The Sunday Leader

LTTE: Inching Back To ‘International Safety-Net’?

by N. Sathiya Moorthy

Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe needs to be congratulated and thanked for re-assuring the nation that there was no threat of LTTE resurgence. The TNA, for its part, has promptly distanced itself from an LTTE sympathiser arrested in the Tamil-majority North.

PM Wickremesinghe has quoted police and Military Intelligence (MI) officials in the matter. TNA’s international spokesperson, M A Sumanthiran, was speaking about Sasiharan, who was arrested recently in a follow-up to the recent recovery of LTTE weapons in Chavakachcheri. Sasiharan was suspended from the party along with TNA’s Northern Provincial Council member, Ananthi Sasidharan, Sumanthiran recalled further.

Reports ahead of Wickremesinghe’s reassurance had also referred to one of the wanted LTTE men supposedly ‘escaping’ to neighbouring India. The mood in the south Indian State of Tamil Nadu may not be as friendly to the LTTE as being assumed from outside. There may be few safe-havens either in Tamil Nadu or the rest of India.

All of it hints at the possibility of the wanted LTTE cadre using India as a landing-pad, if at all, to escape elsewhere. How and when remain to be found out. It’s now clear that the ‘Chavakachcheri weapons haul’ was not a lone-wolf affair. If it did not imply possible and anticipated revival of the LTTE, it does not totally rule out the outside possibility of one or more groups seemingly keen on keeping the LTTE ideology, goals and methods alive.

It needs to be proved beyond all reasonable doubt that it is not the case. It maybe so nearer home, already. There is a pro-active Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora that does not recognise the TNA, its political demands and moderate methods. Neither the TNA leadership, nor the party-controlled Northern Provincial Council (NPC) has covered itself with glory, both before and after the game-changing presidential polls of January 2015.

Does it imply that if and when the LTTE remnants in the country gain enough purchase – if they so desire – that they may get adequate aid and support from the Diaspora? Does it also mean that such support could go beyond politics and propaganda in host-nations and international organisations like the UN and its affiliates? It may be too early to jump to conclusions. But the likes of Chavakachcheri episode do not read encouraging. Post-war, the security forces continued to dig into unutilised LTTE arms cache for long. That being the case, why did not the LTTE fight back? Did the leadership let down the cadre, or the cadre chicken out? Or, did someone out there wanted to fight another day – not a war of ‘catastrophic terrorist’ intent and content, but a state-centric insurgency without affecting innocent people of every community.

It’s a possibility that cannot be ruled out in entirety. None other than the then Rajapaksa regime leaders expected international pressure of the kind on ‘accountability issues.’ They had sought and obtained ‘international support’ and obtained it in no small measure, to neutralise the LTTE. Whether discussed in detail or not, they did not keep their word on ‘political solution’, or so it would seem. The rest was to follow.

As Prime Minister in an earlier stint, Wickremesinghe had spoken about an ‘international net’ to neutralise the LTTE. He would not elaborate at the time. When ‘Eelam War IV’ broke out, all of it unfolded in small but sure instalments. His current reassurances apart, the government may have to uncover the net all over again. Just now, there is no clue, how such an approach would play out against the international community’s continuing expectations on the ‘accountability probe,’ as outlined in the co-sponsored UNHRC resolution. Conversely, could any escalation of the non-events of LTTE revival kind, reverse the mood and methods of the international community. No answers for guessing – as there can be no guessing of any kind, just now.


Legitimising LTTE

Wickremesinghe, while reassuring the nation on the LTTE front, also continued to target predecessor President Mahinda Rajapaksa, on striking a 2005 poll-deal with the terror-outfit. Wickremesinghe had lost it to Rajapaksa by the narrowest of margins for a presidential poll in the country, after the LTTE had threatened the Tamils against voting. The guesstimate was that if the LTTE had not interfered, Wickremesinghe would have won at the time. It did not extent to include the question what if any mass Tamil-vote for Wickremesinghe would not have consolidated the majority Sinhala voters even more in Rajapaksa’s favour.It’s not as if there is no substance in Wickremesinghe’s charge(s). As prime minister back again for a year now, and with two stints earlier, he should know. He should have also known the truth, if any.

It does not bear well for a politician of Wickremesinghe’s stature to keep repeating such charges without support. Not certainly so when he is also the nation’s prime minister. It would legitimise the LTTE more than the ‘Chavakachcheri episode’ kind of attempts could ever do. Coming from the incumbent PM every now and again, such claims – true or not – has the knack of becoming ‘true’, though not necessarily ‘proving’ true.


Shooting at the foot

In Parliament around the time, Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka, now a minister went a step further. Participating in the parliament ruckus on re-deployment of security personnel for Mahinda R, he claimed that the December 2006 suicide-bomber attack on the latter’s brother and war-time defence secretary, Gota Rajapaksa, was an ‘insider job’ – and not that of the LTTE.As the army commander for long years later, until after the conclusion of the war, Fonseka should know. If true, the question arises why did not say anything of the kind earlier. He did not say so either after his imprisonment by the Rajapaksa regime after he had ‘retired’ – when his case went up to the Supreme Court. Nor did he say so over the past year and more of ‘breathing free air’ under President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Wickremesinghe.

Months before the attack on Gota, Fonseka escaped with a grievous wound at the hands of a woman LTTE suicide-bomber inside the Army HQ. His logic that no suicide-bomber would have pressed the button when he was full 25 feet away from the moving target would not apply to his case. His parliament statement led to violence, with a UNP colleague of his being hospitalised. Fonseka’s statement on Gota came around the time, the Colombo court hearing the case was posting the trial for June 2016. With one of the suspects possibly out in the open, it’s anybody’s guess if parliamentary statement of the kind would have evidentiary value of any kind for the defence in the ‘Gota case’. Or, if citing the ‘Hansard’, parliament’s record of proceedings, the defence would seek Fonseka’s inclusion as a witness on their side.

Fonseka’s aim was/is to embarrass the Rajapaksas, and try and pay them back in their coin. Nor could the Rajapaksa camp complain too much about the down-grading of Mahinda’s security from army to the police, after they had done it to his predecessor and fellow SLFP veteran, Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, CBK. Wickremesinghe, though not Fonseka, came to power, promising to undo all wrongs of the Rajapaksa era. For right reasons and wrong, they are only adding to it all. This is so even after the Maithri-Ranil duo effortlessly cleansing the air of all tensions from the very moment they took over power.Fonseka in particular has not stopped shooting from the hip even in his civilian self. In the process, he has been constantly shooting at his foot, and those of his political backers in PM Wickremesinghe, his new-found political home in the UNP, and also President Sirisena.This ‘deflection-game’ of trying to reduce everything bad and wrong to the Rajapaksas  would not take the new rulers and their constituents too far. It would remain so even with the steering committee of parliament headed by the PM, after the latter decided to keep the hyper-sensitive subject of power-devolution and the kind under his care.

The job of an elected government is to govern, not constantly throw allegations at the political opposition. This is more so in the case of those that they want the nation to believe are ‘had-beens’. Despite war-victory, the Rajapaksa government had to go for ‘mis-governance’.

By continuing to target the Rajapaksas, instead of their promised politico-administrative goals, his successors may end up being certified for ‘non-governance’. Sri Lanka can do without either – be it mis-governance or non-governance. It cannot afford either, after all these decades of war, violence and stunted growth, one way or the other.

(The writer is Director, Chennai Chapter of the Observer Research Foundation, the multi-disciplinary Indian public-policy think-tank, headquartered in New Delhi. email:


5 Comments for “LTTE: Inching Back To ‘International Safety-Net’?”

  1. S B Lokuge

    Of course the writer is an Indian who obviously supports the PM because he takes orders from emperor Modi. The PM says there is no threat from the LTTE so that the tigers can quietly build their military strength like they did when Ranil was the PM in early 2000′s.

    • Let me tell you that there are no LTTE. The Tamils are happy that there are no more LTTE. Tamils are happy to live with the majority Sinhala people as long as they are treated equally like the Sinhala people. Let all the Srilankans work together for the betterment of our nations.

    • trunket

      Moorthy does not take orders from Modi or his Toadies for international matters.
      He just plays with the right guy at Sri Lanka- thats how he gets his goodies.-from Passa to ranil. Fonny is disliked by India Period.

      It seems you are afraid of your own shadow.

      LTTE is still banned at India so the IC has kept the ban.- Do not bark at the tree of life- Bo tree.

      India and now grown up Rahul is aware that it was Pavement Premadasa hand in the death of dear Rajiv. your DNA is 28% Bengali while Tamil is 21% bengali.(recent international scientific test)

      Put your corrupt Sinha-Le house in order first because you are sinking under Disney Spell to become the subic bay of SARC.

      Begging bowls cannot choose but have to reform.- If India recalls the $1.5B swap given 15/1/20016 you are kotta uda. Even the IMF 1.5 is spread for 3 years because Lanka is not credit worthy. Where has all the money gone holding Muslim terror placards and sending women to Arab Harems- (India and Pakistan has banned it – have you no shame)

  2. trunket

    Anna Chamche ,bagawas bath mat karo- Ganesh ka Chole ka O! (do not speak crap eat humble pie)
    To speak the truth one does not need to think like you. I have been there before and been unopposed every year but politics is not I.
    The common candidate was high jacked by a Hegel Egghead a former Sinha-Le revolutionary.
    BodiSira never uttered a word Tamil during the election. There was no option for ` no confidence` on the ballot. 3 days before casting, Suma finished his discussions with BTF/GTF (5 man show- any citizen can go to UK parliament and meet his MP and also get an e-mail reply within 4 hours of request that the job was attended to 9that is what they are paid for- this is UK democracy in practice for Individual liberty (Anglo Indian Vas is just a pain in the ASS for individual) and stuck a deal then both requested the Tamil public to vote for BodiSira- All to their personal advantage. Net result what we see.
    Suma did not want Ananthi to read her statement at the UN but it was better than his to the common listener. GL Peiris confirmed and the newspaper was of 2007- It was an old story like just after Cameron visit to Jaffna a weeping woman is taken into custody. How many are in prison for decades under PTA with no case against them- Does Ranil and Fonny come even in your dreams to tell you why they are there with proof of those being a nihilist?

    “Sasiharan, who was arrested recently- even Rajapassa son and others were arrested then released because they are Sinha-le and are against Porriki Viko.

    When BodhiSira realised that the money market was tight even for a $1 billion and Xi is no fool like Modi and his Todies to put his hand in the honey pot.(Raghu did give both Arun J & Modi a dressing down in the name of India) He informed a Sinhala gathering at Pottuvil `If you do not keep the Tamils happy then the Sinhalese can never be happy”. Then came ambitious Samanta Power and within a week IMF offered $1.5 billion. The nation is sunk because of werewolf’s The Hindu and Delhi Think tanks. – Yes another Subic bay. Only Sinhalese and Filipinas work at Diego Garcia where 5 marines are stationed with a capacity for 50k marines.
    Why could Modi not buy any Submarine or plane from America, or Europe but settled for Socialist French Raphael while Pakistan has F16’s by almost gift aid and Saudi has F15??
    Every point you have in the article I can argue but it’s like a stink bomb that I see on Colombo telegraph.
    You were born in violence of partition and continue to see violence and aren’t you exporting it unwillingly to satisfy yourself for an award from BodiSira?
    At present the best bet to run the island is Gotabaya and BBS they both good at performing like LKY?
    He studied at Mad_ras and that was a mistake, If he had crossed the Deccan then he would see it like I do. He can make amends with IIT and Modi of the Deccan plateau because 50% of mates were All India.
    Hari, hari.;)))

  3. prime minister there is no LTTE in srilanka .please stop arresting the tamil boys as LTTE, please do not fool india and USA the election in india will be good for tamils indian prime minister visited Jaffna, please remove army from Jaffna over the lands, police must be tamil police

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