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'We are better off without the LTTE'
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam supremo Prabhakaran was quite regular in attending the training camps of the Tamil Tigers and used to personally supervise their programmes, a surrendered activist of the banned organisation has said.
Arumugam (named changed) told a team of visiting journalists at a fortified building in Jaffna that houses the former LTTE cadres that the LTTE chief was quite regular in attending training camps and used to personally supervise their programmes.
"I worked for the LTTE for almost six years and was classified as a Black Sea Tiger," Arumugam told the journalists.
The former rebel said he is still petrified by prospects of an attack on him by the the LTTE for having deserted the organisation.
"I have already lost a portion of my leg," Arumugam said, displaying the injury he suffered during a confrontation with the Sri Lankan security forces.
The camp, to which the visiting journalists were taken around earlier this week, had 54 surrendered men, many of them former supporters and sympathisers of the outfit.
A top military official said the camp was well protected and there were layers of cordon that one had to go through to enter the area.
When asked whether he had seen Prabhakaran, Arumugam hesitatingly said he had watched him from close distance though never got an opportunity to talk to the LTTE leader.
"He (Prabhkaran) generally does not discuss with individual LTTE fighters and prefers to address the activists jointly," the former LTTE cadre said.
The Black Tigers are special operatives of the LTTE who go to the extent of committing suicide if need arise to achieve their objective.
One of the earliest LTTE Black Tiger was Vallipuram Vasanthan, who rammed a explosives laden truck into a Sri Lanka [Images] Army camp in Nelliady in the Jaffna peninsula in July 1987 killing himself and 18 Sri Lankan soldiers.
Another LTTE activist, who also requested anonymity, said the LTTE supremo generally carried a gun while inspecting training camps.
"Nobody around him (Prabhakaran) would carry any weapon and only those guarding the camp from a distance would be armed," he said.
"The LTTE leader once said education and other necessities of the LTTE activists will be taken care of once the mission is achieved," the surrendered LTTE fighter told the mediapersons.
Though he had not attended LTTE training camps, he was a sympathiser of the outfit carrying things and providing shelter to them whenever required.
"I had thought why should I not provide food or other assistance if the LTTE fighters come to me when they are fighting for the Tamil cause," a former LTTE supporter said.
Another former LTTE fighter virtually broke down saying he had all female members in his family and that he needed to go abroad to work and save himself from the Tamil Tigers.
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