When a coward tries to escape death

Prabhakaran's terror campaign has manifestly got into a tailspin. He is now convinced that Eric Solheim, Bruce Fein, Karunanidhi, Keith Vaas, Vaiko and other terror backers won't be able to throw a lifeline in time. Therefore, he does not give a damn about world opinion.

Prabhakaran is stepping up terror attacks on civilians to arrest the rapid disintegration of his human bulwark which has stood in the way of the army's final push the LTTE is not in a position to resist. Yesterday, the LTTE opened fire on a group of civilians while they were crossing over to the government-controlled areas at Puthukudiruppu killing 19 and injuring 69, some of them children. Such dastardly violence against civilians is likely to escalate in the next few days as more and more people try to escape.

However, nothing is going to stop civilians from fleeing to safety. There is the likelihood of mass desertions as the LTTE gets further debilitated and its leaders turn more savage. In 1995, the LTTE forcibly evicted people from Jaffna during Operation Riviresa by way of a human shield. Later, people returned to their homes leaving the LTTE in the Vanni in spite of reprisals.

Prabhakaran has been hailed as a hero in some quarters. But, today, he has demonstrated to the world that he is only a lily-livered warlord dying many times before his death. No warrior worth his salt or any grown up man with an iota of self respect for that matter, will ever hide behind poor malnourished women and children to save his life. What a shame! Liberators are those who lay down their lives so that others may live. But, there in Mullaitivu we have a band of 'liberators' who have taken civilians hostage in a bid to escape death, having started a war they could not fight.

If the beleaguered LTTE leaders think it is a crime for civilians to run away from danger, why did they smuggle out their families from the conflict zone at the first sign of trouble? Is it that their families are 'more equal than' the ordinary people?

A TNA parliamentarian is reported to have said that the cadres of the LTTE may be eliminated but its cause cannot be killed. What baloney! Prabhakaran has killed the LTTE's cause himself! No one else could have done a better job of destroying the Eelam project. Prabhakaran will be remembered as a shameless coward who drove tens of thousands of youth to suicide, killed a similar number of civilians, busted billions of US dollars and destroyed the very people he promised to liberate.

The only way Prabhakaran can make history less severe on him is to let go of civilians in his clutches and fight like a man.

He must realise that the lives of hapless civilians under his jackboot are as precious as those of his wife and children.

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