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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2679

Prabhkaran pulls out Pullidevan to make way for loyal Nadesan

By Jaya Rohana

Colombo, 05 November, ( The unexpected appointment of P. Nadesan as the head of the Political Division of the LTTE in addition to the current job of being the head of the Police, is causing further dissension within the Tiger leadership. Tiger ranks are questioning his quallifications to wear two hats, particularly that of the Political Head. Sinhala-speaking Nadesan was a cop in the Sri Lankan Police Force. He is also married to a Sinhala girl. But his qualification to handle political affairs at national and internaitonal levels is causing concern among the Tiger leadership.

The elevation of Nadesan to wear two hats is questioned by those who expected S. Pullidevan to step into the shoes of Tamilselvan. They say that the appointment has even surprised Nadesan. Tiger watchers interpret the appointment of Nadesan to mean two main things:

1. Tigers are not keen about negotiatians as a key factor to resolve the conflict and consequently Velujpillai Prabhkaran, theTiger leader, is not bothered about who occpies the vacant spot left by his “smiling dove of peace.”

2. Pullidevan is a close associate of Soosai, who is making waves for Prabhakaran and, in order to strengthen his hands he had appointed an obdient loyalist as Political Head. The combining of two posts will also make Nadesa a powerful figure in the Tiger hierarchy. Recently, a bomb exploded near Soosai under mysterious cirucmstances. It is reported that his son died and he escaped with injuries.

Analysts see this move by the Tiger leader as a clear indication of his determination to escalate the war abandoning any interests in negotiations.

Pullidevan, on the contrary, has had more experience in negotiations at peace talks abroad and in the Vanni but he was sidelined because his loyalty is suspect. Tamilselvan too was apointed because of his unswerving loyalty to Prabhakaran. He has had a military background and excelled himself as a good marksman. He was also Prabhakaran’s bodyguard. He was basically a hardliner who covered his terror tactics with what Prabhakaran called “beautiful smile”. Tamilselvan was better known by his “smile” than his hidden side of being an expert on terror tactics. When the SLAF bombs targeted him he was with other high-ranking military cadres, indicating that his “beautiful smile” was used effectively to impress the likes of Erik Solheim and Hans Bauer that he was for negotiations when in reality he was a die hard Head of the Political division bent on finding a military solution.

Tiger watchers also state that a Political Division and Peace Secretariat (with Norwegian funding) were created to give the false impression that the Tigers were for peace through political negotiations. Anton Balasingham, the other public face of the Tigers, is on record saying that their tactic was to delay any meaningful settlement until they get their Eelam through military means.

There is now a media campaign to project Tamilselvan as a peace-loving moderate. But the war crimes and crimes against humanity, including recruitment of under-aged children, were carried out with his approval. When these issues were raised he dismissed them with his “beautiful smile”. Tiger watchers view Erik Solheim and Hans Bauer as naive victiims of his “beautiful smile”.

The appointment of Nadesan is in keeping with Prabhkaran’s twin track of putting up a bogus front of talking for peace while using the time available to prepare for war. Nadesan will fall into this program loyally. There will be no difference in the Tiger strategies, with ot without Tamilselvan.

- Asian Tribune -

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