A peaceful Prabhakaran?
After another so called Mahaveerar day speech there is the necessary chore of examining it for fallout which is a task we undertake with no particular pleasure. Prabhakaran played the part of the dove, albeit dressed in military fatigues, and said that the LTTE is not preparing for war. Why the LTTE in that event smuggles arms by the ship-load remains unexplained. So does the fact that there are new LTTE camps as in Manirasakulam (which the LTTE claims is a political office!)

Prabhakaran has also maintained that only a small number of children have been recruited in recent times for administrative purposes -- but that's brazen too, because why is there any need to recruit children then? To do administrative work?
Prabhakaran has then gone for the Presidential jugular, saying that Chandrika Kumaratunga remains the only war monger. But if she is the only leader who is preparing for war, how can it be explained that the sacked Defence Minister Tilak Marapana also said that there are new LTTE camps in Trincomalee?

Prabhakaran's next claim is that his proposal for an Interim Administration (ISGA) is not for a separate state. But the fact that he wants the International Court of Justice to settle any dispute between any putative Interim Administration and the government of Sri Lanka doesn't bear out this claim in any way. The LTTE leader cannot be ignorant of the fact that the ICJ is meant to solve disputes between sovereign states. Not that their constitutional experts missed this point either - surely not with a former AG in its team - it's just that this is the mindset of the LTTE.

The LTTE also wants exclusive rights to the seas in the North and East etc., and this goes along with plans to develop its own Navy. But almost in the same breath, the LTTE, according to the Supremo, is not preparing for war. The LTTE's way of seeing things may be different to that of ours -- but clearly, they have yet to win the trust of the people in the South. As far as we are concerned if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck it must surely be a duck. If the ISGA looks like a separate state it eventually will be one.

Power comes through the barrel of the AK-47 on the other hand, as far as the LTTE is concerned and this has been an existential truth for them. Their bargaining power is solely and absolutely owed to the fact that they have a standing army while adopting the tactics of terror, with suicide-bombers to boot. While maintaining their bargaining power in this way, it appears their political evolution has yet to take off. But the upshot of that reality is that the Southern polity distrusts this organisation immensely.

Therefore, Prabhakaran's speech can be taken with a pinch of salt cyanide? But not everything that Prabhakaran said can detract from the politics in the South. The two main political contenders in the South, having locked themselves in combat, knocked their heads in a desperate power struggle. Now, they are putting these same heads together - because they have come to realise there is no other way the country can develop economically.

Even though for most of these politicians consensus is probably an experience that tastes worse than cyanide, they have come to realise that the sickening politicking and jockeying for power is leading the whole political tribe down the road of self-annihilation. To that extent its self preservation that's the motive force -- they'd rather embrace the sworn enemy than perish along with him.


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