Sri Lanka warned by India it might not win war with rebels: report

SINGAPORE, August 12, 2008 (AFP) – India has warned neighbouring Sri Lanka that it may not be able to win an ongoing war against separatist Tamil Tiger rebels despite recent military gains, a report said Tuesday. Indian National Security Advisor M.K. Narayanan told the Straits Times newspaper that Sri Lanka’s Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) had been weakened but retained the ability to stage terror strikes.

“Our argument is: unless you give Tamils a feeling they have the right to their own destiny in many matters, you will not succeed. (The) LTTE’s capacity to carry out terrorist attacks is not diminished,” he said.

“The (Sri Lankan army) has made a lot of progress in the last few weeks,” Narayanan said. “But even if they win the battle, I am not sure they will win the war.

“I think they haven’t got the Tamil population on their side. I know the Sri Lankan government will be unhappy (at this advice) but… that is the best advice they could get,” he said.

India directly intervened in the Sri Lankan conflict in 1987 by sending troops to supervise a bilateral peace pact, but ended up fighting Tamil Tigers.

New Delhi withdrew its troops after a 32-month deployment during wh