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

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SRI LANKA-Movement without Progress

Movement without Progress TEN years ago this June following the India- Sri Lanka accord and the induction of the Indian Peace Keepng Forces, the Sri Lankan government wound up the first ever concerted military offensive it had launched against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), Operation Liberation. The expectations then were that the war in the north would peter out and the LTTE subdued and amenable to a negotiated settlement The LTTE, however, worked itself out of a situation inimicable to its interests. Subsequent developments and the withdrawal of the Indian forces, and the revival of the LTTE also saw simultaneously a change in government stance towards the LTTE. While president Chandrika's early initiatives met with some success, the LTTE has chosen not to pursue these advances. It would be easiest to cynically dismiss these developments by attributing to the LTTE an irresponsible and inhumane attitude towards the people it is fighting for. In fact, Colombo's strategy has been to promote such a picture of the LTTE. Chandrika's earliest initiatives were to open communications to the northern Tamil areas and to lift the ban on the movement of essential items to the region, and to speak with concern for the Tamils in the war torn region. While certainly, these concessions were an immense relief to the beleaguered citizens of the Jaffna peninsula, there was undoubtedly the political motive to try to pressurise the LTTE to stick to the negotiating table by exploiting the its stated concern for the people.

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