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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2253

LTTE bent on war to win back international sympathy

Colombo, 28 July, (Asiantribune.com): Pro-LTTE websites have reported that six Tamil Tiger cadres were killed when Kfir fighter jets bombed the unauthorized air strip detected in the northern district of Mullaitivu.

The jets also hit the Tiger-controlled land near the Verugal Aru anicut (irrigation channel) after the Tigers blocked the flow of water to 1,500 farmers cultivating 30,000 acres in the eastern district of Trincomalee.

The defence spokesperson, Keheliya Rambukwella told the media that the government would do everything possible to open the sluice gates for the people to access water. The Sri Lankan government Peace Secretariat has informed the diplomatic community that this act of denying water to the people – most of whom are Tamils – is war crime and crime against humanity.

The Tamil Tigers claim that the Tamil civilians had closed sluice gates to put pressure on the government to build water towers in Tamil areas. Analysts dismiss this excuse of the Tigers as “facetious” because 1) the Tigers, if they are serious about their claim of being “the sole representatives of the Tamils looking after the welfare of the Tamils” should construct these towers (2) the Tigers who have built naval craft and fire surface-to-air-missile should have the capacity to build these simple towers (3) if they are running a de facto state, as they claim, it is their responsibility to provide water towers and, above all, (4) there is not excuse for depriving any section of any community water under any circumstances.

Analysts are also concerned that the escalating violence is only inches away from the next war which the LTTE postponed, according to the statement made by Velupillai Prabhakaran on his last birthday speech, due to tsunami.

Blocking of waters flowing down the anicut in the Trincomalee district is the latest provocative act of the LTTE to confront the government. The attempt of the LTTE suicide bomber to assassinate the Army Commander, another suicide bomber taking the life of Maj-Gen. Parami Kulatunga, third ranking highest officer in the Army, the killing of Tamil dissidents by the LTTE and retaliatory attacks by the government have pushed the loss of lives this year alone to 800. Both sides have been rattling their swords without going into an all out war. But the rising tempo on both sides indicates that another round of violence is not far away.

Analysts are concerned that it is the civilians who will face the brunt of a full scale war. They argue that the LTTE is bent on provoking the government forces to attack hoping to cash in on the images of Tamil casualties facing the brunt of the war postponed by Prabhakaran. Having lost all sympathy from the international community the LTTE strategy is to win back sympathy with Lebanon-type images flashed across the global media, according to analysts.

The war clouds are gathering at a time when United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres is visiting Sri Lanka. It is estimated that there are 315,000 long-term internally displaced people (IDP) in Sri Lanka now. The next round of war is bound to increase this number of IDPs.

- Asian Tribune -

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