Friday, June 19, 2009

Stuffed Tigers, conmen, ectopic pregnancy etc - Island Editorial

Close on the heels of the miscarriage of Eelam in Sri Lanka, there has come the news of an ectopic pregnancy overseas. The LTTE rump has declared the formation of a 'government in exile' as a prelude to Eelam. Much hullabaloo is being made in some quarters about this pronouncement but it is nothing but a big ruse to prevent funds to the LTTE war-chest from drying up. Anyway, who is the lucky head of the 'government in exile'?

Anton Balasingham addressing the media in Kilinochchi in 2002 had the temerity to call Prabhakaran both the President and Prime Minister in the areas under LTTE control at that time. The reaction of Prabhakaran to that comment was an approving grin from ear to ear. It was because the LTTE already had 'a president and prime minister' that it prevented people under its jackboot from exercising their franchise at the 2005 presidential election. Prabhakaran knew allowing that election to be held in his territory would be tantamount to an indirect acceptance of the government's writ.

Last month the President and Prime Minister of Eelam lay dead in a mangrove swamp, having destroyed thousands of precious lives and his Eelam project.

However, Prabhakaran, in spite of his terrorism, was a capable man who became a cult figure and unifying factor for the advocates of separatism. He had intestinal fortitude to ask and fight for what he wanted. Never did he compromise his goal. He fought tooth and nail for Eelam for thirty years with strict orders for his cadres to kill him if he gave up Eelam. That was real leadership albeit for the wrong cause. Prabhakaran succeeded in setting up something that his allies chose to dub a de facto state. He claimed to have a government, an army, an air force, a navy, a police force, a public service, a judiciary and a landmass with a population under his control . But, his 'state' stood on a foundation of sand without legitimacy and sovereignty.

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