Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Forced conscription led to LTTE's downfall: Tamil civilians

Vavuniya (PTI): The LTTE's forced conscription of people to fight against the Sri Lankan troops was the main reason behind its downfall, according to Tamil civilians housed in refugee camps, who also contended that the outfit had some "decent" elements as well.

"I think conscription was the main reason for the LTTE's fall. This has increased tremendously in the last few months," said a senior teacher in the school set up at the gigantic "Manik Farm" for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) here.

The teacher, requesting anonymity said things would have been different, if the LTTE has not adopted a policy of forced recruitment, especially young boys and girls, to fight the government forces that had put off the people.

He said he managed to escape from Pudukudirripu along with a few other civilians when the attention of the rebels were diverted towards the war.

"Earlier, one LTTE activist from the Pudukudirippu area would have matched 20 people, but now the forced conscription has disappointed many as those not willing to join the LTTE army are being intimidated by the Tiger rebels," the teacher told a group of visiting journalists at the camp.

A lady at the camp said though there was large scale forced recruitment by the LTTE to make up for their dwindling forces, some of the activists were "decent" and did not force boys and girls to join the Tiger forces.