Thursday, 5 March 2009

Is the World Ready for Prabhakaran’s Death and its Aftermath?

31 March 2009

The Sri Lankan army has finally captured the last few square kilometres of jungle in Mullaitivu controlled by the LTTE. Vellupillai Prabhakaran, the all-powerful head of the LTTE, has been found dead in his bunker, pink froth around his lips, an empty potassium cyanide capsule on the floor near him. Dozens of surviving LTTE cadres have thrown down their weapons and melted into the civilian population that has been streaming out of the jungle, after having been kept hostage and used as human shields by the LTTE for many months. Some of the LTTE fighters who couldn’t take off their uniforms fast enough have been taken prisoner by the Sri Lankan army. A few die-hard LTTE men and women seem to have escaped from the dragnet with the intention of continuing their fight. It is believed that both Pottu Amman and Prabhakaran’s eldest son Charles Anthony Seelan have survived, but it is not clear who will be the numero uno in the Prabhakaran-less LTTE.

There is pandemonium among LTTE supporters in Sri Lankan Tamil enclaves in London, Toronto, Paris and various other parts of the world. Many Sri Lankan Tamils who had till then been coerced into making regular contributions to the LTTE’s coffers have stopped making those payments. Fighting has broken out among gangs of LTTE supporters for control of the many millions of dollars, pounds and euros stashed away in multiple bank accounts. More importantly, a tussle is going on for control of the many corner shops, petrol stations, motels and restaurants owned by LTTE front men all over the world. Open street fights have broken out among LTTE supporters in places like East Ham in London, Rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis and Metro Gard du Nord in Paris and Scarborough in Toronto.

The scale and magnitude of the fighting and theft has taken western law enforcement agencies by surprise. Even though the crackdown on LTTE’s fund raising activities started some years ago following the branding of the LTTE as a terrorist group, and has picked up speed in recent times, western police forces have never been too keen to dig deep into the Sri Lankan Tamil community for fear of hurting cultural sentiments, though it’s well known that LTTE supporters within the Sri Lankan Tamil community have forced members of this community in the UK, France and elsewhere to donate money to the LTTE’s coffers. LTTE supporters have also been involved in various other money making scams.

31 December 2009

The Sri Lankan government is yet to make good its promise to devolve power. Even though Prabhakaran is no more, small groups of LTTE have continued to resist from their jungle hideouts. Since the devolution of power is yet to take place, Sri Lankan Tamils continue to sympathise with the LTTE and its off shoots.
So far there have been three suicide attacks in Colombo and tourists continue to stay away from Sri Lanka.

30 June 2010

Shanmugalingam Sivashanker, also known as Pottu Amman, former head of the LTTE’s intelligence wing has broken off from the LTTE which is now led by Charles Anthony Seelan, Prabhakaran’s eldest son and formed his own group, which he said will be true to the ideals promoted by V. Prabhakaran. Pottu Amman has denounced Charles Anthony Seelan as a traitor who is not committed to Tamil Eelam and is misusing donations made by overseas Sri Lankan Tamils. There have been minor skirmishes between the two groups.

20 February 2011

Following intense pressure from various western countries and India, the Sri Lankan government agreed to convert itself to a federal system where Tamil dominated areas will have considerable autonomy. However, Tamils in the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka have demanded that the East be kept separate from the North since Tamils from Northern Sri Lanka ‘discriminate’ against Tamils from the East. Colonel Karuna, the ex-LTTE leader from the Eastern Province, has threatened to take up arms once again if Tamils from the East are forced to be subservient to those from the North.

Back to the Present

I’m sure none of us would want to see the possibilities detailed above to materialise. It is not too late to take remedial action. Western law enforcement agencies ought to prepare themselves for the infighting that is bound to break out immediately if Prabhakaran were to die or be captured and the iron discipline he wields over the LTTE disappears. LTTE supporters in the west have accumulated vast amounts of money and control many businesses and properties. A detailed dossier of LTTE front men and front organisations and LTTE controlled businesses must be prepared. Any property of business or bank account that is derived from terrorism or terrorist activity can be confiscated by the government. However, I would call upon the governments of Western European countries, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and any other country where LTTE front men hold assets, to donate the proceeds of those properties for the rebuilding of Northern and Eastern Sri Lanka.

India and all western governments ought to insist that the devolution of power to Tamil dominated provinces of Sri Lanka take place immediately rather than later. Both financial aid and military assistance to the Sri Lankan government should be tied to such devolution of power. If the Sri Lankan government fails to make good its promise in this respect, peace will continue to elude Sri Lanka.

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