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Tigers' Plan B and presidential polls

Prabhakaran may have died a worried man in a northern swamp, but his foreign allies have not yet given up the Eelam campaign. They are striving to put the LTTE's Plan B into action. That is to help whatever remains of the LTTE's military wing get into the guerrilla mode and make this country ungovernable once again. They were banking on KP to keep the LTTE in a state of suspended animation until time was opportune for it to make a comeback. Unfortunately for them, their plan went awry with the capture of KP, who alone is believed to be privy to information about LTTE assets and its arms procurement, gunrunning and narcotics smuggling departments which kept Prabhakaran's war going.

The Plan B of the LTTE consists of several strands. So far the Diasporic Tigers and pro-LTTE western governments have engaged Sri Lanka on the human rights, economic and diplomatic fronts as could be seen from fabricated evidence of war crimes such as Channel 4 video, the abortive attempt to press war crime charges against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC special session in Geneva, surreptitious moves to scrap GSP Plus and block the IMF standby facility, the hostile stand taken by Miliband et al and the attendant diplomatic rows.

Having failed to unsettle Sri Lanka on those fronts, LTTE sympathizers are likely to focus on the military and political aspects of their plan. Their problem however is to secure the release of LTTE terrorists trapped in IDP centres where they are posing as civilians. Suicide cadres and intelligence operatives of the LTTE were not known to the public and, therefore, identifying them is a time consuming difficult task. That is why some foreign governments and their local lackeys are working overtime to crank up pressure on this country to let go of all IDPs so that terrorists among them, too, could escape. It is for this purpose that they are demanding that IDPs be resettled forthwith regardless of the presence of landmines in the Vanni and lack of infrastructure. Since the government is standing its ground, they may be banking on LTTE cadres to instigate an uprising within IDP centres with a view to creating a backlash and paving the way for international intervention.

A prerequisite for the success of Tigers' Plan B is the creation of a political environment conducive to the LTTE's revival. Therefore, the foreign powers backing the LTTE rump will try to help remove the Mahinda Rajapaksa factor from national politics, politically or otherwise. They are sure to throw in their lot with the local forces hostile to President Rajapaksa at the next presidential election. Money will be poured into his rivals' election campaign and if they who at present are without sufficient funds even to put up posters happen to outspend the government at the presidential polls that will be an indication of foreign funds coming in.

However, funds alone cannot make someone win an election and the question is whether the anti-Sri Lankan forces will be able to find a formidable candidate capable of posing a challenge to President Rajapaksa, whose popularity is at its zenith. Unlike in 2005, when he had to depend on the JVP and other small parties to clear the 50 per cent mark in the presidential race, today President Rajapaksa controls Parliament, Provincial Councils and the vast majority of Local Government Authorities. It is he who has been winning elections for the UPFA since 2005. Moreover, he has debilitated the Opposition, which is in total disarray. So, even if all the Opposition parties were to join forces and field a common candidate, they would still not be able to achieve their goal. On the other hand, if it could be established beyond doubt that some external forces have ganged up against the President to give the LTTE a new lease of life, there will be a massive countervailing wave of support for him from the people abhorring terrorism and determined to ensure that the LTTE will not raise its ugly head again.

The next presidential election is the last hope for the anti-Sri Lankan forces struggling to revive the LTTE. They will not leave any stones unturned in their frantic effort to effect a regime change, though their chances of success are rather slim.

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