Niromi de Soyaza has based Tamil Tigress on her own experiences. She opted out of the LTTE in 1988 just a year after joining the organisation as a 17-year-old. By then she had got fed up of the mindless violence.
Niromi narrates how some of her male colleagues killed an alleged spy Vellai. Ignoring his protestations of innocence, they not only assaulted Vellai but also buried him upto his shoulder. Not content with this, they forced Vellai to "swallow cyanide, to see what it did to him".
Subsequently one of the attackers used an axe to split Vellai's skull. Shockingly, "The boys burst out laughing... For them, killing Vellai was no different to killing a cockroach."
Another teenaged victim of LTTE's brutality was Shanthan. He had fallen in love with a female colleague Nora. For this 'crime', Shanthan was shot to death by Mahattaya who was then No 2 in the LTTE hierarchy.
Describing the macabre developments, Niromi writes: "The two young men who had led Shanthan into the tent now dragged his body behind them, by his arms. A thin stream of blood was running down from the centre of Shanthan's forehead, down his blue-and-white checked shirt. One of the men opened the back door of the jeep, and they threw Shanthan's body in. Then they drove off."
The author was surprised to see everyone at the jungle camp in Vanni remaining mum over what had happened. Neither did anybody say a word to Nora. The girl was left to grieve her lover's death.
"I could not comprehend the senseless murder of this young man. I felt sickened, confused and outraged all at once," Niromi says.
According to her, the LTTE leadership often showed a complete lack of regard for ethical considerations. "From top to bottom in our organisation, everyone did whatever they pleased so long as they could justify it as being for the good of the (LTTE). I had not been prepared for this."
Niromi mentions the looting of shops owned by ethnic Tamils. The IPKF's deployment in the area had forced the LTTE to retreat. The guerillas did not leave before helping themselves to chicken, clothing and food stored by the shopkeepers.
When Niromi expressed dismay over this, a colleague told her, "If we don't loot the shops, someone else will." So, she snatched a few things too.
"Although (our commander) had banned the use of cosmetics, some (LTTE) girls were not deterred from grabbing tubes of skin-whitening Fair & Lovely face creams and also nail varnish."
Jaffna residents repeatedly urged the LTTE not to engage the IPKF in combat, Niromi recalls.