Battered at the hands of the Security Forces:
LTTE expects to take cover of a ceasefire
is a common practice for the LTTE to change its strategy from time to
time considering the prevailing ground situation. The LTTE has proved
this fact repeatedly in the almost three decades long conflict in the
country. But there is no proof to say that they had ever changed its
final goal - the Tamil Eelam - from its agenda.
The current ground situation is not at all in favour of the Tiger
outfit. But history has always proved that they could turn these
unfavourable situations in their favour if the Tiger leader feels so.
But it was under this situation the Southern polity could not read the
Army Commander, Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka visited Jaffna
yesterday to meet senior ground commanders.
The unilateral declaration of Ceasefire and the decision to enter the
path of peace negotiations was one of the classic examples where the
LTTE showed its political shrewdness to take cover in face of a growing
opposition towards terrorist organisations internationally.
It was in the backdrop of the situation that developed
internationally after the 9/11 attack in US.
However, the peace process commenced under the United National Front
Government with the signing of the Ceasefire Agreement in 2002 had
turned out to be the biggest opportunity for the LTTE in the recent past
to have a legitimate voice not only locally but also internationally to
engage in fund raising activities and also have four fold increase in
its military might, according to military intelligence.
The increased military might was the base for the Tiger outfit to
declare war against the Security Forces in an unofficial level by
closing down the Mavil Aru sluice gates and subsequent attack on the
Muhamalai FDL on August 11, 2006.
But that was the first time LTTE experienced its downward trend with
the series of defeats it had to face commencing from the Mavil Aru
It was after the wise decision by the Government to abrogate the
Ceasefire Agreement; the LTTE has been put to this uncertain situation.
Currently the situation has developed into one of the worst
situations for the LTTE in its three decade long existence with the loss
of many of its ground in the Wanni.
Only the prevailing unexpected rainy conditions in the Wanni have
come in the rescue of the LTTE, delaying the advance of the troops into
Tiger territory in three fronts in Wanni.
The bad weather conditions prevailing in Wanni has given bad times
for both the Security Forces and the LTTE. But the valiant troops have
brave all these conditions to advance into Tiger territory in a slow but
steady progress in the battlefronts.
But it seems the LTTE is no longer keeping faith in a militaristic
approach with the realisation of the fact that there is no escape for
them, if they decide to stick on to the military path to defend their
territory from the Security Forces.
The Security Forces witnessed this situation as ground troops
continue to recover a large number of bodies left behind by the LTTE in
the battlefronts, giving the impression that they can no longer bear the
brunt of the military thrust.
According to military, never in the three decades long history of the
conflict the LTTE had allowed the troops to collect the bodies of their
slain cadres in such a large number. Earlier, even under difficult
circumstances they managed to recover the bodies of their dead cadres.
Therefore, perhaps, this must be an early sign of a sure defeat the LTTE
is going to face in a short period.
But readings from the battlefronts from the Wanni, very clearly
indicates that LTTE is preparing for a major military strategy to bring
defame on the Security Forces.
As this column indicated, Madhu which is considered to be one of the
highly regarded sacred areas in the country, is just a few kilometres
away from the troops. The situation still remains the same despite
ground troops taking strategic moves to move further into Tiger
It was not because the troops are unable to move into the territory
flushing out the Tiger cadres from the Madhu shrine area but troops have
been extremely careful in dealing with the situation as chances are very
high for the LTTE to launch a massive campaign against the Security
Force if they fall into a trap of the LTTE.
The most recent developments in Madhu indicates that the LTTE is
trying to provoke the Security Forces by directing mortar attack on the
advancing troops using the mortar positions located within the Madhu No
Barrages of 80 mm mortars have been directed at the Security Forces
during the past few weeks causing casualties to ground troops. But at
every stage troops have been careful enough to prevent from launching
retaliatory fire to neutralise these mortar fires which have been
located within the Madhu shrine area.
It was with this backdrop the troops slowed down the advance towards
Madhu and taken diversionary tactics to cut off the supply routes to
Madhu from Palampiddi side in the North, which links Madhu with the LTTE
administrative and logistic bases in Kilinochchi.
Three battalions of the 571 Brigade under the Command of Colonel
Ravipriya is heading towards Palampiddi and are now operating from two
to three Kilometres off from Palampiddi.
Ground sources also confirmed that these troops have advanced some
two kilometres towards Palampiddi without any major resistance from the
LTTE indicating that the LTTE is no longer interested in this ground as
they have to block troop advance from two major fronts in Weli Oya and
This will ensure a smooth fall of the Madhu shrine area into Security
Forces control, but there is no 100 percent guarantee that the LTTE
would give up the ground without making a huge uproar over this highly
But the LTTE has been compelled to protect their major assets in the
Mullaitivu sector including the famously known 14 Base in Mullaitivu
jungles and also to keep logistic supplies open for the Wanni battle
ground by protecting the North Western coast in the North of Mannar,
specially Vidathalthivu and Nachchikudah Sea Bases.
The LTTE has to keep Vidathalthivu under its control since it
facilitate the smooth logistic support via Mannar islands and also
Nachchikudah to keep its life line open from the Indian side to
facilitate the flow of logistic support via the Indian border.
Tiger leader Prabhakaran is aware, he can delay the fall of these
logistic bases to the Security Forces taking the cover of the bad
weather conditions prevailing in the Wanni, but cannot prevent the
troops advance forever.
That was why the Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran had a
clandestine talk with one of the senior TNA MPs - Mawai Senathirajah -
as he met the group of TNA MPs who attended the funeral of Sivanesan at
a clandestine location in Kilinochchi.
Though it was not clear what exactly the Tiger leader Prabhakaran had
conveyed to TNA MP Mawai Senathiraja, it is abundantly clear that the
LTTE is moving towards a political process to come out of this current
mess they are facing in the Wanni battlefront.
It will obviously be based on a campaign against the Security Forces
and the Government on Human Rights issues, since it is the most
sensitive issue that can be used to prevent flow of funds from
international donors to the projects initiated by the Government.
The TNA MPs have been instructed to raise Human Rights issues locally
and internationally and with diplomatic missions to create adverse
effects on the Government and the Security Forces.
However, the Government is effectively facing this situation
responding to the international queries on Human Rights issues
convincing the international community about the difficult circumstances
the Security Forces had to act in the process of eliminating terrorism.
But the major blunder the LTTE is making this time is that they
cannot cover up its own Human Rights record as witnessed by the TNA MPs
during their visit to the Wanni to attend the funeral of MP Sivanesan.
Though these MPs play to the tune of the LTTE, personally they are
worried about the current plight of the civilians entrapped in the Wanni
as they are fast losing the basic facilities with Tiger cadres grabbing
all available resources in Wanni to feed its cadres.
These MPs have also observed the way the LTTE has invaded almost all
the hospitals in Kilinochchi to treat their wounded cadres depriving the
civilians of their right to have free health care facilities at the
Kilinochchi hospital with medical supplies sent by the Government.
Apart from this, the intensified recruitment drive carried out by the
LTTE demanding two members from a family of more than five members to
fight the war against the Security Forces, has also become a severe
burden on the civilian population so reluctantly living in Wanni.
The most alarming factor is that the LTTE is trying its best to keep
its well-trained Tiger strength; they are making use of these civilians
as canon fodder. As we repeatedly highlighted in this column, the
international community should be vigilant of this situation as the LTTE
has already put the lives of civilians at a risk by forcibly deploying
them to man forward defences in the Wanni battlefronts.
The bitter truth is that these civilians are eagerly waiting to flee
from the uncleared areas in Wanni seeking refuge of the Security Forces.
The arrival of 17 civilians from Mullaitivu last Sunday to Pulmudai
area was an early sign about the people's desire to flee from the Tiger
grip in Wanni.
So far they have displayed their eagerness to cross into Security
Forces controlled areas after braving the Tiger guns pointed at them and
also difficult circumstances they have come across during their way
towards cleared areas.
The thing one cannot understand is that why people cannot defy the
Tiger rule and come to cleared areas through Omanthai entry exit point
which is open for the public on week days.
The international community raising queries about the Human Rights
situation in Sri Lanka never challenged the LTTE on the issue of freedom
of movement of the civilians entrapped in the Wanni.
People are still living there in Wanni, even under difficult
circumstances as the LTTE is forcibly keeping them without allowing them
to move out of Wanni with the whole family. They keep their children, to
make sure those who are leaving Wanni are returned. Otherwise the entire
Wanni would have been a deserted land if they were given the freedom to
move to places of their choice.
However, there are lots of indications that they will not tolerate
this for a long period and would flee Wanni grabbing the first
opportunity they get to achieve their goal.
So once again it is incumbent on the Tamil Diaspora living across the
globe to see that their fellow Tamil population is free from harassments
of the LTTE and make sure their freedom of movement is ensured by the
The international community too should take this situation seriously
without making unfair criticism on the action taken by the Security
Forces and the Police to curb terror plans of the LTTE aiming the
civilian population living out of the embattled North.
What they should consider, at this decisive moment, is the way in
which the LTTE is trying to hoodwink the international community in
achieving its final goal as all these tactics are aimed at brokering
another peace deal with the Government to shift towards another
All the international figures presently touring Sri Lanka directly or
indirectly involved in the brokering game of peace with the LTTE, as the
LTTE is in dire need of international community sympathy to get out of
the current unfavourable situation for them.
They are badly struggling to get the international community on their
side to justify their cause.
But the international community and the Tamil Diaspora whether they
like it or not should do the correct stock taking at a time the
Government is making a humble and sincere effort to see that the Tamil
community of this country is enjoying the all democratic rights like the
people living in other parts of the country.
In this process the Government made a giant step by conducting the
Batticaloa Local polls in a free and fair manner and finally all the 101
elected Members to the nine Local Government bodies took their oaths in
front of the President.
As this column highlighted last year those who worked according to
the agenda of the LTTE is badly struggling to cover up their blunder by
making unwarranted and baseless allegations. The UNP should at least
have the backbone to accept their mistake without becoming a joke in the
eyes of the intellectual minds of the people.
They have once again raised the issue of shifting of the Special Task
Force camps from the Ampara district as a reason to justify their
argument. But it seems that the UNP has arrived at this conclusion
disregarding the fact that the Army troops are going to take over the
control of the areas vacated by the STF in the East.
The military strategy is to deploy these well-trained STF personnel
to protect the area in Yakavetunuwewa and Janakapura which has now
turned into a major battlefront in the Wanni. So the UNP leadership
should be mindful of the situation without making premature statements
regarding new security arrangements in the East in the pre-election
But one thing is obvious that all these political manoeuvrings are
aimed at one direction, that is to salvage the LTTE from the pending
defeat in the Wanni.