is one of the most deadly terrorist organizations
in the world. Located in Sri Lanka, the LTTE has been fighting for a separate homeland
or a Tamil Eelam
for over 20 years now.
The Tamils in Sri Lanka were reduced to the status of second class citizens under Prime Minister Bandarnaike, the father of the current President Chandrika Kumaratunga. The chief weapon of the LTTE has been their dreaded suicide squad which is believed to be responsible for the deaths of Ranasinghe Premadasa, former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and numerous other leaders in both India and Sri Lanka. Another interesting feature of the suicide squads is the frequent use of female suicide bombers.
The chief demand of the LTTE is for a separate homeland called the Tamil Eelam. They have de facto control over large parts of northern and eastern Sri Lanka including the key territory of Jaffna.
Recently, with the help of Norway, a ceasefire has been brokered and peace talks are on in Thailand. It seems as if the LTTE might be finally ready to give up its demand for an Eelam in exchange for greater autonomy within Sri Lanka.
Their leader is Velupillai Prabhakaran and his key right hand man is Anton Balasingham. Prabhakaran is said to run the organisation in a tight dictatorial manner, with frequent purges of the top brass.
The two decade old ethnic conflict has drained Sri Lanka of its resources and man power and reduced the beautiful island to ruins. One hopes that peace will eventually dawn and normality return.