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LTTE Cabal Opposes “KP” as Leader of Restructured Tigers

Article Index
LTTE Cabal Opposes “KP” as Leader of Restructured Tigers
Cold War - Page 2
Leadership - Page 3
Divided - page 4
Dialogue - Page 5
“Col” Suresh - page 6
Agreement - Page 7
Cabal - Page 8
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The politico – military organization known as Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has virtually ceased to exist within the borders of Sri Lanka.

Tiger supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran and most military cadres including  senior military leaders are no more among the living. Thousands of other Tiger cadres including senior members of the political  and administrative  wings are incarcerated  by the Sri Lankan authorities.  Small groups of Tigers are holed up in the jungles of the Northern and Eastern provinces trying to engage in guerilla warfare of a minor scale where and when possible. Their impact is negligible.

Meanwhile, covert Tiger operatives are being systematically hunted down in various parts of the country by the security authorities who prefer to keep this aspect away from media attention. Likewise tigers who sought refuge clandestinely in IDP camps  are also weeded  out regularly.

Overseas LTTE

While the LTTE has been practically demolished in Sri Lanka its overseas structures remain  lethal. There is a tendency to describe the Tiger elements abroad as “remnants” or as a “rump” by sections of the media. This description is inaccurate. The overseas structures of the LTTE  remain intact and are as strong as ever. The LTTE continues to enjoy support and influence among substantial sections of the Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora. Despite  this vast potential the Tiger and pro – tiger elements have been unable to mobilize or channel these resources in a realistic or productive manner so far. The main reason for this is the disunity which surfaced in overseas LTTE ranks after the demise of Prabhakaran. The problem in a nutshell is that of leadership stakes in a post – Prabhakaran scenario. With the overseas Tiger divisions, being the sole “survivor” after the military debacle there is a greater responsibility on these sections to move “forward” with the cause.

Factions

In order to do this there must firstly be a realistic appreciation and awareness of the exact nature of current LTTE predicament. Secondly a pragmatic, feasible approach has to be adopted and followed. Thirdly, an acceptable efficient leadership has to evolve. There is no agreement so far on any of these.

These differences have erupted on a crude, personal level. Who leads the LTTE now? Is the fundamental issue. Factionalism is rampant.

Aggravating the crisis further are  the questions  about lucrative sources of income abroad. Who controls them now? Can such control be effectively maintained? Can fund raising continue as usual? Will they dry up? How is fund raising to be sustained?

Among LTTE leaders known to be “living and free” Selvarasah Pathmanathan alias “K.P.” aka Kumaran is the most senior of  all. KP was at one time the chief arms procurer of the LTTE. He also supervised overseas Tiger branches and fund raising campaigns of the LTTE.

Role of  “KP”

The role of KP was undermined in the LTTE after the ceasefire of 2002. He was relegated to the sidelines while others were groomed to replace him. Former Tiger political commissar, Suppiah Paramu Thamilselvan and ex- overseas administrative head  Veeragatti Manivannan alias Castro led the vicious anti –KP campaign.

Various charges of  corruption, inefficiency, sexual impropriety etc were brought up against KP. The veteran Tiger referred to affectionately as “Kazhuthai” (donkey) by Prabhakaran proved his innocence after protracted inquiry.

After clearing his name, the “hurt”  KP went into “voluntary” retirement  abroad in 2003 but maintained links with Prabhakaran. KP also married a Thai national and became domesticated.

The LTTE began suffering military reversals from 2006 onwards. A major factor was the inability of KP’s successors to procure and transport arms and armaments effectively to the northern mainland known as the Wanni. The Sri Lankan Navy aided by information provided by friendly governments destroyed eight or nine Tiger ships.

A desperate Prabhakaran turned to KP in 2008  and requested him to do something. KP came out of retirement and after frantic  efforts managed to send three arms shipments. One of these was blocked by the Lankan Navy but the other two reached the LTTE thereby giving much needed oxygen to the LTTE.

A grateful Prabhakaran asked KP to re-join the LTTE. Pathmanathan said he would do so if the Tiger leader placed him in charge of overseas tigers. So in January2009  a new LTTE division called international relations dept was formed and Selvarasa Pathmanathan was named its head.



 

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