Tamil Tigers Bury the Hatchet

Twenty years of Sri Lanka ethnic conflict are over

Spokespeople for the government of Sri Lanka and for Liberation Tigers of Tamileelam rebel organization came to consent regarding the state federative organization of the country. This decision is to put an end to the ethnic conflict of 20 years.

Pursuant to the agreement, north-eastern areas of Sri Lanka that are presumably populated by the Tamils (18% of population) will be granted a right for their own self-determination within the framework of the federal structure.

Liberation Tigers of Tamileelam started its armed fight with the government of the country in 1983. The movement was striving for the establishment of an independent state in those areas. About 65 thousand people fell victims of that long struggle.

Diplomats believe that the agreement on the establishment of a federation is a decisive step on the way to the final settlement of the conflict. The agreement was achieved at negotiations in Oslo. They started at Norway’s mediation after the feuding parties agreed upon the cease-fire.

Liberation Tigers of Tamileelam or Tamil Tiger organization has a wide network of branches abroad. Based in 1976, Tigers are the most powerful Tamil group of all separatist organizations of the region. Tigers launched the armed conflict with the Sri Lanka government in 1983. Their struggle was based on guerrilla warfare with the use of terrorist tactics.

Tamil Tigers do not attack only governmental troops. They also attack officials, officers and politicians in Sri Lanka capital Colombo. Their most notorious acts include assassinations of Sri Lanka President Ranasinghe Premadasa in 1993, and of Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1991. Tigers do not terrorize Western tourists; the rebels do not want other countries to be hostile against them.

According to the information from Indian special services, Tigers count about ten thousand guerrillas and up to six thousand terrorists (including suicide bombers), not to mention their foreign financial structures. Tigers conduct their subversive activities in the north-eastern areas of Sri Lanka, as well as on the whole island. There are large Tamil communities in North America, in Europe and in Asia. They provide Tigers with weapons and money. Some European Tamil communities are allegedly implicated in drugs smuggle.

Tigers’ fight is based on the hard position of the Tamils. They are basically peasants, whose families lost all means of living over economic reforms in Sri Lanka in the beginning of the 1970s. Tigers conduct serious professional and ideological work with their beginners. After the training is over, a new Tiger gunman is given cyanide capsules to avoid captivity. As experience shows, they use cyanide. Only a few terrorists were taken captives over the whole period of the conflict.

Tigers do not value anyone’s life, including the one of their own. They are known for their suicide bombers very well. Tigers have performed five times as many attacks as any other terrorist groups. They are armed very well. They often manage to take over the arsenals of state army units. Yet, they basically get their weapons with the help of numerous Tamil communities abroad. The arms are mainly purchased in East Europe and on the territory of the former Soviet Union. They use large banks and absolutely legal accounts for money transfers. Their basic arms are shotguns. Tigers are not afraid of tomorrow.

Dmitry Chirkin PRAVDA.Ru

Translated by Dmitry Sudakov

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