Even the worst of criminals when caught and cornered try to show that they have regained the human qualities that they had lost while indulging in acts of violence and crime. They then begin to plead for love and compassion. Apparently, the continuous military assaults on the LTTE have jolted LTTE Supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran s conscience into regaining his lost human feelings such as love and compassion.
His love, of course, as expressed in his annual Heroes Day speech, is not for the whole humanity but only for Tamil Nadu people and politicians who have shown their compassion for Lankan Tamils. Prabhakaran has said, I wish to express my love and gratitude at this juncture to the people and leaders of Tamil Nadu and the leaders of India for the voice of support and love they have extended. Having thus expressed his love to Indians, he has cordially invited the Indian government and leaders of other countries that have banned his terrorist organization to Understand the deep aspirations and friendly overtures of our people, to remove their ban on us and to recognize our just struggle.
Anyway it is encouraging that he has condescended to use in his speech such decent words as love, goodwill, cordiality and friendship, having for long carried out ruthless acts of crime. The victims of his atrocities have been innocent people, outstanding political leaders, religious leaders and professionals from all communities. He goes on to say that although they resorted to an armed struggle they have always wished to solve the problem through peaceful means and participated in peace talks on several occasions. He now expresses his willingness to stop the war and seek a peaceful settlement of the problem.
He however is silent about how his outfit blatantly violated the 2002 ceasefire and utilized the period of respite to further fortify their war preparations. He has not mentioned President Mahinda Rajapaksa s appeal to him to lay down arms to resume negotiations. This shows that he has no intention at all of renouncing violence. Understandably, it is the misgivings he has about the sincerity of the government that restrains him from agreeing to this condition. But then he could have at least mentioned this offer of discussion and indicated his doubts and suspicions in this regard.
He very innocuously pronounces that, The Tamil Eelam nation does not want war. It does not favour violence. He also refers to the unilateral declaration of a ceasefire at the time SAARC leaders had their conference in Colombo. He blames the government for rejecting this overture and continuing with offensives. He accuses the Sinhala nation that has laid down unacceptable and insulting conditions. It is the Sinhala nation that is continuing with the war, he adds.
Reports from the battlefront say that LTTE cadres had suddenly begun withdrawing from Kilinochchi as the forces started moving in cautiously into the town area. Although it was first seen as a complete pull out, it was later observed that it was a temporary withdrawal caused by heavy rains and floods.
Torrential rain has hindered fighting on both sides and the government s plans for celebrating the fall of Kilinochchi that was seen as imminent were also foiled by bad weather conditions.
Prabhakaran having thus been spared the humiliation, has repeated his usual avowal to continue his struggle to regain the lost territory. Ironically, he bemoans the absence of a sane voice raised either to abandon war or to seek peaceful resolution of the conflict. He blames Sinhala politicians, spiritual leaders, journalists and ordinary people who have raised their voice Only in support of the war. It is a pity that he still lacks intelligence to understand why all these persons are supporting the war. Are all these people war mongers or visceral racists who desire the complete elimination of an important community in this country? He, of course, says it is genocide understandably for gaining sympathy and support from gullible sections in the international community.
The vast majority of people belonging to different communities and professions in this country are undoubtedly averse to war and violence. It is precisely because of this aversion that they support the present campaign to end terrorism that has taken a heavy toll of valuable lives. They see that the political transformation that has taken place in the southern polity over the years provides the required atmosphere for reaching a reasonable solution that will satisfy the needs and aspirations of all communities here to live in honour and dignity in this land.
So what Prabhakaran should do now is to allow the human feelings that seem to have returned to his heart to take root enabling him to renounce violence and enter into negotiations without prolonging the misery of the people of this country which has the potential to emerge as a model nation in South Asia where people of different communities live together in peace and harmony.