Skip to content

Anita Pratap writes ‘Prabhakaran still has enough grit to continue the fight’

April 26, 2009

Crouching Tiger by Anita Pratap
LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran is many things to many people-national leader, freedom fighter, revolutionary, guerrilla, killer, saviour, tyrant, visionary and terrorist. Lionised or demonised, depending on their standpoint. I cannot know what is going on in Prabhakaran’s head, but I am certain he is neither frightened nor desperate. He is not afraid of death. He has been courting it since he was 17. He is an indefatigable warrior, one who is philosophically detached from all things tactical. Yet, paradoxically, in achieving his strategic goal of Tamil Eelam, he displays an unwavering attachment.
Read more here.

Advertisements
2 Comments leave one →
  1. fastuntoactionaust permalink
    April 26, 2009 12:29 pm

    Crouching Tiger by Anita Pratap

    LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran is many things to many people-national leader, freedom fighter, revolutionary, guerrilla, killer, saviour, tyrant, visionary and terrorist. Lionised or demonised, depending on their standpoint. I cannot know what is going on in Prabhakaran’s head, but I am certain he is neither frightened nor desperate. He is not afraid of death. He has been courting it since he was 17. He is an indefatigable warrior, one who is philosophically detached from all things tactical. Yet, paradoxically, in achieving his strategic goal of Tamil Eelam, he displays an unwavering attachment.

    I doubt whether these military setbacks will discourage, undermine or erode his confidence or commitment to his goal. He is very clear in his mind-he is fighting to liberate his people. For that principle he lives. For that principle he fights. And for that principle he is willing to die. Victories and defeats come and go. Territories are lost and won. Cadres die, comrades betray. But to his dying breath, he will remain true to Eelam.

    In the 30 years that I have written about this conflict, never has the LTTE been so alone and friendless in its struggle. Prabhakaran is a victim of a combination of his actions and international circumstances. By assassinating Rajiv Gandhi, he made an implacable foe of India. And after 9/11, George Bush’s war on terror created zero tolerance for terrorism around the world. It also blurred distinctions between terrorist organisations and national liberation groups.

    There is no liberation army in the world that has not faced state terror and in turn used terror as a tactic to pursue its nationalist goals. Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and Bhagat Singh-Prabhakaran considers them heroes-were designated terrorists by the British rulers of India. Until recently, Nelson Mandela was on the list of terrorists.

    The LTTE is banned as a terrorist organisation in some 30 countries. That has given the Sri Lankan government global sanction to destroy the LTTE. But in doing so, the international community has allowed a disaster of epic proportion to unfold. This is not an LTTE, but a Tamil tragedy. Nowhere in the world has a government been continuously bombing its own civilians for over a year. This is a crime Israeli, American and NATO forces are not guilty of.

    A designated No Fire Zone has turned into a vast death chamber for Tamil civilians, trapped between the LTTE and the attacking army. Nowhere else in the world is a war being waged without outsiders and independent witnesses, not in Iraq, not in Afghanistan, not in Gaza. But in Sri Lanka, the media and NGOs have been banned from the war zone, and the International Committee of the Red Cross, among the lone relief workers there, has described the civilian situation as catastrophic. A quarter of a million Tamils uprooted. Tens of thousands imprisoned in refugee camps. Thousands killed and maimed.

    Those who say the Tamils deserve this fate because they supported Prabhakaran are heartless and blind. There are many who support him and many who don’t. Either way, they don’t have the power to influence him. Is it then justifiable to punish ordinary civilians? Is it fair to kill Americans for the sin that Bush committed in Iraq, even though they not only elected, but re-elected him? The Sri Lankan army cannot be faulted for trying to destroy the LTTE. But the Sri Lankan government cannot condone or justify destroying Tamils and their homeland in the process.

    But this only strengthens Prabhakaran. Politicians and bureaucrats don’t realise that the LTTE welcomes war. It swells its ranks, reaffirms its raison d’étre, it produces more emotional support for a separate state. From the previous wars that I have witnessed (journalists could manage to get in then), LTTE cadres love fighting. During peacetime, LTTE guerrillas are disciplined and restrained. In battle, there is a complete makeover. They are highly excitable, almost gleeful.

    The LTTE has been written off many times before. Prabhakaran has been ‘killed’ or ‘nearly killed’ many times in the past. If the army ever reaches his bunker, he will swallow his cyanide and the legend of Prabhakaran will probably attain mythical proportions. Lacking independent assessments, journalists repeat Sri Lankan claims that this is the end game, this is Prabhakaran’s last stand.

    Judging from the past, I doubt it. Sure, the Sri Lankan army will wrest the last piece of land from Prabhakaran’s grip. But that doesn’t mean the end of the LTTE. They will revert to what they are best at-guerrilla warfare, striking when least expected. As armies before have realised, conquering territory is one thing, holding onto it opens a Pandora’s box of problems.

    Prabhakaran has lost wars before. He had created a de facto Tamil Eelam with its own army, police, courts and taxation system not once, but several times in the past-only to have it all smashed and wiped out. And he had to start all over again. At 54, Prabhakaran still has enough grit to start again and continue for another 20 years.

    In the meantime, he will be watching the Indian elections closely to see which dispensation takes charge in New Delhi. He will be watching to see if there is a popular upsurge of support in Tamil Nadu for the plight of Tamils across the Palk Strait. He will be watching the disastrous impact of war on Sri Lanka’s economy. He will be watching Hillary Clinton who said there should be a ‘nuanced’ approach to dealing with terrorism. He will be watching President Barack Obama who rightly analysed that conflicts stem from our perception of ‘the other’.

    Today, Prabhakaran’s situation looks dire. But the wheels of fortune are not static. Things change. America has changed. The world is changing. Capitalism is discredited. Socialism sneaks in from the backdoor. Big banks have gone bust. Misery replaces prosperity in headlines. As new winds blow away many certitudes of the recent past, new opportunities, alignments and paradigms take their place on the world stage. And they will inexorably weave their impact in remote corners of faraway Sri Lanka, this beautiful emerald teardrop island that awaits its tryst with peace.

    Source: Manoramaonline

  2. Kalai Amuthan permalink
    June 3, 2009 1:49 am

    I support Anita pratap’s statement that there is a possibility of non-static nature of the today’s situation. Because things are really getting changed these days. However,as the inhuman disaster took place at the last phases of the war,finally resulted in an unfaithful manner on srilankan government. Also,after all those miserable events took place,we couldn’t assure the lives of tamils in lanka with sinhalese is possible in near future. Hence we want prabakharan to act,just not by the way of their military actions,but also on the political arena,as he would comes through a lot of matters as concerned.
    He must try to get the belief of the international community,just by their political moves rather from their traditional wing of guerillas,and suicide bombers.Since,the world is now able to think about the distinction between the rebel groups for liberation and the terrorits organisations,Prabakharan has got a chance to prove himself as a onely option for the peaceful lives of tamils.
    Thus as per the isolated nature of tamils in lanka due to the sinhala majority,we also want the international community to think of the alternate and quicker solution,as soon as, possible for tamils,instead of forcing them to compromise and live with the sinhala majority.Also any illusion from the srilankan government is unacceptable and even any act on tamils could not be acceptable.They must be ensured with a proper,seperate and peaceful land.
    Also,as far as our tamils in tamilnadu is concerned,we are highly deppresed with our Indian government’s partial stand on tamils,which was reflected in the U.N.O..Eventually,tamils in tamilnadu are even regetted on many aspect as well.Hence this also a greater chance for the congress to act on the issue in soon and in particular,their perspective of the whole tamil community in and around India.Because they are capable of accepting all the violance and brutal things from the sikh’s community and even from the act of Pakistan.But we are miserably unconsidered,eventhough,we are the indians,who live in tamilnadu.
    So kindly reconsider this,and motivate those who wishes to take some possible and acceptable views for the future lives of both the tamils in lanka and in india. Because,they are noteven thinking about the lives of tamils in the coastal regions of tamilnadu,the fishermen. But they are punished in due for some personnal’s illegal act.If so, why dont the INDIAN Government must ask for KACHATHEEVU,which was presented to that island nation due to its unimportance at the past. BUT NOW , there is a need for getting it back from the lankan government,just,because of the sake of indian fishermen’s lives. WHY DONT THEY?*** IS THIS A KIND OF PARTIALITY OR NOT?***

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: