Tamil Tigers outfox dove to dim Sri Lanka peace hopes

Sri Lanka’s Tiger rebels deliberately ditched the man who signed a truce with them and cleared the way for his hawkish rival to win the presidency in a calculated move that has dashed peace hopes, analysts said Friday. Sri Lanka’s Tiger rebels deliberately ditched the man who signed a truce with them and cleared the way for his hawkish rival to win the presidency in a calculated move that has dashed peace hopes, analysts said Friday. The rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) prevented Tamils from participating in Thursday’s presidential election thereby blocking votes that many expected to hand victory to opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe.

“What the Tigers have done is to ensure Mr. Wickremesinghe’s defeat,” said political analyst and former air force chief Harry Gunatillake. “They may have calculated that he was the more formidable man to deal with.”

Wickremesinghe entered a ceasefire with the LTTE in 2002 and lost his job as prime minister. President Chandrika Kumaratunga sacked him, charging he had jeopardised national security by inking the truce.

Instead of delivering the minority Tamil votes to Wickremesinghe, the Tigers staged a virtual boycott and let in the hardline nationalist can