ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Sri Lanka and India : The Imperatives

The Imperatives The current lull in Jaffna being reported as we go to press is not likely to give president Chandrika Kumaratunga much of an opportunity for contemplating her next course of action. It is clear now that the LTTE has spent the last several months in training and in acquiring superior firepower, and the apparent quiet on the northern front is only a preparation for the assault on Jaffna. More than anything else it was the fall of Jaffna in 1995 which demoralised the LTTE cadres and its recapture is a political imperative for V Prabhakaran if he is to retain his hold over his armies. For the Sri Lankan government the recapture of Jaffna by the LTTE, quite apart from the near decimation of its already meagre forces, means a reversal of all the painstaking effort of recent years to keep the channels of diplomatic communication open. Chandrika Kumaratunga knows better than her predecessors that there can be no negotiating with the LTTE except from a position of strength and time and time again the LTTE has appeared to put faith in the negotiation process only to withdraw before the final settlement could be reached. The return of Jaffna to the LTTE fold will be a turning point which will return relations between Sri Lanka and the LTTE to what it was a decade ago. It is hardly necessary to point out that this will also mean a Tamil exodus from these areas of those the LTTE considers as having betrayed the Tamil cause and supported the Sri Lankan government and its agencies.

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