Former Bodyguard of LTTE Chief Enters Election Fray

Election  ballot boxSivanathan Navindra alias Venthan, a former bodyguard of the slain Tamil Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran, is among nine ex-Tiger militants contesting the August 17 Sri Lankan parliamentary elections from the Jaffna-Kilinochchi electoral district as members of a new outfit, Crusaders for Democracy (CFD).

Venthan and fellow candidate, Rasaiah Tharmakulasingham alias Gamini, had both lost their legs in the war. And like others in the CFD list, had undergone “rehabilitation” conducted by the Lankan armed forces after Eelam War IV.

The Puli Muga Silanthi, a poisonous spider, is their election symbol.

Other CFD candidates are Kalikutti Subramanian alias Charles of the Artillery section; Kumaravelu Akilan alias Iyal, a computer operator; Thangarasa Thevathasan alias Gangai Athman who worked with Intelligence Chief Pottu Amman; Vinayagasundaram Mohanasundaram alias Gangai Alagan; Veeran Shakthivel alias Thani Arasan; Sivaguru Murugadas alias Raviraj; and Nadesapillai Vithyatharan, a non-LTTE cadre who is described as a Oodaga Porali (Media Warrior).

Vithyatharan, who was editor of the popular Tamil daily Uthayan, is also coordinator of the CFD. Vithyatharan told Express that if only the CFD had funds, it would be able to grab three of the seven seats up for grabs.

“Reception from the people is encouraging. People feed the campaigners, thus enabling them to save on food expenditure,” he said.

The ex-cadres are restoring faith among those who had lost faith in the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) after its defeat in 2009, Vithyatharan claimed.

“When a lame ex-bodyguard of Prabhakaran was asked if the CFD could be depended upon to deliver, he shot back saying that it was because of people like him that Prabhakaran was able to sleep soundly at night,” he said.

On the CFD’s manifesto, Vithyatharan said it wants all international agreements on the Tamil question to be implemented and to achieve this ultimate and crucial goal, the party will push forward and fight using “moral force”, which he described as “Gandhian in an extreme form”.

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