24 June, 2021

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Why The LTTE Was Defeated

By Kumar David

Dr. Kumar David

Dr. Kumar David

It is natural that many reasons are ascribed for the defeat of the LTTE; none is exclusively true, they are interconnected and some more significant than others. After five years it is timely to invite Colombo Telegraph readers to separate the wheat from the chaff and enter into a thoughtful (not polemical) discussion so as to gain some maturity of perspective in these post-Geneva-2014 days.

Most oft proclaimed in the South is that a determination of leadership (funding, unflagging political support, military strategy, and resisting foreign pressure to compromise) decided the issue; but this is only partly true. A second argument, popular with Tamil liberals, is that the LTTE lost the moral high ground by espousing terrorism against Sinhalese civilians and Tamil leaders, and that internally it sank to the pits of internecine cannibalism.

A third theory loved of armchair historians is that the war was intrinsically unwinnable; 13% Tamils versus 75% Sinhalese; a non-state actor versus state power. Maybe, but the world has also seen counter examples. A fourth explanation advanced by Tamils with empathy for the LTTE is that it was let down by India and the international community (IC). The US and India even provided Colombo with military intelligence they moan. This is one aspect of a bigger story that I will discuss. Finally a fifth proposition, the one on which I place the most weight, is that the LTTE blundered politically; the other negatives flowed from this congenital malfunction. None of this is new, but what about ranking these factors; ranking their importance bearing in mind, their interconnectedness.

There are trivial ‘explanations’ too; Mahinda’s astrological conjunctions, Karunanidhi’s double dealing, diaspora infighting, treachery of the Dead Left, and the implacable resolve of Sinhala chauvinism. I prefer to put all this to one side as ‘also’ factors – except soothsaying which is hilarious bunkum. I make no further reference in this essay to these secondary factors.

Downgrading the first factor

Determination of leadership: Yes credit has to be given to President Mahinda, Defence Secretary Gotabaya and Army Commander Sarath Fonseka, whether one is a supporter or foe of the trio (you may dislike Attila without denying his skills). That they were determined to finish off the LTTE is undeniable. After the Mawilaru incident, sensing the LTTE’s international isolation, they knew the wind was blowing their way and poured money into the endeavour, expanded manpower, resisted international pressure, and ignored civilian casualties once they smelt victory. I am of the view that the Sinhala State did not intentionally kill Tamil civilians, rather it was callous; what Hannah Arndt called the ‘banality of evil’. It did not hesitate to decimate civilians if one Tiger shield among them. This is unsurprising since the military had been weaned in 1989-90 on the blood of southern youth. To make an aside comment: For this reason the UNHRC investigations should pursue crimes against humanity and war crimes; genocide won’t stick since the intention to destroy a race or group must be proved to establish genocide.

The Sun-God who couldn’t see that people’s power is mightier than gun power

The Sun-God who couldn’t see that people’s power is mightier than gun power

The factor I named first, determination of leadership, was important but not the decisive or the second most important reason for the defeat of the LTTE. Twice previously there have been determined politico-military efforts that came to nought. The JR-Lalith, Vadamarachchi offensive in 1987 came close to victory when it had to be aborted. The Chandrika–Anuruddha effort in late 1990s and early 2000s to regain the initiative after setbacks to Aghni Kheela and the devastating defeat at Elephant Pass in April 2000 was also resolute. Janaka Perera succeeded in repulsing a do-or–die effort by the LTTE to retake Jaffna. No one can say Chandrika, incensed by endless LTTE perfidy in negotiations in the mid-1990s, did not subsequently provide the military with ample support.

JR in 1987, and Chandrika in the late 1990s, were unsuccessful not for lack of determination, but because other factors went against them. Indian intervention and the failure to split the LTTE, respectively, went against them. True, JR was a dolt to provoke Indira Gandhi, the power next door, into arming and training Tamil militants, but eventually in 1987 he had no choice but to capitulate. He had to call off the operation in Vadamarachchi or have his military bombed into oblivion and his ports blockaded. He had no choice.

The Chandrika of the late 1990s and early 2000s was not lacking in resolve, having tasted LTTE treachery. Her problem was that her army, despite its best efforts, lost. The LTTE stayed unified and retained indulgence in the international community and support among Tamils at home and abroad. Though there was no question of gaining Thamil Eelam, and never any prospect of the LTTE occupying Colombo and taking state power, the armed forces nevertheless were incapable of defeating it prior to the LTTE’s self-inflicted split in the Eastern Province. It was not lack of leadership in government; it was other factors that aborted victory. The short-sightedness of the LTTE leadership in failing to avert an internal split, however, helped seal its fate ten years later.

Disposing of theories two and three

Second in my list was the theory that the LTTE was defeated because it degenerated into terrorism and lost the moral high ground. The third thesis was that Thamil Eelam was an illusion that could never be achieved. There is some truth in both. It is true that at first Tamil militants (not only the LTTE) were exemplary while the state resorted to retributive massacre of civilians, rape, arson and racial hatred. But somewhere along the line, after the LTTE cannibalised other Tamil militants, things changed. Terrorism surfaced on a big scale in 1987 in the Habarana and Pettah bus-stand bombing in each of which over a 100 civilians died, followed by the coldblooded murder of 600 captured policemen in 1990. Something flipped; the LTTE knitted liberation war with terror against civilians. A dastardly act of different genre was the expulsion of Muslims from Jaffna in 1991.

These atrocities were compounded by political murders; Amirthalingam-1989, Athulathmudali- 1993, Premadasa-1993, Gamini Dissanayake-1994, and Neelan Thiruchelvam-1999. The NSSP’s Annamali was also killed by the LTTE. Proof of loss of rationality is that after 9-11 it persisted in terrorism, unaware that the world had changed. It was digging its own grave. In each of 2006, 2007 and 2008, there were about 15 attacks against civilians none of which can be passed off as war against a military foe. It is a measure megalomania, divorced from reality that even after 9-11 Prabaharan persisted in individual terrorism; Lakshman Kadirmara in 2005, Janaka Perera in 2008, Jeyaraj Fernandopullai in 2008 and dozens others depending on who you believe.

The LTTE used terror but no doubt the Lankan military was a worse agent of state terror, including rape which was not in the LTTE’s repertoire. People in all lands know the state to be an obnoxious violator of rights and an oppressor of the people; but liberators are expected to be different. Another factor that cost the LTTE the moral high ground was that NE Tamils came to dread it as an abductor of youth. Thousands of young Tamils living abroad today, many of them vociferous LTTE supporters, paradoxically, are refugees from this conscription.

All this is true, but terrorism and loss of the moral high ground was not the direct reason for defeat. Ruthless organisations have been victors if people’s faith in the cause and international support remained steadfast. A clear case that comes to mind is the creation of Israel.  In real world politics the good do not always win, sometimes movements that use terrorism do. Therefore the second factor in my list, the LTTE’s propensity to terrorism to match the state terrorism of the armed forces, has to be given reduced priority in the list of reasons contributing directly to the LTTE’s defeat.

The third item in my list was that Thamil Eelam was intrinsically delusory. The Ceylon Tamils were say, 13% of the population while the Sinhalese 75%. Tamils were alienated state power and the LTTE was an actor in the jungle. Lanka is an island and partition would entail a long and fractious border – they are still fighting on the Indo-Pakistan border 65 years after partition. Therefore a good case can be made that the LTTE dream of a separate state was never doable. There is merit in this thesis, but problematic and contentious states do come into existence if other factors are right. Examples include the de facto and much contested partition of the small island of Cyprus, the small territory of Kosovo, tiny Moldova, and possibly future East Ukraine. Therefore I do not believe that the third item on my list was an insuperable obstacle to the LTTE project.

Theory four

I now turn to the last part of my essay in this special edition of the Colombo Telegraph to commemorate the fifth year after the end of the war. I am seeking to prioritise the reasons why the LTTE was vanquished and I am well aware that this essay will be controversial – but the truth must prevail! So far I have dealt with three factors which I rank as of lower in importance. I turn to what I believe are the two most important ones. In runner-up position I rank the hostility of the International Community, especially Delhi, US and UK, and I award first place to a birth defect in the LTTE’s DNA, the flawed ideological substances on which it was conceived and suckled.

In my mind the international factor, especially the near abroad, is crucial for a small island remote from everywhere else. Events in the Ukraine again prove this thesis; the great power next door will call the shots. Crimea is gone forever; Russia will decide the fate of eastern Ukraine; Obama, Angel Merkel and NATO can fart to their heart’s content but no matter, they are extras sitting on the bench; in cricket we call such guys twelfth-man. Either the poltroons in Kiev will allow the east considerable autonomy, say federalism, or that part of Ukraine will secede as a separate state, or secede and integrate with Russia. That’s the bottom line; that’s it. It’s not so simple in Lanka, but in the long run it is devolution or death for this island nation.

In the Twenty-First Century the international factor is crucial; the near-abroad if it is a great or a regional power is decisive. The Rajapakse clan is too dumb to see this; so this statement will have to be engraved on its gravestones. Thamil Eelam died with Rajiv Gandhi because the LTTE morons failed to comprehend the importance of India. Three entities died that day; Rajiv, Prabharan and Thamil Eelam. Did a stout, squat, ogre, hiding in a cave in a little island, fancy that he could murder a past and future Indian prime minister and get away with it!

Had the LTTE swum with the tide and formed a North-Eastern provincial administration, after the Thirteenth Amendment, as an autonomous unit with international guarantees, the history of Lanka would have been happier and the Tamils spared much suffering. This is another Prabaharan blunder on par with his imbecile decision to murder Rajiv Gandhi

Without Indian support and ostracised and banned all over the Western world, the LTTE was isolated, doomed to defeat. Oh yes KP could raise millions in the diaspora, the LTTE had shipping lines and access to drug money, but can this match international state power? No, the LTTE was doomed the day it lost international empathy. Its international pariah status sealed its fate. Gota and Mahinda are now staring into the same abyss.

In modern times, from the late Twentieth Century, new sates are formed, or regions secede, only exceptionally because they are ethnically, linguistically or culturally homogeneous. The Right of Nations to Self-Determination thesis is declining in significance. Seceding or not seceding in modern times has more to do with modern realities; global economics, technology and trade, great-power impact and internal democracy – in addition to homogeneity.

Hence, expulsion of the Muslims from Jaffna in 1991, seeking to create Tamil homogeneity, apart from being a crime in itself, is also an anachronism that fails to grasp the plural character of modern states. The fifteen states that emerged out of the USSR, the seven ex-Yugoslav states, most new African ones, and now eastern Ukraine are non-homogeneous. They are not examples of the right of homogeneous Nations to self-determination, as if still living in a bygone era; on the contrary, they exemplify the right of People in plural societies to self-determination in the modern context.

The final answer

The most important reason why the LTTE perished was its fallacious prioritisation of the military aspect over the political aspect. Its petty-bourgeois, non-Marxist DNA was military not political. I am not repudiating the armed struggle in so far as it is ancillary, but I am rejecting the strategy of giving it priority over politics. As a result the LTTE became an army, a military entity, not a political entity. It is true that in those dark and desperate days of brutal oppression by the Sinhala State, the LTTE stood up and fought for the Tamil people. This is why many, if not most Tamils had a soft corner for the ‘boys’, even if they suspected that it would all end in a vale of tears. Be that as it may, Prabaharan was not a Lenin, a Mao or a Mandela; he was a Shining Path guerrilla.

The LTTE, the advocate of a military solution rather than a political strategy with a strictly limited military component, perished in a blind alley; a remote lagoon to be precise. The assassination of Rajiv Gandhi, bad faith and deceit in negotiations, and irresponsible terrorism are the hallmarks of a leader unable to digest the importance of the ‘overdetermining’ importance of the political aspect. It is the insignia of an army, intent on victory in the field, not a cachet of statesmanship. The LTTE lived and died in this surreal world. I have held this view for thirty-five years from my Vama Samasamaja days of the 1970s and 1980s, in my 1989 book coedited with Silan Kadirgamar (Ethnicity; Arena Publications), and in all my subsequent interventions. I repeat it again in this concluding paragraph.

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Latest comments

  • 9
    9

    The unpopular LTTE option is will remain the last resort to restore dignity to the minorities.

    • 3
      1

      If the comment, ‘The unpopular LTTE option will remain the last resort to restore dignity to the minorities’, will bear meaning, only if the adjective ‘unpopular’ in it is qualified. Unpopular with whom?

      If that option of LTTE is still the last resort, it certainly must have been popular with Tamils. Sadly, it was popular ‘only’ with Tamils.

      Let me rephrase it. LTTE should have made its option popular with a few others who mattered. It did not.

      LTTE was reluctant even to pretend to go along with those whose moral and material support it needed. This ranks first among the reasons for its defeat.

      Yet, LTTE tactics had not shut all avenues for Tamils to seek redress. In fact, it has opened a few new ones.

    • 8
      3

      Dr. Kumar David –

      Why The LTTE Was Defeated? It was a good thing to defeat Terrorists.

      1. They were Terrorists.

      2. They Terrorized the Tamils

      2. They Terrorized the Sinhala

      3. They Terrorized the Muslims

      4. They terrorized the Indians

      5. They terrorized the civilized world

      6. They practiced ethnic cleansing

      7. VP Wanted his Dynasty. Took money from MaRa as that MaRa can start his Dynasty.

      8. Add your to the list..

      • 1
        3

        @Amarasiri, as a Jaffna Tamil I will agree with you. Unfortunately these buggers being gone gives the Rajapukka’s the freedom to do whatever they want. But 50% of the evil gone. In one way it is a good thing.

        • 1
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          Tamil: as a Sinhalese from the South I disagree with you. With the 50% of the good ones gone we are left with 50% of the bad ones.

      • 2
        2

        Reason for LTTE obliteration VP & Col, Karuna and the rest of murdering thugs. VP’s dream of his Dynasty extinguish with a bullet to the head Deputy Karuna became a turn court with some carpet baggers from LTTE. Sri Lanka now ruled by most honest compassionate Royal Die-nastic family with the blood line go back to Lord Buddha Percy Mahendra Rajapksa clan.

    • 2
      1

      Dignity or indignity?

      There are 89,000 Tamil war widows, allegations of genocide and sexual violence against Tamils?

      Sure it is dignity for some!!

      Muslims can have it too.

  • 12
    8

    The LTTE used terror but no doubt the Lankan military was a worse agent of state terror, including rape which was not in the LTTE’s repertoire.

    Oh yes, LTTE never stooped to the level of doing things like rape. I can think of “quite a few” other hideous unthinkable inhumane acts that LTTE never committed. A brilliant analysis!

  • 4
    5

    Yet another intelligent and considered piece from this respected political analyst.

  • 9
    4

    At a time when Rajapaksa did not have any plan for the country’s future, Mawilaru incident gave him the opportunity to crush the LTTE, not for the benefit of all Sri Lankans but for his own benefit to become the King of Sri Lanka. If he is not selfish and really loves the country he would not have passed the 18th amendment to the constitution and try to be the king for ever.

    • 0
      2

      Stupidest comment ever posted on Colombo Telegraph !

      • 1
        1

        Araliya

        “Stupidest comment ever posted on Colombo Telegraph !”

        How about yours, second most stupidest one?

  • 7
    2

    “In my mind, the international factor,especially the near abroad, is crucial for a small island remote from everywhere else”. This is absolutely true and the failure of VP to grasp this factor (referred to as a ‘Himalayan Blunder’ by no less a person than Anton Balasingham) was the MAIN cause for the failure of Tamil Eelam.

    If we examine some of the recent cases of liberation, East Pakistan could not have become Bangladesh without India’ s help. Similarly, East Timor could not have become free without the help of Australia and the Western powers. Kosovo could not have become free without NATO support. Crimea could not have dared to hold a referendum without Russia’s support. So the list goes.

    There was a time during Indira Gandhi’s period, when we came fairly close to ‘liberation’. But that got scuttled at the last moment. What is the guarantee that there will not be a repeat of that moment if MaRa does not act wisely?

    Sengodan. M

  • 2
    6

    The ‘strict’ distinction between politics and military strategy, in general or in the case of the LTTE, appears little artificial to me. The key reason for the failure, if any, might not be “the advocacy of a military solution rather than a political strategy” but the fundamental errors in both, particularly the (military) advocacy of a separate state based on nation (i.e. ethnicity). I am more inclined to agree with the proposition that “the right of nations to self-determination thesis is declining in significance.”

  • 3
    5

    Brilliant.. and thank you for sharing your analysis..
    I wonder why you didn’t mention about Anton Balasingham and his role till his death in 2006.. As I heard, LTTE lost its’ political strategies and international face completely after loosing Balasingham…

    • 3
      2

      AB was KD’s drinking buddy… So how could he have condemned him?

  • 2
    6

    a very realistic analysis by Kumar. The LTTE was born of the terrorism of the chauvinist sections of the Sinhala polity patronised by successive governments. It is very true: “I turn to what I believe are the two most important ones. In runner-up position I rank the hostility of the International Community, especially Delhi, US and UK, and I award first place to a birth defect in the LTTE’s DNA, the flawed ideological substances on which it was conceived and suckled”. In fact General Patten formerly of the EU visited Killinochchi and after interviewing Prapaharan reported back to say that it would be futile to back the LTTE. Prabhaharan on account of his vanity and arrogance was not even prepared to listen to very loyal members of the Diasporas who offered realistic advice even on the acceptance of a federal state. Bensen

  • 4
    2

    ”The assassination of Rajiv Gandhi, bad faith and deceit in negotiations, and irresponsible terrorism are the hallmarks of a leader unable to digest the importance of the ‘overdetermining’ importance of the political aspect. It is the insignia of an army, intent on victory in the field, not a cachet of statesmanship. The LTTE lived and died in this surreal world”.

    You have evaluated it in nutshell Dr.Kumar. Hats off. …and it seem that the winner of the war is desperately dying to match his victim’ fate…let’s wish him all the best too…!!?

    • 3
      3

      ”The assassination of Rajiv Gandhi, was it at the request of S.J.Emmanuel ????????

      • 1
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        Thonda…would please remind me an incident to claim that the ”Sun God” had had respect towards the educated/ education/ cultured /modest / Human life and…etc., etc.,…!!?

        Please read this article once more….!!?

        Also I recently read out a news item in a popular Tamil website run by M P Sridaran’s brother in Europe – claiming that Kittu Maama was very kind towards animals…hahaha…!! The rest is for you to reflect on.

        VP never ever have allowed others to make use of him, instead he made use of anyone , anything and everything to show the world ….how cruel he was.

  • 1
    3

    I fully endorse and support this valid intelligent analytical essay by KD and his discussion of the various elements of the fascistic LTTE mindset as the reasons for it’s defeat from the time it killed the ex-pm of the Indian subcontinent.

    • 7
      4

      There was a time when these very same terrorists were lovingly referred to as “our boys”, and their vile deeds were swept under the carpet.

  • 6
    2

    KD,
    “Thamil Eelam died with Rajiv Gandhi because the LTTE morons failed to comprehend the importance of India.”

    Jain Commission and other reports[edit]

    In the Jain report, various people and agencies are named as suspected of having been involved in the murder of Rajiv Gandhi. Among them, the cleric Chandraswami was suspected of involvement, including financing the assassination.[26][27][28] One of the accused, Ranganath, said Chandraswami was the godfather who financed the killing.[29] Sikh Militants were also suspected.[30][31] The interim report of the Jain CommIssion created a storm when it accused Muthu and the Tamils of a role in the assassination, leading to Congress withdrawing its support for the I. K. Gujral government and fresh elections in 1998. Also other strong LTTE sympathizers Vaiko with MDMK and Thol. Thirumavalavan, with VCK have supported Congress under Sonia Gandhi in the past. However it is worth noting, that Vaiko left the UPA alliance before the 2009 election, partly due to the Sri Lankan issue.In 2001 Norway peace talks Prabhakarn told to press persons that Rajiv killing was an sorrowful event. In 2006, LTTE spokesman Anton Balasingham told the Indian television channel NDTV that the killing was a “great tragedy, a monumental historical tragedy which we deeply regret.”[32][33] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assassination_of_Rajiv_Gandhi

  • 3
    2

    This is the latest ‘analysis’ about the cause & progress of the LTTE insurrection – JVP insurrections are almost forgotten.
    The author says that LTTE is dead,but the army is trying to resurrect it in the minds of all sri lankans,by the recent murder of three minor employees of its own,and a member of the military intelligence,all tamils.
    Noone is fooled.
    There are secret camps holding former LTTE cadres and in known camps like in Boosa under the pernicious PTA – no mention of these.
    The military occupation of the north and east is totally ignored by the author.

  • 6
    5

    Dr. Kumar David’s narration is 80pc accurate. LLTE lost due to many mistakes they committed due to their inability to understand the way people think about arms struggles. LTTE followed the JVP footsteps and thought of killing innocent people to keep them under their control. Killing of Rajiv Gandhi, attack on the Sri Maha Bodiya and destroying the Temple of the Tooth created their downfall and the 2004 December Tsunami was also created a very difficult time for VP.
    Kumar’s analysis of Mrs Kumaratunga period needs some more input as then Deputy Defence Minister Rathwaththe was trapped using his second wife and her son from the first Tamil husband to get information about all Army action. Rathwaththe used his powers to direct the top Army Officers to take action when he wanted. As major General Janaka Perera corrected Rathwaththe at a. Briefing in Jaffna, Janaka was scolded like a pickpocket by Rathwaththe and that incident push him from the Army.
    To give credit to the Army President Rajapaksa should allow the UNHRC. To conduct an open investigation as it is the best step to bring reconciliation between Tamils and Sinhalese as the former Army Commander can defuse the collateral damage claim of civilians during the last stage of the war.

  • 6
    2

    A good analysis, but could I add in a couple of other factors for the failure of the LTTE in its battle with the GOSL?

    1. Prabhakaran was not the great military strategist that some people (including, it is reported Erik Soleheim) wanted to believe he was. True, he did have some spectacular successes against the SL armed forces but that was due to good ‘intelligence’ rather than skilful planning. Before Gothabaya Rajapakse took over, the LTTE knew, thanks to their moles, exactly what the armed services were going to do. One of the most important things that GR did was to stop the leaks.

    2. Battle fatigue (and its inevitable concomitant issues). The LTTE fighters were battle weary. Not everyone had the passion and the manic determination of Prabhakaran. And it was not easy to get new recruits (willing recruits) to replace the increasing number of cadres who were being killed.

    3. A huge improvement in the tactics employed by the GOSL. The DPUs (Deep Penetrating Units) made a crucial difference. For the first time, the GOSL was able to fight the LTTE in its own physical territory.

    4. The role of the Air Force – Better equipment, better direction and improved skills allowed the GOSL to inflict telling blows, e.g taking out Thamiselvam.

    I am sure other readers can add a whole lot of other factors.

  • 2
    1

    Had the LTTE swum with the tide and formed a North-Eastern provincial administration, after the Thirteenth Amendment, as an autonomous unit with international guarantees, the history of Lanka would have been happier and the Tamils spared much suffering. This is another Prabaharan blunder on par with his imbecile decision to murder Rajiv Gandhi

    There was no chance to implement the 13A. Its every close indicates that India did not want Tamils gains any devolved power in the process. If CV could not do anything with it, it is fraudulent interpretation of Prof: KD to say Piraparan did show any magic taking the magic wand, 13A in his hand. Indian made sure the dominant movement (LTTE) will not get a pie in that either. In that case, how India should have been handled by LTTE is different point to argue, but we cannot touch it because it is irrelevant to KD’s article. So, Pirapakaran made not allowing the Indian army not to disarm the movement and appoint Varadhar to take to full fill its object. So just because Indian army had come to lanka, working with it was not a solution at that time.

    India did not start the militant movements to solve Tamils problems. Either side of the Tamils was not a concern for Delhi. India gave Kachchativu to Lanka against Tamil Nadu’s protest. Never an Indian government tilted on Tamils side or paid sympathy for Tamils. This how they solved the Estate Workers problem too, working with GOSL. In India even Kamaraj could not get a position in Indian government. In return for that, TN Tamils had their Justice Party during the freedom fight, not believing Congress. Periyar created the Dravidian movements and Tamil Nadu has gone now far away from Delhi. (In this election all together, both Delhi parities not getting even two seats out of 39 in TN) But this foresightedness kept Tamil Nadu as English dominant state. Because this foresightedness Though Tamil Nadu receive all the treatment from Delhi that Eelam Tamils have been receiving from Colombo, now TN the fastest growing state in India because the foreign countries preference of Tamilnadu for its English education. In the Indian History, now, Karunanidhi stands as the biggest swindler of the state and central government. But it is in period the foreign investment started to pour in and state set the leadership on the growth. This is not like the Kings, Chinese loan. This is not just benefiting TN, but the entire India, which is trying to dig to isolate TN more and more. Prof:KD has to consider this political climate before he suggest that LTTE did not work with India. In fact in LTTE’s evaluation of the political is , it had a minimal element of belief to work with GOSL and chase out India, it did not had even that small element of belief to work with India and crush GOSL. In his postmortem KD can say in his way, but LTTE did not believe the IPKF even to the extent it small believe it had with GOSL.

    India came to Lanka only to take it over. This object had been discussed with the movements openly and they were in disagreement with India on that. This they have put forward in their messages many times. Premadasa took the hand of the LTTE only to beat the common enemy, before he takes care of the internal fight. This is one of the smartest decision that none of the Sri lankan leaders can dream of. This is how he prevented the Crimea’s fate to Lanka on those days. There was something was left to the King the Hitler to show his brutal Humanitarian Libiration acts. Otherwise now, Lanka l would have been the 30th state of India.

    There are so many forceful interpretation and mistreated theories in this article. Anyway that the style of Prof: KD. I will try to take one at a time when time permits. May be we will be on this for a week to talk things. All of them cannot be taken at once.

    We will come back to how Hitler fooled the Germans hiding his brutal ideas at start which at the start was misinterpreted as his administration power. (They were nothing but brutal acts- no content of administration skill). That is how the Germany was lowered into worst destructive war. This is not an example of Administrational marvel, as Prof:KD trying to show. King has no qualities other than a rebirth of Hitler. The fruit of his real achievements the Lankans yet have to enjoy, including the Chinese loan, bad international relationship….On the other hand look at Lincoln decision. He did not try cash the on the popular support like King or Hitler. He took one of the greatest risks in the Human history. He went against whites of his land. Had he lost the war, angry mob might have savaged entire US Congress on that time. But he calculated every tiny portion of the war and achieved a war victory to stand as best administrational marvel on the war history. This not a trick likes Lenin capturing the weakened Russia from the peasant farmers.

    We can come back to that in detail if time permits.

  • 1
    1

    How and why LTTE died is not as important as how and why LTTE was born.
    Racist government policies, disenfranchisement,colonization,deprivation of jobs with Sinhala Only Act,standardization, Repeated abrogation of pacts are just few reasons.
    If we continue this you will be witnessing more and more insurgencies. For example closing the Jaffna campus on May 17 and similar student oppression will give birth to another revolt. Then Dr. Kumar David, you will get another chance to write more essays like this.

    • 2
      1

      Ragavan,

      Hope Prof David would make a note of “How and why LTTE died is not as important as how and why LTTE was born.”

      “The LTTE did not come into being or grow into a world-class terror outfit in a vacuum. Without the Sinhala Only, the Tiger may have remained unborn. Without the Black July, the Tiger may not have grown exponentially. If the B-C Pact and the D-C Pact did not miscarry (thanks to the midwifery of Sinhala extremism), the LTTE, even if it was born, would have remained a fringe group.

      The Tiger was born out of Tamil discontent and alienation; it fed on Tamil fear and anger. A policy of preventing a Tiger-resurgence needs to take this history into account. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa may be labouring day and night to prevent a Tiger-resurgence. But the militaristic approach and Sinhala supremacist policies of the Family cannot but fan those old-embers of Tamil fear and ire into new-life.

      When a sober, anti-Tiger Tamil leader like V. Anandasangaree says the current plight of Tamils makes him question the purpose of his living, it is an omen of a calamity-in-the-making. The particular event which caused this despairing outburst was the expropriation by the Air Force of “an 8,000 acre area between Pudukudurippu and Nandikadal in Mullaitivu…” (Sri Lanka Mirror – 19.10.2011). This is not an isolated incident. In the North/East, civilian lands are being appropriated to build new bases for the forces and cantonments for their families. According to parliamentarian M. A. Sumathiran, “…Tamil people inhabited 18,880 sq km of land in the North and East, but after May 2009, the defence forces have occupied more than 7,000 sq km of land owned by Tamil people” (Transcurrents – 23.10.2011). The new Bill which empowers the state to expropriate assets it deems ‘underperforming and underutilised’ can exacerbate this situation.

      The omnipotent and omnipresent military intrudes into every aspect of Tamil-life. Not only must the army be informed about visitors. “Any family gathering to celebrate the birth or naming of a child, attainment of puberty of a girl, a wedding or even a death, requires prior permission… The army must be informed even of community activities such as sports meets. In a recent incident in Chavakachcheri, youth participating in a football match were brutally assaulted by the army as they had played on a field without the permission of the army… It is common to see the presence of soldiers in all civilian activities including village, temple or church meetings” (ibid).

      What if a Sinhala village is forced to obtain permission from a predominantly Tamil army for most acts of daily life? Would not such humiliation cause fury and rebellion? The Rajapaksas are using targeted-attacks to prevent Tamils from protesting against the insults and oppression which are their daily fare. The recent assaults on two student-activists of the Jaffna University follow the brutal attack on the news editor of Uthayan. Sustaining this military-domination would require the defence budget to remain at stratospheric-levels, despite escalating financial difficulties.

      The Rajapaksa’s Northern policy combines ubiquitous military presence with demographic re-engineering. Military cantonments represent a novel form of state-managed colonisation of traditional Tamil areas. These enclaves would need support services, enabling the military to further encroach into civilian-areas, such as education. The children of military-families will need Sinhala schools and who better to run them than the military?

      As relatively privileged and empowered oases, these Sinhala enclaves will be the locus of Tamil resentment. This seems a replication of the Israel strategy of breaking the contiguity of Palestinian-presence through the creation of Jewish-settlements. That policy is obstructing a sustainable-peace, compelling Palestinians and Israelis to languish in a state of fear and insecurity. This may be the destination the Rajapaksas want for Sri Lanka. Frightened people are more likely to barter liberty for security and that is a state made for despotism.”

      http://www.srilankaguardian.org/2011/11/oppressed-north-lawless-south.html

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      Dear Ragavan,

      Re “How and why LTTE died is not as important as how and why LTTE was born”

      Yes but you need to dig deep to find the REAL reason.
      I don’t think that you will like what you unearth by digging deep!

      Sri Lanka saw Riots that caused arson of dwellings and loss of property and life in 1871, 1923, 1929 and 1931. ALL of them were Tamil Tamil Riots and NO other ethnicity was involved.

      Please explain why that was so.

      The FIRST riot between Tamils and Sinhalese occurred in 1939.
      That was the first ever ETHNIC Riot in 20th century Sri Lanka.

      The Cause of that Riot was Racism.

      Who instigated Racism?
      Surprise Surprise it was a Tamil Lawyer named G. G. Ponnambalam, the founder of the Tamil political party, the All Ceylon Tamil Congress.

      The first Tamil/Sinhala riots of the 20th century occurred in 1939 when the Father of Racist Politics and founder of the Tamil political party, the All Ceylon Tamil Congress, Tamil Lawyer G. G. Ponnambalam delivered a Hate Speech attacking the Sinhalese, at a public meeting in Nawalapitiya. His aim was to oust the Ramanathan’s from political power in the North which he succeeded in doing. Prior to 1939, Casteism was the cause of Arson and Riots. In 1939 your erstwhile leader, GGP changed it to Racism, for political expediency. He ousted the Ramanathans but created a fiery dragon in the process. That was the turning point which destroyed the Ethnic harmony which existed for centuries.

      Where is the evidence?

      In 1935 G.G. Ponnambalam declared that he was a PROUD DRAVIDIAN (The Hansard, 1935, column 3045).

      He started attacking Sinhalese History. The “Hindu Organ” (p. 4 — June 22, 1939), Writing about the Nawalapitiya incident, Headlined their article thus; “Mr. Ponnambalam’s N’pitiya speech” and beneath it the strap line: “Mr. Bandaranaike’s challenge.”

      Writing an Editorial titled “THE WRITING ON THE WALL”, The Hindu Organ, says “…. A verbal bombshell dropped unwittingly by a Tamil politician at Nawalapitiya appears to have set the South on fire……. A slander against a community by an individual, though unintended, is inexcusable…” continuing it said: “Communal differences, though there existed hardly any during the time of the last generation of leaders, have now been multiplied and intensified, thanks to the hot-heads and irresponsible talkers in the country who care more for the plaudits of the mob than for the welfare of the people. Ceylon today is seething with petty problems which have been created by thoughtless gas-bags, and which threaten to poison the peaceful conditions in the country….” It concluded by saying: “Let us hope that wise statesmanship will prevail among leaders who should realize the imperative need for the welding of the communities into a Ceylonese Community for the political and economic salvation of the country. The writing on the wall is too clear to be ignored.”

      What is the “Hindu Organ”?

      The Hindu Organ is an Anglo/Tamil fortnightly Newspaper which was founded in September 1889 by the Siva Paripalana Sabai and is still its property. Mr. T. Chellappa-pillai, who was the retired Chief Justice of Travancore and also a renowned mathematician, an eminent English, Sanskrit and Tamil Scholar, Edited the English pages while Mr T. Kailasapillai, the Nephew of Srila Sri Arumuga Navalar, was the Manager and the editor of the Tamil pages. Both editors worked for free.

      The Tamil Editor underlines the fact that, prior to 1939, Communal Differences were insignificant.

      Re “Racist government policies, disenfranchisement,colonization,deprivation of jobs with Sinhala Only Act,standardization, Repeated abrogation of pacts are just few reasons.

      Disenfranchisement – You seem to be alluding to The Citizenship Act which was passed in Parliament with LANKA TAMILS voting for it. The Act was contested in courts and was finally ruled on by the Privy Council in the UK, which then was the APEX COURT for Lanka. The Privy Council RULING upheld the decision of the Supreme Court of Ceylon as Sri Lanka was then named.

      Are you suggesting that the APEX BRITISH COURT connived with the Lankan Politicians to disenfranchise the Indian Tamils?

      Colonization – Colonisation is what the British did to the Sinhala Hinterland in the Hill Country by settling Alien Indian Tamils on Land forcibly taken from the Sinhalese.

      In 1911 there were 531,000 ALIEN INDIAN TAMILS in the Kandyan Kingdom. In that year there were ONLY 528,000 Lanka Tamils. That is the equivalent of settling the WHOLE indigenous Tamil Population of Lanka, on Sinhala Ancestral Lands by robbing the Sinhalese of Land and Livelihood using Draconian Laws.

      Read your History Ragavan without limiting yourself to Separatist Propaganda.

      Secondly how can you colonise your own Land? South of Elephant Pass is the Kandyan kingdom of the Sinhalese. During Dutch rule they built a Fort at Elephant Pass to guard the border between the Dutch controlled Jaffna kingdom and the Sinhalese controlled Kandyan Kingdom. The proof is in the Dutch Archives.

      Deprivation of jobs with Sinhala Only Act – The Act was the Language Act. I don’t agree with the provisions of the initial Act but the record has to be put straight.

      The Official language at that time was ONLY English. Only the Burghers and a handful of Sinhalese, Tamils and Moors new any English to do business with the govt of the day. That number was even less than 1% of the total 1948 population of 10 million.

      Everything official, including Court proceedings, was in English. People were incarcerated without even knowing why they were being punished. Interpreting English became a business at public offices like Post Offices, Courts, Govt Administrative offices etc as the populace could not fill even a simple official form, all of which were ONLY in English.

      Under the circumstances, the SILENCE of the Tamil Political Leadership, in not asking for English to be dethroned as the ONLY official Language, even after attaining independence (almost a decade), makes one question WHO the Tamil leadership represented. The Tamil polity at large or a miniscule group amongst the Tamils? Were that miniscule, English Educated Tamils, more interested in protecting their privileged position than looking after the interests of the Tamil polity?

      Replacing English as the Only official Language was necessary but doing so without giving due place to Tamil was foolish. However it must be noted that the 1956 Language Act was NEVER implemented in the North.

      In fact the Northern people were able to engage officially with govt in Tamil, which they were compelled to do in English till then.

      Here are some observations of a Tamil, Dr Johnpulle, about the Language Act.

      “Prevention of Social Disabilities (Amendment) Act No. 18 of 1971 was introduced to overcome the weaknesses of the previous act. The initial act required an aggrieved party to take the matter to court. However, most ‘low caste’ Tamils were poor and couldn’t afford to go to court. The amendment authorised police action in case of a complaint.

      This was to be the last nail on the coffin of Tamil caste discrimination. Tamil race based political party leaders were furious. They restarted their satyagraha campaigns and peaceful protests against the government action. In 1965 the government introduced laws to use predominantly the Sinhala language in government offices. However, no large scale Tamil protests were seen. But after the 1971 amendment act, protests started to grow.”

      Not everything is what you see on the surface. The insidious hand behind Race Politics!

      Standardisation – Although I can write in detail about this obvious propaganda ploy, I will reserve that to later and instead quote from Dr Johnpulle a Tamil himself.

      “In 1973 university standardisation was introduced as a means of equitably distributing taxpayer funds across the country. It disadvantaged students from Colombo, Galle, Jaffna and Kandy of all ethnicities but was favourable to students from Batticaloa, Nuwara Eliya, Vanni, Monaragala and other less developed districts. The percentage of Tamils in universities hardly changed but the composition between Vellalar Jaffna Tamils and other Tamils changed. Jaffna Vellalar Tamils were furious over it. Meanwhile this made the government and mainstream political parties even more popular among non-Vellalar Tamils. Although the 1977 election which was held under the first-past-the-post system hid the growth in support for mainstream political parties, it was clearly shown in percentages and margins. TULF failed to get the addition of percentages of ACTC and ITAK. Votes for SLFP and UNP increased in 1977 though under the election system they couldn’t win seats.”

      Repeated abrogation of pacts

      The ONLY “Pact” that got implemented without Public support is the 13A to the Constitution. That too had to be forced down the throat of Lankans with the use of the Gun and the Bullet.

      Ask yourself whether ANY of these “pacts” that you refer to was open to public debate and discussion. Secretive pacts have no chance of peaceful implementation.

      Please, if your interest is in reconciling differences, approach them with Honesty and an open mind. Regurgitating GGP’s policies will not bring about peace.

      Kind Regards
      OTC

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        Thank you the info To me it is ‘hidden history’

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    The LTTE destroyed the UNP and got the UPFA Government to adopt its ideology. Prabhakaran remains the most influential factor in politics of warfare in Sri Lanka which began in 1971. His ideology is yet alive and kicking …. ask the people of Rathupaswala….

    The absence of a serious ideology and the recycling of a superficial, instrumental, expedient and temporary Sinhala Buddhist ‘chinthanaya’ to justify raw, naked power – these are the problems we confront. Can the Lankans ever work out a proper basis for their politics?

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    LTTE was defeated because the army commander Sarath Fonseka believed SL belonged only to Singhalese.

    Muslims are FOOLS to get beaten and hammered like Tamils. That is why Muslims don’t want Jihad violence in SL. If Muslims take up arms, there will be more players getting involved like Israel and India that have are hell bent on erasing Islam from the face of the earth.

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    For 30 years the Sri Lankan army tried and failed to defeat baby faced, and as “off the cuff” keep saying here on CT, the forcibly recruited child soldiers of LTTE. In my view LTTE was finaly defeated, for one reason. LTTE prematurely put their air wing into action and prematurely flew their mosquito planes. That sent shock waves around the IC. The worlds first liberation fighters capable of developing a fully fledged airforce!

    The IC was ready to accept a reasonable loss of civilian lives and indicated that to Gota and MR who gave them that asurance. Gota and MR then got military hardware and military personnel and intelligence from Pakistan, China, Israel, USA, India.

    Pakistan airforce flew sorties, Indian military personnel provided action and assistance at war fornt so did Isrel. intelligence gathering on LTTE arms shipment was provided by USA and UK, China and Pakistan provided non stop flow of arms and ammunition. Without these assistance Sinhala army would have never defeated the LTTE quote “child soldiers” unquote, on their own.

    But Gota amd MR tdecided that this is a great opportunity for an all out assault and genocide of Tamils. They ordered all NGOs and News media out of the war zone, cornered all the Tamil civilians in to a No Fire Zone together with the LTTE and bombed the hell out of them.

    Banki Moon was flown to the war zone and garlanded forcibly by war torn and traumatised Tamil Children, he was photgraphed smiling with a huge garland surrounded by traumatised Tamil Children. He recently said that the UN learnt a lot from Rwanda. really?.

    After 5 years IC is waking up to the fact that they unwittingly gave a blank cheque to MR and Gota for act of genocide against the Tamils. Now they are passing lame duck resolution in UN to investigate possible war crimes in Sri Lanka.

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      Dear Rajash,

      The LTTE lost Primarily because it was SHORT OF MANPOWER.

      With so many millions of Lanka Tamils around why did Prabahkaran find himself short staffed?

      Because a MILLION of them became cowards and deserted Prabahkaran’s “Tamil Eelam” and the rest did not believe in it.

      How did he fill that void left by the cowards?
      1. By abducting children and forcing them to the front lines.

      Did Rajash or the Tamil Diaspora protest that War Crime?
      Perhaps, if total SILENCE can be called a protest.

      2. Forcing any remaining Tamil civilians under his control to fight.

      Why was it necessary to force any one to fight for what he/she believes in?

      Rajash, you are trying to brag about a shameful indignity that you are PRIMARILY to blame.

      Many separatists have been bragging about the 30 years that took the war to end but conveniently forgets that the war would have ended 22 years earlier, with the Capture (dead or alive) of Prabahkaran, if not for the Indian Air Force’s Parippu drop.

      India created the Terrorists and it protected them until that fool Prabahkaran went and bumped off a former Indian PM.

      Fools keep massaging their egos harping on the LTTE’s prowes instead of looking for ways to reconcile and achieve lasting peace.

      Kind regards,
      OTC

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      Dear Rajash,

      The LTTE lost Primarily because it was SHORT OF MANPOWER.

      With so many millions of Lanka Tamils around why did Prabahkaran find himself short staffed?

      Because a MILLION of them became cowards and deserted Prabahkaran’s “Tamil Eelam” and the rest did not believe in it.

      How did he fill that void left by the cowards?
      1. By abducting children and forcing them to the front lines.

      Did Rajash or the Tamil Diaspora protest that War Crime?
      Perhaps, if total SILENCE can be called a protest.

      2. Forcing any remaining Tamil civilians under his control to fight.

      Why was it necessary to force any one to fight for what he/she believes in?

      Rajash, you are trying to brag about a shameful indignity that you are PRIMARILY to blame.

      Many separatists have been bragging about the 30 years that took the war to end but conveniently forgets that the war would have ended 22 years earlier, with the Capture (dead or alive) of Prabahkaran, if not for the Indian Air Force’s Parippu drop.

      India created the Terrorists and it protected them until that fool Prabahkaran went and bumped off a former Indian PM.

      Fools keep massaging their egos harping on the LTTE’s prowess instead of looking for ways to reconcile and achieve lasting peace.

      Kind regards,
      OTC

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      Rajash

      Genocite Genocite . lmfao

      Cheers

      Abhaya

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    There are two things I wish to elaborate on in addition to all above.

    The telling blow to Prabakaran came when Karuna ceceded from the LTTE. This action boosted the governments’ morale to no end. Karuna also provided all the intelligence into the internal mechanics of the LTTE the GOSL needed. I will put the defection of Karuna at the top of the list for the demise of LTTE.

    Second major error of LTTE was giving into the lure of a military style build up with army, navy and air force. They should have remained a guerrilla force. When the great offensive took place the LTTE could have easily slipped out of the conflict zone and lived to fight another day. The poorly secured military bases that the LTTE established were easy pickings for the Sri Lankan military’s artillery and for the air strikes. With the destruction of each of these miserably protected military bases the morale of the LTTE slid down while the GOSL morale went up.

    Thus the end of the LTTE story was sealed.

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      BBS Rapper:

      What a clever military strategist you are correctly analysing ( I don’t really mean it) the reason why LTTE lost. Why don’t you become an advisor to MR and ask him to slip out into the Wilpattu Jungle and live to fight another day before BJP catch up with him.

      The signs are not very good for MR and his brothers.

      Gotha is wanted by the State Authorities in the US as to where he got the money from to buy a mansion for 1 million.
      He used to work in a petrol station in the US and later became a delivery driver and returned to Sinhala as a failed business man. From the loot he sent money to buy the mansion and also built the White House in the heart of the city in Colombo.
      The noose is tightening.

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      BBS Rep,you are right about karuna.He had split from prabha during chandrika’s time,but she did not seize that opportunity to take him into her fold and utilise him.It was gota who saw the potential,but i think he made a mistake when he got him a false passport and sent him to the UK.Laughingly the LTTE kicked a own goal when they got him brought back again applying pressure on the UK,thinking they can bump him off.Instead gota protected him and made use of him to the maximum.

      It was not the only factor that contributed to the defeat of the LTTE but a number of factors of which this was also an important one.The sinking of the 8 ships which were the floatng warehouses on the high seas through which they could get their weapons was another mighty blow given by india through its intelligence to the GOSL.

      However i reiterate that the heavenly ‘nonsense’ that abhaya refers to is the main reason.That is why when things started to go wrong for the LTTE nothing could be done,one after another the calamities took place.

      Now the heavenly ‘nonsense’,the wrath of god has turned on the rajapakshes for killing all those innocent civilians and raping and killing all those females,and nothing they can do will turn around the noose that is slowly but surely tightening around their necks.

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    LTTE terrorism died in 2009.
    It has been replaced by State Terrorism.

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      justice

      “LTTE terrorism died in 2009. It has been replaced by State Terrorism.”

      State terrorism originated in 1971 and continues to this day.

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    It is high time we stop analyzing about LTTE and Sri Lanka.The LTTE were ruthless and did not care too hoots about. Tamils,Sinhalese,Muslims andmanyother nationalities that live in this Island.They had six chances to strike a lasting peace deal.But what they did was to stock pile amunitions to kill while the poort. tamls savrificed their children to these ruthless killers..Thank God for the strategy laid out by The President,Gota and Fonseka.We Sri Lankans have peace.Wr a.l must learn to respect each other teach younger generation Human Values.After all life is so unpredictable that one must remove all evil intents from once life.On this Vesak full moon day let usalltake wonderful teachings of Lord Buddha to enlighten all our children of! mother Lanka and move forward with great sprit of good will to all.

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    .
    Is the war really over?

    :-)

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    Dr. David,

    All your analysis can be reduced to a single word explanation: ‘irrationality.’

    It is well known that in South Asian cultures people with mental illnesses are still revered as having some connections to God, or at least ‘special powers.’

    So in Jaffna, we had Yogar “Swamy” who was supposed to be a disciple of “Mad” Chellappa Swamy. Even a UK-educated, articulate young lady like Jan Jananayagam speaks of Yogar Swamy’s ‘visions.’

    VP’s single minded devotion to his goal of Eelam, his inability to make any course corrections, his tunnel-vision, his blindness to the human suffering he caused–even to his own family–were all rooted in some deep mental illness. It is a misconception that people with mental illness can’t appear to function normally for several years. Many people live outwardly normal lives for decades with serious mental illnesses.

    But those were the very qualities that made him appear a ‘gifted’ military tactician and leader, making some Tamil people feel he had ‘special powers’ and was invincible.

    It was obvious to me when he told international journalists at the only press conference he held in the Vanni, that his command to his cadres that they should shoot him dead if he ever deviated from his goal of Eelam, still stood. What was the rationale for a ceasefire and peace talks, then? Unfortunately, conditions of prolonged war worsen mental illnesses.

    But Sinhalese society has had similar irrationality all along, despite Buddhism being an atheist religion, and where the current regime is taking the country is not too hard to see….

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    Real stupid analysis . Stick to the little bit of engineering you know .

    Cheers

    Abhaya

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    Kumar,does not mention the real reason why LTTE lost.They were destined to lose.What will happen will happen.Everything in life is determined not by us but our creator.We should be humble enough to surrender ourselves to the creator and let him decide for us.Whatever people achieve is not really due to their cleverness,as they think.he real reason is they were helped by god.Those who don’t accept that humbly will have a fall just as they had a rise.We can’t be arrogant like prabhaharan to think that we can achieve anything that we want ourselves just because we are strong or clever or intelligent without the help of god.Prabha and other LTTE lost their way in all this as they went on this path thinking that they can do what they want without incurring the wrath of god.They behaved like atheists and paid the penalty.Atheism does not pay it seems.

    Coming back to earth because some might think i ‘am a nutter,kumar compares mahinda’s watch with chandrika’s.That is the best step too start with because under chandrika lTTE did not lose ,but under mahinda they lost and all the common factors that were there during the two leaders tenure can be discarded as the reason for the loss.For example the killing of rajiv,the bush era of anti terrorism were common factors in both chandrika and mahinda’s era,so they are not the reason for the LTTe defeat.Now let us see what new factors are there in mahinda’s era that were not there in chandrika’s,JR’s and premedasa’s time.

    The indian factor is paramount.Though i discounted the killing of rajiv as a common factor,there is a very subtle difference during mahinda’s time where this factor played a major role in the defeat of the LTTE.It was not the killing of rajiv that was important,but how the srilankan government utilised that killing for its own advantage.Therein lies the difference between chandrika and mahinda,though rajiv’s killing was a common factor for both,mahinda used that bad blood between LTTE and india effectively while chandrika did not.She was wishy washy,not sure whether to go for the kill or stop and negotiate.If she had gone flat out and had the LTTe on the ropes india would not have intervened the way they did when JRJ was conducting the vadamarachi operation.

    Kumar has given how mahinda reorganised the army and its mentality,so i don;t need to go into that again,but what stands out was fonseka and gota in that.Chandrika did not have their calibre of leaders to do the reorganisation.She only had that idiot of a uncle,and by putting him above good commanders she made them also innocuous.Also her wishy washy stance where she would go forward but when there is casualties stop and try to negotiate gives the wrong impression to the armed forces and won’t help them make up their minds too whether to die for the country or not.A tough army commander like Fonseka was what they needed.If you go forward you meet Jhonny(the mine) and if you try to run you will meet fonny(the fonseka).

    Chandrika was suspicious of Fonseka as a person who could give her trouble later and rejected him for the job. Mahinda also was suspicious and did not want him but gota was insistent.So gota should also be given credit for selecting the best man for the job.After every year when his extension was due mahinda wanted to terminate him though he was producing excellent results,but gota did not allow him to.Also gota’s contribuion in coordinating everything was also a subsatntila contribution.Neither the LTTE or chandrika did not have the calibre of a person like fonseka and gota.

    Assuming prabha vis a vis mahinda makes it neutral,who did prabha have in the same calibre as fonseka and gota. mahattaya was killed by him and karuna also woould have been killed if he had gone to meet him as requested.Fonseka further created the 5 divisions with the beast commanders selected by him based on merit and not seniority as it earlier times and they were all trained to attack in different directions at the same time in three to for pronged attacks.To counter all these commanders including shavendra who got the breakthrough in pooneryn,prabha only had balraj and theepan.Balraj dies of a heart attack pprobably due to owerwork and theepan was running like a mad bugger from place to place doing a brilliant job,but what can one person do against so many good commanders opposing him.

    Now enough is enough,i am tired because anyway as i mentioned in my first para,i don’t believe in the earthy stuff anymore due to my life experiences and believe that someone above always pulls the strings,but for anyone who does not believe that please do the analysis expunging common factors and you will find the answers to the defeat of the LTTE. I’am sure there must be other factors such as the information given by india to sink the floating warehouses etc.Best of luck to you all.

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      Shankar:

      I know you still harbour hatred towards LTTE for driving you out of the North and forced to live in a Ghetto in Canada. But I have some good news for you and you can return and resettle and hope you find the following useful.

      It is first come first serve so hurry up. After BJP take over North is going to be crowded as all the Tamils driven out by MR, Gotha, SF and Shevendra will be returning and you wouldn’t fit in there with your LTTE bashing attitude.

      Minister Bathiudeen re-settling people in forest reserves: environmentalists

      May 13 (DM) Four leading environmental associations today charged that Minister Rishad Bathiudeen had illegally cleared 18,000 acres of forest land belonging to leading wildlife parks in three districts. Center for Environmental justice, Environment Conservation Trust, Sri Lanka Environment Congress and Buddhist Collective for Nature said the Minister had cut down trees in forest reserves at 14 locations in districts of

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      Good analysis , other than for the heavenly nonsense .

      cheers

      Abhaya

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        Goth-Anhaya From Detroit

        What are you cheering for. Is it for the fact that Gotha has finally been called to account for his deeds. Gotha worked in a Petrol Station in the US and then became a delivery driver but returned to Sinhala Lanka as a failed businessman. Amassed money by looting sent it to US and bought a Mansion for a million. The State authorities raided his House and now want to know where he got the money from. As a US citizen he will have to answer questions of impropriety or face extradition.
        Do you know where he got the money from to build a White House in the heart of Colombo.

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          Gota was a decorated Solider before he went to the US . many immigrants in the US works washing dishes or at 711s . even my son does . That is not reason to look down on it . There is nothing wrong at failing at a business . As long as you try again .

          And for what he has done for the country not only does he deserve any mansion he can build but all his generations do too. US authorities cannot raid his mansions in Sri Lanka . in any case he does not live in the US .

          Cheers

          Abhaya

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            I would not put it like that.

            What is not doubt to me is- he is the man who spearheaded the Mathale related killings send missing over 50k youth across the country during late 80ties. There if you use the word – decorated… there you should have gone wrong completely.

            What we got to see from late Hambantota fiasco,in which decent UNP MPs were brutally assualted – there we could identify personalities much similar to Gotabaya – born killer will also die as a killer.
            These kind of sinhalaya – also inclu. you are a great shame for us srilankens. The day when we anti Raja will hear that Rajapakshes are met with very same fate as Gadafis – we could celebrate. Until then our struggle against these brutal men, born to disgrace the nation, will go on

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        Abhaya

        Sinhala speaking Demela

        “Good analysis , other than for the heavenly nonsense.”

        Here is the title

        “Why The LTTE Was Defeated”

        Could you write an article on the above topic for the earthly nonsense.

        I will be grateful to you.

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          Vehddha

          Unlike you I dont intend to act like an expert on things I dont know anything about . I would refer you to paul Moorcraft ‘s book or many other books like that .

          Cheers

          Abhaya

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            Abhaya

            “Unlike you I dont intend to act like an expert on things I dont know anything about”

            I am bit thick so you agreed with me. Now you call me an expert. I see some contrarian views here.

            The only advantage I have over you is the fact that I have my wise Elders to tell me off whenever I make mistakes whereas you are lost in your world of Mahawamsa.

            My Elders suggest you read:

            The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers Paperback (1987)
            by Paul Kennedy (Author)

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              Two books to stay away from . As for the Mahawansa I have to admit that even though I owned an English translation once upon time I have never read much of it .

              As for your purported expertise that is a direct function of the thickness you refer to .

              Cheers

              Abhaya

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    “The History of Srilanka would have been happier if LTTE Praba became the Boss of NE administration.” says Dr David Kumar.,,

    Happier for who may we ask?.

    Muslims would have been carted out or chased out even from Batti.

    Sinhalese would have been cleansed totally.

    Indian troops would have been guarding Praba not only from Sinhala Militants but Muslims too…

    One consolation, if it is the right word, that Wellawatta would have been Sinhala and Muslim territory…

    Our inhabitants needn’t worry about how Prabakaran was banished.

    What they ought to worry about is how this urrently free land can be kept free going forward. so that they and their future generations can live travel , work and bring up their kids in any part of the country without having to ask for permits from ethnics.

    In order to do that the inhabitants must be totally vigilant and ensure that only Politicians who have a proven track record in defending the borders and not cowing to the foreign powers are always given priority.

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      Happier for those who used to openly hail the terrorists as “our boys” at the time.

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    Prof:

    The reason why LTTE was defeated was through a combination of factors.

    Although the killing of Rajiv was unfortunate he brought it upon himself by replacing the Sri Lankan army and allowed his soldiers to carry on the killing.
    It was traitor India under Sonia the Italian who won the war for GOSL with men and material.

    For the killing of 140,000 innocent civilians and never having the decency to say sorry for her role Sonia is now facing a life of misery.
    Congress has been humiliated.
    If as expected BJP take over her family will be called to account for their actions.
    Priyankas husband might spend time in jail for corruption and Sonia at least will be able to visit him in jail which has been denied to many fathers and mothers of the North and East whose loved ones have been killed.
    At last justice will be meted out.

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    A logical and objective analysis by Kumar David. The Tamil intelligentsia and political/social analysts are yet to write such an objective piece on the fall of the LTTE. Instead there has been and there is only a “blame game” and no introspection at all.

    Even as a response for this article, one would mostly expect either a parochial verbose from the extremists from both sides of the ethnic divide viewed through their blinkered glasses and born out of sheer emotionalism or contributions that would only distract or dilute a meaningful discussion and exchange of ideas for “course corrections”.–the likes of ‘Mallaiyuran’ , Kali’ ‘Off the Cuff’ and the like are examples.

    It is unfortunate no such articles reach the Tamil populace in Sri Lanka, particularly in the North& East as they are not proficient in English and there are no efforts towards educating or enlightening them to various view points. The Tamil national Newspapers and that one comes from Jaffna particularly do not provide objective articles and analysis only spews venom, hatred and “nothing wrong with us and everything wrong with them” attitude, distortions and sentiments.

    “What experience and history teach is this: that people and governments never have learned anything from history , or acted on principles deduced from it”
    –G.W.F.Hegel

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      Dear Abimanu,

      Thank you for your comment even though it is not addressed to me..

      I stand for Equitable undiluted Equality amongst Lanka’s citizenry.
      That means I am blind to Ethnic, religious and class differences.

      What I write depends on who I am responding to.
      A meaningful discussion requires a person with an open mind at the other end. Do you think the people I have responded to, fall in to that category?

      All what I write are based on Fact and not on Fiction.

      I have been opposing False Propaganda that creates more divisions than reconciliation. The people I have responded to, were doing just that. Would it have been better to allow them to spew their propaganda unopposed? I don’t believe so. I believe that the truth should get exposure not fabricated propaganda.

      Apparently what I have been writing has been violating your beliefs. But unfortunately though you are judgmental you have not engaged with me. Instead of being judgmental you should have shown me were I have gone wrong with my argument by a logical counter argument. When I am proved wrong I am never shy to apologise and correct myself.

      Sri Lanka is home to ALL her citizens hence I oppose any Ethnic exclusive zones.

      Sri Lanka’s Public resources should be shared by all equitably. Hence I oppose any disparity.

      Any unjustified attack on my country, will be responded to.

      What do you stand for?

      Re “It is unfortunate no such articles reach the Tamil populace in Sri Lanka, particularly in the North& East as they are not proficient in English”

      I agree with you, English was unimportant to the Tamil Polity. It was important only to a small section of the Tamil polity.

      BTW other than being critical of the Tamil papers what have you contributed towards a meaningful discussion?

      Kind Regards,
      OTC

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    Dear “Off the Cuff”

    You have, quite rightly, said // “….A meaningful discussion requires a person with an open mind at the other end. Do you think the people I have responded to fall in to that category?//

    I am of the view that this forum and what is expressed as ‘Reply’ or ‘Comments’ must necessarily be limited to the article concerned . When those responding dilute, distract or hijack it by using it as platform to merely express their already pre-established and unyielding positions and sadly not specifically related to the contents of the article, they are doing a despicable disservice to the originators of the article (in this case, for example, Kumar David) who would have spent his valuable time and energy in researching, thinking and writing it. I often wonder why the Editorial Panel of the ‘Colombo Telegraph’ allows such transgressions and “hijack” that defeats the very purpose of the article—a meaningful and constructive dialogue and exchange of views for the betterment and enlightenment of the contributor,the readers.

    When I read some of your comments –which perhaps was written in response to such transgressions of those people who has “no open mind” as you say, I have assumed, in that case wrongly, that you too fall into that category of those transgressors who are merely bent on beating their own worn off drums

    You have said that you stand for //“ Equitable undiluted Equality amongst Lanka’s citizenry. That means I am blind to Ethnic, religious and class differences”.//

    I believe therefore, in other words, given the realities, you also take that as I do, Sri Lanka is multi-ethnic plural society, comprising of Sinhalese, Tamils, and Muslims. They have language, culture and religion of their own which are complementary and not contradictory to each other. Therefore in order for the country as a whole to prosper, all its limbs –the Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims–have to work in harmony –made to feel that they are part and parcel of the Sri Lanka body politic. Otherwise, Sri Lanka will have to necessarily deteriorate as would a body in which one limb is ignored, weakened or handicapped.

    You have asked me://What do you stand for?

    My stand is simply this: “Sri Lanka is a plural society and reforming the structural basis and the Sri Lankan state along a devolutionary direction is the only way forward to politically address the root causes of the ethnic conflict and achieving lasting peace, harmony, unity and prosperity to all is citizens.

    You have asked me: //Other than being critical of the Tamil papers what have you contributed towards a meaningful discussion?//

    In whatever small measures possible for me, and within the very little capacity I have written and have shouted coarsely. When decades and decades of all the democratic parliamentary processes failed to bring about a political solution to the national question and economic development to the country, after initial support to the JVP & the LTTE for their armed revolution I was disillusioned. The disillusionment came about due to the subsequent unbridled terrorism and destructive process of the JVP, the LTTE’s cold blooded killings of the cadres and leadership of other Tamil groups and Sinhalese, short-sighted sabotage of the North-East Provincial council established following the Indo- Sri Lanka Accord, killing of innocent Sinhalese civilians, assassination of Rajiv Gandhi, political bankruptcy in ignoring the geo-political realities after 9/11 etc, etc.. I deduced that It was inevitable that unless there is a course direction change the path they tread would only lead to destruction, deterioration and disaster for the very people whom they claim they are fighting for. Sadly, it just what has happened.

    As for the main stream Tamil media, they maintained stoic silence in not naming the perpetrators of the heinous acts and on the contrary gave space for only who defended or justified all the acts of the LTTE. Tamil media never entertained any position other than that expounded by the LTTE. That habit of not balancing news and opinion columns and failing to genuinely enlighten the populace on the “way forward” but all the time harping on negativities of the other side and not addressing “within” unfortunately continues.

    I come back to Kumar David’s deduction in his exposition: He says:

    “……The most important reason why the LTTE perished was its fallacious prioritisation of the military aspect over the political aspect.
    …Be that as it may, Prabaharan was not a Lenin, a Mao or a Mandela; he was a Shining Path guerilla…”.

    –He is spot on!

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      Dear Abimanu,

      Though what you say is true it is mostly idealistic. The Editorial policy of any forum such as CT or Groundviews is amongst other things aimed at retaining the widest possible readership. It is no different to that of even some web sites run by established print media overseas.

      Dr Kumar David refers to Sri Lanka as the “Sinhala State” more than once. Why would he do that when the State is not a Sinhala State but a Multi ethnic plural society? Was that calculated mischief? I believe so, given the following incendiary statement.

      “I am of the view that the Sinhala State did not intentionally kill Tamil civilians, rather it was callous; what Hannah Arndt called the ‘banality of evil’. It did not hesitate to decimate civilians if one Tiger shield among them.”

      That is nowhere near the truth. It is well camouflaged but powerful propaganda.

      Were the SL forces “callous” as he alleges?
      If they did kill Tamil civilians callously with a banal disregard to life then it could not have been unintentional, like stepping on ants while walking.

      He goes on to say that the presence of ONE Tiger amongst civilians was sufficient for the forces to decimate the civilians to get at the Tiger.

      Is that what happened?

      If what Kumar said was true the war should have been over within a week and not taken months.

      Prahbakaran was the prime target. He was protected by a human Shield (but according to UN’s Darusman there was no Human Shield). What prevented a well equipped, Callous and Banal Killing machine from carpet bombing and decimating Prabahkaran along with the collateral?

      Why would a Callous and Banal Killing machine risk Death and Casualties to themselves, by engaging the enemy at close quarters, when they had the capacity to obliterate the target safely from a distance?

      All that defies logic.

      The fact that 11,000 tiger cadres and 290,000 civilians came out alive underlines that, what Kumar David wrote, painting the SL forces as monsters, was Hyperbole, far removed from the truth.

      Kumar also says

      “To make an aside comment: For this reason the UNHRC investigations should pursue crimes against humanity and war crimes;”

      Can Lanka expect Justice when the Judge is corrupt?

      The Darusman report which formed the basis of all this, is patently corrupt. Mr Darusman and company has even corrupted and bent the ICRC HR laws to exonerate the LTTE and it’s supporters (which includes the financiers currently living overseas) from the war crime of using a Human Shield. Why would they do that? Money?

      Compare the the Darusman interpretation of the war crime of using a Human Shield with the actual ICRC definition.

      Darusman states

      1. Using civilians as a human buffer

      237. Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions: Credible allegations point to a violation of Common Article 3’s ban on the taking of hostages insofar as they forced thousands of civilians, often under threat of death, to remain in areas under their control during the last stages of the war and enforced this control by killing persons who attempted to leave that area. (With respect to the credible allegations of the LTTE’s refusal to allow civilians to leave the combat zone, the Panel believes that these actions did not, in law, amount to the use of human shields insofar as it did not find credible evidence of the LTTE deliberately moving civilians towards military targets to protect the latter from attacks as is required by the customary definition of that war crime (Rule 97, ICRC Study)

      The Actual IHL of the ICRC is as follows

      The ICRC states

      1. the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia qualified physically securing or otherwise holding peacekeeping forces against their will at potential NATO air targets, including ammunition bunkers, a radar site and a communications center, as using “human shields”

      The ICRC further states

      2. It can be concluded that use of human shields requires an intentional co-location of military objectives and civilians or persons hors de combat with the specific intent of trying to prevent the targeting of those military objectives. (http://www.icrc.org/customary-ihl/eng/docs/v1_cha_chapter32_rule97)

      According to the ICRC Colocation of civilians and military targets is key, in determining the War Crime of a Humans Shield. But Darusman disagrees!

      One factor that KD has missed is the implicit trust that the President enjoyed with the Defense Sec. Which allowed the President to give a free hand to the Defense Sec to operate, without having to worry about any threat to the Presidency emanating from the powerful Defense Sec.

      All my writings are a response to others. Have no doubt about it, the tone of my response is ALWAYS determined by what I am responding to. Sri Lanka does not belong to the Sinhalese alone. It belongs to all her citizens to be shared equitably. Scientifically, Sinhalese and Tamils share a large gene pool. Culturally we share what no one else shares when we observe customs and traditions associated with celebrating the new year.

      What is required is an honest approach.

      Kind Regards,
      OTC

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