Indian academic doubts IC's understanding of LTTE

[TamilNet, Saturday, 17 November 2007, 15:14 GMT]
In a recently brought out publication, 'Sri Lanka: Search for Peace', by the New Delhi based Institute of Defence Studies and Analysis, Professor P. Sahadevan, chairperson of the Centre for South Asian studies of the Jawaharlal Nehru University questioned the International Community's understanding of the nature and characteristics of the LTTE. The decision to ban the LTTE by the European Union last year, was a political mistake, Sahadevan writes while contending that the IC is the best bet to bring peace in Sri Lanka.

Prof. P. Sahadevan
"The alternative views boldly put forth by Professor Sahadevan are highly refreshing," commented a Colombo-based Western diplomat.

The independent writing of Prof. Sahadevan is a clear deviation from the views of Indian defence analysis establishments and western analysis groups, he further said.

Excerpts of Sahadevan's views cited from the Indo-Asian News Service, follow:

"Since its limited facilitation role, especially by the Norwegians, has proved to be a total failure, it is essential that the international community significantly expands its role and becomes pro-active by mediating between the parties."

"Such an involvement may evoke an internal political resistance which the mainstream democratic forces should be in a position to manage. This requires a bipartisan political approach - the much needed southern consensus on peace making."

"It is doubtful that the international community has developed a correct understanding of the LTTE in terms of its nature and characteristics. It is a complex organisation deeply committed to the cause of Tamil Eelam. Self-sacrifice and vengeance are the ingredients of its ideology. Compromise is hard to expect from the Tiger leadership."

"Pressurising a party in a peace process is acceptable but punishing it will tend to bring about negative results,' he said. 'The EU ban has cost the entire peace process; a total breakdown has now made some of the EU members feel that it was a hasty and avoidable decision."

One of the main reasons why the leverage of powerful countries over the LTTE was not working was the "unequal application of international pressure, meaning that the LTTE is coerced while the Sri Lankan government is spared."

"For leverage to become credible and workable, the international community has to target at both the combatants without tilting in position in favour of one or against another."


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