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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2967

Tiger’s Volte Face?

[b]Tiger’s Volte Face?[/b]

BY Tisaranee Gunasekara

[b] “London agreed to the fait accompli instead of applying sanctions against treaty violations; it rewarded Hitler’s unilateral act by accepting him as a partner in negotiations, believing that he could be held in check by concessions….”
Karl Dietrich Bracher (The German Dictatorship)[/b]

Last Friday the LTTE assassinated Lakshman Kadiragamar; a week later it has declared its willingness to re-commence peace talks and maybe even to review the MoU. Perhaps the national and international reaction to the wanton murder of Mr. Kadiragamar was a bit stronger than was anticipated by the Tigers. Perhaps this is what the Tigers intended to do all along; hit hard causing maximum damage and then offer to talk so that their crime is forgiven if not forgotten.

The initial reactions to the Tiger offer indicate that another Munich type peace process which would reward the guilty is in the offing. With its volte face the LTTE may regain a degree of international legitimacy while helping to rejuvenate the appeasement mode in the South (which suffered a temporary set back with the killing of Mr. Kadiragamar). And if and when the LTTE meets the government delegation (possibly in Oslo) the not so small matter of Col. Karuna would be on the very top of the Tiger agenda.

What peace process, what negotiations can there be with an organisation which has just murdered the Foreign Minister of the country? How can any rational person trust the Tigers again? Surely the Kadiragamar murder shows that the Tigers are the same Tigers who assassinated Ranasinghe Premadasa, Rajiv Gandhi, Appapillai Amirthalingam, Neelan Tiruchelvam and so many others?

Even if the Tigers swear before the whole world that it will never, ever kill a political opponent or conscript a child why should they be believed, given their track record? After all the Tigers signed the Oslo Declaration and then blatantly announced that such an agreement never existed! If the LTTE can go back on an undertaking it gave to the international community in the full glare of the world’s media, it can certainly go back on any undertaking it will give a Sri Lankan government.

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