Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Of that striped trial balloon

The Tigers have the habit of sending trial balloons. A few days ago, LTTE indicated its willingness to consider a ceasefire. The government promptly rejected the offer reiterating its position that no truce was possible unless the LTTE gave up arms.

The LTTE does not lose anything due to its ceasefire offers. Instead it gains a lot from them. If the government reciprocates, then it can have some respite, regroup and rearm for the next phase of war. Else, its propagandists can project the government as a hawkish regime not amenable to a truce and blame it for the humanitarian problems resulting from the continuation of war.

However, the government has no alternative but to turn down such offers without falling into ceasefire traps. Every government that fell for the tigrine wiles emerged from peace traps with a bloody nose. The disastrous outcome of peace deals that President Premadasa and President Kumaratunga tried to strike with the LTTE is a case in point. Full Text