When the Suicide Bomber Is a Woman
By Jan Goodwin
Do you understand you will become a human bomb? Menake was asked by the Black Tiger leaders in her interview.
I told them that I did, she says. I felt I had no other choice. The LTTE calls its suicide missions thatkodai, Tamil for gift of self. It made her feel, Menake says, that her life still had a purpose.
Then came the training. We were taught how the vest works, how to jump onto a vehicle in case our target was a bus or a truck, she says. She learned how best to position herself, depending on her target.
Do you know what a suicide bomb would do to your body when it explodes? I ask her.
I know once I put it on, I will kill people, and I will also die, she says unemotionally. My whole body will be in pieces. But this type of death is very fast.
I ask Menake about her victims the ordinary people passing by who would be killed or maimed in her attack. I came to Colombo to destroy, to kill. We are taught to forget the victims, she says. (Her handler remained close by, to make sure she didnt have a change of heart.) I was just focused on the target. I never had time to think about who else I would kill. I was simply told it was the enemy. It was a job to go and do.