Taking the flying Tigers seriously

India decides to improve air defence in the south

Going by the people who attended a meeting to discuss the issue, it does appear that the Indian government is taking the threat posed by the LTTE’s air wing with some seriousness. The meeting included the political, bureaucratic and military top brass. It decided to to improve air surveillance and naval patrolling and also to move more fighter aircraft to the south.

That’s necessary, but not sufficient. India must also assist the Sri Lankan armed forces to clip the LTTE’s wings. Understandably, media reports do not say whether or not the high-level meeting discussed this at all.

Related Posts: The flying Tiger threat, and the case for joint air-defence

Col (retd) R Hariharan in Frontline:

Coming to the specifics of the situation created by the activation of the Air Tigers, India has a national security responsibility to ensure that an air arm outside the pale of international law does not appear on the horizon in the vicinity of India’s airspace. India’s lackadaisical attitude towards the Sea Tigers’ operations in the Palk Straits has led to the loss of lives and kidnapping of Indian citizens. Now, when the LTTE aircraft bombed the oil installations near Colombo, they were bombing part of the assets of a company owned by the Government of India. It is high time India sent a clear message to the LTTE that it has to curb its air and sea activity in India’s vicinity…

Translated into the current situation, it means assisting the Sri Lankan security forces to make them operationally competent while the Sri Lanka government introduces a viable political solution addressing Tamil grievances and providing an equitable solution to all communities.

As regards the support systems for the Air Tigers that might operate from India, keeping a strict vigil on aviation training, smuggling of fuel and lubricants, sale of aircraft spares, manufacture of essential parts for rockets, improvised explosives and so on, would make it extremely difficult to smuggle them to the LTTE. This would involve coordination of Central and State Intelligence agencies, aviation engineering and flying establishments, and the police and coastal security systems. The sooner we do this the better because the LTTE has added a new dimension to terror. [Frontline]

11 thoughts on “Taking the flying Tigers seriously”

  1. Ex-armed forces people have a lot of monetary and other interests in propagating or even birthing a conflict.In addition,the Indian ones of an older generation has an axe to grind against the tamil tigers–the axe of humiliation.Add to this the rabid anti-ltte agenda of Frontline and Hindu led by N Ram and you have the recipe called T-r-a-g-e-d-y.

    Cooler heads with higher IQ and broader knowledge of the conflict ,like Raman and Kuldip Nayar and JN Dixit have proposed a more even-handed and less militaristic approach by India with good reason.India has more than enough of internal and external threats of various hues and strengths.Adding one more(proven deadly)enemy to the list look like sheer madness to me.

  2. nitin,
    do you have some inside info saying they are going to hit first??
    You are presuming things.By that logic we will be fighting the Taliban,Nepal Maoists,Bangla terrorists,etc to name a few ie we provoke them to fight us,then use that again to justify the conflict!That is what the US is doing in Iraq,and its not working!
    Are you seriuosly saying we can afford to make another enemy with all our disorder inherent already?
    I have gone through your prev posts and found an illogical loathing of the tamil tigers.Loathing is one thing,putting our defence personnel and assets at risk is another.Raman,who as former RAW chief should know better than us,has clearly said in his Outlook article that the installation of radars in TN after the TAF raids is an overreaction.
    Let us not presume things–esp where the consequences of such presumptions can cause great suffering and loss.

  3. Observer,
    Are you trying to bring in chauvinism on issues of national security?

    Hope you are aware of the following adages:

    “Prevention is better than cure” and “Once bitten twice shy”.

    This is exactly what Nitin is trying to convey in The Acorn.

  4. Pingback: The Acorn
  5. What the hell is rs talking about??
    I thought nitin was the chauvinist!!
    By the way try to make your point through arguments not one liners with no meaning.
    By you fellows logic we should not be dealing with Musharrafs Pak(Kargil 1999)and China(1962),maybe even SL(1987-90 betrayal)??
    Have you heard of the word Realpolitik?Things change with time you know.Move on.

  6. Dear observer,

    There’s a difference between realism and resignation. I can’t see how allowing a threat to develop, and for it to be realised, before acting on it is realpolitik. Do read this subsequent post, which should address many of your objections.

    (But I really think you should look up the dictionary on what “chauvinism” means.)

  7. Nitin,
    don’t again presume your English is better.You ARE a chauvinist with a narrow worldview.All your previous posts are testament to it.

  8. Observer,

    You are entitled to make any assertion you like. I’ll let the record speak for itself.

    But really, neither my chauvinism nor the narrowness of my world-view need distract a non-chauvinistic reader with a broad world-view from examining the arguments I make on their own merits, no?

  9. Well I am not distracted in the least by your Chauvinism but by the lack of substance in your arguments.I have noted that you tend to side-step unpleasant counters put forward by critics and keep on parroting the same old discredited mantra .Some solid arguments would maybe work?
    Bashing up various entities in the neighbourhood would be a rather costly way of massaging your(deflated)ego ,no?

  10. observer, we will eradicate the Tamil refugees whether you support them or not.If they want to stay as guests they have to behave themselfs;or else we will throw them into the sea or row them to their tamil naadu.
    nitin thanks for your support.you seem to have gained some wisdom recently.but remember,we Sinhalas won’t accept your help if you attach slavery as a condition.

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