Thursday, January 8, 2009



"The LTTE is calculating that if it can keep fighting against the Sri Lankan Army for some more weeks, "Gen. Monsoon" and "Gen. Recession" could put an end to the pipedreams of the Sri Lankan Army of a definitive victory over the LTTE. Will its calculations prove right or will they be belied? Whatever happens, one thing seems likely---- there is going to be no definitive victory or no definitive defeat for either side in the on-going war."

---From my article dated 21-10-08 titled "Kilinochchi---The Spectre of Stalingrad" at (,

"In pursuance of my article titled "Kilinochchi: The Spectre of Stalingrad" (, I have been in receipt of many messages---- some complimenting me for drawing attention to the Battle of Stalingrad and others pointing out previous references to it by some LTTE cadres. I do not claim any credit for originality. For some months now, there have been reports from West Europe claiming that pro-LTTE elements in the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora have been buying up all the books on the Battle of Stalingrad available in the local bookshops. This reminded one of a pre-1994 report from the British and others that pro-LTTE Tamils in their countries were spending a lot of money buying up books on flying and aircraft maintenance and that Flying Clubs in the UK and Switzerland had reported that some Sri Lankan Tamils were learning flying. In recent months,some persons, who have been following the fighting in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka closely, have been referring to Kilinochchi as a "Stalingrad in the Making"., the well-known Indian news web site, had also referred to the Stalingrad precedent in a report on the reactions in Tamil Nadu. The question is not whether Kilinochchi would turn out to be a Stalingrad-in-the-making. Most probably not. The question is how the LTTE's mind works and how it tries to draw lessons from history. It is surprising that the Sri Lankan authorities, despite their having an inflated Deputy High Commission in Chennai---- which one fears meets the intelligence requirements of Sri Lanka as well as Pakistan---were not aware of the perceptions in Tamil Nadu. "

--From my article dated 27-10-08 titled Kilinochchi: A Stalingrad in the Making? " at

"Will Kilinochchi prove a similar turning point in the battle being fought between the SL Army and the LTTE? If the LTTE loses the battle, it could mark the beginning of its end as an insurgent force, but not as a terrorist organisation. If the SL Army wins, it will be a Pyrrhic victory."

From my article of 19-12-08 titled "Kilinochchi---The Kiss of Death" at

"To mention all this is not to under-estimate the significance of the LTTE's loss of control over Kilinochchi after remaining in occupation of it for 12 years, but to stress the inadvisability of premature claims of victory in unconventional conflicts between a State actor and a non-State actor. The re-occupation of Kilinochchi by the Sri Lankan Army will naturally add to the pride, confidence and morale of the Sri Lankan Army. This does not mean that it will necessarily undermine the motivation and morale of the LTTE. Its motivation and morale would have been undermined if it was an unexpected rout for the LTTE. From all indications, it was not.".
---From my article of January 2,2009, titled "Mission Accomplished? "
During my career of 27 years in the intelligence profession, I had dealt with Sri Lanka on some occasions:

(a). Between 1967 and 1971, when I was in charge of Sri Lanka--Analysis in the Intelligence Bureau and subsequently in the Research & Analysis Wing (R&AW) after it was formed in 1968.

(b). Between 1988 and 1991, when I held additional charge of the portfolio of VIP security. In that capacity, I used to supervise the work of the division which was responsible, inter alia, for monitoring likely threats to VIP security from Tamil elements in Sri Lanka, including the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

(c). In June 1991, when I was sent on a brief visit tro Colombo to meet Sri Lankan Police officers and the then Defence Secretary to seek their co-operation in the investigation of the assasasination of Rajiv Gandhi by the LTTE by a special task force of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

2. Since my retirement in 1994, I have been writing off and on Sri Lanka and the LTTE. All my articles are available in WWW and can be accessed through a Google search. I have been fairly consistent on the following points:

(a).India cannot do business with Prabhakaran and other charged assassins of Rajiv Gandhi. It would find it difficult to accept any political solution, which could bring the charged assassins to power.

(b).For over 20 years, the LTTE is the only Tamil organisation, which had effectively articulated the concerns and grievances of the Tamils. The objective of the Sri Lankan Government is not only to destroy the capabilities of the LTTE as an insurgent and terrorist organisation, but also to destroy it as a political organisation. If this happens, Sri Lanka will be back to the pre-1983 period when the Sinhalese were accused of brutally suppressing the human rights of the Tamils.

(c). The US and Israel had followed a policy of destroying the capabilities of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) for terrorism without seeking to destroy it as a political organisation.The US had publicly announced that it would be prepared to deal with a PLO minus Yasser Arafat. That is what they are doing after the death of Arafat. We should similarly announce our readiness to deal with the LTTE as a political organisation if it gets rid of Prabakaran and others associated with the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi.

(d).While India, which is itself a victim of terrorism of various hues, cannot oppose the counter-terrorism operations of the Sri Lankan Government, it should strongly oppose the ruthless use of the Sri Lankan Air Force in the Tamil areas. India's counter-terrorism assistance to Sri Lanka should be confined to land-based operations and to protecting Sri Lankan civilians from air strikes by the so-called LTTE Air Force.

(e). It is not in India's interest for the LTTE to have a sea capability and an air capability.

3. Ever since I started writing against the use of the SLAF against the Sri Lankan Tamils, the Sri Lankan Army, intelligence and Foreign Office have initiated a campaign of denigration against me questioning my credentials as an analyst and making very serious allegations about my character. This campain of denigration has been stepped up after I wrote two articles on Kilinochchi in October,2008, and after I wrote an article on the fall of Kilinochchi on January 2,2009. They have inter alia alleged as follows:

(a).I had trained the LTTE during my posting in the R&AW and hence do not want it to be defeated.

(b). I was sacked from the R&AW because of my suspected involvement in the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi, though the suspicion could not be proved.

(c). I do not know anything about terrorism and hence my credentials are bogus.

4.Some weeks ago a couple of Sri Lankan media sources had referred to me for comments articles received by them against me purporting to give details of my alleged role in the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi. I told them it was rubbish.They asked me whether I would have any objection to their publishing the articles. I told them it was up to them to decide and that I would not give any advice. They subsequently informed me that they decided not to publish them because they suspected that the articles had originated from the Sri Lankan military intelligence.

5. I was not bothered about this campaign of denigration against me by the Sri Lankan Army and military intelligence. I ignored it with the contempt it deserved, but I was surprised to note a similar attempt to denigrate me in an article disseminated by the South Asia Terrorism Portal without the allegations about my character. This is the second time the portal had done it. Some months ago it carried an article , which tried to project me negatively. I ignored it with contempt. I thought I should not ignore this second attempt by the portal.

6.Normally, if this had been done by a private think-tank, I would have ignored it just as I have ignored till now the campaign of denigration against me by the Sri Lankan Army and intelligence. But, the South Asia Terrorism Portal is not a private think tank. I understand it is funded by the Government from the discretionary funds of the Government of India. Its budget, therefore, comes from the tax payers of the country. I have, therefore, a right to protest and do so through this article.(9-1-09)