Balachandran Prabhakaran (1996-2009) was the youngest child of Velupillai Prabhakaran, founder and leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). He died on 19 May 2009.
Balachandran Prabhakaran was born on Tuesday, 1 October 1996 (age 12 years; at the time of death) in Sri Lanka. His zodiac sign is Libra.
Balachandran was born in a Tamil Hindu family in Sri Lanka. His ancestors belonged to the Thirumeni Kudumbam (aka Thirumeni family), who built the Sivan Temple at Valvettithurai.
Parents & Siblings
Balachandran’s father was Vellupillai Prabhakaran, a militant leader and founder of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). He was killed in a crossfire with the Sri Lankan Army in May 2009. Balachandran’s mother, Mathivathani Erambu, was reportedly killed by the Sri Lankan Army; however, later the army denied killing her and said that they had no information on her whereabouts. Balachandran had one elder brother, Charles Anthony, who was the head of the LTTE’s Information and Technology department and died during the conflict with the Sri Lankan Army on 18 May 2009. He had an older sister, Duvaraga, who was reportedly found dead along with their mother on 20 May 2009.
Cause of death
During the final phase of the Sri Lankan Civil War in May 2009, Balachandran Prabhakaran was killed and was shot up to five times in the chest. The circumstances surrounding Balachandran’s death are controversial. Reports and photographs emerged showing the young boy in the custody of the Sri Lankan Government Army. These images depicted Balachandran alive and seemingly unharmed. However, later photographs showed him dead with gunshot wounds. Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka (JDS) claimed that the analysis of the metadata from the photographs proves that the pictures taken before and after the killing were taken from the same camera a few hours apart. Scottish filmmaker Callum Macrae, who made films for British TV station – Channel 4, also claimed that the photographs taken from the camera rule out the government’s proclamation that Balachandran was killed in the crossfire. He said,
His death was deliberate and calculated. This is a proof, beyond reasonable doubt, of the execution of a child – not a battlefield death,” said Mr Macrae. “The pictures fill in chilling details on the circumstances of his murder – and leave the Sri Lankan government with yet more questions to answer.” BBC News
Forensic Pathologist, Professor Pounder, who evaluated the pictures, determined that Balachandran was shot from a very close range. He claimed,
There is a speckling from propellant tattooing, indicating that the distance of the muzzle of the weapon to this boy’s chest was two to three feet or less. He could have reached out with his hand and touched the gun that killed him.”
The Sri Lankan government, however, denied any involvement in Balachandran’s death. Army spokesperson Ruwan Wanigasuriya said,
the photos showed “no substantive evidence”, and were being released in Mr Macrae’s latest documentary, No Fire Zone (NFZ), that is timed to coincide with a session of the UN Human Rights Council next month.”
The then Sri Lankan president, Mahinda Rajapaksa claimed,
Had it happened, I would have known [it]. It is obvious that if somebody [from the armed forces] had done that, I must take responsibility. We completely deny it. It can’t be.”
In many claims surrounding Balachandran’s death, a report from Channel 4 surfaced claiming to have a testimonial from a frontline soldier commenting on the executions were carried out under orders “from the top”. He said,
International human rights organizations called for an independent investigation into Balachandran’s death and other alleged war crimes during the final stages of the conflict.
- Balachandran Prabhakaran was reportedly given snacks by the Sri Lankan Army before being shot. Independent
- Mass demonstrations and protests engulfed the state of Tamil Nadu after Balachandran’s execution. The pressure from various quarters compelled the Tamil Nadu state assembly to pass a resolution, calling for a referendum for Eelam Tamils living in the northeastern region of Sri Lanka, as well as those who had fled the conflict. The referendum aimed to determine whether they supported the establishment of an independent Tamil Eelam state. Tamil Guardian