Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The rise and fall of P'karan

Prabhakaran’s thirty-four-year-old killing spree has taken him nowhere. He began dreaming of Eelam in the early 1970s and cut his teeth on violence in 1975 by murdering the Jaffna Mayor Alfred Duraiappah in cold blood. But, today like Ozymandias’ empire, nothing remains of Prabhakaran’s ‘separate state’. His Eelam project has manifestly come a cropper. Worse, he is shamelessly hiding behind innocent men, women and children and driving his cadres to suicide so that he could live another day or two.

It is a supreme irony that the man who rejected out of hand President Chandrika Kumaratunga’s offer of the entire Northern Province for a period of ten years without any elections in 1994 and went on to claim that he had established a de facto separate state has been reduced to a fugitive turned refugee dying many times before his death.

Not a single square inch of land is now under his control!

No country could have made a better contribution to the world’s war on terror than Sri Lanka. Her model military campaign has brought ‘the world’s most ruthless terrorist organisation’ to its knees. This little country has, in her small way, demonstrated to the world that terrorism is not so intractable as it is made out to be and it can be effectively neutralized militarily to create an environment for causes of a conflict to be eliminated politically.

This war would have been over months ago if the armed forces had smashed through the LTTE bastions unleashing hell all around with no concern for civilians’ safety and welfare. Troops, to their credit, went out of their way risking as they did their life and limb to minimize collateral damage and to carry out humanitarian operations sapping their energy.

The armed forces won’t march on the no-fire zone, which is, in fact, a misnomer as the LTTE is launching attacks from that area. Prabhakaran may get a breather there but he must be prepared for the inevitable. The army has proved since the Mavil Aru battle (2006) that it knows more than one way to skin a cat!

Neither Prabhakaran nor his propaganda hirelings can bluff his combatants any longer. The beleaguered cadres know it’s curtains. During the past 72 hours or so, the army has recovered over 450 bodies of hardcore Tigers including several ‘commanders’. These facts cannot be hidden from the remaining fighters. Prabhakaran is very likely to experience mass desertions and a popular uprising within the next few days. Civilians have already set an LTTE ‘police station’ on fire in the safe zone and severely beaten a Tiger ‘police man’ who entered a welfare centre disguised as an ordinary person.

It is only wishful thinking that Prabhakaran will be able to escape. If he has an alternative to facing a bullet or tasting cyanide it is surrender. He has no other way of saving his cadres who made the mistake of reposing their blind faith in him. He can prove that he is not totally devoid of some leadership qualities, if any, by giving himself up. And fast!

>> Full Story: [The Island editorial]