Tuesday 4 October 2022


04 October 2022

Gajalakshmi Paramasivam



Most of us have knowledge of the involvement of India, in the armed conflict between the Tamil Tigers and the Sri Lankan government. Many of us accept the that the then Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu – Mr M G Ramachandran donated money to the Tamil Tigers.

Interestingly, the release of the film Ponniyin Selvan is receiving extremely positive reception within  the Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora. Most consider it as a source to repair their pride seriously damaged when the Tamil Tigers were defeated in 2009.

Ponniyin Selvan is about a Tamil Emperor presented as follows by Wikipedia:

Rajaraja I born Arulmozhi Varman and often described as Raja Raja the Great, was a Chola emperor who reigned from 985 CE to 1014 CE. He was the most powerful king in south India during his reign and is remembered for reinstating the Chola influence and ensuring its supremacy across the Indian Ocean.


The Tamil Tigers of Sri Lanka included  the  Tiger flag of the Chola Empire .

It is understandable that most Tamils of Sri Lanka would therefore consider the Tamil Tigers  to be heirs of the Chola Rulers by belief.  A believer is a natural heir.

But this then raises the question as to the legitimacy of the claim that the Tamils of Sri Lanka are an independent community - that made the Declaration of Independence through Vaddukoddai Resolution 1976.

The Indian Chola connection is further disputed by the following Wikipedia presentation of the Tamil Tiger flag:


‘Crossed bayonets and circle

Vellupillai Prabhakaran himself mentioned in a Tamil interview the circle and crossed bayonets represent the armed resistance and were based on the historical shield with crossed swords flag of Pandara Vanniyan. The circle sometimes considered to be a "Uthaya Suriyan" (rising sun) which is a symbol of Sri Lankan Tamils and earlier political movements. The LTTE leader was often compared to Pandara Vanniyan of Vannimai, because both had a similar fate. Pandara Vanniyan was a freedom fighter during the British colonial era in Sri Lanka.’

 This connection is in line with the Vaddukoddai Resolution 1976. Wikipedia confirms also the commonness in the end of the two leaders as follows:

[Pandara Vanniyan was defeated in battle at the hands of Lt. von Driberg, in October 1803 at Oddusuddan, Katsilaimadu. Now no longer a feudal ruler, he withdrew to areas near the Kandy Kingdom. He remained there until September of 1810 where he was attacked in an ambush by British forces, and later succumbed to his injuries. A granite stone monument commemorating Vanniyan's defeat was erected in the village Katsilaimadu in Vanni]

Acceptance of this by the Sri Lankan government led by UNP is confirmed as follows:


[Pandara Vanniyan was declared a national hero by the Prime MinisterRanasinghe Premadasa in 1982 and a statue of him was opened with much fanfare in Vavuniya at the main junction on the A-9 Highway, where the Jaffna and Kandy (and Colombo) road meets the road to Mannar. The Pandara Vanniyan Memorial Day falls on 25 August each year.]


Hence LTTE heirs and supporters would NOT connect to Ponniyin Selvan as relating to their heritage. One such supporter wrote about Director Mani Ratnam as follows:



[Mani Ratnam  claimed that the war between Tigers and the Sri Lankan forces was war between two arms merchants]

I responded as follows:

‘He is an outsider to our community. To me their identity with the pain of their respective sides is genuine. Much more so, for the Tigers. If Mani Ratnam did say so, our community has the duty to boycott his film.’

 On its own merit, the legend of Ponniyin Selvan is deeply valuable. The ancestral value is confirmed as follows:

[In 1958, M. G. Ramachandran announced Ponniyin Selvan, a film adaptation of Kalki Krishnamurthy's historical novel of the same name. Ramachandran bought the film rights to the novel for ₹10,000 (equivalent to ₹810,000 or US$10,000 in 2020), and would produce, direct and star in the adaptation, which would feature an ensemble cast including VyjayanthimalaGemini GanesanPadminiSavitriB. Saroja DeviM. N. RajamT. S. BalaiahM. N. NambiarO. A. K. Thevar and V. Nagaiah. Before shooting could begin, Ramachandran met with an accident, and the wound took six months to heal; Ramachandran was unable to continue with the film even after renewing the rights four years later.]

64 years later, the ancestors have confirmed their blessings to the Tamil  film Industry.


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