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Prabhakaran has Malayali roots, say kin in Kerala

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A lady in Kerala has claimed that LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran, who is spearheading the fight for a separate Tamil eelam in Sri Lanka, is her first cousin and that he has Malayali roots.

Sitting in her distinctly lower middle class residence about 20 km from Kollam, 77-year-old Janaki Amma reminisces her childhood when she had the occasion to see her maternal uncle Velupillai, who she says is the father of Prabhakaran.

“Velupillai was one of five brothers and two sisters, one of who was my mother Nani Amma”, she says. That makes her the first cousin of Prabhakaran, who she has never had an occasion to meet.
“My uncle Velupillai last came to Kollam for my grandfather’s funeral when I was a 12-year-old. Since then, I have not seen him. He used to regularly send money to my mother, but after my mother’s demise that stopped. It used to be Rs 50 per month, but that was a princely amount those days”, reminisces Janaki Amma.

As if to retain those memories, Janaki Amma has preserved one of the post cards that her uncle sent from Jaffna. The sender’s address on the post card, sent on 18.12.1953, reads: R Velupillai, Vale Beeda Store, 224, KKS Road, Jaffna.

But how does she presume that LTTE supremo Prabhakaran is indeed her uncle Velupillai’s son? “Well, I have not seen Prabhakaran, though I have known from my uncle’s letters about his son. We trust that Prabhakaran is his son.”

And how is it that Prabhakaran appears a proud Tamil leading the Tamil cause from the front, if he were the son of a Keralite? “After settling in Jaffna, my uncle’s children would obviously have studied in Tamil medium and been brought up in that culture, quite naturally”, says Janaki Amma.

The last time she was reminded about her family’s connection to Prabhakaran was when police called at her home following Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination in 1991.

“We have not been bothered by the police after that”, says Janaki Amma, who now prays for the safety of her cousin Prabhakaran as he is apparently surrounded by Sri Lankan forces.

“After all, he and I have the same blood”, she says, as her husband, 81-year-old V Parameswaran Pillai nods in agreement. Mr Pillai, who used to carry loads for a living in his younger days, adds that the `V’ in his name denotes Velupillai, “which is sheer coincidence” (Economic Times)
 

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