Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Sri Lanka: winning the war on two fronts

LTTE supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran overestimated the ability of European nations and the Tamil diaspora to enforce a ceasefire as they had done in the past. This time, Sri Lanka was not going to listen to anyone

When television channels across the globe began beaming visuals of Velupillai Prabhakaran’s body on 19 May, there was shock first and then, disbelief.
Post-conflict: An LTTE handout photo of Velupillai Prabhakaran. The Sri Lankan government has managed to decimate the LTTE but the greater challenge will be to watch and analyse the country now. APDressed in battle fatigues, his dog tag and his favourite revolver still on him, Prabhakaran’s skull was partially blown off, his eyes wide open even in death. Was he surprised? Shocked? Or simply frozen in fear when death came?
No one will know for sure the exact circumstances under which he was killed. We will have to accept the government’s word that he was killed in a fierce battle.
For, in this war, as in other conflicts, there were no witnesses.
Till 18 months ago, Prabhakaran’s Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) controlled one-third of Sri Lanka’s territory. He commanded a large army, a powerful navy and a rudimentary but effective air wing. Prabhakaran was the man who gave the world the suicide bomber. Under him, the LTTE assassinated a former Indian prime minister and a Sri Lankan president and a score of others.
So how was such a powerful terrorist organization brought to its knees?
The LTTE’s decimation can be attributed to two or three big reasons.

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