iMOL Archives - A cavalcade of deadly blunders
Welcome iMOL Archives



Home 2SubscribeTrigger HappyEthnic ClashForumHistorySocialPoliticsEconomyEducationPlantation WorkersAbout me
Silence is not an option when things are ill done - Lord Alfred Dennings
Search   in  

 Create an AccountMain Home | Submit News | Your Account | Content | Topics | Top 10  

· Home
· Advertising
· AvantGo
· Feedback
· Forums
· Private Messages
· Recommend Us
· Search
· Statistics
· Stories Archive
· Submit News
· Surveys
· Top 10
· Topics
· Your Account

Who's Online
There are currently, 11 guest(s) and 0 member(s) that are online.

You are Anonymous user. You can register for free by clicking here

Select Interface Language:

Random Headlines

Plantation Workers
[ Plantation Workers ]

· Federal Court rules RM80mil land in Perak belongs to 217 estate workers
·Paraquat Poisoning: So easily available
·34 plantation workers down with suspected Chikungunya
·Raise Estate Workers' Wages, Federal Government Told
·Ethnic Indians Blame Britain for Sorry Plight
·Britain faces four trillion dollar suit
·M'sian sues UK gov’t for ‘oppression’
·New Laws Threaten Workers' Rights
·Migrant Worker's Death Exposes Slave-like Conditions

Tigers: A cavalcade of deadly blunders

Contributed by Anonymous on Tuesday, May 19 @ 10:09:52 CDT

International: Politics
The Hindu, May 19 2009
V.S. Sambandan If in the end the LTTE found itself reduced to a group on the run, it had none but itself to blame A continuum of blunders lay behind the downfall of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, which not too long ago was seen as an “invincible” force that would continue to engage the Sri Lankan state in an endless and debilitating war. Through phases of peace and war, the LTTE committed the series of blunders in terms of concept, structure and judgment. It may well be that these blunders reduced the Sri Lankan Tamils’ “struggle for independence” of the 1980s to what the Sri Lankan state and the international community could easily categorise as “a war on terror.”

The first of the historic blunders lay in the LTTE not judging Indian sentiment in the 1980s as it rejected the India-Sri Lanka Agreement and fought the Indian Peace Keeping Force. Then, in 1991, it assassinated Rajiv Gandhi. The resulting alienation of the Indian polity cost the Tigers dear. It also opened up space for successive Sri Lankan governments to co-opt India and the rest of the world into its “war against terror.” The next, and most fatal, blunder was to enforce a boycott in Sri Lanka’s Tamil-speaking north and east of the 2005 presidential election. That led to the defeat of Ranil Wickremesinghe and the election of Mahinda Rajapaksa. These crowning blunders, though they came decades apart, point to the LTTE’s failure to read emerging political pointers correctly, and to realistically judge where it stood in the context of Sri Lankan, subcontinental and international political dynamics. In addition, an aggregation of mistakes coalesced over the years and reduced the once-monolithic organisation to a group of terrorists scattered and on the run. At a conceptual level, the LTTE went for an “all-or-nothing” approach since the start. This, coupled with its resolve that a separate Tamil Eelam would have to be won through “military means,” meant that the LTTE scuttled every attempt at a negotiated settlement to the ethnic crisis: the India-mediated Thimpu talks in 1985, the far-reaching devolution package presented by President Chandrika Kumaratunga, and the Norway-facilitated peace talks with successive Colombo governments between 2002 and 2006. The LTTE’s refusal to meaningfully engage the Sri Lankan governments politically reduced serious international facilitation efforts to exercises in futility. The LTTE’s fanatic insistence that it should be the “sole representative” of the Sri Lankan Tamils was another conceptual mistake. This set the stage, and created a “justification” for, the wiping out of virtually all the other Tamil militant groups, particularly those that differed from the LTTE in their political leanings: the Eelam People’s Revolutionary Liberation Front (EPRLF), the Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation (TELO), and the People’s Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE). Assassinations Outside the spectrum of Sri Lankan Tamil militant groups, this “sole representative” ideology led to the assassination of several democratic Tamil leaders who had championed the political cause of the Sri Lankan Tamils. They included A. Amirthalingam (1989) and Neelan Tiruchelvam (1999). Several other assassinations also snuffed out democratic Tamil voices. For the LTTE, anyone who did not support it was a “traitor.” This led to the alienation of other Tamil groups — and the rise of authoritarianism. In structural terms, the group’s intolerance of dissent in any form, particularly over the past few years, was at the root of its implosion. This aversion for dissent came to the fore with the revolt by V. Muralitharan alias Colonel Karuna, the former Batticaloa-Amparai “special commander,” in 2004. In the latest military advance by the Sri Lankan forces, the absence of an LTTE fighting unit in the east meant that the Sri Lankan state could concentrate its security forces in the northern theatre of operations rather than spreading them thin. Another structural mistake was to make no difference between its political and military wings. Although the LTTE has a registered political party, the People’s Front of Liberation Tigers, it has remained dormant through its existence. This fusion of the political and military wings, unlike in the case of the Irish Republican Army/Sinn Fein, did not give the group any space for political engagement, within Sri Lanka or elsewhere. The absence of a separate political unit meant that political voices such as those of Anton S. Balasingham, or other entrants during the short-lived Norway-facilitated peace talks, could find no space within the groups, and were always subject to the LTTE’s militarist-terrorist mode. This clearly manifested when the LTTE informally sidelined Balasingham after 2002, for having agreed “to explore federal options” for a solution to the separatist conflict. For the LTTE, political negotiations were merely exercises in buying time for a next round of hostilities. The worst one Of all these peace-time blunders, the worst was its diktat to the Tamil electorate to stay away from the 2005 presidential poll. The LTTE’s hope, then, was to recreate a 1983-like situation in which the Sri Lankan state would be seen internationally as an “aggressor.” It did not realise that Sri Lanka, and the rest of the world, had meanwhile moved on and that they no longer saw the LTTE as a “liberator.” By then, it was but an internationally banned terrorist group that stood in the way of peace in Sri Lanka.



Don't have an account yet? You can create one. As a registered user you have some advantages like theme manager, comments configuration and post comments with your name.

Related Links
· More about International: Politics
· News by sound

Most read story about International: Politics:
Oral, anal sex legal in Singapore

Article Rating
Average Score: 0
Votes: 0

Please take a second and vote for this article:

Very Good


 Printer Friendly Printer Friendly

Disclaimer: The views expressed by the authors and comments on this website are the sole responsibility of the writers themselves. The writer will take full responsibility, liability, and blame for any libel or litigation that results from something written in or as a direct result of something written in a comment. The accuracy, completeness, honesty, exactitude and factuality of the articles and comments are not guaranteed by iMOL.

If you do not wish any of your writing republished here, please send mail to sound20[at] Allow us one month to remove it. Thanks. Copyright © 1998 iMOL

Page Generation: 0.24 Seconds