LTTE’s air strike

The target was Colombo, but the threat is also to India

The LTTE just carried out a ‘pre-emptive’ strike against the Sri Lankan air force’s base north of Colombo. They might not have inflicted significant damage in purely tactical terms, but the Tigers have just crossed a line. Their aircraft penetrated air defence, dropped explosives and escaped unscathed. The attack should count as a major advance in the LTTE’s capabilities and strategy.

But this should hardly come as a surprise. The LTTE is a terribly innovative terrorist organisation—it invented the cyanide pill, suicide bombing and is perhaps one of the few such outfits to operate a naval unit—and reports of it acquiring air capabilities emerged about 18 months ago. It is likely that the Indian government knew about this much earlier.

Between 2003 and 2004 when LTTE was engaged in the Norwegian-brokered peace negotiations with the Sri Lankan government, it was also busy developing its air capability. Currently that includes a 1250m airstrip at Iranamadu in the Wanni area, a helicopter and a couple of light aircraft, possibly Czech-made Zlin Z-143s. These aircraft can fly up to 1000km and can carry four persons.

Not quite the traditional air force, but in the hands of an uncoventional military force such as the Tigers, this can be put to some very deadly use. Another advantage of flying small aircraft is that they are less visible on radar and air-defence systems that are designed to spot bigger, conventional aircraft. [The Acorn, 3rd June 2005]

The Acorn had argued that the LTTE’s development of aerial capacity is a serious threat to India’s own security. For that reason, it had argued that India and Sri Lanka must constitute a NORAD like joint air-defense command in the southern part of the subcontinent. Such a measure has become all the more important now.

Several of India’s key defence installations—not to mention population centres—are already within range of the LTTE’s incipient air force. Unless India upgrades its surveillance and air defence capabilities in the south, the Tigers might not even need any more sophisticated planes than the small light aircraft that they can acquire. Bear in mind that since its pilots don’t always plan to go back home, the LTTE’s range is double that of a conventional air force flying the same planes. Besides, it is still not too late to destroy their planes and deny them air capabilities.

Update:

India is seriously concerned by the audacious air attack mounted by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in Sri Lanka on Monday, official sources said even as the External Affairs Ministry remained silent. [The Hindu]

How they got their planes. The heavily camouflaged aircraft were thought to have been brought into the country in kit form, in containers, during the humanitarian relief effort after the 2004 tsunami.

Government sources said that there was evidence that the Tigers had exploited the lack of security at the time to import a number of light aircraft, helicopters and arms. Some of the weapons were reported to have been transported in coffins. [The Times]

29 thoughts on “LTTE’s air strike”

  1. This shows how inept and naive you are in International Politics. The mere fact that you can think of LTTE as inimical to Indian interests speaks volumes about your understanding of the LTTE and their motives. They are freedom fighters, fighting against the Genocidal attacks of the Srilankan Military- to say that these attacks are against India are blasphemous.

    This so called attack is only a technological demonstrator. In the own words of Srilankan Airforce Spokesperson Ajantha Silva, “they have dropped some explosive Items”…and nothing much..how many times have you dropped some items like that in any International Airport?? Dont blame LTTE for all such frivolous things like dropping “items”- may be they would do good to seal all their aircrafts so that when they fly next, so that they dont drop anything!

    Look at how much LTTE has done to improve the Srilankan economy- they have provided so many people with employment as sentries, they have lead to building huge walls and protective structures, there by increasing the economic activity. Please see both the sides of the story and stop being a parrot repeating the same story every now and then…

    Indian politicians do think outside of the box..thats the reason, they wouldnt do anything against LTTE..True, LTTE had assasinated one Ex-Indian PM- but that is merely for revenge and nothing else. India need not worry till they acquire Nuclear weapons..even then, they might end up as our biggest supplier of Nuclear Fuel. Please understand they are our brothers fighting for our ancestral lands and rights!!- Oops, how hard is it to make people like you to understand the scared fight and the motives of a selfless sacrifice![:P]

  2. Krish,

    I’m assuming that you are employing that literary device called sarcasm 🙂

    Update: I posted this comment thinking this was the other Krish.

  3. Nitin, why waste money? Pay Vaiko some money, send him off to jaffna and get prabakaran to agree that he wont attack his ‘Saga Tamilargal’. This suggestion of attacking LTTE is blasphemous for we are all tamilians, same ratham!!

  4. This article is an example of using the heart and not mind.
    How on earth its an attack on India I cannot fathom.Why the LTTE would want to commit hara-kiri by attacking India–even if it had a reason to(it has NONE),is beyond my understanding.
    Please think first and write later.I am no Tamil or Ltte.I can also see that the Lankans have cosied up to,and opened up their bases to bidders from Pakistan,US and China–our traditional friends.In my view, an ltte airforce looks like a good way to keep them occupied.Lately the SLAF had been quite busy bombing civilians too.
    Also–I appreciate the tigers for being able to successfully take off and land,avoid detection and achieve positive kill in their first mission itself.Not many airforces can claim this sort of record,and certainly not the SLAF.

  5. This is the problem with some readers. They just dont understand this blogger who is so “feared” by some authorities that they block this “harmless” weblog.

    Being one of the early readers of this blog, I can say with conviction that there has been a lot of “i told you so” moments long after Nitin blogged about them.

  6. Jay Jay,

    Why the LTTE would want to commit hara-kiri by attacking India–even if it had a reason to(it has NONE),is beyond my understanding.

    Attacking India, the Tigers would have realised by now, is hardly committing hara-kiri. You miss the fact that they have already attacked India in the past.

    More generally, applying the mind to the issue involves analysing their capabilities and their intentions. It takes time to build capabilities. Intentions can be changed in a second. It would be tremendously foolish to allow the Tigers to develop the capabilities that could be employed against India, and expect their intentions to remain the same. The United States learnt that lesson in Afghanistan. That’s why it is a threat to India.

    And if the Sri Lankan government is cosying up to our “traditional friends” it is because we have refused to give them a hand. They are doing what is necessary to protect their interests. Why should they care for India’s interests if India refuses to care for theirs?

  7. LTTE is amazingly innovative – a navy, an air force, and suicide bombers with never ending fight and always thinking big. With DMK around Manmohan will not do anything. But first I think Sri Lanka should try and shut down the air field. Somehow I won’t be surprised if LTTE has few anti-aircraft batteries sitting around the runway.

    Krish & Jay Jay, is blowing up a former prime minister not enough of an attack?

  8. Sunil,

    Saw your post. Well yes, this is basically “Biggles” technology and tactics. It’s tactical success is perhaps negligible.

    But as I say, it crosses a line; and introduces a new curve on the graph. Left unchecked, this curve too will be upward sloping. We should not underestimate its strategic impact.

  9. Krish,

    Please change your name. For a moment I thought it was the original Krish and was left wondering how suddenly he is talking sense…

    Nitin,

    Agree with everything except why a joint India-Sri Lanka mechanism? Can we trust the Lankans? We can certainly take care of L.T.T.E air force provided the political will is there. Absent that, Sri Lankan involvement won’t make much of a difference.

  10. Nitin,
    Thanks for giving your thoughts in more detail.Even if we take your argument at face value,it just means the Ltte ‘could’ become a future threat–it does not prove in any way that the present attack is an attack on India.Of course theoretically the ltte can turn on India in the future–so can Sri Lanka?It must be remembered that the Lankans disenfrenchised a million Indians on achieving Independence(they built up Lankas original industry–tea and rubber),was lukewarm at best afterwards,and took Pakistan-favoring actions during our wars with her.Premadasa even considered declaring war on India after the Jaffna relief airdrop.Re Lankans turning to others cos India is not helping her,well india did–at the cost of 1500 lives and many more maimed–and Lanka was providing guns to ltte to kill our soldiers didn’t they?So why should India ‘help’ them again,esp when they have no qualms about massacring their minorities?I don’t see how they are ‘better’ than ltte in any way.Look at the ridicule and abuse the Nordic monitors,UN,NGOs and Human Rights watch are enduring to know what would become of Indian help.
    Re ltte having attacked India–yes and no.Killing IpKF is defense,not attack–they got killed in higher numbers in their own lands.Rajiv–yes;this is the one and only attack against ‘India’ on Indian soil–which to me appears like an act of blind hatred–a one-off action which cost them dearly &which they regret horribly to this day. (a Lankan sailor tried to kill Rajiv before this,live on Tv:)
    So i think there is no place for knee-jerk jingoism or panic at the present news.Indias role should be just to prevent the killing of civilians by both sides and let the International community and the two sides sort it out.Our emotional response to Rajivs killing should not lead us to lend a hand to a killer regime.

  11. How were the bombs dropped exactly? They modified it with the necessary bells n whistles to conduct a WW2 tech bombing run or was it something more like WW1 when the gunner manually released the iron bombs. In either case, did they have dry runs? You know, like the time Sivarasan & Co did a dry-run on V.P.Singh before murdering Rajiv Gandhi? If something like THIS goes unnoticed by the SLAF, then Buddha help them!
    (Oh wait! Given the holes in our airspace I shouldn’t be too critical of the Lankans! 😉 )

    Now if they indeed modified the aircraft in their territory, it means they have got some pretty good machining and instrumentation wings in the godforsaken jungle.

    PS: I remember a Frontline article from approx 5-6 yrs ago where the SLA captures an LTTE base along with a glider (or was it an aircraft?) Guess them LTTE have been on this for a loooong time.

  12. Jay Jay,

    “Killing of IPKF was defense not attack”.

    Oh please! IPKF was sent there to ensure that the peace accords were respected. The Tigers didn’t disarm. And I’m surprised how you can treat the assassination of a former prime minister as somehow excusable—because it was out of blind hatred and since they now regret it horribly. Why is it not surprising that a person who prefers this selective re-reading of history is calling for soft-glove treatment of a terrorist organisation.

    it does not prove in any way that the present attack is an attack on India

    I didn’t say that it was. I said that it’s a threat to India. Regardless of how evil you think that the Sri Lankan government is, are you suggesting that it is not? I put it to you that greater capabilities in the hands of the Tigers is inimical to Indian security interests. If so, then India should address this threat, regardless of any other factor.

  13. Anand K

    They modified it with the necessary bells n whistles to conduct a WW2 tech bombing run or was it something more like WW1 when the gunner manually released the iron bombs

    From what I could catch from the photographs, there was some wiring under the wings. Looks like some rudimentary release system.

    But you raise an important question on where they fabricated the parts. It need not necessarily take place in the jungle…think of any number of cities dotting the Bay of Bengal.

  14. Nitin,
    I think you should relegate yourself to countering points raised than give imputations as to what my motives may be. I may assure you having a defense background my credentials are as good as anybody here.
    I did give a somewhat selective list of arguments to illustrate your fallacious argument–that the same argument can be used to discredit the Lankan government and more.Now kindly show me where did I ask for soft glove treatment of the Tigers?And forgive Rajivs Killers? The Tigers have kept to themselves for over a decade and that is what India should strive for–it is their fight.It is warmongering people like you who likes to play neighbourhood cops who will be the reason why these characters develop a reason to attack India.

    If the Americans come to India(forcibly) to ‘keep the peace’ between India and Pak,and Indians not liking the ‘peace’ terms come in conflict with the US who is defending?
    Forget about selective reading of history, you have not opened your book.Did you counter any of my major points in the previous post?
    The world has enough of armchair generals.
    Forget about

  15. Jay Jay,

    Isn’t it ironic that a person who dislikes motives being imputed on him also throws about labels like ‘warmongerer’ and ‘armchair generals’ on others?

    The conflict within Sri Lanka (who did what, when etc) is not as important as India’s ability to stabilise the neighbourhood, and as this blog has argued in the past, by projecting Indian power. If we see crises on every one of our borders, it is because of India’s laxity.

    The implication of your argument is that we should let the warring parties in Sri Lanka and the international community sort it out by themselves. Even India did this as a conscious strategy over the last several years, all it did was strengthen the LTTE. They even used the tsunami to smuggle in aircraft. Mediators are out and the US is getting a more than a toehold in Sri Lanka. No sir, “allowing them to sort it out”, has failed miserably.

    As for a solution to the Sri Lankan crisis—clearly its a federation with equal rights for the Tamil population, and constitutional powersharing. India can play a constructive role in this, and will have to coerce both sides. But the LTTE under Prabhakaran is unlikely to settle for this, pushing as they are for the extreme. They are the biggest part of the Sri Lankan problem.

  16. Here is an assessment by an Indian military intelligence organisation

    The Sri Lankan Government has imposed a total black-out on the losses suffered by it from the conventional air strike launched by the Tamil Eelam Air Force (TAF) of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) on the air base of the Sri Lankan Air Force (SLAF) at Katunayake outside Colombo on March 26,2007. The air base is located adjoining the international airport. The black-out is meant to hamper any damage assessment by the media and other analysts—-from Sri Lanka as well as outside. One has to,therefore, depend on source reports.

    2. The only information which the Government has given out is that two helicopters were damaged. It has tried to create an impression as if there was no damage to its fighter aircraft. Source reports, on the other hand, indicate that the TAF air strike has severely damaged, if not destroyed, at least a half of the aircraft holdings of the SLAF.

    3. The TAF’s air strike was well-planned and equally well-executed. It was a night operation taking advantage of the weak capability of the SLAF for night operations. It was a precision attack, which carefully avoided causing any casualty or damage in the international airport, which could have roused international ire. There were no civilian casualties—-targeted or collateral. As a result, it would not be possible to characterise the attack as an act of terrorism. It was pure and simple a conventional air strike. The bombs targeted the hangar or hangars at the base inside which the aircraft of the SLAF are normally parked at night. Three SLAF personnel were killed and about 20 injured. It is not yet known whether they were the maintenance people or whether any of them were pilots. Maintenance casualties can be easily replaced, but not pilot casualties.

    11 The LTTE has considerable support from the Sri Lankan Tamils—in Sri Lanka as well as abroad. Unless they are weaned away from the LTTE through appropriate political measures, a military victory is doubtful. Repeated bombing raids by the SLAF on Sri Lankan Tamils in order to intimidate them are not the way of winning over the Tamils. Barring the US, which has been heavily using air strikes against the Neo Taliban in Afghanistan and the terrorists and resistance-fighters in Iraq, without any significant success, and Israel, which did so in the Lebanon in July last year,no other country in the world uses air strikes for counter-insurgency operations in such a ruthless manner as the Rajapakse Government has been doing. At the least the US and Israel have been bombing foreign people in foreign territory, but the Rajapakse Government has been bombing from air its own people in its own territory.

    12. There is no immediate security threat to India. The medium and long-term threats will arise from the likelihood of copy-cat terrorism and the LTTE one day using it against an Indian target. [SAAG]

    Intelligence sources indicate that the damage is far worse than the Sri Lankan government claims with about 40% to 50% of the strike capability of the Sri Lankan air force destroyed by fires that raged after the airstrike. Also the assessment is that there is no threat to Indian security. Also it notes that the attack cannot be in any way be classed as a terrorist attack, and given that the airstrike was aimed at neutralising the Sri Lankan air force which has been confirmed by others such as the Sri Lankan Monitoring Mission and other international organisations to have carried out terror bombings on targets such as schools, hospitals and refugee camps. Perhaps this is why there has been no international condemnation of the attack.

    I don’t necessarily agree with the analysis. I think that the air strike indicates the LTTE’s weakness – on the ground. That is why although the LTTE has been strong in naval and as indicated even in the airstrike capability, they have been trying to avoid confrontation on the ground. The airstrike was intended to stall a planned massive Sri Lankan offensive on the North.

    The LTTE attacked the military airbase, but they can effectively shut off the country’s airport permanently for as long as the conflict exists if they want simply by launching sporadic attacks on civil airliners targets in Colombo airport, and foreign airlines and tourists/businessmen will simply stop flying to Colombo because insurance companies will not insure flying into a war zone. This will effectively bankrupt the country. As long as the LTTE has the run of the jungles of the North, there is absolutely nothing the Sri lankan government can do about this.

    What the Sri Lankan government has to do is launch a massive attack on the North to take over all the areas where landing strips from which the aircraft are present. The problem with the Sri Lankan military offensives is that they are slow and ponderous. The LTTE has enough time to organise defences to inflict heavy casualties and to withdraw when necessary. Every such offensive by the Sri Lankan military has been an abject failure in this sense, and the Sri Lankan military will never win using these tactics. What they need is a blitzkrieg – bypass population centers and fixed LTTE defences. Use a massive mechanised strike (use tanks, trucks, requisitioned busses etc. to move troops and supplies) to penetrate all the way to LTTE HQ in Killonochi in a few hours bypassing resistance and hit and directly destroy the LTTE assets and personnel there. By doing this they will suffer fewer casualties and actually be able to destroy the LTTE rather than allowing them to withdraw their equipment and personnel to fight elsewhere as happens now.

  17. SK Patil,

    Your analysis is informative (although SAAG is not exactly an Indian military intelligence outfit, at least as far as I know 🙂 )

    I suppose the reason why the land war stalemate exists is because the Sri Lankan army does not have the capability to carry out that blitzkrieg. Given the balance on land, the Tigers, as you describe, have sought to tilt the strategic balance in their favour using unconventional aerial warfare. People like Robb would term it another example of 4th Gen warfare.

    I respect many of the analysts on SAAG, but I don’t agree with them on this one.

  18. Well.. it seems Indian friends are not much disturbed(as they should be) by the air strike carried out by LTTE. Also it can be quite true that LTTE will not try to attack India (but how can we certain?) since it’s a hara-kiri. However as a Sri Lankan (and a Sinhalese) I insist that India should take a closer look because of two reasons.

    1. LTTE’s air capability is not only a threat to Sri Lanka but also to the whole South Asia. You may wonder how it can be. But don’t forget that LTTE is not an isolated terrorist organization who’s fighting alone. As we all know many other terrorist organizations inspired and trained by LTTE. Not only South Asian terrorist groups, but also infamous ones like Al-Queida. What will happen if they give hand to others to build air capabilities?

    2. This would give them a window of opportunity to sneak into TamilNadu and increase their ‘usual’ activities. I think Indians would know what this means and the end result. Specially while south Indian politicians are feeding them. If you want an example see this article

    “Air attack by LTTE has brought endless joy and happiness to Tamils all over the world
    – P. Nedumaran” http://www.asiantribune.com/index.php?q=node/5084

    Only LTTE supporters will be rejoiced by this and ordinary Tamil people are not so narrow minded to be enjoy these acts of terrorists.

    I understand the attitude of Indian people and government towards the problem in Sri Lanka and GoSL. And there are some political misunderstanding between the two governments too. Specially with the Sri Lanka’s co-operation with Pakistan, China and US. But please think, if our neighbor is not helping us what should Sri Lankans do other than reaching out for some other who could help. And I must note the fact that ‘we (Sri Lankans) consider India not only as our neighbor but also our big brother. But at the moment we are bit embarrassed about India’s stance; shouldn’t a big brother care for his brothers?

    Yes, there are problems for with Tamil people and the GoSL must give a political solution to this problem. I firmly stand for it and bearing the idea as most of Sinhalese agree that it can’t be suppressed or solved by war, they should have their equal rights. But what about the LTTE’s atrocities and acts of terrorism against not only Sinhalese but also Tamils and Muslims. The truth is that LTTE is using Tamil peoples problem as a cover for their acts of terrorism and spread their propaganda around the world. GoSL has done badly against Tamil people in past, but LTTE has been doing far more than that. They’ve ruined up everything belongs to Tamil people in a way that calling LTTE as Tamil terrorists is even an insult to my Tamil friends, since LTTE is no more fighting for the liberation of Tamil people, how can they be when they extort money, kidnap, kill and make bunkers from the bags of rice sent by the government for Tamil people in uncleared areas and keep innocent people as human shields? Now LTTE is suppressing the voice of ‘real’ people and stands as a real global terrorist organization which is a tree that gives shade for many growing terrorist organizations. Therefore not only Sri Lanka but also India and international community must work against the terror. And is it possible to bring a peaceful political solution while LTTE is rejecting everything below from a separate state and giving wild excuses to walk away from peace process.

    Currently GoSL fighting against terrorism. Even though SL army is fighting successfully in the ground, yet we couldn’t stand to the LTTE’s propaganda which yells out ‘government is attacking tamils’ when they lost their camps and show the photos of Sinhalese village people who killed by them as the Tamil people who were killed by army.

    Sri Lanka needs much help from international community though they act doubly at times. So India has a big responsibility and cant ignore the problem as they’re not affected by this. While fighting the terrorism and going towards a peaceful solution, we are closely watching you ‘Big Brother’, please don’t let us down.

  19. Nitin,
    I practice the adage”pay back in the same coin”, so the labels.
    Grand rhetorics like “Projecting Indias Power in the neighbourhood” sounds good on paper,and similar to the neocon fantasies of Bushland(we all know now the USAs condition).But doing it is another–no country wants itself to be dictated to,directly or indirectly,right or wrong.Already we have burnt our fingers in Lanka because of this “power projection”mania;now the same LTTE is there,an even more supremacist Lankan President is there,the same JVP and JHU are there–so where from did you get the idea our intervention would work??
    Countries may solicit your ‘help’ when in dire straits but may quite as easily turn on you the moment you stand in their Grand Designs–example IPKF.
    A lot of organisations in Indias neighbouring countries may present a ‘potential’ threat to us,but by unnecessarily getting ourselves involved we make that potential into actual repercussion.The reason Bangladesh is aloof,Nepal had anti-Indian riots and brought anti-aircraft artillery from China,Bhutan lukewarm,Burma a Chinese client,Lanka a Pakistani client and Pakistan and China adversaries is said to be partly out of the type of “Power Projection”type actions/words of India–which you are advocating.You may note that yesterdays “terrorist” Maoists in Nepal are in the government now,but by your logic of ‘threat’ and ‘power projection’ we would have made an enemy out of them.
    A truely arrived power does not “Project Power” just because it can ,but as a last resort.
    I regularly follow columns of Iqbal Athas/DBN Murthy/Simon Gardner/DBS Jeyraj/Janes/Wordaffairsboard/SAAG/Raman etc but none of them mentioned ltte smuggling in aircraft during Tsunami,where did you get your info–Asiantribune or Lankaweb?
    And your comment on ltte and Prabhakarans mindset sets you as being privy to their inner workings,since you are so sure of their goals and mindset,how come?
    TIN–your little propaganda here will work only when the Sri Lankan Government does something on the ground for its minorities instead of blowing hot air.The SLMM has already ruled the GOSL complicit in abductions,executions,torture etc of Tamils and aid workers;the UN has ruled GOSL complicit in child abductions;This is not meant to say ltte are saints as nitin may jump to conclude but that both parties are playing together in a muddy pond.

  20. LTTE is a very serious threat to India. These kind of things always start with a so-call innocent nudge here and another there. Before you know they blow up in your face. Look what happened in Kashmir and what’s happening with Maoist outfits all over the country. LTTE is a terrorist organization in any civilized person’s book. Anyone arguing otherwise is a moron and needs to get their head examined. Let’s send these morons to fight for the LTTE. The problem with some Indians is that they cannot seem to think beyond their linguistic bretherns (the Darwinian evolution has not happened with them, they might as well be living in Galapagous). Get a mental check up, please. If India is to truly become a superpower, we need to stop worrying about campaigning for one’s so-called bretherns and get on with the task at hand. The road has many forks in it. Let’s not add more by granting LTTE a good citizen’s medal. Crush ’em.

  21. Nitin:

    The Sri Lankan army numbers about 200,000 compared to 10,000 to 20,000 LTTE at the most – that is a 10:1 to 20:1 advantage. They are also much better equipped in terms of artillery, APCs tanks, communications equipment etc. They have a similarly large naval and airforce advantage. They also have a huge logistics advantage since they can commandeer vast quantities of trucks and busses for transport of troops and supplies. They have about as much advantage as anybody in history has ever had in any battle, and they certainly should be able to conduct a blitzkrieg operation on the LTTE.

    The only reason I can think of for the Sri Lankan military not being able to launch a massive deep penetration invasion of the LTTE territory is a sheer cowardice. As I said, they launch ponderous frontal attacks which the LTTE can prepare well for, and which allows the LTTE to inflict heavy casualties on the SLA and gives the LTTE time to withdraw when it is necessary, and so conserve its resources to fight another day. The SLA’s deep penetration shows the way. They have managed to penetrate deep into LTTE territory even in small numbers and inflict damage by bypassing heavily defended areas and striking where it is not expected. Unfortunately the SLA top brass is too afraid to do this, and as a result, the government suffers heavy casualties, and will lose in the long run as the country suffers a war of attrition.

    The Sinhalese mentality really cracks me up. Here we have the majority Sinhalese which recieves massive support from the rest of the world (in particular the US, Pakistan, India, China, UK, Canada, Ukraine, Russia, Australia, and Japan) in financial loans, in military sales and donation od military equiplent, military training, and in blockading the Tamil minority. They have been given carte blanche by the US, UK, India, Japan, Australia and Canada to do whatever it takes to defeat the LTTE. The international community is basically telling the Sri Lankan government: “you have our permission to bomb, killing, abduct and murder whoever it takes to defeat the LTTE – go ahead, get on with it, we are going to turn a blind eye”. By comparison, the Tamil minority has very few resources, gets nothing from any other country (apart from their own expatriate community aid from which itself is blockaded by their governments). After this massive level of foreign assistance and urging which is way beyond what any other country in the world has recieved to resolve an internal conflict, what do the Singhalese do? After recieving all this aid and assistance and after launching a war on the LTTE, these guys Tin and Anuraag (presumably Sinhalese or lobbyists for the Sri Lankan government) want India to fight their war for them as well. Man these guys really take the cake.

    The problem with the West’s “license to kill the LTTE” is that is cannot be sustained for a long period of time before nagging human rights issues, and obvious double standards in Sri Lanka’s treatment viv a vis other countries like Sudan and Zimbabwe make it impossible for them to continue this support. The reason that no country condemned the LTTE for it’s attack on Colombo airport is not because they don’t support Sri Lanka in it’s war with the LTTE, but because if they that it would be obvious to any member of the public that there is a double standard between that and for example the Sri Lankan government’s bombing of school children and refugees, and the US and Israel’s bombings of areas where civilians are known to be present. In democratic countries with a free press, public opinion does matter.

    Sri Lanka has a narrow window of time to act against the LTTE if it is to do so at all.

  22. SK Patil,
    agreed absolutely with your last post.After putting everything into perspective the only factor leading to Lankan
    failure is Cowardice, pure and simple.And like you correctly said,the countries that matter have all hypocritically allowed genocide to be committed by Lanka to defeat ltte AND provided EVERY conceivable weaponry,training and even personnel(as in case of Pak pilots &CIS mercenaries)under the sky.
    It really goes over my head as to what weaponry/help some people are insisting on India to supply to Lanka to defeat ltte that is already not with them–sort of nuclear weapons??
    I am fairly sure even nuclear weapons is not a solution,but yes,genocide is and is being practiced today.
    Anuraag is a Sinhala obviously,and as expected,a coward who cannot use his real identity.Agreed ltte is a terrorist organization,so is the Lankan Govt(worse in my view).

    For those clamouring for india to be a neighbourhood cop,”power projection”,”superpower” etc vis previous posts by nitin and Anuraag sample this:
    –The Air Chief of SLAF has already blamed Indian radars for the present ltte bombing raid(Daily Mirror,Srilanka; Sunday Times ,Sri Lanka).
    –The JVP and PNM has already asked the govt to dump ‘primitive’Indian radars and go for China .
    Ingratitude seems to be another Lankan character.

  23. The sad fact is that most of you are being the victims of LTTEs propaganda. If you look into pro-LTTE news like TamilNet they are mostly forged and deliberately accusing GoSL for all the things. The famous news agents like BBC are also seems to copy-paste from those sites most of the times. Even if a Sri Lankan who lives in abroad can get very angry with GoSL and may go into justifying LTTEs acts if he only look at those pro-LTTE sites. If you want balanced news goto AsianTribune at http://www.asiantribune.com

    Genocide of Tamils is a hype brought out to the world by LTTE to cover up their barbaric inhuman acts. It’s true that initially LTTE was standing for Tamil people but no more. Now they have gone stray from that and standing like a real menace to the entire civilized world. There’s no point of arguing about this, since if anyone is justifying LTTEs acts, he must be a moron.

    I cant understand whether Indians think that Sinhalese are happy that our innocent Tamil people are getting killed or GoSL is killing them? Personally I have many Tamil friends from Jaffna and Batticaloa. They all are now happily living in Colombo and suburbs in the midst of a vast majority of Sinhalese, while LTTE is screaming that Tamils are getting killed and they are the only protector of Tamils. They killed many moderate Tamil politicians, intellects and trying to kill the remaining respectable people like Mr. V. Ananda Sangaree who has a good reputation even within Sinhalese community.
    We never accept that LTTE (being a terrorist organization) is the only representative of Tamils. But perhaps they can be the only representative of devil. Be them LTTE or Al-Queida, Jihad or Maoist, I hate terrorists, simply because terrorism is a solution for nothing.

    And nowadays terrorists are not only fighting with arms. They’re using other tactics such as misinformation, brain washing and extortion and so on.. And they are operating globally hence it’s not possible to defeat them without the help of others. That’s why India should work to eliminate the terrorism from the region. India has a responsibility to do that. Either we should unite against terrorism or else they will unite against us.

  24. Dear Tin,
    Do you think we Indians are morons to be ‘brainwashed’ by ltte? Most of us have access to free media unlike your country where people who don’t toe the official propaganda are either threatened,abducted,harassed,jailed on trumped up charges or simply bumped off.So you are more likely to have been affected by Gosl(or ltte) propaganda than ourselves.

    Asiantribune is balanced???There’s no hope left for you then.
    Forget about Tamilnet,Independent Western observers,NGOs and diplomats have all clearly given repeated reports of executions,child recruitment etc etc by GOSL &ltte,and each time your GOSL/independent media has given the stock reply–these people are in the pay of LTTE.Nordic Monitors/UN/Norway/INGOs/Amnesty International/Human Rights Watch etc are all Tiger supporters according to your Government!
    Of course,many Tamils are ‘living happily’ in Colombo and getting arrested and abducted daily.Many Lankan Tamils are also ‘Living Happily’ in India too in horrible conditions for your information.

    Since you have identified Asiantribune as a reliable source on Lanka I accessed it and found this gem of an article by H.L.D. Mahindapala, dated 04-04-07 titled:
    INDIA MUST APOLOGIZE TO SAARC FOR EXPORTING TERRORISM AND DESTABLISHING THE REGION.

    I recommend this article for both Nitin and Anura(ag) as to what the Sinhalese think of our ‘help’ that you are clamouring for.He says the neighbouring countries have all along been urinated upon by Indian hegemony and they “are sick of the smell of Indian urine”.
    Happy Power Projections.Amen.

  25. Dear Jay Jay,

    I’m glad to see your response and it’s nice of you to let us know that you are not ‘brainwashed’ by LTTE propaganda. And regarding the article you have pointed out: please don’t think that one person’s opinion represents the whole country. They have their freedom to express the ideas and anyone can agree/disagree. I mean Asian tribune is much more balanced, relatively to the pro-LTTE media. As I know most of the Indian newspapers like ‘The Hindu’ have the insight of the problem.

    Yes, Tamil people are in a pathetic situation and so as the Sinhalese in the border zones. Not only LTTE but also Sri Lankan (and some Indian) politicians should be blamed for this. But what LTTE is doing now makes their lives even miserable. If you have seen the innocent smiles of Tamil children and the sighs of relief of their parents when SL Army conquered Vakarai in East from iron hands LTTE, you’ll understand that freedom has no ethnic bounds. People in the east are ‘happy’ because they are no more murdered, extorted not subject to forced recruitments and not used as human shields.

    There are cases which are unavoidable in a country battered by terrorism, but it seems you have exaggerated the conditions. I’m not going to white wash the GoSL either, but it’s doing the right thing by protecting the citizens from the jaws of tiger terrorists. Don’t forget that I can see things which you don’t see as an outsider. And don’t forget that bad news has wings. What you know mostly is the bad things.

    I don’t see any reason for India to apologize from SAARC countries. But it can do a better thing by helping others to eliminate regional terrorism. Whatever may be the root causes, terrorism can’t be justified by a civilized person since it’s a shame for humanity. Once terrorism is suppressed or given up we can sit for the negotiations like civilized people. But if they (terrorists) don’t understand civilized things we have to answer in the language which they understand.

    The important thing is that we should stand against the terrorism despite our ethnicity. Because terrorists don’t care about the ethnicity just like the bombs they blow up. If we fail our future generations will have to pay the price.

  26. Tin,
    I am not ‘exaggerating’ anything.You may be in (Southern)Lanka thinking all is hunky dory but repeated reports from SLMM,UN,Amnesty Int,Human Rights Watch,ICRC,INGOs,AHRC etc etc have clearly described the genocidal atmosphere endured by your ‘innocent smile and happily liberated’ Tamils.These observers actually work on the ground AMONG the affected people in the war zone and does not depend on Asiantribune for their daily good news;and they have said this,in your own words:
    People in the East are daily murdered,extorted,kids forcibly recruited(by Karuna,ltte and gosl for karuna) and are being used as human shields(Last report as early as this week).Do you want me to copy and paste reports of these observers or are you also telling me they are also ‘brainwashed’ by ltte ? Till people like you in Lanka does not recognise or does not want to recognise the problems of your minorities your country runs the risk of going the Bosnia route(applies to India too to a lesser extent).

  27. Jay Jay
    I believe your words to be true to some extent. But are you people really believe that ‘Sinhalese’ majority is killing Tamil people!!!?? If it is so there’s no point of keeping on this conversation anymore since you are far from the truth. And I’m quite sure you wouldn’t believe that SLMM is biased and so as the most of the NGO’s.(I don’t say that for UN and ICRC). But the truth is that Norwegians are helping LTTE by donations(both money and equipment), special army training..etc.(we have clear evidences). And do you have any idea why Indian government has restricted most of the NGO activities?

    Yes, everything is complicated and turned upside down by the war. Tamil people are the one who mostly affected and suffered, but also Sinhalese and Muslims are also getting killed. To stop these atrocities we must stop the war. But I’m not sure whether LTTE wants anything other than a separate state which we never ready to give. I’m not clear whether you accept that LTTE is a terrorist organization or not, but it is. And it’s not a small armed group which can be crushed easily as you think. It’s a global terrorist group and that’s why we’re asking India’s assistance. But if India is indecisive by thinking that LTTE is not a threat to India, we’ll be fighting in our own. But let me remind you that US was thinking in the same way about terrorist groups until they were being backfired.

  28. Tin,
    1.I never said the “Sinhalese” are killing Tamils but the GOSL(as represented by it 99%Sinhalese security forces)is–similar but not the same.
    2.SLMM was made up of FIVE sovereign Nordic countries with no local interest(unlike, say if India/Pak/US etc were to be observers).Their reports are consistent and appear impartial.I don’t believe in your propaganda–give proof or explain why they are partial to Tigers.As far as I know they have voted to outlaw ltte in EU–that sounds like impartiality right? Try again.
    3.NGOs are pro-Tiger? Why-oh-why?Who told you ‘most’NGOs are restricted in India?Don’t tell me you read it in Lankaweb:)In my street one Danish NGO is working right now.
    3.Norwegians helping Tigers by donations?I thought they donated much larger amounts to GOSL isn’t it?They openly donated some money to ltte at the beginning of ceasefire–when GOSL was also giving chopper rides and hospital treatment to ltte remember??In addition your Daily Mirror is reporting that Rajapakse gave Rs200MILLION to ltte before the election?Anyway what’s the ‘proof you are bandying about?
    4.’We must stop the war’–Now who’s talking of a referendum to withdraw the ceasefire?
    5.What I think of ltte?A highly disciplined and ruthless rebel group who uses terror tactics as a supplement to its conventional(Wanni)and guerilla(East)capabilities.Outlawed by many.
    6.And GOSL–a failed democracy with poor media and human freedom ,a bloated but Cowardly military with a conscious policy of genocide against perceived threats,real or imagined(JVP then,Tamil tigers now).Some have compared it to Pinochets Chile.
    7.Enticing India to fight your war–no sir. It won’t be long before you backstab us even if we did.

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