Sri Lanka doesn't have Tamils on its side - India

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 12 August 2008, 13:14 GMT]
Sri Lanka may win the battle against the Tamil Tigers but not the war as 'they haven't got the Tamil population on their side', India's National Security Advisor M.K. Narayanan said in an interview with the Straits Times newspaper published Tuesday. Saying India understands the Tamils, Mr. Narayanan asked of Sri Lanka, “Do they want a situation like many countries have faced?” His comments come after a survey in a leading Tamil Nadu weekly suggested the majority of people there support the LTTE and want Indian intervention in Sri Lanka.

“The (Sri Lanka Army) has made a lot of progress in the last few weeks. But even if they win the battle I am not sure they will win the war. I think they haven't got the Tamil population on their side,” he said.

“I know the Sri Lankan government will be unhappy (at this advice) but we are not interested in preaching to them and that is the best advice they could get. India can give this advice better than the Norwegians or any other country.”

“These are people that we know, we understand. Do they want a situation like many countries have faced?”

“Obviously the Tamil Tigers have been weakened, they have met with heavier casualties than previously.”

“What the Sri Lankans are not factoring in is the great deal of sullenness in the Tamil man. There are accusations of profiling even in Colombo.”

“Our argument is: unless you give Tamils a feeling they have the right to their own destiny in many matters you will not succeed. LTTE's capacity to carry out terrorist attacks is not diminished.”

Mr. Narayanan’s comments come days after a survey in a leading Tamil-language weekly in India’s Tamil Nadu state said the majority of people there support the Tamil Tigers.

The results of the survey published in this week's Ananda Vikadan, which tops the circulation among weeklies in Tamil Nadu said that 54.25 per cent of the respondents said that they have always supported the Tigers and their goal of Tamil Eelam.

About 50 per cent of those convinced of LTTE's hand in the assassination of former Premier Rajiv Gandhi, nonetheless felt that LTTE leader Vellupillai Prabhakaran should be condoned, the survey figures said.

Commenting on the results of the survey, the Calcutta-based ‘The Statesman’ said: “Although it is known that support for the Tigers is rising in Tamil Nadu … the amount of support for the banned outfit, revealed in a survey conducted by a media group, which is considered respected for its neutrality is quiet stunning.

Most of the respondents in the Ananda Vikadan survey, over 62 per cent, favoured India's intervention in the conflict in Sri Lanka.

 

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