There are many reasons for the LTTE
terrorists` defeats in year 2006. The most notable would be the new government`s uncompromising stand on issues concerning national security. The other reason is more close to home for LTTE.
Many of its top rankers are deserting the terrorist organization and the few remaining are fighting with Prabhakaran. In 2004, Karuna defected. He declared Prabhakaran to be the common enemy of all Sri Lankans. It certainly took him many a long year and couple of trips to Thailand to realize that Prabhakaran is nothing more than a terrorist. Of course the truth of the matter is that Karuna`s wife clashed with Prabhakaran`s wife over the vast difference in their lifestyles.
By 2006 March, nearly 50 high rankers had melted away. No longer the high spirited youths, they are now with family and wants a more settled, more respected lifestyle. They are tired of running from the law.
As 2006 wrapped to an end, Anton Balasingham
- the so-called theoretician of the LTTE ? succumbed to cancer. Though Prabhakaran wept and thought that the voice of LTTE was lost forever, Tamilselvan disagrees. He sees himself as the next Anton Balasingham. He wants to be reckoned as more than a smiling puppet. He would very much like to be moving shoulder-to-shoulder with the international community.
During the 2006 Geneva Talks II (September 28th & 29th), he was busy building his image both to the moderators as well as to the delegation from the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) as a reasonable man and not an extremist. In all the previous talks with GoSL, he insisted on a translator, but now with Balasingham fast fading out, he dismissed his translator and began to converse with the GoSL delegation in Sinhala. He was seen even joking with members of the GoSL delegation and trying hard to develop a friendly rapport.
Observers noticed that Tamilselvan was getting increasingly irritated with Prabhakaran for not taking a more reasonable stand. He wanted to agree with the 7-point agenda proposed by the GoSL delegation. However, Prabhakaran stood in the way. Finally, Prabhakaran ordered the terrorist delegation to cut short their travel itinerary and immediately return to Kilinochchi.
This of course scared Tamilselvan greatly. He was seen jumpy with violent mood swings during their return trip. At one time he made an unnecessarily huge fuss when his designer pen was misplaced. Though at the beginning of LTTE, he had a intimacyual relationship with Prabhakaran, Tamilselvan had no illusions that Prabhakaran would spare him on mere sentimental grounds.
After surviving as a terrorist organization for nearly 30 years, LTTE top hierarchy had enough of the blood and gore. 30 years ago, when they were not taken seriously by the society, it was high fun to kill and rob innocent, unarmed civilians and 30 years of terrorism has made them rich men. Now they want power ? power of recognition.
Prabhakaran too is power-hungry. However, he can never afford a political settlement, which would effectively diminish him to nobody. He has fought for too long, too hard to let go and the money is good.