The household of Velupillai Prabhakaran, leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), will not be included in the on-going Sri Lankan island-wide census on human and material losses inflicted by the civil wars in the country since 1982.
Explaining, the Director General of the Department of Census and Statistics, D.C.A.Gunawardena, told the media here, that there was no one in Prabhakaran’s family now alive to answer the enumerators’ queries about the losses it had suffered.
Prabhakaran had two houses. The first was in Valvettithurai in Jaffna district, where his father, Thiruvengadam Velupillai and mother Parvathy Ammal, lived prior to the disturbances. The second was a “transient” one in the Wanni war zone, but principally at Kilinochchi and Puthukudiyiruppu, where he lived with his wife Mathivathani, sons Charles Anthony and Balachandran, and daughter Thuwaraka.
The house in Valvettithurai had remained unoccupied since Prabhakaran’s parents fled to Tiruchi in Tamil Nadu in the 1980s. When they did return to Sri Lanka during the 2002-2004 peace process, they stayed with Prabhakaran’s family in the Wanni.
Prabhakaran and his immediate nuclear family perished in Eelam War IV and his parents died of old age and illness while they were under the Lankan government’s care after the war.
Census official Gunawardena further said that households which had migrated from Sri Lanka entirely, would also not be enumerated, for the same reason.
According to reliable sources, about 10 to 11 lakh Lankan Tamils had migrated from the country since the ethnic conflict took a violent turn in 1983. Over a period of time, whole families left the island seeking safety and economic opportunities in Canada, UK, Europe, Australia and India.
Large amounts of property, including houses and land, were laid waste or were taken over by the LTTE or the Lankan armed forces during the war.
The Bishop of Mannar, Rev.Rayappu Joseph has been alleging that out of the civilians who were in the Wanni region prior to the military operations in Eelam War IV, 146,679 have not been accounted for. According to the Presidential Commission on Disappearances, petitions have been received from 5,000 families in the Tamil-speaking North and East and from 4,000 families in the Sinhalese speaking South Sri Lanka.(Indian Express)