Sunday, April 26, 2009

Only if Prabha is killed or captured the LTTE will die- - Rohan Gunaratna

The international community should assist the government to end Prabhakaran’s hostage-taking drama without urging the government to declare a ceasefire, says Prof. Rohan Gunaratna, Head of the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research (ICPVTR) at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. Excerpts:

How would you describe what is happening in the ‘no-fire’ zone?

The world has not witnessed a crisis engineered by a terrorist group of these proportions. One of the world’s most ruthless terrorist groups, the LTTE has moved into a zone of peace, demarcated exclusively for civilians, and taken them hostage. Since the beginning of the contemporary wave of terrorism in 1968, it was the world’s largest hostage taking.

The government responded in an appropriate and measured way. The government, especially the military, has been welcoming and caring for those displaced civilians that are fleeing the LTTE. Unfortunately, the international community’s understanding of the crisis is limited. A handful of countries are driven by the LTTE, LTTE directed propaganda and LTTE lobbyists using buzz words like “genocide”, “humanitarian crisis”, and “catastrophe”, the very acts the LTTE is guilty of. Instead of calling on the Sri Lanka Government to declare a ceasefire or a humanitarian pause, those in their right minds should ask the LTTE to accept defeat and surrender. The few misdirected, misguided and misled Western politicians, UN officials, and others who have no knowledge of the Sri Lankan conflict are playing into LTTE’s hands.

Every single day that civilians are held hostage by the LTTE, the agony, suffering and pain of the civilians will grow. In his desperate attempt to survive and hoodwink the international community, Prabhakaran is still continuing with his hostage-taking drama. The government and the international community should work together to end this crisis.

Would you say the government was successfully manoeuvred into a trap?

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