The LTTE Supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran on Friday conferred on the slain Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP, Nadarajah Raviraj, the highest award of his organisation - "Maamanithar" or "Great Man."
In his eulogy, which carried the announcement of the award, Prabhakaran said that the killing of the young parliamentarian and Tamil freedom fighter had the "impact of an earthquake" on his organisation.
"It shook the soul of the Tamil nation," he said.
Prabhakaran said that Raviraj was not a slave to the pursuit of wealth, but dedicated himself to the cause of the Tamils' liberation and identified himself fully and whole- heartedly with the LTTE and its objectives.
He helped advance the cause of the Tamils' liberation in a variety of ways, by upholding it in parliament and other forums. He used his knowledge and linguistic abilities to clearly convey the feelings of the Tamils to the majority Sinhalas.
And he did this sitting in Colombo "the fortress of Sinhala-Buddhist chauvinism".
He did it in the face of constant intimidation from the Sinhala armed forces and other armed groups, showing extraordinary courage.
Describing the 44-year-old Raviraj as an "unusual and extraordinary" man, Prabhakaran said that he was awarding the highest title of "Maamanithar" on him "with pride".
Bid to take body to Jaffna through A9 fails
The TNA's plan to take Raviraj's body through the A9 highway to his constituency of Jaffna for cremation was aborted because President Mahinda Rajapaksa said that the security situation in the Muhamalai sector of the road was not conducive for the journey.
The assassination of Raviraj has given a fillip to the anti-war movement in the Sinhala speaking south Sri Lanjka.
The Anti-War Front, which is a multi-ethnic grouping of artists, human rights workers, politicians and intellectuals, will be taking the body of Raviraj in a procession through the main streets of Colombo before it is flown to Jaffna for cremation on Wednesday.
Foreign diplomats would be invited to join the procession, said TNA MP Suresh Premachandran.