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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 79

LTTE agrees to talks as a diversionary tactic

[b]LTTE agrees to talks as a diversionary tactic [/b]

H. L. D. Mahindapala

Political observers are skeptical of the outcome of the proposed talks between the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE on revising the failed Cease Fire Agreement. They believe that the LTTE agreed readily to join talks partly as a diversionary tactic to draw attention away from the international focus on them as the accused in assassinating Lakshman Kadirgamar and partly to prevent the international community from taking drastic measures against them. They noted that the LTTE has been successful in deceiving the international community by pretending to be good boys when they are in trouble and go back to their usual terror tactics when things cool down.

Besides, they argued that the LTTE has consistently violated agreements to push the governments to the next round of talks to gain more concessions. It has always been one-way traffic without LTTE yielding to accommodate the aspirations of other communities. Though the government has requested these talks to review the Cease Fire Agreement there is no reason for the LTTE to give in, even with international pressures, because they have got away with impunity in the past. They are noted for not conceding anything substantial to advance peace at the bargaining table. And whatever they concede at the bargaining table they do it either as a publicity stunt or to get more concessions, knowing that they can renege on it later despite international guarantees.

Political analysts also pointed out that the LTTE tactic at the talks will be to come up with counter-charges against the government accusing them supporting of “the paramilitaries” (read anti-LTTE Tamils from the breakaway group led by Col. Karuna) in the east. The LTTE will try to turn tables on the government by accusing them of stoking violence in the east by encouraging “the para-militaries”.

This charge was leveled by Anton Balasingham in a recent interview with Tamil media. He said: "It is a well established fact that there are five Tamil para-military armed groups, including the Karuna group, who are paid and provided with logistic support by the Sri Lanka security forces in this covert military campaign to destabilise the Eastern province and to paralyse the LTTE’s political engagement in the region.", Mr. Balasingham said.

"The Colombo regime is fully aware of the situation. Yet, the government attempts to distort this violent phenomenon as an internal conflict within the LTTE arising from the split by the Karuna group.”

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