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Dougloid
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Tamil Tigers-down For The Count?

Fri Jan 09, 2009 3:19 pm

Good article here, even though I do not agree with the analysis of Sherman's march to the sea. Time may finally be running out for the Tigers.

http://in.reuters.com/article/southAsiaNews/idINIndia-37364420090109
If you believe in coincidence, you haven't looked close enough-Joe Leaphorn
 
baroque
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RE: Tamil Tigers-down For The Count?

Fri Jan 09, 2009 3:33 pm



Quoting Dougloid (Thread starter):
Good article here, even though I do not agree with the analysis of Sherman's march to the sea. Time may finally be running out for the Tigers.

Don't even dare to hope let alone think that Dougloid! Great, another army victory and well trained Tigers squeezed out all over the place.

I hope that this is promising, but I rather doubt it. If they could not sort something out after the tsunami, I don't think the army blasting its way through Elephant's Pass will help that much.

The Singhalese pollies are just as difficult as they ever were as far as I can work out.

What might be a major difference is that (not before time) India is not going to be nearly as "helpful". The other issue is if funding from countries such as Australia is drying up. Our powers that be keep assuring us this is so, but somehow I have my doubts. Then again, money WILL be short this year, unless of course Tamil Eelam can also apply for TARPS funding!!!

I guess I just find it difficult to think that the Tigers are weaker now than they were in 1984 when I visited. We visited a game park, and while everything was peace and quiet, about 3 weeks later the Tigers came in and murdered all the 25 game wardens with whom we had just spent a couple of days.

Remember Aceh was solved by politics and not by the military.
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Tamil Tigers-down For The Count?

Fri Jan 09, 2009 4:00 pm

Not sure about that.
I guess the mistakes the tigers did was to strike at India's late PM.That broke the link if ever there was one with the locals from Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

regds
MEL
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
baroque
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RE: Tamil Tigers-down For The Count?

Fri Jan 09, 2009 4:19 pm



Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 2):
I guess the mistakes the tigers did was to strike at India's late PM.That broke the link if ever there was one with the locals from Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

Of course, but the break seemed a long time in, well actually breaking????

No doubts now about the alignments. But still the Tigers survive. I would love to be optimistic. The island should deserve its name of Serendip. So beautiful and such tragedy.

Maybe there is a way back from "World's End". Actually we got a four wheel drive stuck in a monster ditch near there and I thought there would be no way back from World's End.
 
comorin
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RE: Tamil Tigers-down For The Count?

Sat Jan 10, 2009 3:38 am



Quoting Baroque (Reply 1):
Remember Aceh was solved by politics and not by the military.

 checkmark  This is no different than Ireland or Palestine. While the Gov't can't sit around when people get bombed, it's nevertheless a dragon's teeth scenario - more blood spilt, the more you'll see new fighters spring up. These were the folks who invented suicide bombing, let's not forget.

As for victory, it's conventional vs. guerrilla warfare - the Tigers just have to pull back and go underground for a while to regroup and strike again.

On a lighter note, did any of you read about the Tiger 'Air Force'? It was straight out of 'Beyond Thunderdome' - a single engine prop dropping bombs on the Srilankan Navy!

Srilanka may be Paradise but alas Asians have a strong belief in the Evil Eye...and the whole Tamil affair is a curse.  Sad
 
baroque
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RE: Tamil Tigers-down For The Count?

Sat Jan 10, 2009 4:02 am



Quoting Comorin (Reply 4):
On a lighter note, did any of you read about the Tiger 'Air Force'? It was straight out of 'Beyond Thunderdome' - a single engine prop dropping bombs on the Srilankan Navy!

Yes read about it but never seen happily. A friend of mine did have the plane he was about to catch a couple of days later destroyed on the runway in Colombo. When I was there security was a bit surreal. We arrived (alas) after the curfew which meant being stopped about 10 times on the road from the airport. The first nine times were army and not so bad. The 10th time was police. Queue about 6 cars long and much incomprehensible shouting that I assumed was in Singhalese, but turned out to be in English. Eventually we got to the head of the queue and gained about four shouting police either side with .303s pointing at about the door sills and a spotlight shining inside the car. Much shouting and eventually we figured out it was "switch the engine off". Well it was a diesel and the cut off was over on the LHS of the centre panel. Alvin (driver) leaned over and police instantly assumed he was going for a gun.

In the following weeks, every now and again we drove into "situations" but between them, Serendip reigned supreme, aside from the poverty. When I was there, the Tea Tamils had just started to come under suspicion although AFAIK at that stage anyway, they were totally uninterested in revolting so the highlands were also full of police roadblocks.

But just as suddenly any part of Serendip can be ripped apart if the Tamils go for one of their targets. Never did get to see Trinco which I had hoped to see. And the graphite mine was in an insecure area too. Then again, within a month there were bombings and mass murder in the "secure" areas too.

Not only is the solution likely to be political, but the origin of the quarrel was highly political. OK the two cultures are a bit different - although most get on very well together - but "brilliant" law making gave the Tamils a set of grievances which they have exploited so ruthlessly. It is a bit difficult to work out whether the Tigers will in the end be remembered for the brilliance of their leadership, or their utter ruthlessness. They are also a pretty fearsome example of what brainwashing can do for human beings.
 
comorin
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RE: Tamil Tigers-down For The Count?

Sat Jan 10, 2009 4:53 am

Baroque - thanks for sharing your experiences, must have been quite a hair-raiser at times!

As you know, the Tamils and the Sinhalese are ethnically different people, so the divisions, once set, are hard to reverse. The Tamils were migrants to Jaffna from South India, unlike the native Sinhalese. They are famously hot-headed, the opposite of the too-calm Sinhalese!

Without taking sides (I have an abhorrence for terrorism) I suspect the Tamils radicals feel that they are being ethnically destroyed and would rather die than submit. The Sinhalese don't want to cede and split up their country for a Tamil Homeland. Unless this is solved politically, the fighting will go on.

Causes, alas, are self-perpetuating - what does a retired terrorist do for living? It just so tragic when young, innocent children are brainwashed into becoming killers.
 
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MillwallSean
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RE: Tamil Tigers-down For The Count?

Sat Jan 10, 2009 5:14 am

I think this conflict is changing in a way it hasn't been before. .
Tigers, that used to control about a third of the island has in two years lost almost everything and odds are they will loose their last pieces of territory before summer.
The defacto capital with their leaders mansion is captured and the tigers are at the moment left with only Mullaittivu and the jungle area in the top northeastern corner of the island. its a dire situation for the tigers and a situation they haven't faced since the 1980:ies.
These days the Sri Lankan army can match them and much more importantly the Sri lankan navy is disrupting supplies in an effective way.
Something has to come from this. If its a better or worse thing we shall see, but something has to come from this huge change.

What happens probably depends more of the tigers, they can revert to guerilla warfare and base themselves in the jungles of Wanni or they can choose to make a last stand at Mullaittivu. But basing themselves in the jungle will be very different this time around. Supply lines will be more difficult to maintain. Its one thing to supply a mini-state with coastal waters, its another to supply a guerilla movement inside a jungle without support from helpful nations. The hardship will increase a lot and India will not be there providing assistance and supplies.
Add to the fact that the leaders of the tigers are getting old and they have lost a lot of their commanders and experienced fighters both in battle and through defections and I see a new round of jungle warfare as less successful and comfortable than last time round.
To me this is the first time the Sri Lankan army has successfully taken on the tigers on all fronts and it will make a big difference.

Then we have the problem of new manpower for the tigers. It will be difficult to recruit men and women for them. Colonel Karuna and his followers compete for tamils in the east. Jaffna is on a peninsula and the Wanni has already sent most of their young men and women to fight this fourth Eelam war.
Before when they were in the jungle they have had assistance from regional powers with supplies. These days Tiger support is difficult to come by and they will have to rely on the diaspora for money and that will make jungle guerilla warfare a less desirable option for potential recruits.

Tigers are also banned in most western countries this time round. Countries where the tamil diaspora resides have made it harder to fund them, several of the fundraisers have been stopped or are being watched further complicating fundraising. I am sure money is still coming through but the flow is definitely more complicated and probably reduced. The Eelam cause might also loose some of its appeal when all the territory is lost.

I don't know but I see the changes that have happened in Sri Lanka the last two years as monumental. The question is if the Singales are prepared to win a peace or if they will be happy just to have won this 4th Eelam war and how the tamils on the island will react when the tigers have lost all their territory.

Sri lanka is such a beautiful place that I really hope they can have a dignified peace.
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baroque
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RE: Tamil Tigers-down For The Count?

Sat Jan 10, 2009 6:45 am



Quoting Comorin (Reply 6):
As you know, the Tamils and the Sinhalese are ethnically different people, so the divisions, once set, are hard to reverse. The Tamils were migrants to Jaffna from South India, unlike the native Sinhalese. They are famously hot-headed, the opposite of the too-calm Sinhalese!

Without taking sides (I have an abhorrence for terrorism) I suspect the Tamils radicals feel that they are being ethnically destroyed and would rather die than submit. The Sinhalese don't want to cede and split up their country for a Tamil Homeland. Unless this is solved politically, the fighting will go on.

Good summary of the cause. A Sinhalese I know always claims that a victory for Sinhalese against the Tamils was won when the Tamil elephants fled. "Well you see they had bought second hand elephants". The trouble was this low level (and humorous) banter escalated to one of the more vicious wars we have seen of late.

Quoting MillwallSean (Reply 7):
Sri lanka is such a beautiful place that I really hope they can have a dignified peace.

True and I have similar hopes, but while the military may have made life more uncomfortable for the Tigers, the government will have to show a bit more flexibility and I fear what it will take to make the Tigers' leadership more willing to compromise.

Critical elements are certainly control of the sea and of funds from the diaspora (less force being placed on the diaspora might be a help too) but in the end, I have a nasty feeling that the Tigers can be very unpleasant with very little in the way of resources. Or put another way, they always seem to have shown remarkable resourcefulness with a minimum of physical resources - vide their airforce!!
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Tamil Tigers-down For The Count?

Sat Jan 10, 2009 6:46 am



Quoting Baroque (Reply 3):
Actually we got a four wheel drive stuck in a monster ditch near there and I thought there would be no way back from World's End.

This deseves a seperate thread.  Smile
regds
MEL
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)

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