Breaking its silence on the significant military and political developments around it, the LTTE warned on Monday, that the Sri Lankan Armed Forces were walking into self-laid "trap" and that Colombo's plan to impose a political solution after weakening the rebel outfit militarily was destined to fail.
In an interview to the pro-LTTE website www.tamilnet.com the leader of the Tamil rebel group's political wing, SP Tamilselvan, said: "As far as the LTTE is concerned, we were never defeated. We adopt military strategies to suit the place, the environment and the time. In particular, in the East, it is common for the Sinhala forces (ie: Sri Lankan government forces) to advance and then withdraw when faced with heavy losses following our strong defence. This is past history."
" No people will accept the occupation of their land by a foreign force or a force they detest. They will always seek their own security. Very soon, the Sinhala forces will understand the trap they have set for themselves."
Tamilsevlan, who had been a military man earlier, did not elaborate on the term "trap", but military experts in Colombo said that the LTTE was hoping that an over-stretched Sri Lankan military would soon fall prey to guerrilla warfare or swift conventional actions as it happened in the Wanni in 2000 when army camps fell like nine pins.
On hopes in the international community that the Sri Lankan government would go for talks after weakening the LTTE militarily, Tamilselvan said that these were misplaced, as history would show.
"Sri Lankan government will never agree to peace talks after strengthening itself militarily. On the contrary it will reject peace efforts and ceasefire agreements and will jump into war saying it is going to bring a resolution through military means."
"Then, after facing heavy losses, from which it is unable to pull back, it will agree for peace talks," he said.
Timed to coincide with a meeting of the Co-Chairs of the 2003 Tokyo donors' conference, Tamilselvan's interview was an attempt to draw the attention of the international community to the "ethnic cleansing, horrendous human rights violations and the grave human misery that the Tamil people have been subjected to," and to appeal to it to save the Norway-brokered Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) of February 2002.
RESTORE CEASEFIRE FULLY
Tamilselvan said that the CFA had "brought hope" to the communities affected by the conflict. But the power struggle among the various groups in the majority Sinhala community, had vitiated the atmosphere and the "conducive environment that was created for peace was destroyed."
He then went on to appeal to the international community to "support the struggle for the rights of the Tamil people and force the Sri Lankan government to implement the ceasefire agreement 100% to pave the way for peace talks."
Asked about the international community's hope that the political parties of the Sinhala majority would reach consensus on a political package to solve the Tamil problem, Tamilselvan said the current efforts to find a consensus were only a "drama".
"When decisions have to be made later, these parties will not cooperate towards it," he said.