The Pirabhakaran Phenomenon
Part 20

Sachi Sri Kantha
[27 October 2001]

Implications of Indo-LTTE War

Pirabhakaran’s ‘Judgement’

Leave it to Bertrand Russell for explaining in simple sentences, the distilled essence of principles in logic and life. Here is one of his gems about what we usually call as ‘judgement’ – a gift few leaders are blessed with.

“One of the most important parts of education, and one of the most neglected, is that which teaches how to reach true conclusions on insufficient data. As a logician I am conscious of uttering what is, in strict logic, mere nonsense when I say this; nevertheless all success in practical life depends upon ability to perform this apparently impossible feat. The successful general is the one who guesses correctly what his opponent will do; the successful organizer is the one who can choose good subordinates after brief interviews. Even the successful man of science makes a guess, which afterwards is verified. In politics, the data are hardly ever sufficient to enable a rational man to reach a reasoned conclusion, but they are often such as to enable a man who is both rational and shrewd to reach a sagacious conclusion. To do this, requires the scientific absence of bias and power of hypothetical thought, but it requires also something else – that quality which is vaguely called ‘judgement’.”

[Russell, in Education and the Social Order, 1932, p.227]

Every word of this short paragraph is pregnant with meaning. Russell describes the traits of a successful general, a successful organizer, a successful man of science and a successful politician. One can assess for himself, how Pirabhakaran levels up with Russell’s attributes on ‘judgement’ a leader is worth possessing. Since his ascent, Pirabhakaran’s judgement has served him well in countering the (1) patricians’ guiles of J.R.Jayewardene and Indian power brokers, (2) street-smart toughness of Premadasa, and (3) pseudo-peacenik’s charm of Chandrika Kumaratunga.


I could trace three major outcomes of the Indo-LTTE War to Pirabhakaran. These are,

(1)  International Recognition to the LTTE

(2)  Expansion of the Sri Lankan Army

(3)  Harassment of Pirabhakaran by India’s Intelligence wallahs

Implications-wise, among these three outcomes, the first one was positive; the second one was neutral; and the third one was negative. Two reasons allow me to mark the second outcome (Expansion of the Sri Lankan Army) in the neutral column. First, LTTE also benefited to an extent from the capture of arms stored in the military camps which fell to them, thus subsidizing their own armament purchase budget. Secondly, it accelerates the process of ‘breaking the will of the Sinhalese foot-soldiers’ to fight an unwanted war, despite the prodding by desk-top generals and the jingoist vultures of their society.

Now, let me present my assessment on each of these outcomes.

(1) International Recognition to the LTTE

How does one assess international recognition? – Many scales exist. Some of the recognized ones include, a Nobel prize, an Olympic gold medal, a cover story in an international magazine, and a photo-news feature in the first page of the New York Times. Pirabhakaran has neither received a Nobel Prize nor won an Olympic gold medal. But, he has been featured as cover stories in international magazines (Asiaweek, Far Eastern Economic Review for example) more than once. Pirabhakaran’s photo also has appeared in the first page of New York Times once. That was on August 5, 1987 accompanying a news feature of Seth Mydans from Jaffna, covering Pirabhakaran’s address to Eelam Tamils at the Suthumalai Temple.

How many other Sri Lankan politicians (prime ministers and presidents, both past and present) had their faces presented in the first page of New York Times. Probably none. Or, Mrs. Sirimavo Bandaranaike could be the only one other than Pirabhakaran to receive such coverage in 1960. This is my conjecture, and need to be verified in the Times archives.

On August 5, 1987, the lead editorial of the New York Times carried the caption, ‘Going for Broke in Sri Lanka’. Commenting on the then recently announced Rajiv Gandhi-Jayewardene Peace Accord of 1987, the editorialist mused,

“… The first test is whether Tamil guerrillas holed up on the Jaffna Peninsula will honor their promises and yield up their guns to Indian peacekeepers. Then comes the second test: whether the Sinhalese majority is reasonable enough to resist unreasoning attacks on the pact as a sellout. Manifestly, pitfalls abound, but at least they are visible and, with a modicum of sanity, avoidable.”

The New York Times editorialist was naïve to expect such ‘a modicum of sanity’ among the politicians and the Intelligence agencies of India and Sri Lanka. Thus, both tests mentioned by him failed miserably, and the political game of ‘Going for Broke in Sri Lanka’ is still being passionately played out in Colombo.

The 54th edition of The International Who’s Who 1990-91 (Europa Publications Ltd., London, 1990), for the first time carried a very brief entry on Pirabhakaran, as one of the 20,000 notable individuals. It stated,

“Pirubhakarran, Vellupillai; Sri Lankan guerrilla leader; born 26 Nov.1954, Velvettithurai, Jaffna peninsula; married; one son, one daughter; joined Tamil movement 1970; founded Tamil New Tigers guerrilla movement (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam since 1976) 1972.”

Pirabhakaran was neither a Cabinet minister nor a titular head of Sri Lanka; he was neither an author nor a banker; he was neither an entertainer nor a Nobelist. Still, he made it to the International Who’s Who on his own merits as a ‘guerrilla leader’.

A more objective indicator on the success of any leader, any idea or any movement comes from the recognition received, not in regular mass media, but in history books or other reliable reference sources such as dictionaries and encyclopedias. Hundreds of politicians capture attention of the media by devious means (Pirabhakaran’s critics such as Subramanian Swamy, Lakshman Kadirgamar are good examples in this game.) But what counts ultimately is how their deeds are inscribed in the historical sources, for reflection, study and remembrance by the posterity.

One of the earliest dictionaries to include a description on Pirabhakaran’s movement was The Penguin Dictionary of Third World Terms (1992), authored by Kofi Buenor Hadjor, a professor of African Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. This compact dictionary provides descriptions on 251 eminent persons, institutions, organizations, ideas, movements and terms which became prominent in the Third World since 1945. LTTE receives a liberal one and a half page recognition in this dictionary, under the term ‘Tamil Tigers, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)’. This recognition was made, obviously due to LTTE’s relevance in the South Asian politics since mid-1980s and its confrontation with the Indian army during the 1987-89 period. It is interesting to note that none of the other Sri Lankan political leaders receive any recognition in this dictionary. Compared to the entry on ‘Tamil Tigers’, there is a half-page entry on ‘non-aligned movement’ and an eight-line entry on ‘Bandung Conference’ and even under these two entries, the names of padre Bandaranaike or Sirimavo Bandaranaike are missing.

Other movements which receive recognition in this dictionary include, ANC [African National Congress], ‘black consciousness’ of South Africa, ‘black power’ of Malcolm X, Eritrean liberation movement, FDR-FMLN [Frente Democratico Revolucionario-Frente Farabundo Marti de Liberacion Nacional] of El Salvador, FLN [Front de Liberation Nationale] of Algeria, FRELIMO [Frente de Libertacao de Mocambique], Frente Sandinista de Liberacion Nacional of Nicaragua, FRETILIN [Frente Revolucionario de Timor Leste Independente], Gandhism, Garveyism of Marcus Garvey, Guevarism, indegenismo in Latin America, intifada, Movimiento 19 de Abril of Colombia, Maoism, Mau Mau of Kenya, Movimiento de Izquierda Revolucionaria of Chile, Malayan Races’ Liberation Army, New Jewel Movement of Grenada, Nkrumahism, New People’s Army of Philippines, Pan Africanism, Zimbabwean liberation movement, Zionism.

I list these more than 20 movements to indicate that LTTE, as its detractors and adversaries want to deny, is a liberation movement and shares quite a number of distinct features which are common to many of its sister organizations formed in the 20th century in other countries. In the eyes of their oppressors, all these movements (many which were older than LTTE) carried the label of ‘terrorists’.

(2) Expansion of the Sri Lankan Army

When J.R.Jayewardene retired in 1988, the Sri Lankan armed forces stood at the following level, according to the Asia Year Book 1989 of Far Eastern Economic Review magazine.

Total armed forces: some 48,000, including active reservists. Army = 40,000 including recalled reservists; Navy = 5,500; Air Force = 3,700.

The Paramilitary component consisted of Police Force = 21,000, including the Special Task Force consisting of 2,000-man anti-guerrilla unit; Home Guard = 18,000; National Auxiliary Volunteer Force = 5,000.

To explain how the Sri Lankan army has expanded, I provide a longitudinal scan of Sri Lankan news items I have gathered, since the Indian army packed up and left the island. First, a 1990 Reuter news commentary from my files. It was authored by Feizal Samath, from Colombo. Excerpts:

“Five months after Tamil guerrillas launched a major new offensive in their bid to set up a separate homeland, Sri Lankan government troops are still struggling to crush the rebels. When they broke off peace talks with the government in June [1990] many felt the war would end in a month. But the Tigers took on the army in face-to-face battles. When outnumbered, they slipped into the jungle adopting guerrilla tactics again.

Government troops control all eastern towns but rebels move freely on their outskirts. In the north, apart from a few towns, the army is confined to camps surrounded by fortified Tiger bunkers. The government says more than 800 members of the security forces and 1,640 rebels have been killed since June. Hundreds of civilians have also died in the fighting. These figures cannot be independently verified…

‘From now it is all-out war. We will annihilate the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, take over the east and then go for the north,’ Deputy Defense Minister Ranjan Wijeratne told Parliament in June. ‘We will fight them till they retreat to the Indian Ocean and our Navy will wait for them there,’ he said. But Wijeratne’s battle scenario never came to pass…

The war has eaten into Colombo’s meager financial resources. Defense spending has risen to seven billion rupees ($ 175 million) this year. Other government funding has been cut.” [Asahi Evening News, Japan, Nov.30, 1990]

In late 1990, one dollar was equivalent to 40 Sri Lankan rupees.

Five months later, after Ranjan Wijeratne’s departure from the scene, S.Sivanayagam, the then editor of Tamil Nation monthly, wrote a sarcasm-tinged editorial on the expansion of the Sri Lankan army. It is worth a re-read for its splendid distillation on the history of a laboring army, from 1948 to 1990. But, this editorial will never be read by the Sri Lankan army’s fresh recruits. Excerpts:

More Generals Mean Less Peace in Lanka
[Tamil Nation, May 1, 1991, p.1]

“Have you noticed? – the plethora of Army Generals that Sri Lanka has been producing lately? With pips, stars, medals, ribbons and the whole trappings?… How did Sri Lanka manage to give birth to so many Generals within such a short period? The answer probably is ‘Field Marshal’ Prabhakaran!

…Time was when during the first six years of Independence (1948-1954), the Ceylon Army was commanded by two Britishers – Brigadier the Earl of Caithness and later Brigadier F.S.Reid. It took three years for the army to achieve a strength of 70 officers and 610 other ranks. It was not until 1955 that a Ceylonese assumed command for the first time, and he happened to be a Tamil – Col.Anton Muttucumaru, promoted Brigadier, a dignified product of Oxford University.

The first functioning General appeared on the scene twelve years after Independence in 1960, in the person of Major General H.W.G.Wijeyekoon. Apart from the 1958 riots in which the army did a creditable job in putting down Sinhala mob terrorism, it had seen very little action. Until Junius Richard Jayewardene began his war against the Tamils, the only possible army casualties, if at all any, could have come only through cirrhosis of the liver, by hitting the ‘bottle’ hard! Who would have ever thought that the country today, yet without any signs of foreign invasion, would become chockfull of prattling Generals, not only overseeing action on the Front, but even chit-chatting at cocktails at Canberra, Ottawa, London? President Jayewardene was running short of diplomats and discredited politicians that he began sending defunct Generals and Brigadiers to represent the country abroad in various world capitals – some are still there we believe. Grant it to that man; he did not only militarise the society, politicize the army, but militarized diplomacy as well! The Sepala Attygalles, the ‘Bull’ Weeratungas, the Denis Pereras, were all in their own ways the architects of the suicidal military policy against the Tamils, later to serve as accredited ambassadors.

…The Generals know, and we know, that army recruits, trained hastily and sent to the battlefronts in recent times are not at all suitable ‘war material’. There were several instances, at Mankulam and recently at Mannar, where they simply dropped their arms and fled. One cannot blame them, because thousands of youths unemployed for years, joined the army for a monthly income, not to fight a war and die, but to live and support themselves and their families…

The point to be realised is, that behind every artillery piece, there is a man, and behind that man (or woman) there is a commitment. If every Tiger casualty is a determined, willing sacrifice, every soldier who dies is an unwilling casualty, or a helpless victim. Unfortunately, the Generals have to talk war, because war is their business; and bread and butter…”

Let me present some numbers to highlight the expansion of Sri Lankan army, from openly available sources of information. The Asiaweek magazine, of July 10, 1992, presented the increase in Sri Lanka’s defence expenditure from 1982 to 1992 as follows:


($ million)

% of


























Two years later, the same Asiaweek magazine commented,

“Sri Lankans have a sense of exhaustion. Now in its eleventh year, the war between government troops and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) who are fighting for a separate state in the north is slowly bleeding the country. Keeping the guerrillas at bay costs $1 million a day and siphons off most of the rewards of the country’s burgeoning economy. Strain on the army has a taken a harsh toll. Suicide and desertion are common…” [Asiaweek, July 27, 1994, pp.20-22]

Chandrika Kumaratunga exploited this sense of exhaustion felt by the Sinhalese by donning the peace mask. But what happened during the last seven years is best told by the bulging numbers of army generals and their foot soldiers. At the end of 2000, the Sri Lankan armed forces has been expanded, according to the US State Department’s Country Reports on Human Rights –2000 (Sri Lanka), as follows:

Army (including the Army volunteer force) - 120,000
Navy - 17,000
Air Force - 18,500
Police Force - 60,000
Home Guards > 15,000.

And, when the then Deputy Defense Minister G.L.Peiris, while presenting the Budget Appropriation Bill in the Sri Lankan parliament on February 8, 2001, recorded that the military spending for the year 2001 had leapt to 63 billion rupees (= 720 million dollars, at the currency exchange rate of $1 = 88 rupees). This staggering amount, according to the Ceylon Daily News report of Feb.9, 2001, is being split into four components as follows:

Army (120,000) - 29.2 billion rupees (= 331.8 million dollars)

Navy (17,000) - 8.3 billion rupees (= 93 million dollars)

Air Force (18,500) - 10.7 billion rupees (= 121.6 million dollars)

Police (60,000) and Home Guards (>15,000) - 12.4 billion rupees (=140.6 million dollars)

Disregarding the incurred costs for different niches of expenditure such as equipment purchase, maintenance, commission, training, health and welfare, insurance premium, multi-media media propaganda and (last but not the least!) entertainment, I calculated the per head per annum costs for each member of the four branches of armed services. It works out as follows:

Army - $2,765

Navy - $5,519

Air Force - $6,572

Police including Home Guard - $1,875.

Now the Sri Lankan ‘composite’ army (consisting of army, navy and air force personnel numbering 155,500 individuals) bills itself as the biggest ‘employer’ in Sri Lanka.

In business terms, the health of an employer is certified as ‘good’ if it generates revenues. But the status of Sri Lankan army is equivalent to that of a perennially sick person. What was responsible for the Sri Lankan army to be assessed in such contemptuous terms? – a larger share of credit should go to Pirabhakaran’s ‘judgement’. One should also not discount the ineptitude leadership of Anuruddha Ratwatte and paranoia of Chandrika Kumaratunga.

In his October 1997 interview to Thilak S.Fernando, Major General Algama confirmed some of the observations made by S.Sivanayagam in his Tamil Nation editorial of May 1, 1991. Excerpts:

Fernando: After the P.A. [People’s Alliance] Government came into power 35 retired Major Generals were recalled and promoted to top ranks. Didn’t that bring about discontent within the Army?

Algama: It was a political exercise which led to a certain amount of discontentment. Beyond that I won’t be able to comment on that. As for me, I feel that I performed my duty to the full by the country. Unfortunately certain high ranking elements in the army decided to exhibit pseudo-loyalties to the new administration and discredit others. In the process certain officers were identified with certain political parties and I was branded as a political stooge of the UNP due to professional jealousy. Not only that, they involved me in a coup case also!

Fernando: Is there any truth in the Coup case?

Algama: Absolutely none. The coup story has been primarily hatched by the Military Intelligence. It was only when investigations commenced that I realised it was something which had emerged from within the army. In fact, I have made an appeal to President Kumaratunge to expedite the inquiry and take disciplinary action against me if I have done any wrong…”

[Source: Thilak Fernando’s website: London Diary]

Though a snippet, what was revealed by Major General Algama is interesting about the functioning of Sri Lankan army’s ‘military intelligence section’ and how much the Sri Lankan commander-in-chief relied on it.

Chandrika’s 1997 interview to the Asiaweek and My response

Pirabhakaran’s judgement in deflating the ‘peace-balloon proposals’ of President Chandrika Kumaratunga was criticized vehemently by the partisan press in Sri Lanka and elsewhere, since 1995. Chandrika was the ‘new broom’ which was supposed to clean the Sri Lankan rot. The Sept.19, 1997 issue of the Asiaweek magazine carried an interview she gave to Arjuna Ranawana. I reproduce her answers to the some questions, in which she commented about Pirabhakaran.

Ranawana: The army is closing in on the Tigers, and you say you will push through constitutional reforms by November [1997]. How important is this period for Sri Lanka?

Chandrika: It is a very critical time. The military and the political solutions go hand in hand – a two-pronged attack on the ethnic problem. I came in on a promise to bring peace. Within 10 days of taking office, I wrote to [Tiger leader] Mr.[Velupillai] Prabhakaran inviting him to hammer out a peaceful solution. We had a ceasefire, but he broke all agreements within eight months. Not long after, we presented the proposal to devolve power to the regions, which is the political solution to the problem. We have gone a long way to making devolution a reality. I have taken a personal responsibility in taking this to every nook and corner of the country, to every type of people. Such public discussion of a law or amendment is unprecedented in our history. You cannot have peace without devolution of power, without the sharing of power. It is also tied up in the proposed new constitution with larger guarantees for human rights and for wider democratic practices, including the abolition of the executive presidency.

Ranawana: But the Tigers have not responded to your constitutional reform proposals.

Chandrika: When we were having discussions with the LTTE, I exchanged 44 letters with Prabhakaran, the first time he ever wrote to any politician in the south. I kept inviting him to agree on dates to start discussing our political proposals. He kept refusing, dodging [the issue], going around it, circumventing it, never agreeing to it. He kept asking for more facilities. All of these we gave, because he kept saying it was going to facilitate the lives of the ordinary people. We wanted to remove all the obstacles that the last government had faced for the normal functioning of civilian life in the north and east. He misused all that. Now we control much of the north and east and have access to the Tamil people there. We have found that a crushing majority would vote with the devolution proposals. The same crushing majority also keep telling us: please do not allow the LTTE to come back. We want to rehabilitate the LTTE. We hope that a democratic LTTE will go back to Jaffna along with the rest of the Tamil leadership and participate in the democratic process.

Ranawana: Many Tamils believe that Sinhala-dominated governments are willing to grant concessions to them only so far as there is military pressure on the government by the LTTE. They fear that if pressure from the Tigers disappears – if they are defeated – your government will no longer grant such concessions.

Chandrika: I don’t agree. There used to be some truth in that, but not anymore. Not under this government. This government has done massive work to re-fashion the people’s thinking. The attitudes of the majority Sinhala people have totally changed. The Tigers became a reality because previous governments had a different attitude toward the whole ethnic question. The Tamil people felt they had no alternative but to take up arms against the government, which not only turned a blind eye to their problems but used force against innocent Tamil people in the most heinous fashion one could imagine – thinking that was the solution. The Tamil people felt that somebody like Prabhakaran – who, in my opinion, is a ruthless, inhuman murderer – should be supported because they had no other solution. But Prabhakaran and his terrorist politics are totally irrelevant today.”

I also reproduce a short letter of mine, criticising this publicity by Chandrika for her ‘War for Peace’ campaign, which was later published in the same magazine. My response was:

“I challenge your [Asiaweek’s] statements that President Kumaratunga has ‘curtailed state repression and engineered something of an economic turnaround.’ In September [1997] it was announced that Sri Lanka is seeking $500 million loan to revive its unpopular move to increase the price of bread – another election pledge up in smoke. I wish that you had asked more penetrating questions of the President. For example, from where does she allocate money for Sri Lanka’s spiraling defense budget which stood at $836 million in 1996?

If the Sri Lankan army is ‘winning’ the war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), why are there over 20,000 deserters, despite repeated amnesty offers? Aren’t these deserters better Buddhists who (by following the preaching of the Enlightened One) teach something to the Sri Lankan commander-in-chief, who gloats that ‘the military and the political solutions go hand in hand?’ What happened to her pre-election pledge of abolishing the executive presidency?”

[Asiaweek magazine, October 17, 1997]

Chandrika Assessed in 2001:

In the last quarter of 2001, the partisan press which had serenaded Chandrika and pilloried Pirabhakaran during 1995-97, has turned around and unabashedly pricks the façade of Chandrika’s peace mask. ‘Arrogance of Power’ stated a reecent editorial caption in the Island newspaper of Colombo. ‘Authoritarian disdain’ lamented the self-righteous Hindu newspaper of Chennai. Let me cite the relevant passages from these two editorials:

Editorial 1:

“Innumerable reasons can be cited for the collapse of the People’s Alliance government within one year. They could all be summed up in a single expression – arrogance of power. President Kumaratunga and her government simply did not give a damn about what was said about her and her government and proceeded to rule on the presumption of being blessed with eternal power…

The 1994 election manifesto’s pledges were soon forgotten. Pledges such as to bring down the cost of living, cleanse public life, conduct a transparent government, end political interference in the public service and end abuse of power by politicians, all fell by the wayside. Its ventriloquism on the North-East conflict – promoting anti-war campaigns such as the islandwide Tawalama campaign while at the same time appealing for recruits for the armed services and escalating the war, not only resulted in military disasters but also took for granted that the masses were naïve enough to believe their propaganda…” [Colombo Island editorial, Oct.12, 2001]

Editorial 2:

“…the President Ms.Chandrika Kumaratunga, has once again acted with authoritarian disdain for political propriety by dissolving parliament with unseemly haste in a cynical attempt to confound her opponents… it is evident that she has soft-pedaled in respect of several economic and political policies including her one-time preference for a quick and fair resolution of Sri Lanka’s national question about the rights of the Tamil people….” [Chennai Hindu editorial, Oct.13, 2001]

With eggs on their face, these editorialists now confirm Pirabhakaran’s judgement of Chandrika’s ‘peace-balloon proposals’ as nothing but hot air blown by a debutant, but crafty, second-generation politician. Pirabhakaran was correct in calling in 1995 that Chandrika, as far as Eelam Tamils were concerned, was merely a naked empress. A reader’s letter written by R.M.A.B.Dassanayake of Matale, was aptly captioned by the Island newspaper’s editorial team as ‘The balloon has burst’. Excerpts:

“My companion seated on the same bench started off with a veritable pithy statement – ‘Balloon eka pipuruwa’ – the balloon has burst… All of those who ran the show, from the apex, centre and periphery exerted their energies to inflate the balloon. With nothing substantial, but just a volume of hot air – ‘Ralu Hulang’.

Swollen pride, false utterances, deceptive tactics, incessant ‘mafia’ talk from a spokesperson nicknamed ‘mafia man’ multiple – duplicity and contradictory views were the order of the day and these would gather greater momentum once again in the run upto the upcoming elections as well.

They inflated their balloon to such unlimited uncontrollable extent that it burst with a bang – exploded with cataclysmic sound and fury….” [Island, Colombo, Oct.23, 2001]

While Mr. Dassanayake’s letter had appeared, I doubt that a letter I wrote to the same Island newspaper last week about Pirabhakaran’s judgement on Chandrika Kumaratunga will be published. It was about Pirabhakaran, Sri Lankan army and the hypocrisy of Colombo’s partisan press. Thus I reproduce relevant excerpts of this letter sent by email on October 19.

The Editor,
Dear Mr.Weerakoon:

A Question of Principled Journalism

…This letter is related to your most recent editorials: ‘Pre-election skullduggery to the fore (Oct.17), ‘A question of principled politics’ (Oct.18) and ‘Santa’s early arrival’ (Oct.19). In all these, you take issue with President Chandrika Kumaratunga’s style of governance, arrogance and cavalier disregard for accepted norms of politics. It is as if, you have stumbled on these issues only lately. But Prabhakaran and LTTE thinkers have scaled these same traits of the current President in 1995 correctly.

Mr. Editor, you cannot have your cake and eat it as well. On one hand, you have been preaching that Prabhakaran cannot be trusted since he will never give up his fight for Eelam and come to the negotiation table. This stance is fine, if the other party has been a model of virtue. You say now that Prabhakaran’s main adversary during the past 7 years is a bungling buffoon who is not worth her salt. You had stated that, ‘Many will differ from the President’s estimation of herself’ (Oct.19). Bless you for saying that openly now. So, isn’t your lament confirms Prabhakaran’s position for all these years. How about some principled journalism on your part, Sir?

In your 20th anniversary editorial you bragged, ‘We are of the opinion that all communities got equal rights’ (Oct.4). Then, how come the Sri Lankan army consists of 95% (or more) Buddhists, when the Buddhist population in the island is only 75%? Either you should be mathematically challenged to believe that 75 equals 95, or you are a hypocrite to say, ‘We are certainly not against the Tamil community. We support their rights and say that they are citizens of this country as much as those of any other community are’. If you sincerely believe what you say, will you campaign for proportional representation of all communities in the Sri Lankan army…”

(3) Harassment of Pirabhakaran by India’s Intelligence wallahs

This negative outcome of the Indo-LTTE war has continued since 1991 for a decade. It can be explored under three main themes, namely

(A)  Anti-LTTE propaganda in the Indian news media.

(B)   January 1993 piracy by the Indian Navy against LTTE in international waters leading to the tragic deaths of Kittu and his associates.

(C)   Criminal Case No. 329/91, implicating Pirabhakaran in the conspiracy to murder the former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

All three themes are inter-related and available literature remains scattered. I will try to analyze the material, which I have gathered during the past decade (Continued)