The Tamil Tiger Theoretician Anton Balasingham spent a whole night in 2003 in Oslo , the capital City of Norway to convince Prabhakaran who was in Wanni , Sri Lanka (SL) to agree to the Federal system solution . ‘We have now reached the high point in the victorious war . The International community is not ready at this juncture to grant the Eelam we are demanding. They are however prepared to work out a Federal solution. As a first step we will concur with them in this , otherwise the Int. community will take offence and turn against us. If we do not agree to the Federal solution and continue the war, the International community will support the SL Govt. against us ……”. These were the warning words used by Balasingham to convince Prabhakaran. Even after speaking the whole night, Balasingham could not succeed in inducing Prabhakaran to think according to his line. ‘Agree and come back. Rest , we will see later’, was Prabhakaran’s answer to Balasingham.
When the present Foreign Minister Dr. G L Peiris who was at the negotiating table with Balasingham at that time went to India recently, Dr. Peiris before signing the joint statement between India and SL pertaining to the implementation of the 13th amendment, perhaps would have communicated with the President Mahinda Rajapaksa via the phone from New Delhi in much the same way as Balasingham did then from Oslo; and Mahinda may have also told him like Prabhakaran, ‘agree and come back. Rest we will see later’.
Indeed today , Mahinda is in a stronger position than even Prabhakaran in 2002 . The latter when signing the ceasefire agreement in 2002 was in full command of the North and East of SL except Jaffna. Though Prabhakaran reached the doorstep of Jaffna to capture it, owing to the pressures brought to bear by America and India, he was precluded from gaining entry into Jaffna. In fact the SL Army was at that time under siege in Jaffna. Lakshman Kadirgamar who was the foreign Minister during that period holding a Press conference later said, ‘Prabhakaran , you have won. Now utilize this victory as a solution and stop this war’. It was in this dire situation the ceasefire agreement was founded.
When the peace negotiations were initiated via the ceasefire agreement in Oslo, and Balasingham concurred in the Federal solution, Prabhakaran was in a ‘world of his own’: ‘we toiled so much and won, not just to end it with a Federal solution …’ was his view. Pottu Amman and Soosai were even sterner and more stubborn than Prabhakaran in this stance. They argued that if they yield to a Federal solution it is tantamount to betraying the Organization and the members who laid down their lives for it fighting for the cause. They went so far as to say that they will be branded as liars not only by the LTTE Organization but by the Tamil people as well. Moreover they instilled ‘poison’ into Prabhakaran’s mind by alleging that Balasingham has become a tool in the hands of the Foreign powers. This is where the rift between Prabhakaran and Balasingham commenced , which also marked the beginning of Prabhakaran’s disastrous end. On the contrary, If Prabhakaran has convinced Pottu Amman and Soosai while paying heed to the advice of Balasingham and committed himself honestly accepting the federal solution,not only Prabhakaran , even Pottu Amman and Soosai may still be among the living, in which event , LTTE would have been having the administrative control over the North and East under the Federal system. They could have via the Federal administration demonstrated that they are not only capable of fighting the war , but also adept at administrative functions. Based on that climate they could have created an environment conducive to successfully progress towards a political solution to secure their cherished Eelam goal. If they had followed that plan , they would have even had the opportunity of winning over the Int. community to support their campaign. During the period when the Int. community came forward to offer a Federal solution , Prabhakaran , Soosai and Pottu Amman looked upon them with suspicion and as enemies. They viewed Balasingham as an agent working according to the agenda of the International community.
Today , President Rajapaksa after destroying the Tamil Tigers and its leader Prabhakaran is at the pinnacle of success both at war and politically .When India and the International community are pressurizing him to implement the 13th amendment , Mahinda too might be viewing the Int. community as a foe . The patriots in his Govt. are similarly identifying Dr. G L Peiris as an International agent and a betrayer. ‘Is it to devolve power we won this hard fought war surmounting insuperable odds ?,’ they must be thinking .
It is for Mahinda to take guard against ‘friends’ like Pottu Amman and Soosai who can only lead him into disaster . Whether Mahinda will take precaution against this is entirely another matter.