An illusive leader's annual speech
journal contributionposted on 2017-12-06, 00:00 authored by Kasun UbayasiriKasun Ubayasiri
Despite spearheading a three decade long conflict with the Sri Lankan government force and for short period the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF), Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran has remained an illusive figure in the island nation’s northern conflict. The Tiger leader has provided few media interviews in his lifetime, and virtually none since the late 80’s, at times adding fuel to the south’s politically motivated rumours announcing his death. However, every year on November 27 Velupillai Prabhakaran has continued to address his ‘nation’, a much publicised statement which is viewed small window into the Tiger ideology. Despite its significance in providing and insight into the course of the ethnic conflict, little or no systematic research has been conducted to analyse the semiotic content of the annual speeches. In this context this paper aims to provide a detailed analysis of the annual speeches, based on the texts available through numerous pro-Tiger sources, in a bid to determine the main narratives outlined in the Tiger leader’s ‘speech to the nations’.