The LTTE chief, Velupillai Prabhakaran, was thought to be a military genius and invincible by most Sri Lankan and international analysts. Admittedly, he did hold the Sri Lankan state to ransom for three decades, and performed many military feats. But ultimately, he completely failed.
Asked to explain the dramatic turn of events in the course of 2008-2009, Prof. Rohan Gunaratna, Head of the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research at Nanyang Technological Universityin Singaporesaid that Prabhakaran made two strategic mistakes: One was to transform his guerilla and terrorist outfit into a conventional armed force. The other was to believe that the Sri Lankan state could be militarily defeated.
“Turning the LTTE into a conventional army was the single biggest mistake Prabhakaran had made,” Gunaratna told Express over the phone on Tuesday.