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LTTE women captives find Army a very humane outfit

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LTTE women captives find Army a very humane outfit
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Until a few days ago, the three girls were fighting with no hope for life. Death was the name of their game, and they knew that victory was a mirage. While the deadly mortars and artilleries were shelling around them and with signs of soldiers surrounding them from four corners, the bitter lessons taught by their seniors about the inhuman acts by soldiers haunted their minds. These myths made them half dead. Few minutes were left for them to decide their fate - death or freedom?

The girls took the right path. Trained to kill and brained washed to die, these girls have now realised that 'living' is more honourable than 'death'.

With their eyes down cast, the girls - Kugatharshani, Subanjini and Malathi resembling the outlook of typical Tamil lasses, looked around shyly like schoolgirls, but not like trained killers. The revenge of war was slowly disappearing from their faces.

Twenty eight-year-old Kugatharshini Arumainathan, a native of Paranthan, just six kilometres away from the LTTE's administrative capital, has seen the rise and fall of the LTTE. Captured in a bunker along with two other teenagers, Kugatharshini, bleeding from fingers had no hopes for life and wanted to die as the soldiers were a few feet away. The two teenagers, leaving the weapons and grenades aside were crying for life. No command to fight further as their platoon leader committed suicide blasting a hand grenade, Kugatharshini too had decided to remain silent until soldiers ordered them to come out.

" You could have easily bitten the cyanide. Why didn't you die", I asked them.

" We wanted to live. We do not want to fight a losing battle. We are afraid of war", flashed back these young girls who are brave enough to reveal the truth - the LTTE is waging a losing battle sacrificing the future of the Tamils for the sake of realising a dream for a separate land. The LTTE's rigid policy - one from each family - had made these girls, who wanted to be just ordinary Tamils, terrorists. Brain washed from birth they had learned a single mantra - Sinhalese were enemies and Sinhala Army was a group of killers who rape girls and torture others when caught alive.

But today, they are witnessing the truth and are happy that they are given life by the so-called killers, who know their heart beat better than their own saviours, who left them to die helplessly in deadly war zones.

Having migrated to Kilinochchi along with the family whose breadwinner, her father was a postman in 1993, Kugatharshini gained entrance to the Vembadi Girls School having passed the Grade five scholarship examination, and studied upto the Advanced Level in the same school. She went on to pass out as a trained English teacher from the College of Education and was recruited by the LTTE in January 2007 despite her mother's strong protests. " I always wanted to help my people by teaching and doing some social service, but the order of the LTTE - one from the family to the outfit- made me a cadre", she disclosed. Kugatharshini was first employed as a teacher at the Chencholai, a hostel run by the LTTE for three months and later transferred to the Ambahakam training camp for females in Mankulam.

Wearing the tag No. O: 12170 and identified with her norm de guerrilla 'Nilaventhy' was given a month's training on handling weapons with 120 other cadres including four government servants and six university students.

She was again sent to Chencholai for teaching and then called back by the LTTE to work in their Thalamaiseyalakam - LTTE's administrative unit at Puthiruppu as a data entry operator and to draft their letters.

As they were losing manpower in the battle fields, the LTTE ordered their cadres in all other units to undergo combat training and Kugatharshini too was sent to a 15-day refreshment military course in Wishwamadu.

" After training, we were taken to guard the coast line along Pooneryn. They told us lies that there was not much fighting involved as the Army could not resist the LTTE", she owned up.

Over 90 cadres from the LTTE's administrative unit were guarding the Pooneryn coastal belt though they did not have the know-how to fight back against troops." Lots of Sea Tigers escape to India abandoning the battle. When they were escaping the LTTE, we knew we would die soon, but had no option", explained Kugatharshini. She said she was determined to survive death during that two-month period of duty. Later, 30 were selected to fight in the forward defence lines in Pooneryn and Kugatharshini was among the lot lined up for her first encounter with well trained professional soldiers. The cadres in the battle fronts, according to Kugatharshini are the unfortunate lot as they are deprived of proper meals, water and sanitary facilities. Their meals had been cut to one meal a day and to get food and water they had to walk over four kilometres and washing themselves was a luxury. They had to creep a long distance to get to their destination to obtain meals - a small portion of rice or pittu, kanji and drinking water at night as the Army continued to attack during daytime. During the attack, two teenage cadres, who shared the bunker with her, committed suicide as they were in fear of having to surrender to the Army and according to orders the remaining two were called up to hold another bunker where five female cadres were fighting with the soldiers. They were fighting at Valayakuduyiruppumodai,6km East of the 7th mile post of the A32 Road. " I think over 25 soldiers surrounded us at that time and after firing over 90 rounds I got injured. Two others got injured and two went out and got killed. An 18-year-old girl was crying and could not shoot at all. Our leader, instead of giving us orders killed herself. Soldiers were a few feet ahead and we decided to surrender", she reminisced, the joy of living to enjoy freedom written on her face.


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