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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2704

First time in twenty five years the Tamil Tigers are on the run says Indian newspaper editorial

By Walter Jayawardhana

New Delhi’s Asian Age commented editorially that in the 25 year old sepratist war in Sri Lanka , for the first ime the hunter has become hunted and Tamil Tiger supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran is on the run.

The December 26 editorial said, “the situation has dramatically changed in recent months and for the first time in all these years, the troops appear pretty upbeat after pushing the Tigers out of the east.”

The editorial furter pointed out, “the truth is still pretty scary from the Lankan Tamil point of view: real danger is knocking at the heavily fortified walls of the Big Tiger’s bunkers in Eelam’s Kilinochchi.”

The following is the full editorial:

“Sri Lanka watchers, these days, are busy analysing what would happen to the Tamil Tigers and their Eelam war should thalaivar Velupillai Prabhakaran fall victim to the stepped-up hunt by government forces. There is a lot of excitement in the Mahinda Rajapaksa government and concern amid the huge Tamil Diaspora that the hunter has now become the hunted. Till now, it seemed that Prabhakaran was calling the shots in the 25-year-long armed insurgency that consumed more than 70,000 lives in pursuit of an independent state that the Tamils called Eelam. His Black Tigers have been the deadliest among the suicide squads in the terror units across the world and the LTTE armoury was most often superior to what Colombo could procure for its demoralised forces.

But the situation has dramatically changed in recent months and for the first time in all these years, the troops appear pretty upbeat after pushing the Tigers out of the east. The Navy followed that up by sinking several Tiger ships carrying weapons to its northern bases and now the Air Force has been picking out targets that had been hitherto considered invincible, like the best marksman’s lame pigeons.

The LTTE political wing leader S.P. Tamilchelvan was killed in one such precision bombing and even after discounting most of the Colombo-inspired media spills, such as the one that said the air-raid on November 26 killed 116 of the 200 bodyguards of Prabhakaran while breaking his own limbs, the truth is still pretty scary from the Lankan Tamil point of view: real danger is knocking at the heavily fortified walls of the Big Tiger’s bunkers in Eelam’s Kilinochchi. It is said that Colombo has managed to convince India that the best way to hammer out a permanent solution is to weaken the Tigers militarily. Delhi has been supplying some critical battle gear to Rajapaksa’s forces, including radars against the LTTE’s newly acquired "air force."

It is also rumored that the Americans are providing satellite imagery to locate high-profile Tiger targets. And most important, the government is claiming it is getting intelligence inputs from the locals within the LTTE territory — this has not been substantiated by independent sources, though. Amid all this "happy tidings" for the government, there is the reality, tested time and again in this bloody Eelam war, which is that the entire scene can change dramatically by just a couple of big hits by Black Tigers in the Lankan capital. In fact, the Tamil Diaspora has been talking about this the last few weeks. Victories in this war can only be temporary. Only a comprehensive political package guaranteeing equal opportunities for the Tamils can defeat Prabhakaran.”

- Asian Tribune -

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