Sea Tigers

The threat may no longer be incipient

V Suryanarayan calls attention to the dangers posed by the LTTE’s naval wing – the Sea Tigers. With as many as 3000 members, advanced equipment and the same ruthless indoctrination, the LTTE already poses threats to India’s commercial interests in the environs of the Palk Straits.

4 thoughts on “Sea Tigers”

  1. Okay, the Sea Tiger have the capability to disrupt India’s trade routes, but the question is: why whould they?

    The last thing the LTTE wants to do is to antagonize India, who are still smarting over the LTTE’s involvement in the assassination of Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, something the LTTE has vehemently denied.

    Nevertheless, what I found interesting about the article is that the LTTE has procured over 11 shiploads of weapons during the current peace process. This says to me that the LTTE is gearing up for another offensive. The LTTE have often used lulls in fighting to regroup and rearm.

    Sri Lanka seems to be on the brink of civil war yet again.

  2. Nitin,
    Are the SL Muslims Tamils or Sinhalese? If they are Tamils why are they in confrontation with LTTE? What are the funding and arms sources of LTTE? I would appreciate a post on this or relevant links.

  3. The tamils in sri lanka (depending on religion and place) are quite different from each other… the majority in the north and the east have been there for centuries — dating back to the early tamil invasions since the time of the cholas (9th-12th century — at one time they had conquered the entire island!). They beleive sometimes fanatically that they are the true guardians of tamil culture.

    Then there are the hill or plantation tamils who were imported in by the british to work on the tea farms. The northern tamils are openly hostile to these tamils as they consider them of lower caste.

    The muslim tamils (in the east and the south) came as traders in the last 200 years…they are mostly from tirunelveli district — and as such have nothing much in common with either of the above tamils except language.

    ltte is funded by various tamils settled overseas mostly in canada, uk and sri lanka — many are displaced/disgruntled tamils who have left sri lanka for greener pastures since 1956. Also, they are funded by ethnic tamils settled overseas who believe tamil culture and the people are at risk in sri lanka.

  4. RS,

    The Muslim element is rather new to the whole imbroglio. It was not until the late 1990s that the Tamil Muslims began to be identify their interests separately from the rest of the Tamils. It may be similar to the Saudi-Pakistani inspired radicalisation of Muslims elsewhere in South East Asia.

    Ashok – your summary of the situation is excellent !

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