"In 2002, after the
Cease Fire Agreement had come into force, the United States
Pacific Command carried out a comprehensive assessment of the LTTE
and the Sri Lankan Armed Forces at the request of the US Department
The result of this study was a top secret report, which
was signed by Peter W.Rodman on behalf of the International Security
Affairs desk of the US Department of Defense. Copies of this report
were given only to the then Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremasinghe,
the Defense Minister Tilak Marapone, and the Secretary Defense
Austin Fernando. The then President Chandrika Kumaratunga, and the
cabinet were kept in the dark about this study. What follows are
verbatim extracts from this report....
The leader and founder of the LTTE, Velupillai Prabhakaran, is
often described as a megalomaniac.
Comment by tamilnation.org
Megalomania (from the Greek word μεγαλομανία) is a
psychopathological condition characterized by delusional
fantasies of wealth, power, or omnipotence - often generally
termed as delusions of grandeur. A comparison of two leaders -
'delusion and grandeur' -
"I have always believed that this land was
placed here between the two great oceans by some divine plan. It
was placed here to be found by a
special kind of people – people
who had a special love of freedom and who had the courage to
uproot themselves and leave hearth and homeland and come to what
in the beginning was the most
possible.." US President Ronald Reagan,
Remarks at the Opening Ceremonies of the Statue of Liberty
Centennial Celebration in New York, New York July 3, 1986 quoted in Place: A Short Introduction - T. Cresswell 2004)
"Pirabaharan is not a small man.
He is the leader,
a charismatic leader of the LTTE. His life is very precious. And a very simple man.
bullshit about him. His wife lived with three saris - one she wore, one she washed and one
was ready to wear. That is all. They never drank Coca-Cola. They offered us Coca-Cola, but
never drank it themselves. They drank that goliwala soda... Pirabaharan
spoke to me in English many a time. He appeared well-read.... they [the LTTE]
were very cordial. They would take me anywhere. I had lot of
time for them..."
Major General Harkirat Singh, Indian Peace
Keeping Force's First Commander in Jaffna
He is practically worshipped by
Tiger cadres, who have been inculcated with Tamil nationalist
Comment by tamilnation.org
with Tamil nationalist
for the last 25 years made every effort to secure our political rights on the basis of
equality with the Sinhalese in a united Ceylon. It is a regrettable fact that successive Sinhalese governments have used the
power that flows from independence to deny us our fundamental
rights and reduce us to the position of a subject people. These
governments have been able to do so only by using against the Tamils the
sovereignty common to the Sinhalese and the Tamils. I wish to announce to my people and to the country that I consider the verdict at
this election as a mandate that the
Tamil Eelam nation
should exercise the sovereignty already vested in the Tamil people and become free."
by Gandhian Tamil leader S.J.V.Chelvanayakam after winning the by-election for the Kankesanturai Parliamentary seat,
held belatedly on 7 February 1975, two years after he had resigned the seat to seek a
mandate for Tamil Eelam
"He died like Moses himself
the promised land but the
vision he saw, he leaves behind as the heritage and challenge to his people."
Rt.Rev D.J. Ambalavanar at the funeral of
Leader S.J.V.Chelvanayagam, April 1977
Prabhakaran has insisted that all LTTE soldiers wear a
cyanide capsule around their necks, maintaining that it is better to
commit suicide than be captured alive by the enemy.
Comment by tamilnation.org
"As far as I can tell most ordinary Tamils support the Tigers, not necessarily
because they like them, but because they like the Sri Lankan - or Indian - armies less.
Tigers are ruthless and authoritarian but they are not corrupt - they don't tolerate
stealing, bribery or rape, things other armies are famous for. In fact they are
perceived as being single minded in their defence of Tamils. They are so disciplined that
when captured, they swallow cyanide capsules that they carry with them at all times,
rather than risk revealing anything
Professor Marshall Singer before US
Congress Committee on International Relations Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific Hearing
on Sri Lanka November 14,1995
Though Prabhakaran is aware that the United States publicly
condemns the LTTE's terrorist campaigns, he continues his
efforts to win sympathy from the United States. For this reason,
the United States has some leverage with him. However, if the
perception of the United States as a direct supporter of Sri
Lanka's armed forces against the LTTE persists, Prabhakaran's
susceptibility to US influence will decrease or vanish
Velupillai Prabhakaran is the unchallenged dictatorial leader of
the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) terrorist organization.
Prabhakaran exerts tight control and discipline over the LTTE, which
fights for the establishment of an independent homeland, referred to
as "Eelam," carved out of the northern and eastern portions Lanka.
He is worshipped as a cult-like figure because of successful
indoctrination processes and effective political propaganda
Comment by tamilnation.org
I was left with the impression that the
LTTE was the expression of
popular Tamil sentiment and could not be destroyed, so
long as that sentiment remained... Our unit and
formation commanders too came under the mental hypnosis of the LTTE. They
would graphically explain how well entrenched the LTTE was in the minds of
the people, how ungrateful people were to us, how elusive the LTTE was, how
perfect it was in the midst of the people and in its actions, how effective
was its grip over the public and so on - virtually admitting that it was an
impossible task and all our endeavours were pointless.
Lieutenant General S.C. Sardesh Pande, IPKF Divisional
Prabhakaran's mind-set, personality, ideology,
objectives, and outlook dominate and resound through the structure
and organization of the LTTE. Prabhakaran's call sign is Hotel
Alpha, his location is referred to as "one-four," and his nom de
guerre is Karikalan.
Prabhakaran, born on 26 November 1954, comes from a typical
middle-class Tamil family with four children, including a brother
and two sisters. He and his family reside in the northern town of
Valvettithurai (referred to as VVT). VVT's inhabitants were servants
(Prabhakaran's father was one), traders, fishermen, or simply
smugglers because of the winding seacoast and close proximity to
India, Prabhakaran's parents currently live in Tamil Nadu, India,
and his siblings live overseas. In 1984, Prabhakaran met and
subsequently married a fellow activist, Madhivathini, who was on a
hunger strike protesting Sinhalese treatment of Tamils. They have
two children: a son, Charles Anthony, who is named after a former
LTTE leader and a daughter, Dwaraka, who is named after one of his
When Prabhakaran was a child, his father demanded absolute
discipline from him and his siblings. Prabhakaran was a quiet boy
who was devoted to his family and friends, assisting family during
religious functions and dutifully running errands for neighbours and
relatives. He earned average grades in school. As a teenager,
Prabhakaran was shy with girls and was known to be always restless.
Prabhakaran's introduction to politics and to the Tamil-Sinhalese
conflict came from listening to his father's oft-repeated discourses
on the worsening ethnic relations in the country and laments on the
fate of Tamils. Prabhakaran subsequently became fascinated with
Subash Chandra Bose, the Indian nationalist who preferred to resist
British rule through 'Militancy' rather than subscribe to Gandhi's
doctrine of nonviolence. His favourite of Bose's slogans was "I
shall fight for the freedom of my land until I shed the last drop of
blood." Prabhakaran was also intrigued with the military exploits of
Napoleon, the teachings of
Swami Vivekananda, the Hindu epic of the
Mahabharata, Tamil history books, and Phantom comics, often
imagining himself to be a legendary warrior.
Comment by tamilnation.org
"..The pocket money that my parents gave
me I spent on books. I got a lot of satisfaction and
pleasure in reading new books. There was a book shop in my
village. It became my habit somehow or the other to buy all
those valuable books there and read them. It is through books that I learnt of the heroic exploits of Alexander and Napoleon. It
is through my habit of reading that I developed a deep attachment to the Indian Freedom
struggle and martyrs like Subhash Chandra Bose,
Bagat Singh and
Balagengadhara Tilak... The Indian Freedom struggle stirred the depths of my being and
roused in me a feeling of indignation against foreign oppression and domination.The racial riots which erupted in Sri Lanka
1958 and the agonies that the Tamils had to endure as a result were the
factors that impelled me to militancy..."
How I became a Freedom
Fighter - Velicham Interview,1994
Though Prabhakaran was quiet and was regarded as a good listener, he
was easily excitable and found it difficult to contain himself when
discussions arose over Tamil politics, the ancient Tamil kingdoms in
India and Sri Lanka, and the possibility of an armed struggle like
that of Bose. He soon became involved in student activist groups.
His political activism eventually forced him to go underground in
1973 and to cut off family ties.
Prabhakaran cites Sinhalese discrimination against Tamils and the
1972 constitution (which declared Sinhala the only official language
of the country and Buddhism the state religion) as factors that
inspired him to become a rebel at age 18. As Tamil militancy emerged
in the 1970s, Prabhakaran began to prepare himself for the battles
that he perceived lay ahead. It is said that he had a natural
ability with firearms and as a marksman; in any case his skills in
these spheres were self-taught. As a measure of physical endurance,
he would tie himself up, get into a sack, and lie under the sun the
whole day. Prabhakaran also was known to insert pins into his
fingernails. He and his fellow activists relied on temple offerings
for food and at times would go hungry, sometimes taking
sleep-inducing tablets to ward off their hunger.
Prabhakaran and his gang began robbing banks to help finance their
militant quest for a Tamil homeland. Though other rebels robbed
banks to amass personal wealth, Prabhakaran's intentions were purely
political. He was a meticulous planner, placing banks under
surveillance for weeks and sometimes months before robbing them.
gradually began to take the leading role in discussing operations,
but shared information only on a need-to-know basis. Prabhakaran was
very suspicious of new Tamil militant recruits. As a security
measure, he kept his meetings with outsiders to a minimum and
sometimes did not reveal his identity. Prabhakaran reportedly was
very tense and nervous about operations and could not accept defeat.
He developed a reputation for losing control if things did not go
his way. Even when engaged in friendly physical contests, if
Prabhakaran felt he was losing, he would resort to viciously biting
Prabhakaran enjoyed skyrocketing popularity in July 1975 after he
allegedly assassinated Alfred Durraiappah, the mayor of Jaffna, as
the latter paid his respects to a local Hindu temple. Durraiappah
was the chief organizer of the northern region, for the SLFP, the
current Sri Lankan ruling party, but was regarded by many Tamils as
a government stooge. Following the assassination, Prabhakaran became
obsessed with his personal security. By 1976, Prabbakaran and a
handful of hard-core militants formed the LTTE, a name derived from
its, precursor, the Tamil New Tigers, founded a couple of years
Prabhakaran networked with other Tamil militant groups and leaders,
but later eradicated them in order to promote the LTTE as the only
true representative of Tamil nationalism that seeks to establish an
independent homeland, referred to Eelam. This constitutes
Prabhakaran's sole ideological justification for existence.
Comment by tamilnation.org
"We launched our struggle for self determination and political independence
because of the systematic oppression of our people by the Sri
Lankan state... It is the Sri Lanka government which has failed to learn the lessons
from the emergence of the struggles for self determination in
several parts of the globe and the innovative structural changes that have taken
place... We are not warmongers who love violence. We want a permanent,
stable and honourable peace.... One day, when our enemy knocks at our doors for peace, we
will extend the hand of friendship." - Velupillai Pirabaharan, leader of Tamil Eelam, 1992
early years Prabhakaran dabbled with Marxist ideas, but he later
became intent on basing the movement purely on Tamil nationalism
rather than on Marxist ideology which he views as contributing to
the downfall of other Tamil militant groups. Other than Tamil
nationalism, no other ideology or military theory has a compelling
appeal to Prabhakaran.
Although most LTTE cadres (including Prabhakaran himself) are
nominally Hindu the issue of religion plays a negligible part in
Prabhakaran's ideology. Prabhakaran believes that Eelam should be a
casteless society, a concept that runs counter to the
Comment by tamilnation.org
"On an occasion in London, in 1989, at a discussion with
(for whom the struggle for Tamil Eelam was his life) the
conversation turned to the Gita Upadesam. Kittu, as he was
affectionately known, commented: "Annai, in the Maha Bharatham, it was Karnan who truly knew
his duty. He was stead fast in his commitment to his
friend Duryodhana - he had no doubts about his 'Nanri Kadan' and
in the end Karnan willingly gave away all his 'punyam', knowing
that by doing so, he would die. Karnan knew well his
dharma - he did not need a 'Upadesam' to clarify his doubts -
and so, in the Maha Bharatham, there is no 'Gita Upadesam' for
Spirituality and the Tamil Nation - Nadesan Satyendra, 10 May
In addition, a number of LTTE cadres, hail from
Christian backgrounds. Prabhakaran quietly worships Lord Subramania
(or Lord Murugan) a prominent god in the Hindu pantheon.
Nevertheless, Prabhakaran is a pragmatist and generally relies on
his own will and ability.
Prabhakaran's local propaganda and recruitment efforts are directed
at children and adolescents. Prabhakaran has shown a
children and often engages them in conversation.
This sincerity may
encourage the younger generation to be future recruits in the LTTE.
Prabhakaran believes that the second generation, of youth exposed to
the war will fight better than the first. Of the second generation,
he has greater faith in the northern population because it has been
subjected to more LTTE indoctrination than its eastern counterparts,
who are constantly exposed to Sinhalese and Muslim influences.
Tamil youths, in particular, are attracted to Prabhakaran's image as
a folk hero. A supernatural image has been created of Prabhakaran,
and tales abound of the numerous instances where he narrowly escaped
death. These escapades and the fact that he has never seen the
inside of a jail cell continue to impress youths who stand in awe of
Prabhakaran's achievements in the Tamil struggle for independence.
The mysticism surrounding Prabhakaran, reinforced with massive
propaganda campaigns, has endowed him with a god-like status and a
Prabhakaran's emphasis on iron discipline has contributed to the
successes of the LTTE. His tight control over the organization, the
severe punishments (including execution) he metes out to violators,
and his indoctrination of cadres (including the use of a cyanide
capsule rather than submit to capture) have made the LTTE's
organization and strategy difficult to decipher.
In terms of self-discipline, Prabhakaran sets an example that other
cadres must abide by. He does not consume liquor or smoke tobacco.
Tea, coffee, and carbonated drinks are also considered taboo. Sex
outside marriage is forbidden and those cadres who violate this code
are executed irrespective of seniority or personal loyalty. Gambling
and financial dishonesty are also punishable by death.
Homosexuality, interestingly, is not; however, it is dealt with by
Prabhakaran emphasizes rigorous training and rehearsals of
operations. By the end of the training regimen, a cadre is
physically and psychologically, ready for the most demanding combat.
Relentless indoctrination is a powerful tool utilized by Prabhakaran
to ensure that a cadre is not forced into battle, but willingly
chooses to enter the fray and very likely lay down his or her life
for the sake of Tamil Eelam. Prabhakaran rarely visits training
bases, but studies videos to improve the curricula. Prabhakaran
thoroughly examines military successes and defeats so that he may
repeat the successes and develop new mechanisms for overcoming
Prabhakaran does not favour democratic processes. Though there is a
central committee of the LTTE on paper, Prabhakaran's word is
decisive. Prabhakaran continues to neutralize all competing Tamil
groups and individuals, both moderates and militants, who pose any
challenge to his leadership and to the LTTE as the sole
representatives of the Tamils. When the importance of politicizing
the population before taking to the gun was proposed to him,
Prabhakaran commented with undisguised contempt, "You intellectuals
are afraid of blood. No struggle will take place without killings."
Comment by tamilnation.org
ago there was a priest of Baal who thought himself commissioned by the god to kill all who did not bow the knee to him. All men, terrified by the power and ferocity of the priest, bowed down before the idol and pretended to be his servants; and the few who refused had to take refuge in hills and deserts. At last, a deliverer came and slew the priest and the world had rest. The slayer was blamed by those who placed religion in quietude and put passivity forward as the ideal ethics but the world looked on
the slayer as an incarnation of God. A certain class of mind
shrinks from aggressiveness as if it were a sin...Love is a
sacred name, but it is easier to speak of love than to love.
Gita is the best answer to those who shrink from battle as a sin,
and aggression as lowering morality...Justice and righteousness are the atmosphere of political morality, but the justice
and righteousness of a fighter, not of the priest. Aggression is unjust only when
unprovoked; violence, unrighteous when used wantonly or for unrighteous ends. It is a
barren philosophy which applies a mechanical rule to all actions, or takes a word and
tries to fit all human life into it."
Sri Aurobindo in The
Morality of the Boycott, May 1908
The Liberation Tigers of Eelam (LTTE), or the Tamil Tigers as they
are commonly known, is considered one of the most ruthless terrorist
organizations in the world.
Comment by tamilnation.org
"The most problematic issue relating to terrorism and armed conflict is
terrorists from lawful combatants, both in terms of combatants in legitimate
self-determination and those involved in civil wars or non-international
armed conflicts. In the former category, States that do not recognize a
claim to self-determination will claim that those using force
against the State’s military forces are necessarily terrorists.
In the latter, States will also claim that those fighting
against the State are terrorists, and that rather than a civil
war, there is a situation of “terrorism and counter-terrorism
activity"....The controversy over the exact meaning, content,
extent and beneficiaries of, as well as the means and methods
utilized to enforce
the right to self-determination
has been the major obstacle to the development of both a
comprehensive definition of terrorism and a comprehensive treaty
on terrorism. The ideological splits and differing approaches
preventing any broad consensus during the period of
decolonization still persist in today’s international relations.
Terrorism and Human
Rights Final Report of the Special Rapporteur, Kalliopi K. Koufa, 25
Established in 1972, the group went
underground 3 years later, after assassinating the mayor of Jaffna
city. The LTTE is known for its network of contacts with various
terrorist groups around the world.
The militants' choice of the tiger as their symbol represents not
only the ferocity of the animal but also a deliberate contrast with
the lion, which has traditionally been a symbol of the Sinhalese
people and is depicted on the Sri Lankan flag.
Comment by tamilnation.org
"The Chola bronzes are products of the Tamil creative genius during the period that the
great Chola dynasty ruled Tamil Nadu
during the 9th to 12th Century. The four centuries of Chola rule, is regarded by many as
the age of grandeur in the history of the Tamil people. The
emblem of the Cholas inspired both the name of the Liberation
Tigers of Tamil Eelam as well as the LTTE flag. Renowned for their harmony of form and
content, the Chola bronzes speak across centuries - in silence."
South Indian Bronzes - Chola, Pallava & Nayak Periods
The organization has
an elite squad known as the Black Tigers, who conduct suicide
missions against military and civilian targets. The Black Tigers
have assassinated not only prominent political leaders in Sri Lanka
but also the former prime minister of India, Rajiv Gandhi.
Previously, the LTTE was viewed by most Tamil civilians as the
legitimate defender of the Tamil cause. Much of its funding came
from Tamil expatriates as well as the Indian government. However, in
recent years, the LTTE has lost much support from Tamil civilians
and has resorted to tactics that instil fear in order to control the
Tamil community. External support from Tamil expatriates and the
Indian government has also waned and as a result, the LTTE has
engaged in drug trafficking to finance its operations.
Ideologically, the LTTE has at times employed Marxist rhetoric to
characterize its struggle. However, irrespective of ideology, the
creation of an independent Tamil state has remained the movement's
only goal. In pursuit of this objective, the LTTE has been prone to
use direct and violent action rather than to formulate principles on
which the desired independent state would operate. The LTTE as a
whole tends not to be susceptible to US influence, especially given
the perception that the United States is actively supporting the Sri
Lankan armed forces against the LTTE.
Prabhakaran has not groomed a successor. There are rumours that he
is preparing his son to replace him, but there is no meaningful
intelligence on his family. He deals harshly with any challenge to
his leadership. He has eliminated many LTTE members who have either
questioned his authority or have been perceived as a threat. He has
always felt that the biggest threat to his survival comes from
within the organization.
Since Prabhakaran feels that the main threat to his survival comes
from within the LTTE, he is obsessed with his personal security. He
is known to sleep with a revolver under his pillow. In addition, the
only member of the LTTE allowed to carry a firearm in Prabhakaran's
presence is Soranam, the trusted commander of his bodyguard
contingent. When Prabhakaran plans to visit a place, he ensures that
extensive preparations are taken for his protection. Over a hundred
bodyguard cadres (who do not interact with other cadres) are
assigned to protect him. It is reported that there are three rings
of 40 bodyguards each surrounding Prabhakaran upon his arrival at a
Prabhakaran has gradually created a culture where dissent is absent.
His close associates are Thamil Chelvam, head of the political
branch; Pottu Amman, head of intelligence; Karuna, head of
Batticaloa-Amparai commands; Balraj, military commander,
Soranam, bodyguard commander, Shankar, head of Air Tigers; Soosai, head of Sea
Tigers; Jeyam, special group commander; -and Kumaran Padmanathan,
head of procurement. They all merely hold executive posts and carry
out Prabhakaran's dictates. Although
Anton Balasingham is considered
the ideologue and spokesman of the LTTE, Prabhakaran often sidelines
him as well. No one is close enough to Prabhakaran to significantly
influence his final decisions. Blind loyalty is the criterion for a
close association with him. Prabhakaran's authority is based on fear
Prabhakaran is an innovator, improviser, and a technophile. His
macabre creativity is reflected in the human bombs, suicide boats,
projectiles, and mines the LTTE has been producing over the years.
Comment by tamilnation.org "...The
concept of tiyakam, abandonment (of life), i.e. a rather specific Indian form
of martyrdom, is cultivated by both male and female fighters. A martyr of the
LTTE has not chosen like the Christian martyr to suffer in the mind the slings
and arrows of outrageous fortune. He has taken up arms against the sea of
troubles trying to end them by opposing them. The concept of tiyäkam that has
its roots in the last section of the Bhagavadgitä was revived in the struggle
for independence of India..."
the sacrificial ideology of the Liberation Tigers - Peter Schalk, 1993
Irrespective of the cost, he orders the best equipment for himself
and his men. LTTE cadres have used night vision goggles and rocket-
propelled grenades (RPGs) to engage Sri Lankan troops. If the
desired equipment cannot be procured, Prabhakaran will order
improvisation using existing equipment for the designated purpose.
He also uses satellite communications with LTTE ships and LTTE cells
around the world.
Prabhakaran uses deception as an integral part of his modus
operandi. In many cases, he has arranged to visit subordinates or
has extended olive branches to political targets to lull them into a
false sense of security just prior to their assassination. In
tactical operations, Prabhakaran would conduct deception manoeuvres
to draw attention away from an intended target. LTTE duplicity often
factors into the organization's public posture. Deceptive guidelines
are given to LTTE cadres on how best to answer questions posed by
the public and media. Carefully worded guidelines are even provided
to the Tamil diaspora over the Internet on how best to respond to
questions on the conflict posed by non- Sri Lankans. These
guidelines are designed to portray LTTE cadres as freedom fighters
pitted against a hostile and ruthless government.
Comment by tamilnation.org
"All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must
seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far
away, we must make him believe we are near. Hold out baits to entice the enemy. Feign disorder, and crush him. If he is secure at all points, be prepared for him. If he is in superior strength, evade him. If your opponent is of choleric temper, seek to irritate him. Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant. If he is taking his ease, give him no rest. If his forces are united, separate them. Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected...."
Sun Tzu on the Art of War,
One of the oldest Military Treatises in the World
Prabhakaran's mind-set has always been proactive and rarely
reactive. Prabhakaran realizes the advantage of seizing the
initiative in battle, always exploiting the element of surprise.
Retaining the initiative in battle has often favoured the LTTE, both
militarily and psychologically.
Prabhakaran is masterful at executing pre-emptive strikes against
his enemies. When he perceives a future threat-whether emanating
from an individual or a group-Prabhakaran takes the initiative to
eliminate it through assassinations, terrorist bombings, or
battlefield attacks. Some analysts believe that his actions are also
driven by a desire for revenge. The ordered
assassination of former
Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi is a case in point. Most analysts
feel that Prabhakaran perceived a future threat emanating from
Gandhi (the redeployment of Indian troops to Sri Lanka to disarm the
Tigers) and therefore had him assassinated as a pre-emptive measure.
However, Prabhakaran also felt a deep sense of betrayal from Gandhi
for reversing India's policy toward the LTTE, which points to
revenge as a motive.
Another example of revenge as a possible motive is the January 1998
bombing of a revered Buddhist shrine in Kandy. This LTTE action was
rumoured to be Prabhakaran's retribution for the Sri Lankan Army's
mass destruction of LTTE gravesites. Prabhakaran's long-term goal is
to break the will of the Sinhalese-led government and thus lead it
to accede to his demand for a Tamil homeland. To achieve this end,
any and all means are justified in his mind. Prabhakaran is likely
to continue assassinating political and military leaders as well as
bombing key targets in the economic infrastructure. He views the
high political and economic costs his actions impose on the
government as doors that lead to negotiations. Prabhakaran uses
negotiations as a ploy for the LTTE to rearm and regroup, especially
after a series of battlefield defeats.
Prabhakaran's key strengths:
a) Ability to provide highly effective military training and
impart discipline-both physical and psychological-to his cadres;
b) Highly successful propaganda campaigns-both local and
c) Image as a folk hero;
d) Meticulous (and effective) preparation for battles and
e) Ability to innovate and make use of limited resources;
f) Compartmentalization of information within the organization;
g) Emphasis on security.
a) Increasing alienation of moderate Tamils;
b) Negative public image as a megalomaniac extremist rather than
a freedom fighter;
c) Use of tactics that increasingly instil fear among his Tamil
subjects rather than earn him support and sympathy;
Comment by tamilnation.org
"... the army seems not to have
studied too well the capability of their main opponent - Velupillai Pirabaharan.
is a 'military genius' and his political power has given him an advantage to combat our
political and military leaders. He has often outwitted, outmanoeuvred and outclassed our
military and political leaders. Why is this so? Today after 18 years of battle,
most of the victories, sadly, belong to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and we are
continuing to fool ourselves... the man behind the weapon is always more important than
the weapon itself and that this has been repeatedly proved by the LTTE
forces....Pirabaharan has virtually beaten our forces on land and sea...."
Sri Lanka Major
General Prasanna Dahanayake in an interview reported in the Sinhala owned Sunday Leader, 6
d) Insecurity and lack of trust in his comrades in struggle;
e) Willingness to place innocent civilians (Tamil, Sinhalese,
and foreign) in harm's way; and
f) Intransigence toward accepting anything less than an
So far, Prabhakaran has been careful not to target Americans. At
times, he seems favourably disposed toward Americans and has even
invited the United States to act as a third party mediator in the
Though there is no evidence suggesting that Prabhakaran will
change this posture, the United States should tread carefully and
sceptically in any dealings with Prabhakaran. In the past,
Prabhakaran has been known to extend olive branches before striking
at unsuspecting targets.
If Prabhakaran views US aid to the Sri Lankan government as
making a difference on the battlefield to the detriment of the LTTE,
his policy toward the United States could change to one of
hostility. In the event of such a policy shift, US military
trainers, American diplomats, and American businessmen in Sri Lanka
would be likely LTTE targets for assassination. US businesses and
property would be likely LTTE targets for destruction. However, any
harm to US personnel or property would further tarnish Prabhakaran's
image among western countries and moderate Tamils.
Ultimately, Prabhakaran's raison d’ etre and legitimacy are
predicated on Tamil dissatisfaction with and alienation from the
government. As government-Tamil relations improve, Prabhakaran's
popularity among Tamils will fade.
Comment by tamilnation.org
a kidney transplant in Oslo, Bala and Adele settled in
London. From there, Bala was much freer to
conduct negotiations through Norwegian mediators, and the ground was
prepared for peace talks culminating in the
full-blown agreement of
2002 negotiated by the new Sri Lankan prime minister, Ranil
Wickremasinghe. I recall telling Bala a year before, of
Wickremasinghe's boast to me: "They want government? I'll
bog them down with government."
Barry Gardiner M.P.
Anton Balasingham: Chief negotiator for the Tamil
Tigers - in the UK Guardian, 2 January 2007
As long as Prabhakaran is alive,
any peace offers proposed by the LTTE will not be genuine;
negotiations will be used as a short-term tactic for the LTTE to
rearm and regroup as battlefield defeats increase.
Comment by tamilnation.org
" The US and India may find common cause in weakening
the LTTE - but they seek to weaken it in such a way that thereafter each of
successfully secure their own strategic interests. And herein lies
the conflict - and the difficulty.
New Delhi will not support a resolution of the
conflict which secures US hegemony in the island. And so it will seek to
create Tamil dissidents and build support among them as a way of keeping
its foothold in the island. It sought to do so with TELO, it sought to do so with
EPRLF and Varadarajah Perumal, it sought to do so with EROS, it sought
to do so with Amirthalingam, and now it seeks to so so with Karuna and
It is within the interstices of this international frame
that the struggle of the people of Tamil Eelam to be free from alien Sinhala
rule continues under conditions of excruciating agony and suffering .
And it is this same international frame which Sinhala Sri Lanka seeks to
use to continue its genocidal onslaught on the Tamil people."
Sri Lanka - Tamil Eelam: Getting to Yes
- Nadesan Satyendra, 26 October 2006
If LTTE manpower and resources become severely depleted, Prabhakaran
may, as a measure of last resort, publicly accept a seemingly
long-term political arrangement short of secession, so long as he is
able to retain some semblance of power. Again, this would be viewed
by Prabhakaran as a temporary situation until he could position
himself to confront the government and revert to violence for, the
sake of creating an independent Tamil homeland."