Tamil Tiger chief's arrest leaves terror movement in shambles

The recent arrest of Selvarasa Pathmanathan (a.k.a. KP) has left members and sympathisers of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in total shambles.

KP's arrest on foreign soil comes as a shock to the Tamil diaspora which funded the organisation, and helped it procure arms and explosives. With KP's arrest members of the organisation overseas will now be constantly looking over their shoulders. KP knew every one of the movement's most active contributors.

If Prabhakaran made the mistake of not planning for a future for the organisation after his demise, then KP's appointment as the new leader of the Tigers was equally a mistake. Nothing changes the fact that KP was an internationally wanted fugitive. He had warrants issued against his name by Interpol.

Pathmanathan's arrest came just 16 days after his appointment as the new leader. In May of 2009 the Tamil Tigers lost their entire military force which included several high ranking combatants. The entire military leadership structure of the Tigers was decimated. The Tamil Tigers of Eelam lost their fighting force, and now it's new leader who was it's main arms procurement agent for two decades.

The devastation caused to the movement is evident in the Tigers' response to Pathmanathan's arrest.

The manner in which Selvarasa Pathmanathan was 'arrested' and ended up in the custody of the Sri Lankan state that is widely accused of war crimes, genocide and state terrorism, raises serious concerns about the world outlook to political justice, Tamil circles said. Mr. Pathmanathan who denounced violence was engaged in re-organising the LTTE and in consenting the formation of a transnational body for the Eezham Tamils.
Tamilnet -- the official mouthpiece of the Tamil Tigers -- plays the usual genocide, war crimes, and state terrorism card, only to casually play down reality. The Sri Lankan government has only been accused of genocide, state terrorism, and war crimes by the sympathisers of the Tamil Tigers and the movement's front organisations like 'Tamils against Genocide'.

The educated Tamil diaspora supports a terror movement based on the fact that the Sri Lankan state is as equally an evil force. Not for a moment does common sense step in. The Sri Lankan state they accuse of year after year of the same "crimes" has changed hands on numerous occasions, and none has made it a policy to kill Tamils. War kills all, it does not differentiate Tamils from Sinhalese. Pick up a map, and you won't see Eelam, or Eezham. Freedom fighters don't forcibly conscript children. The reality is that the Tamil Tigers are terrorist. There is no Eelam, and KP was a wanted criminal who had several international warrants issued for his arrest. It doesn't matter if he wanted to turn a defeated guerrilla movement into peaceful political operation. That doesn't exonerate him for his previous crimes.

It doesn't matter if anyone thinks his arrest was illegal. It won't make the slightest difference. No one can, or will bail him out.

So what now? Will another LTTE chief be appointed? I doubt it.

KP's arrest will lead to a string of other arrest both in Sri Lanka and overseas as the Sri Lankan government looks to dismantle the movement's global network. This may come as a shock to the Tamil Tigers around the globe whose previous dealings with an incompetent Sri Lankan state helped transform a group of uneducated bank robbers into a feared terrorist movement, which almost became the self enforced representative of all Tamils in Sri Lanka. Things have changed drastically since Rajapaksa's arrival.

2009 appears to be the end of the Tamil Tigers and their dream of segregating Tamils from the rest of Sri Lanka's population through a racist mono-ethnic state called Eelam.

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