The Tamil speaking people are deeply disturbed to hear the news that Brigadier Balraj, whose native name is Kanthaiya Balasekaram from Kokkuthoduvai, died of a heart attack on 20.05.2008.
Brigadier Balraj was a hero who lived a life of struggle for almost twenty five years since 1984. Banu, Theepan, Sornam, Velavan, Keerthi, Vasanthan, Ram, Yalini, Thurga, who are today’s front line commanders, will say that it is rare to meet a hero like Balraj.
“Venpamalai” speaks of the bravery of a hero as his red-eyed and still standing in the midst of a herd of elephants with the sword in his hand, and the enemy coming like a flood. Such bravery is called “Etumai maram”. Those who remember Major Basilan say that Major Basilan had this kind of bravery.
Once when he talked about Basilan with his elder brother, Kutty, he said that if Basilan means Balraj, they cannot be separated.
Balraj´s family was one of the many displaced from Kokkuthodvai in the 1990s due to Sinhalese violence. During the year 1983 Balraj, who had established contact with Leb. Kandeepan, was working with Saba and Sasi to organize transport and food for the freedom fighters. In the year 1984 Balraj joined himself as a freedom fighter.
When the government tried to take back the shotguns from the Tamil farmers and villagers, Balraj and others, under the command of Kandeepan, took them back.
On 24.12.1984, Vellai, Idiamin and Balraj along with Kandeepan carried out the task of loading 50 sodaks with new freedom fighters in a plow and moving them from Puthukudiyiruppu to Mungavil. While passing through Ulupori Othiyamalai, they was ambushed by the Sinhalese force. Balraj became conscious during this attack. Kasan and another survived. Balraj went to Tamil Nadu for treatment. There he trained in the 9th training camp and after the training, Balraj came here and started cooking and serving food to the freedom fighters here. From time to time he hunted using firewood. Seeing his good work, Lieut. Colonel Appaiyah entrusted him with the task of guarding the explosives.
Later, Balraj recounted the event that Appaiyah, who was confused as to how he was hunting without asking for fire sticks, got furious when he found out the truth and said that he should be severely punished.
During this period, Basilan, who was the national leader’s bodyguard in Tamil Nadu, arrived here. He recognizes Balraj and keeps him with him as his bodyguard. Basilan took him to Kilinochchi. While talking about the bravery of Basilan, Balraj remembers the incident where Basilan stood near the wall of the Sinhalese force and spied with great courage.
The attack on the Sinhalese soldiers who were involved in the Sinhalese settlement attempt at Muntrikaikulam under the leadership of Basilan was one of the biggest attacks of that time. During this attack, 13 A.K Firearms were captured. At this time only one soldier was standing in a ditch and was shooting straight up and down. The soldier stooped down to order Basilan ordered Balraj to shoot the soldier and in a split second Balraj shot him dead.
The forest, jungle life, predatory nature and ferocity caused by Sinhalese brutality, direct guidance first by Basilan and then by the national leader made Balraj a great fighter. He was the commander of the teams who changed the situation in the difficult circumstances of the Tamileelam liberation struggle. After the arrival of the Indian army, when the national leader was stationed in Manalaru, Balraj and the national leader got to know each other. The national leader recognized Balraj’s potential and first made him the district commander of Mullaitheevu. Later he made him District Commander of Vanni.
On 10.04.1991 he became commander of the Charles Antony Brigade, the first conventional brigade, comprising a 1,200-strong assault and a 300-strong heavy infantry brigade.
Vanni vikrama 02, Vanni vikrama 03, A.K.V Samar, Palakeya 03, Minnal Yarldevi, Jayasikkuru – There are many battles he participated. Oyatha Alayhal 01, 02, 03 and many attacks he performed as a great warrior.
While the Indian Army was here in the Mullaitheevu district, an additional 400 weapons were captured from the Indian Army. Generals like Pallavan, Yalini, Thurga, Roy, Ilangeeran, Nesan supported inside and others like Susai, Banu, Raju, Theepan and Akbar were supported from outside. Deciding that Balraj is the right one to do this job, the national leader gave him the responsibility of leading this battle.
On 02.03.2008, when the Sinhalese forces entered the Kandal area with tanks, they shouted that they would capture Brigadier Balraj alive or dead. No one will ever forget that the Sinhalese army that was looking for him stood at 20-30 meters from him and fled away unknowing how to survive from there. No one can forget this destruction and escape of the Sinhalese force!
Between the enemy’s massive artillery barrages, Balraj helped the wounded freedom fighters and stood with pride, unwaveringly giving orders and cheering the freedom fighters by shouting “Thirst of Tigers is Tamileelam”. This will be the victory, or we will become maveerar, he said.
After this, on 10.04.2003, the entire brigade (450 men) of 53 Division and the coordinated attempt to open the A-9 road was thwarted by the team led by Brigadier Balraj.
On this day of commemoration of the LTTE, we will take a memorial stone at Kokkuthoduvai for Brigadier Balraj, who lived as a symbol of bravery for about twenty-five years.
Commemoration: Y.S. Yogi
(In charge of Security Division)
Publication: Samarkala Nayagan Book (Publication Division, International Relations, LTTE.)
The roots of republishing and Internet typing are the Internet
“Thirst of Tigers is Tamileelam”