President Rajapakse expressed in his Independence Day address to the nation that his was confident that the days of the LTTE were numbered and very few indeed. Kehelia Rambukawella in an interview with Asian Tribute, the internet based paper, a few days ago that it was of no importance to the government of Sri Lanka whether the LTTE supremo Prabhakaran was dead or alive.
The president may be right about the few remaining days of the LTTE being able to hold on to their last strong hold and their last piece of land. But counting Prabahakaran out as Rambukawella did in the recent interview with Asia Tribune is indeed a very bold statement. As long as Prabhakaran´s whereabouts are not known and there are no evident signs of s split within the LTTE as the strategy in the present situation there are no reasons to believe that Prabhakaran should not be alive somewhere and in case of apparent defeat by the military busy planning how to retaliate.
The LTTE has been defeated in regular battles, is has done before and so far the LTTE has always turned back to what they do best: Guerilla warfare and terror actions especially their notorious suicide bombings.
This time the LTTE may even add another instrument: Destabilization. The road for destabilization has already been paved by the government’s lack of funds and progress in development and reconstruction in the east. Delivering is not forthcoming. This issue has already been raised by the elected bodies in the east and is a cause for concern. The international community should pay attention to this concern raised by the elected bodies in the east.
Until the heart and minds of the common Tamil have been won over by the government it has not finished.
Karin Munkholm, MA history, former ceasefire monitor in Sri Lanka.