The 'sound' of desperation
Sunday's suicide attack on a Civil Defence Force detachment at Wattala killing eight came as a gruesome reminder that there must be no room for complacency in battling terrorism. There had been a lull in terror strikes in the city and many were the persons who claimed the credit for it. Better security arrangements have, no doubt, gone a long way in preventing terrorist attacks but, as is well known, terrorists have to be lucky only once. And they were on Sunday.
The LTTE is desperate as never before. It is fighting a losing battle and the fall of either Kilinochchi or Mullativu will happen before long. Prabhakaran is struggling to defend Kilinochchi at the expense of the strategically important Mullaitivu. What is actually preventing Prabhakaran from taking civilian targets in the aftermath of the Mumbai disaster is his fear that such acts of naked terrorism may stand in the way of Tamil Nadu politicians' campaign to take him off the hook by pressuring the Central government to step in to stop the war. However, rational thinking oftentimes deserts Prabhakaran's elusive mind when he is piqued and gets into fits of uncontrollable fury.
The war is getting bloodier by the day with the LTTE readying for the last ditch battle in the Vanni. Prabhakaran seems to be closing all the escape routes for his combatants so that they will have no alternative but to hold their ground and fight till death. He is aware that he has the same chances as a cat in hell of making a comeback after losing the Vanni to the military. There may be pockets of resistance even after the LTTE's defeat but they will wither away with the passage of time for want of a base and logistical support. Prabhakaran's strategy smacks of advice Sun Tzu has famously proffered in his military treatise, The Art of War: "Throw your soldiers into position when there is no escape and they will prefer death to flight … [and] put forth their utmost strength."
The LTTE backers may be making some noises here and there but every one of them is convinced beyond an iota of doubt that the Tigers are on the fast track to extinction. Prabhakaran in his heroes' day speech last month, it may be recalled, refrained from repeating his earlier vow to prevent the fall of Kilinochchi at any cost. For, he knows there is a limit to holding out there against the military which is fighting on several front without any difficulties in supplies or reinforcements or recruitment.
Prabhakaran is of the same ilk as Hitler the carpet biter and humiliating defeats and failure of the Tamil Nadu politicians to deliver the goods in time will cause him to run berserk giving vent to his pent up racial hatred through barbaric terror strikes in the southern parts of the country with the help of a handful of indoctrinated fanatics.
The best antidote against terrorism is for a country to be as tireless, relentless and indefatigable as terrorists in guarding itself against terrorist violence. But, Sri Lanka sadly has a reputation for lowering its guard every so often and suffering the devastating consequences. That is something that a country at war against terror can ill-afford!