The "mild-mannered" Veerasamy Thiruvengadam Velupillai, the father of the slain Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam supremo Prabhakaran, never endorsed the militant ways of his son and was not even on talking terms with him for a long period, a media report said on Sunday.
"The LTTE leader's father was a duty conscientious mild-mannered gentleman well respected and well-liked. People of Valvettithurai (where Prabhakaran hailed from) used to say that even the grass wouldn't get crushed when Velupillai treads on it," the Daily Mirror reported. "In fact the father disapproved of the son's path and was not on speaking terms with Prabhakaran for years and years," the newspaper said.
Prabhakaran's family, which hailed from the coastal town of Valvettithurai in Jaffna District, referred to generally as VVT, was of respected lineage in that area. His ancestors had constructed the famous Sivan temple of VVT. His father should have been the chief trustee but declined to be so as he was in government service, said the article in the newspaper published on Saturday.
The LTTE supremo's parents -- 76-year old Velupillai and 71-year old Parvathi--who are living in a newly set up welfare camp in Vavuniya with the relatives of other LTTE leaders, were found inside a IDP camp by the Lankan forces. They are in good health with no sign of injury being caused at any time.
"Prabhakaran's father joined the government clerical service and eventually became a district lands officer," it said. "Being the youngest in the family (of four siblings) Prabhakaran was called "Thambi" or younger brother. This pet name continued to be in vogue when he entered militant ranks as he was then perhaps the youngest of all," the newspapersaid. As a schoolboy, Prabhakaran like most youngsters of his age was fond of cycling and playing volley ball and soccer. But he was no sportsman and preferred to read or watch action films.
"His memory power was very sharp. Prabhakaran would remember faces, names and the last time he had seen someoneyears ago," it said. "Prabhakaran's eyes were always sharp and roving taking in the surrounding area and ever on the alert. His eyes were large and striking and was teased as "muliyan"(goggle-eye)." "Prabhakaran was also a puritan in many ways as he neither drank nor smoked and even advocated sexual abstinence for all in the early days of the movement," the report said. "Order and cleanliness was almost an obsession. He was a stickler for discipline," it said.