International community should isolate the LTTE
Times of India / Editorial
TUESDAY, AUGUST 16, 2005
Duplicity has always been a hallmark of the LTTE. There is every reason to go with Colombo's claims that the terrorist organisation is behind the assassination of Lankan foreign minister and Tamil leader Lakshman Kadirgamar. Kadirgamar, a close confidant of President Chandrika Kumaratunga had been a vocal critic of the Tamil Tigers. He has also driven the ban on the LTTE in many western countries including the UK and the US and, in the process, exposing the myth that the Tigers were the sole custodian of Tamil interests. The LTTE has a history of assassinating people who have worked against their interests. Rajiv Gandhi was one such victim. It is reasonable to ask if the LTTE would carry out such a high-profile murder as that of Kadirgamar when the 2002 ceasefire with Colombo continues to hold. For the LTTE, the Norway-mediated truce is nothing more than a political tactic to enforce its total dominance in the northern and eastern parts of the island. It does not brook any resistance to the process. All voices of dissent, especially those belonging to the Tamil community, are stifled. The LTTE has been nonchalantly violating principles of the ceasefire by targeting politicians from rival Tamil groups even in Colombo.
Colombo has reiterated that it will continue to talk peace with the Tigers irrespective of the killings. It is a courageous and a commendable decision. The international community should come to the aid of Sri Lanka by isolating the LTTE. The Tiger economy is dependent on contributions from expatriate Tamils, smuggling and gunrunning. Expats in many European countries and Canada where the LTTE is a legal group are forced to fund the organisation. London and Paris have hosted leaders like Anton Balasingham and Lawrence Tilagar. This has to stop. Europe should realise that outfits like the LTTE are terror outfits that violate every tenet of human rights and have no claim to political legitimacy. Colombo can't afford to practise this stance since the LTTE is the de facto ruler in Tamil-dominated districts under the power-sharing agreement reached in 2002. It should also do its best to address the concerns of the Tamil minority and encourage alternative political platforms other than that of the LTTE.