by ranil wijayapala
as LTTE’s thirst
for blood rises
Prabhakaran’s speech reflects Tigers’ desperation
Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran once again gave his annual message
of terror both in words and action targeting innocent civilians in the
South, as he has not yet quenched his thirst for blood.
By saying “the Sinhala nation did not change even after so much
destruction and loss of life. It continues on the path of violence. It
only desires to find a solution to the Tamil question through military
might and oppression.”
The Tiger leader gave a very clear signal that he will continue on the
path of violence against the ‘Sinhala
Pictures by Rukmal Gamage
nation’ to achieve his goal.
But his pathetic plea to the international community to freeze the
economic and military support to the Sri Lankan Government indicates he
is in the weakest position ever in the history of his struggle for Tamil
Therefore, it won’t be surprising if people compare his so called annual
speech to the mourning of a convicted criminal who has been given the
death sentence by a Judge for committing crimes against humanity.
Even in his confession - the annual speech about his failures - he could
not hide the flames of his hatred burning inside. His hatred towards the
Government which blocked each and every step in his terror campaign to
achieve the goal of Tamil Eelam by preying on the lives of Tamil
civilians was apparent in every word.
He not only uttered those words but also turned those words into action
by triggering off one human bomb targeting Social Services and Social
Welfare Minister Douglas Devananda and again exploding a parcel bomb at
the busy Nugegoda junction in rush hour traffic on Wednesday evening.
Eighteen civilians were killed and more than 50 were injured in this
bomb blast which was a deliberate attempt on civilian targets by the
But this was not an unexpected incident for the South. It was quite
expected by the people in the South and also by the intelligence agents.
There were enough intelligence reports to say that Tigers were preparing
to target the innocent civilians during this month but they were not
sure about the location.
Why did the LTTE leader resort to this type of desperate act targeting
innocent civilians? There may be more than hundred or thousand answers
to this simple question.
It is obvious that the bomb attack is to hurt the Southern community for
strongly backing the Government for military operations against the LTTE
now entrapped in the Wanni.
For Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran, this is the most effective way
of conveying message to anybody in any part of the world. That is the
only language he knows though he gives sermons to others about Buddhism
and complains to the international community about the ‘genocidal acts’
by Security Forces.
On the other hand he doesn’t have political wit to argue and convince
others about his cause like his one time colleague Minister Douglas
Devananda. So he simply demonstrates his anger and incapabilities
A scene at the Nugegoda bomb blast
these desperate acts.
Even his proxies in the Parliament do not have the decency and the
political wit to convey their message to the world according to accepted
democratic norms in the world. What they are trying is to enact the
jungle law prevalent in the Wanni to achieve their goals and once they
fail they put the blame on the Security Forces and the international
community. The second obvious reason for adopting such desperate attacks
is due to the beatings they are now getting from the sea, land and air.
For the first time in the three decades long history of the conflict
Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran has sniffed death despite the
thousands of barriers around him.
The death of LTTE Political Wing leader S.P. Thamilselvan has upset him.
Apart from this the open challenge by the Security Forces Commanders to
target him in the Wanni also shocked him for the first time.
It was in accordance with the policy adopted by this Government to call
terrorist a terrorist without any hesitation. Not only in the Wanni but
also in Jaffna FDLs the LTTE is facing blows from the Security Forces.
The Tiger leader himself has admitted in his speech that more than 1,000
of their cadres have perished due to Security Forces attacks.
The Security Forces through their small group operations inflict heavy
damages on the LTTE killing at least ten cadres a day.
This has brought effective results on the part of the Security Forces to
reduce the threat on the Security Forces and the civilians both in
Jaffna and in Wanni. Therefore the LTTE leadership desperately needs to
scatter the Security Forces drawing their attention in other parts of
the country by engaging in sabotage activities in the South. The attack
on Thalagasamankada Army detachment inside the Yala National Park on
October 15, and subsequent incidents in the South and the attack on the
Air Force base Anuradhapura were such attempts by the LTTE.
Through bomb explosions of this nature the LTTE is trying their best to
split the Security Forces in the North and in the Wanni to secure civil
establishments in the South specially sensitive civilian targets such as
schools and religious places.
But the Security Forces are effectively facing this situation even after
deploying an adequate number of troops to man the Yala National Park and
adjoining Tissamaharama and Hambantota areas. The Army is ready to
deploy troops to protect villages threatened by LTTE activities.
According to Security Forces the Army has deployed two battalions to
secure the Yala National Park and the Southern part of the country while
deploying more than 1,000 Civil Security Force personnel to secure the
villages adjoining the Park, without affecting their security plans in
the Wanni. Therefore, it has become a futile exercise for the LTTE to
weaken the Security Forces in the North and Wanni by splitting troops
into various parts of the country.
According to field commanders in Wanni and Jaffna they are now
witnessing the most effective troop deployment by the Sri Lanka Army
which has brought positive results in ground battles against the LTTE.
Therefore, it will be difficult for the LTTE to adopt such tactics to
weaken the Security Forces with the successful recruitment drive
completed by the Army recently with the recruitment of over 27,000 youth
into the Army.
Apart from this the most important factor behind the bomb attacks
targeting civilians in the South is aimed at changing the mindset of the
people in the South regarding the military thrust on the Wanni. Through
the creation of a fear psychosis among the public, the LTTE can
instigate the people in the South against the Government which continues
its military thrust against the LTTE terror in the Wanni.
By adopting this strategy they can easily change the mindset of the
people against this Government and use them to exert pressure to put a
stop to the military action against the LTTE in Wanni and in Jaffna. The
sensitive political scenario prevailing in the country at present will
enable such a situation even to topple the Government in power easily
fulfilling the objectives of the LTTE, without any cost on their part.
Therefore, people have to be more prudent in reacting to this type of
desperate acts of the LTTE as they could be victims of the trap set by
over reacting to such situations. Therefore, without imparting the
responsibility of keeping the country free of such incidents only on the
Police and the Security Forces the citizens of this country too can
contribute to this task effectively.
It has now been revealed that the bomb incident at Nugegoda junction
could have easily averted if civilians and the Police officers concerned
acted fast and responsibly.
Initial investigations have revealed that the suspicious parcel has been
handed over to the parcel counter of the No Limit fashion store by a
suspicious person who was seemingly busy at that time. The security
guard who had seen the person who had brought the parcel had passed the
message to another security guard who in turn had gone inside the store
to convey the message to the Police.
Police investigations revealed that it was a time bomb fixed inside the
parcel with two to three kilos of explosives. The person who had brought
and kept it at the parcel counter either had no time to move towards the
expected target by the time it was fixed to explode or the person he
should have handed over the parcel to had not turned up on time.
On the other hand it was suspected that either this person wanted to
hand over the parcel to someone else inside the fashion store.
If he wanted to hand over the parcel he could have easily handed over
the token issued to him to the other person to take the parcel from the
parcel counter. According to eyewitnesses the person who handed over the
parcel had not entered the shop and walked away from the scene
hurriedly. If the person wanted to cause a bigger damage he could have
easily taken the parcel to a more crowded area in the Nugegoda junction
instead of keeping the parcel at the parcel counter. But it was
difficult to keep such parcel unnoticed by the public.
Police investigators are also checking whether there was anyone waiting
inside the fashion store since one suicide cadre by the name of
Naguleshwaree arrested by the Police has revealed to the Police that she
was to wear the suicide kit inside a fashion store pretending that she
was entering the fitting room to check a new garment.
Therefore, there could have been a suicide cadre waiting to carry out
the bomb to take a VIP target passing the area. But Defence authorities
firmly believe that the incident would have been easily averted if the
relevant authorities arrived there on time and the Police officer did
not open the parcel until Bomb Disposal Unit arrived there. The number
of deaths could have been averted if the people were removed from the
vicinity alarming them of a suspected bomb.
Therefore, it is better to be vigilant about bombs of this nature as
intelligence reports indicate that there are possibilities for the LTTE
to engage in such desperate acts in the coming weeks to show off their
desperation and exert pressure on the Government to stop Wanni
The way Minister Douglas Devananda reacted to the suicide bomb was a
classic example to demonstrate the way people should react to such
It has been revealed that Minister Devananda had refused to accept the
advice given by the security personnel to move away from the premises
soon after the physically handicapped suicide bomber blew herself inside
the Ministry, stressing that there may be another suicide bomber waiting
outside the premises expecting their panic reaction.
The Minister has said that the LTTE was very well aware that it was
difficult to kill him by using 200 to 300 grams of explosives as they
are aware that the suicide bomber would definitely undergo checks before
being sent to him. Therefore, he had advised his personal bodyguards and
the Security Forces personnel on his escort not to move from the
premises until the area is fully cleared. That was the reaction of a
person who had survived 12 assassination attempts including two suicide
attempts. Therefore, the common masses too should learn from the past
incidents and should act responsibly without falling victim to Tiger
traps in an extremely sensitive period like this when the Government is
making every attempt to rid the country of terrorism.