Kaarthikeyan said it was not surprising that the LTTE confessed because their
attempts to involve “self-seeking politicians in our own country” to “derail
and disrupt the investigation and trial” have “miserably failed.” He said that
the LTTE is “unarguably the deadliest terrorist group in the world.”
Sharma said that the LTTE should not confuse terrorism with the ethnic issue.
India wants a negotiated settlement for the Sri Lankan Tamils so peace and
unity returns to the island state. It is not clear whether Sharma was
questioning the legitimacy of the LTTE as the principle negotiator for the
Lankan Tamils. With the decimation of other militant groups, the LTTE has
emerged as the sole representative of the Tamil population. The fact that they
are accused in the assassination of an Indian Prime Minister would not take
away that position from them.
The unfortunate reality for India is that with the ban on LTTE, which was
necessary then, it has lost all bargaining chips in Sri Lanka. Predictably, the
Sri Lankan Government (SLG) would love for India to participate on its side but
that would mean politically alienating vast tracks of land in India. While the
Tamils and Tamil Nadu have ethnic ties, they do not have similar political or
economic interests but politicians in Tamil Nadu make it so. On the other hand,
brutal suppression of the Tamils will also encourage a large refugee exodus to
India thereby affecting Indian security. Several analysts have recommended that
India modify its policies to facilitate peace and security in Lanka.
Meanwhile, the LTTE and the SLG are to meet at Oslo to discuss the composition
of the Sri Lankan Monitoring Mission (SLMM). The LTTE does not want European
Union members as their Governments have banned the organization for terrorism.
The SLG says that since the SLMM Memorandum has been signed by it with Norway,
the LTTE has no locus standi in the matter. The Tamils gave a 1 month deadline
which they are willing to extend to 3 months so the SLMM composition may be
changed. Both parties have weakened the position of Norway as a facilitator
accusing it if taking sides.