Thursday, June 30, 2005

LTTE Offers Ultimatum

I managed to get my hands on a tape of Thamilchelvan's statement to the press today in Kilinochchi. This was the press conference at which he said that the Government of Sri Lanka would have 2 weeks to ensure the safety of LTTE cadre travelling through their area.

The meeting followed a June 26th incident in Welikanda (in Government held areas, a critical entry point to the Batticaloa district) where an explosion rocked a Sri Lanka Army (SLA) bus that was carrying LTTE personnel. No one was seriously hurt as the explosive device detonated away from the bus.

In February this year the LTTE's Eastern leader Kaushalyan was killed in the same area when the vehicle in which he was travelling in was attacked. This incident got a lot of attention because he was in Government held areas without informing the SLA (which they are supposed to do under the Ceasefire Agreement [CFA])

In the case of the 'attack' on the bus, the LTTE had informed the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) of their movement and it had been the SLMM who had made the arrangements with the SLA.

Moving beyond the facts and what we know, my personal opinion is that the LTTE are very serious.

But what about? That seems to be the question.

The 'ultimatum' they issues says that if the SLA does not assure protection for their people while in Government held areas then they are going to provide armed escorts to their people. Under the CFA armed LTTE cadre cannot enter SLA controlled areas. So if they insist that they must travel with their own armed escort then they're just going to have to sit on their asses in Kilinochchi and chill out. No more travelling through Government held areas. They have also threatened to restrict the activities of SLA soldiers through LTTE held areas. But this is really no big deal. There are hardly any SLA soldiers moving through LTTE held areas.

I don't really think this is going to have a big impact on the CFA. Yes, there will be LTTE troop movement in and out of and through Government held areas, while SLA troops will not be able to enter LTTE areas. They'll just have to deal with that.

Let's look at things practically. How is the SLA going to ensure the safety of LTTE troops travelling through their areas? Are they going to put seatbelts on all the seats on the busses? Are they going to sweep the roads for bugs and mines before the bus comes through?

Really, what Thamilchelvam and the LTTE should be asking for is a complete end to the violence.

But making the statement today Thamilchelvam looked very serious. He looked like he was quite mad. Either he really meant it or he'd been taking acting classes since we last saw him.

Right now, everyone is hoping this does not turn out like 95.

Comments:
 
Sorry for my ignorance here. Just wanted to know a few things.

i) What is the strength of LTTE?
ii) How much of country's area, in percentage, do they have a hold on?
iii) How much population backs them?

It's sad, really, when issues like this are obviously not easy to resolve.
 
Anurag,

No one knows the answers to questions 1 and 3.

Since the Tsunami no one, including Sri Lanka Army intelligence have any idea of the troop strength of the LTTE. Their losses due to the Tsunami have only been speculations so far, and I don't think the LTTE is going to make a official statement on that. However a realistic estimate (realistic in my opinion) would put their troop strength at anywhere between 15,000 and 20,000 cadre.

As for how much of the population backs them, well, no one in the country openly backs them. Not even within the Tamil community. They have some direct support from the people living in the Vanni (Northern Sri Lanka). But very few in the Tamil community openly criticize them. So the support they have is very very tough to gauge. Much of their true support base lies outside Sri Lanka, in the Tamil diaspora, who are the primary source of funding for the LTTE. It's easy to have crystal clear political opinions when you're not living in Sri Lanka.

As for how much of the country they control, well there is an exact figure because the Army maps show which areas the LTTE controls and which areas the Army controls. I'm sorry but I do not know what the exact percentage is. I will try to find out, and when I do I will post it here.
 
"... no one in the country openly backs them. Not even within the Tamil community."

Is that true? I find that a little hard to believe.
 
er..i was referring to this: "No one in the country openly backs them. Not even within the Tamil community."
 
My BLOG NAME because I can't sign up ANON ANON

Anurag & Ananthan - good questions & points. Morq's being a goose not a dark Elf - not sure what's wrong with him at the moment. Of course the Tigers have got heaps of support. What's more they're gaining more support everyday whilst the whole world watch the JVP, nutty monks & Chandrika circus. Morq - you yourself have exposed all manner of the workings of this circus.

And Morq- what's you're story mate - stop patronising people because they don't live in Sri Lanka. You're blind to what's going on around you & totally immune to all the bloodshed. I've already said this to you - hey it's easy to critisize isn't it. I'm as much Sri Lankan as you are & don't you ever forget it. We've been driven out & people like you don't seem to give a shit about how much we have lost.

I can't believe that I've been away a week & some of the stuff that's comming out - still I think we need a really good open discussion on some of the issues raised by anurag & ananthan.

So Morq - firstly - how naive are you crapping on about "people don't openly support the Tigers"
1. would this be because they get killed, harrased, raped, murdered, denied basic human rights etc etc if they did. I mean all these things were done to them just because they were Tamil - so hey think what happens when you are a Tamil Tiger. I detect a sneaky little agenda on your part Morq - hmmm...
2. just because 1.8 - 2.0 million Tamils & as some other guy - I think he's calling himself JVP killed my Family (also can't bloody sign on to this Blog & I think there's another guy!!! MORQ!!!) don't live in SL - don't think we don't have any rights. We are the diaspora & face facts we are not going to forget our HOMELAND nor are we going to just disappear into thin air.
3. Mr JVP killed my Family guy is right when he says that there's a whole heap of people overseas who are Sinhalese married to Tamils. You know I think that the situation in Sri Lanka with the spectre of pograms & racial violence for decades has been especially harsh on these families. I really feel for them & of course I too have friends who are from both communties. You know when you meet up with these people & something nasty has just happened it's just awful - no-one knows what to say.
4. So MORQ (! !!) instead of giving a bit of whitewash answer - why don't you do some research & give us some real answers to the questions posed by Anurag.
5. and ... who's going to give us all our updates when you go gadding about India trying to be some 70's hippie!! Ha Ha!
MY BLOG NAME IS ANON ANON
 
Someone wanted facts. Well at this point in time, they aren't going to get any. The strength of LTTE troops in the Vanni is expected to be around 25,000 - 30,000. Note that this less than a quarter of the Sri Lankan Security forces put together. Another thing worth noticing is that the number of LTTE cadres, residing in Colombo and suburbs, ready for a lightning attack on the capital is now expected to be beyond 1500.(the confirmed number is around 850)

The area in percentage is quite a real difficulty to number. The actual land are handed over through the CFA is even less than 3%, but in reality, the LTTE has gained control of a whole lot more land, through mechanisms such as strikes and the like.

How much of the population backs them. Well this is quite a sensitive area. The truth would be, in Sri Lanka, no one actually backs them except for a few Tamil politicians. (the rest of them are under death threats) We were able to carry out a few surveys, each year since the CFA was signed in 2002, and the results may sound a bit unbelievable to some. Most of the people in the Eastern Province would rather live with the STF (Special Task Force - wing of SLA) than the LTTE. (and we all know what happened since then) Now the rest of the Tamil people in the Vanni and Jaffna don't have any special likings towards the LTTE, but they want the LTTE to be hanging around till a just and honourable solution is reached.
What's more, a lot of people are afraid that the LTTE's intention is to divide the North and East and keep it under their rule. It's not surprising considering that the LTTE hasn't yet allowed any other political view be heard in these regions. The fact is that a lot of the educated ( and mostly wealthy ) people didn't like the idea of living under the rule of the LTTE. The irony is that it appears as though, if the LTTE is given control of these areas, a lot more of the people would start pouring into the southern regions.

PS: I have done my best to stick to the facts, as much as possible, but as it always is, with these matters facts are not always so reliable and when they are, we can't take the risk of relesing them to the general public.

Who am I? I'm sorry if I disclose my identity, I'd loose my job or get shot in the streets, or both.

- Captn Sais
 
Yep,who said that LTTE is backing by generl honourable Tamils. Nope, all but those shit politicos, who stay under the robe of tiger and those think that this is their country (not in the terms of OUR country)(fools...)
Yes, no one except those corrupted politicos,thuggery businessmen, blood thirsty vampires are the people who support LTTE.
 
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