Northeast prepares to celebrate Black Tigers' day

[TamilNet, Friday, 04 July 2003, 12:52 GMT]
Red and Yellow flags, decorative ornaments and picture boards adorned streets and junctions in key towns including Jaffna, Point Pedro, Vavuniya, Mannar, Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu, projecting a festival atmosphere as Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and people of Northeast prepared to celebrate the Black Tigers day, Saturday, 5th July, sources said.

July 5 is the 16th anniversary of the death of the first Black Tiger, Captain Miller from Thunnalai in Vadamaradchi, who was killed destroying a Sri Lanka Army (SLA) base located in the Nelliady Madhya Maha Vidyalayam, 3 km southwest of Point Pedro in 1987.

LTTE's Heros' Office informed that todate 241 black tigers have sacrificed their lives.

Several pageants have been organized to carry pictures of black tigers to be taken in procession across several areas in the Northeast, the LTTE office said. Prayer meetings will be held at predetermined venues when the pageants arrive at these venues.

Celebrations will involve raising of Tamil eelam national flag, lighting of sacrificial flame, placing flower garlands to pictures of Black Tigers followed by music and cultural events, according to organizers.

Senior Military Commanders of the LTTE, and parents and close relatives of the black tigers will participate in the ceremonies added the Black Tiger day organizers.

Black Tigers' identities are closely guarded. Having completed their training, they serve in regular LTTE units, concealing their membership. When called up for a mission, they take routine leave and if they survive, return to regular service again. Membership is only revealed if they are killed in combat.

The Sri Lankan government and press demonise the Black Tigers as fanatical 'suicide bombers' in an attempt to exploit Western discomfort with the concept, and to draw critical parallels with other parts of the world.

A British film crew which met up with some Black Tigers in the east of the island in 1996, discounted government claims that the Tigers were irrational or drug-crazed. The Sri Lankan government tried unsuccessfully to prevent the film being shown in England.

In fact, the Black Tigers constitute a successful military unit which has inflicted disproportionately severe physical and psychological damage on the Sri Lankan military, the latter with the help of the Sri Lankan government's own propaganda. The commandos are some of the LTTE's best fighters and often have several years combat experience.


Related Articles:
06.07.02   Black Tiger day marked at site of first attack
05.07.01   Security stepped up for Black Tigers day
05.07.00   Black Tiger day commemorated
06.07.99   Batticaloa marks 'Black Tiger' day
06.07.97   Tamils mark Black Tigers' Day

 

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