Friday, January 12, 2007

A review of the Tamil Tiger mess

An end of year look at the Sri Lankan Tamil Tigers (LTTE) here by a retired Indian Intel officer:
To those who do not subscribe to LTTE methodology, LTTE’s overall goal appears murky. LTTE appears to be trying hard to push the clock back to 2001, after shedding the blood of at least 3,000 of its own kind in the years of peace, and complaining to the international community when the fortunes of war went awry. The bottom line is that LTTE strategies of 1996 and 2000-2001 are not working in 2006 as international ambience has changed. In a nutshell the only achievement of ceasefire period appears to be that LTTE had sacrificed the international sympathy the Tamil cause had enjoyed all these years, to crown itself as the sole spokesman for Tamils in Sri Lanka.
Armed Sea Tigers seized a Jordanian ship MV Farah III, carrying 14000 tons of rice, which was stranded 8 nautical miles off Mullaitivu due to engine trouble on December 23, 2006. They arrested the 14- member Arab crew and whisked them away to Kilinochi. According the ship’s captain, Sea Tigers also confiscated the ship’s communication equipment and computers. In international terms, this action is called piracy. If LTTE wanted to reassert its claim to legitimacy in 2006, it could not have chosen a worse way of articulating it.
The LTTE is perhaps the strongest non-state actor with military capability in Asia. Its falling fortunes in 2006 can be attributed to certain characteristics of Prabhakaran’s leadership conduct of LTTE. These have eroded the organization’s credibility...

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