Prabhakaran’s brother warns of huge scam.

LTTE founder leader Velupillai Prabhakaran, his wife and their three children are dead, all of them perishing in the final stages of Sri Lanka’s war in 2009, Prabhakaran’s elder brother Velupillai Manoharan has declared publicly for the first time.

Manoharan told the Jaffna Monitor magazine’s latest issue that he was stating this to end what he said was a huge scam perpetrated by a section of the Tamil diaspora to cheat unsuspecting Tamils by insisting that Prabhakaran and some of his family members were still alive.

“As Prabhakaran’s elder brother, I felt it was my responsibility to end this nonsense,” Manoharan, who is based in Denmark, told the fortnightly journal. “Additionally, there have been false rumours that my brother is alive and living abroad.”
Manoharan spoke days after organising his family’s first public commemoration of the death of Prabhakaran and his family at the DGI Huset Conference Centre in Denmark on 18 May that was attended by a large number of Sri Lankan Tamils.

In recent months, a young Tamil woman living in the West had falsely claimed to be Prabhakaran’s daughter Thuvaraga (Dwarka), “deceiving the diaspora out of millions of dollars”, Manoharan said. “As Prabhakaran’s elder brother, I have a responsibility to reveal the truth about what happened to him and his family. If we do not speak out, these false narratives will dominate, and everyone will believe this nonsense,” he said.

Manoharan, who left Sri Lanka for good in 1975 even as Prabhakaran was slowly rising the ranks of Tamil militancy, was never with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), which was founded in 1976 and later rose to be one of the deadliest insurgent groups globally.

Manoharan told Jaffna Monitor that he often spoke with Prabhakaran on the telephone until the end of 2008, and for the last time a couple of months before the latter got killed, in May 2009. Recalling the final conversations, Manoharan said: “He (Prabhakaran) said the situation was getting out of hand and asked for advice since our parents were with him.”

When asked if Prabhakaran ever admitted that the LTTE’s war was about to end, Manoharan replied: “No, he did not. He said they would continue to fight but acknowledged that the problems were overwhelming.”

Since the armed struggle for an independent Tamil Eelam ended in May 2009, some politicians in Tamil Nadu including P. Nedumaran as well as a section of the pro-LTTE Tamil diaspora from Sri Lanka have maintained that Prabhakaran escaped from the conflict zone and would emerge one day. The situation took a turn for the worse when a young Tamil woman in November 2023 claimed to be Prabhakaran’s daughter and said she continued to back the Tamil political political struggle. The digital claim created a stir.

Although it soon emerged that the woman was a fake and not Prabhakaran’s daughter, some Tamils continued to claim that the LTTE chief’s wife and daughter were alive. The claimants included some relatives of Prabhakaran’s wife in the West.

Manoharan accused two well-known Tamil diaspora organisations and some Tamils who reside in the West of unleashing lies about Prabhakaran’s family to swindle money. “These individuals and organisations have orchestrated a complex network for deceit. They exploit the emotional and financial support of the Tamil diaspora by falsely claiming that Thuvaraga, Prabhakaran’s daughter, is still alive. This claim is used to siphon funds from well-meaning supporters who believe they are aiding Prabhakaran’s family and the Tamil cause.

“It is all about easy money. By falsely claiming that Thuvaraga is alive, they can potentially earn millions of dollars without having to work hard or do anything significant.”