The LTTE is making a desperate attempt to make its presence felt. It has bombed a CEB sub station in Wattala. The blast has, no doubt, caused considerable loss to the state and the LTTE is likely to step up such terror attacks on infrastructural facilities, besides blasting public vehicles. What is happening is a serious threat to public security and everything possible must be done to protect the citizenry and public property.
But, if the LTTE thinks it can achieve its objectives through such acts of wanton terror, it is sadly mistaken. Through them, it has only demonstrated its bankruptcy, having declared its final war and raised billions of rupees for that purpose. Today, it cannot at least rescue its cadres trapped in Vakarai, let alone carving out a mono ethnic enclave. The outfit is trying to cover up its battlefield failures by means of cowardly attacks on civilians and State property. Who needs foreign funds to the tune of billion of rupees and years of training for so simple a task like the blowing up of a transformer or placing a bomb in a crowded bus?
What would have happened, if Prabhakaran had been a CEO of a private company? The directorate and shareholders would have demanded his resignation on the grounds of poor performance. For, he has failed to deliver what he has promised. Never mind the corporate sector, what if the mudalali of a wayside eatery takes money for roast chicken but offers parippu, telling the customer concerned to take it or leave it? He will have his jaw shifted. But, Prabhakaran is lucky as none dares challenge his authority for fear of his death squads.
In the South, we once had the Rathu Sahodarayas, misled by a maniac by the name of Rohana Wijeweera, resorting to such tactics. During their reign of terror, they couldn`t stand the sight of transformers, telecommunication facilities or any other public property. They blew up a countless number of them. Not even a humble boutique keeper was allowed to ply trade during their `curfew`. He was put to a violent death in case of defiance. Buses were reduced to rubble and schools were closed. So were the seats of higher learning. State institutions remained more closed than open. The bearded Pol Pot like his northern counterpart may have derived tremendous sadistic pleasure from the widespread destruction. But, despite all the havoc they wreaked on the country, they failed to achieve their objective.
The striped friends of the North have destroyed not just transformers: They have, as we said yesterday, attacked the country`s only international airport and bombed the Central Bank, oil installations, many buses, trains, banks and virtually everything that they could think of. They have assassinated an incumbent President, a Foreign Minister, a Navy Commander, an Opposition Leader, almost all democratic Tamil leaders and a large number of intellectuals and massacred thousands of civilians. But, what have they achieved? After over twenty years of fighting, they have had to begin from the beginning!
Having given the mighty Indian army a bloody nose, blown Rajiv Gandhi to smithereens and bragged that they could do without India, they are once again licking the slippers of the Indian leaders so obsequiously. The much respected Indian Premier is treating the proxies of the killers of a former Prime Minister and hundreds of jawans, to tea and lending them an ear! Don`t they have any sense of shame? Strange bedfellows, eh?
The LTTE is paying the price for having missed the opportunities to transform itself into a democratic political entity. Its military campaign has outlived its purpose. There may have been a time when Prabhakran and his partners in crime killed to live but today they are living to kill. And there will be no end to the on-going process of killing under the present LTTE leadership. The problem with a protracted terror campaign is that it desensitises a society. And the LTTE will have to keep on intensifying its violence to retain its effectiveness. Its terror is likely to reach unprecedented levels in time to come, warranting equally ruthless counter terror.
The LTTE has, so far, cleverly restrained successive governments from using unbridled counter terror, by giving an ethnic twist to it terror campaign and creating sympathy abroad for its cause. But, the continuation of violence and its refusal to agree to a political settlement have cost it international support to a great extent, as evident form the bans being slapped on it. On the other hand, it cannot use its ethnic card against the splinter groups like the Karuna Faction, which is on the warpath.
The inevitable outcome of the escalation of violence and counter violence will be more and more bloodshed. He who started the present phase of war must sheathe his sword first.
It is high time Prabhakran did so, came to terms with reality and settled for an alternative to his unattainable dream.