign policy is that the people affected aren’t voters, so it’s a bit of crack pipe for politicians that hit it too hard. The main spin in FirstPost is that it’s shocking that Tamil politicians behaved this way, but I don’t think so. They used the LTTE and the LTTE used them. Now KP is being used by the Sri Lankan government. Somewhere in between is the truth, which is something like, as KP said, ‘war means who dies first. Truth (also dies)’.
Transcript from the amarasasa.info forum, not sure how accurate it is.