Friday, January 9, 2009

This time Lanka means business

(EB)The initial public reaction in Sri Lanka to the proscription of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has been one of indifference.

It is seen to be of little significance on the grounds that it will not materially change the ground situation in which the government and the LTTE are already fighting an all-out war.

But a closer look at the events leading to the ban would indicate that the move is an essential part of the Mahinda Rajapaksa government’s broad politico-military strategy to deal with the LTTE and its virulent brand of Tamil nationalism. If successive Sri Lankan governments had not reimposed the ban (lifted in 2002) despite relentless and grave provocations by the LTTE, it was because they believed that the Tamil Tigers would one day agree to a ceasefire, and come to the negotiating table to thrash out a political solution to the 60-year-old ethnic conflict, that would be acceptable to all the communities in the island. Full Text