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Failed attempt to trigger a backlash

LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran's fate is sealed. That he is trapped in the remaining pockets of resistance in Mullaitivu is evident from the frantic efforts made by the LTTE activists both here and abroad, foreign governments and international organisations sympathetic to him to put the brakes on the on-going military onslaught. This time around, he has no chance of escape. But, like all the barbaric megalomaniacs of yore and savage terrorists of the present, he will continue to delude himself that a last minute comeback is possible. He won't give up until the troops surround his spider-hole, which is imminent.

Prabhakaran's human shield is giving way. People are fleeing to safety in their thousands. If the influx of civilians into the government-held terrain continues at the present rate, within a few days Prabhakaran will find himself exposed to the army poised to deliver a decapitating blow. What prevents the army from going the whole hog to get him at present is the presence of civilians.

With the army closing in on his hideout, Prabhakaran is all out to create a humanitarian catastrophe shocking enough to jolt the world into forcing Sri Lanka to stop the war. He is trying every trick in the book to ratchet up collateral damage. He is no longer in a position to control civilians, who are braving the LTTE fire to flee. Therefore, he is desperate to create a backlash against the escapees by deploying suicide bombers to mingle with them and blow themselves up.

Last week, the LTTE sent a 14-year-old girl with explosives strapped to her body and blasted her near a group of frontline soldiers with a remote control device. Yesterday, a female suicide bomber exploded herself among civilians killing 28 persons including 20 soldiers at Dharmapuram. Among the victims were women and children.

Yesterday's blast was a gruesome reprisal against civilians for defying the LTTE orders as well as desperate attempt to trigger a backlash. The army acted with restraint without falling into the LTTE's trap.

Prabhakaran has laid bare his true face once again as a 'liberator' turned butcher. When he took up arms three decades ago, he promised 'liberation' but today he is killing hapless people having grabbed their children as cannon fodder, plundered their wealth and destroyed their future.

Those who are supporting the LTTE and trying to open an escape route for Prabhakaran are as guilty as he is of the heinous crimes being committed against civilians. They all have the blood of innocent men, women and children on their hands.

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