leadership in a state of dilemma
the absence of Balasingham who will be the next LTTE ideologue?
demise of the organizations theoretician cum chief negotiator
Anton Balasingham, has left the LTTE leadership in a state of dilemma,
wondering as to how to internationalize its cause further, in the
backdrop of efforts by the government to corner the Tigers both
here and abroad.
many experts claimed Anton Balasingham provided the intellectual
framework for the violence of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam
(LTTE). The LTTE Leader Velupillai Prabhakaran is reportedly fed
up trying for a replacement for Balasingham as many of the LTTE
diaspora seniors who have been approached by the leadership had
reportedly refused to shoulder the responsibility.
several names had been proposed by the international LTTE experts
network, it is learnt that Prabhakaran favours only two , former
Sri Lankan Attorney General Shiva Pasupathy, now an LTTE advisor
and currently living in Australia and LTTEs legal advisor
US based Viswanathan Rudrakumar. However both of them had refused
the offer and informed the Tiger leadership they were not prepared
to play that pivotal role in the international scene but would continue
to make their contributions in their present capacities.
the hunt for a new propaganda manager should have ideally started
even before the signing of the ceasefire agreement in 2002. Anton
Balasingham had reportedly been making repeated requests from Prabhakaran
this time around, to look for a replacement claiming that he found
it difficult to carry out his tasks efficiently due to deteriorating
Prabhakaran had insisted that Balasingham continued his role as
theoretician, head- propaganda and chief negotiator despite the
differences of opinion between the two on many issues.
after the death of Balasingham, last month, Prabhakaran had sought
assistance from his constitutional committee which consisted of
legal and constitutional experts from all over the world to find
a replacement for Balasingham. The committee comprised of V. Rudrakumar
(USA), M. Sornarajah (Singapore), P. Ramaswamy (Malaysia) and former
Sri Lankan Attorney General, Shiva Pasupathy (Australia).
Prabhakaran himself had short-listed Rudrakumar and Shiva Pasupathy
going by their academic/ professional background and experience
and international standing. He had reportedly said that it would
add up to the credibility of the organization.
Pasupathy who held the post of Attorney General from 1975 to 1988,
has in recent years represented the LTTEs constitutional affairs
committee at several fora, including several meetings held in Oslo
with the Norwegian facilitators.
maintained healthy relations with former heads of States viz Prime
Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike, President J. R. Jayewardene and
Ranasinghe Premadasa. In recent years, Balasingham had been regularly
consulting the former attorney General both prior and during peace
talks and Pasupathy played a leading role in the drafting of the
ISGA proposals of the LTTE.
addition his expertise was also sought, much earlier, when establishing
Legal and Courts systems in the LTTE controlled areas in the North
who lives in Australia is now dubbed by many as somebody who successfully
hid his Tiger stripes his loyalty to the LTTE - during his
tenure in the Sri Lanka government service.
there were initial protests by him, it is strongly speculated that
former Sri Lanka Attorney General Pasupathy would be the next Tiger
other favourite of Prabhakaran LTTEs legal advisor V. Rudrakumar
who is a prominent New York-based attorney is the de facto head
of LTTE operations in the United States. Rudrakumar is the son of
the former TULF Mayor of Jaffna, Mark Viswanathan. A US citizen
and a New York based lawyer Rudrakumar was a member of the official
delegation of the LTTE in several rounds of peace talks with the
Government. During the last peace talks in Geneva, Rudrakumar was
assigned to play the role of ideologue in the absence of Balasingham.
is learnt that Rudrakumar has close links with top officials of
several governments in the world including United States and Canada.
Using these links he has managed to gain some recognition to the
LTTE in these countries where the LTTE ban had been imposed .However
Prabhakaran who had several tiffs with Balasingham over key issues
had told his confidantes he would not give a free hand to whoever
is going to be the next theoretician since contradictory stands
by Wanni and LTTE international have a negative effect on the credibility
of the organization.The growing number of threats and defections,
have seen Prabhakaran suspecting the loyalty of even his own bodyguards.
in Balasingham, despite the differences Prabhakaran found a true
when Prabhakaran said the following on Balasingham, he really meant
it - The light of our nation is extinguished, there is no
Bala with me today to seek counsel and solace. His death comes at
a time when we needed him most, as our freedom struggle intensifies.
I cannot find words to express my grief and loss,
conferring the highest honour - the title Voice of the Nation
- on Balasingham he displayed his gratitude for his close friend
and chief negotiator since 1985.
many in the international media Balasingham was a propagator of
The low morale of the LTTE
all signs pointing to the fact that the LTTE is going to lose all
its key bases in the East to the government security forces, LTTE
leader Prabhakaran has given instructions to his area leaders to
avoid confrontations at any cost and instead concentrate on suicide
decision has been taken following the large number of casualties
reported in the recent past due to the attacks by the security forces
as well as the Karuna group. Man power and equipment, he has advised
should be saved for bigger battles to be fought in the North.
is learnt that regular aerial bombing and ground troops activities
such as long range operations and heavy Multi-Barrel Rocket Launcher
and artillery attacks had seen a drastic drop in the morale of the
LTTE cadres lately.
civilian protests against desperate recruitment drives and also
use of them as human shields too have affected the Tiger confidence
LTTE radio communication interceptions had revealed that the Eastern
area leaders had been informing the Wanni leadership how they were
facing several fronts, Army, STF and Karuna groups at the same time
with a minimum number of strength and equipment. On the other hand
the LTTE attempts to portray distorted versions of various situations
too has failed. For instance while the LTTE tried to create the
impression that people in Jaffna were dying due to the shortage
of food, the international community including the UN later found
out there was no such a severe shortage of food supplies.
United Nations too claimed that the Sri Lanka government did not
require any help from the UN for transport of food to Jaffna.
these setbacks several killer squads have been sent to Colombo and
its suburbs to carry out VIP assassinations. However the tight security
in these areas had so far prevented the LTTE from going for those
suicide cadres had reportedly informed LTTEs Spy Chief Pottu
Amman that they unable to reach to the VIP targets due to the stringent
security measures by the government.
failed attempt on the life of Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa
is one such example as to how the security arrangements prevented
the LTTE cadres from going for their target as they wished.
knowing the LTTE tendency to wait for months and years for their
targets, fresh security arrangements are introduced regularly to
ensure the security of VIPs and strategic locations.