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

The Tiger Boycott: Reality or Myth?

[b]The Tiger Boycott: Reality or Myth?[/b]

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

[i][b]“Illusion was the whole of it, then as now”[/b][/i]
[b]Li Shang-yin [/b]([i]The Patterned Lute[/i])

Given the Tigers’ unblemished record of lies and deception I find it hard to comprehend why we still have this propensity to believe their given word. But somehow contrary to all available evidence most of us persist in thinking that the Tiger is a creature of its word; and that it does what it says and says what it does. So we seem to take the Tigers’ announcement of indifference towards the outcome of the presidential election as the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth – even though there are a number of reasons to believe that the Tigers’ professed indifference is anything but the truth.

The LTTE’s agnosticism is a smokescreen to hide their true objectives. Whatever they may say the Tigers need a friendly government in Colombo, need it badly and need it soon. Such a government can get the world to treat the Tigers more benignly, child soldiers and all; it can also help the Tigers to beat the Karuna challenge and take back the East. One needs to be extremely stupid not to realise that Ranil Wickremesinghe is far more likely to help the Tigers to achieve both aims than would Mahinda Rajapakse (who will help the Tigers unconsciously and indirectly with his insistence on the unitary state and his complete inability to understand Tamil aspirations). And one thing the LTTE is not is stupid.

The EU travel ban (and the possibility of further, tougher sanctions) was a great blow to the Tigers, as their near hysterical reaction to it – which included threats to resume the war - amply proved. There are other pitfalls ahead. For instance the UN Security Council is to take up the issue of Tigers’ child conscription next year (2006). A pro-Tiger administration in Colombo can persuade the UN to either postpone the matter or to go soft on the Tigers in order to save the peace process. On the other hand a not so friendly administration in Colombo can very well persuade the UN to take a tough stand on the LTTE and impose restrictions. The last thing the Tigers would want right now would be UN sanctions against them; even if not enforceable such sanctions would destroy the LTTE’s hard won legitimacy and turn it into an international pariah, something it would like to avoid at all costs (at its severest the sanctions would outlaw Tiger operatives from holding any public post, thereby making the ISGA an impossibility).

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