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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2345

India moves to restrain LTTE with no impact on its violence

[b]India moves to restrain LTTE with no impact on its violence despite Co-chairs warning[/b]

H. L. D. Mahindapala

India has stepped up its involvement in Sri Lankan politics making strategic political moves to block LTTE attempts to gain the upper hand through violence. It has intervened in two key areas: 1) internationally, at the meeting of the Co-chairs in Brussels and 2) domestically, patching up the differences between President Mahinda Rajapakse and the Ceylon Workers' Congress leader, Arumugan Thondaman.

It is significant that the four Co-chairs -- US, EU, Japan and Norway -- met the Indian representative separately before issuing the tough warning to the LTTE. The warning comes at a time when the LTTE is escalating its violence against the Sri Lankan Security forces in Jaffna. Any deterioration of the situation in Jaffna is bound to give India a headache it doesn't need now. In a move to pre-empt further escalation of LTTE violence India, according diplomatic sources, has moved to put maximum pressure on the four Co-chairs to act sternly against the LTTE.

The international community too is concerned about the LTTE-sponsored agitation in Jaffna aimed at grabbing Jaffna without an open declaration of war. The current escalation of violence by the LTTE is designed to provoke the Security Forces to retaliate, leading to a full-scale war. The warning from the four Co-chairs to either end the violence immediately or face serious consequences is seen partly as a result of the pressures mounted by the Indians to prevent another war. If there is another war India will be under severe pressure to act one way or another. Indian policy at the moment is to engage in remote control manoeuvres to prevent the LTTE from provoking another war -- an event that can not only destabilize regional security but also lead to serious domestic repercussions.

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