Thursday, May 14, 2009

A tale of two Tigers - Island Editorial

Former LTTE military commander Karuna Amman was wise enough to take the tide in his affairs at the flood. After years of fighting for a megalomaniac given to fratricidal violence, finally it dawned on him that the LTTE's violent campaign was doomed to fail. He also fell from grace like the LTTE deputy leader Mahendraraja or Mahattaya.

Prabhakaran is the LTTE and the LTTE Prabhakaran; no other person could emerge popular within that organisation. Mahattaya paid with his dear life and those of 257 of his loyalists for a personality clash he had with the leader. The same fate awaited Karuna and a few other Eastern Province LTTE leaders, who were summoned by Prabhakaran to the Vanni in 2004 so that they could also be eliminated. Some of them went to Prabhakaran's lair and never returned. Karuna sensing danger defected with thousands of battle hardened cadres.

Today, Karuna is going places in national politics while his former boss is desperately crying out for help to save his life in an ever shrinking patch of land. Yesterday, we reported Karuna, now a minister, had received a letter confirming his appointment as a vice president of the SLFP. He may be a traitor in the book of the pusillanimous Eelamists who have made a business of the conflict and are living in clover while sponsoring terrorism from a safe distance. But, being a minister and SLFP vice president is certainly better than to be a failed leader who is hiding behind hostages and dying many times before his death!

Prabhakaran could have avoided that fate if he had, like Karuna, taken the tide in his affairs at the flood, when opportunities presented themselves. None is more doltish than a person who antagonises India while trying to carve out a separate state in this country.

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