US embassy cable - 86COLOMBO8227

PLOTE AND THE LTTE

Identifier: 86COLOMBO8227
Wikileaks: View 86COLOMBO8227 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Colombo
Created: 1986-11-04 05:29:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PINS CE
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
R 040529Z NOV 86
FM AMEMBASSY COLOMBO
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 9787
INFO AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI
AMCONSUL MADRAS
C O N F I D E N T I A L COLOMBO 08227 
 
E.O. 12356: DECL: OADR 
TAGS:  PINS, CE 
SUBJECT:  PLOTE AND THE LTTE 
 
REF MADRAS 3214 
 
1.  CONFIDENTIAL--ENTIRE TEXT. 
- 
- 
2.  ACCORDING TO TAMIL FSN WITH GOOD CONTACTS IN THE 
NORTH, APPROXIMATELY 75 PLOTE MEMBERS TURNED OVER 
THEIR ARMS TO THE LTTE IN JAFFNA OCTOBER 30.  THE 
FSN DESCRIBED THE PLOTE FIGHTERS INVOLVED AS MEMBERS 
OF THE ANTI-UMA MAHESWARAN FACTION OF PLOTE WHICH 
SPLINTERED FROM THE PARENT ORGANIZATION IN JULY 1986. 
- 
3.  A GSL MILITARY OFFICER TOLD EMBOFF THAT THE 
SRI LANKAN PRESS HAD OVERPLAYED THE "PLOTE 
SURRENDER TO THE LTTE," AS FEW MEMBERS OF PLOTE 
HAD IN FACT HANDED THEIR WEAPONS TO THE TIGERS. 
IT WAS THE OFFICER'S OPINION THAT THIS ACTION 
WILL DO LITTLE TO CHANGE THE MILITARY BALANCE ON 
THE JAFFNA PENINSULA, AS "PLOTE REALLY COULD NOT 
GET MUCH MORE INACTIVE THAN THEY WERE BEFORE." 
CITING REPORTS OF MINOR CLASHES BETWEEN THE LTTE 
AND THE EPRLF OVER A FEW ABANDONED PLOTE 
OBSERVATION POSTS IN JAFFNA, THE OFFICER SAID HE 
BELIEVED A SHOWDOWN BETWEEN THE EPRLF AND THE 
LTTE WAS IN THE OFFING. 
- 
4.  COMMENT:  ALTHOUGH PLOTE IS THOUGHT TO BE THE 
LARGEST OF THE TAMIL INSURGENT ORGANIZATIONS, IT 
HAS SO FAR REFRAINED FROM WIDESCALE INVOLVEMENT IN 
THE GUERRILLA WAR.  PLOTE HAS BEEN PARTICULARLY DORMANT 
IN THE JAFFNA PENINSULA, WHICH APPEARS TO BE LARGELY 
UNDER THE CONTROL OF THE LTTE.  HOWEVER, PLOTE HAS 
BEEN ACTIVE IN THE NORTH-CENTRAL VAVUNIYA DISTRICT, 
AND TO A LESSER DEGREE IN PARTS OF THE EAST.  WE 
HAVE SEEN NO REPORTS OF A PLOTE "STAND-DOWN" 
TAKING EFFECT ANYWHERE OUTSIDE OF THE JAFFNA AREA.  END 
COMMENT. 
- 
5.  AS THIS WAS BEING TYPED AMBASSADOR AND POLOFF 
SPOKE WITH PRINCIPAL OF JAFFNA COLLEGE, WHO APPEARED 
TO AGREE WITH GSL MILITARY OFFICER'S ASSESSMENT 
PARA 3.  HE SAID PLOTE WAS OF LITTLE IMPORTANCE IN 
JAFFNA, BUT THAT EPRLF WAS AND THAT SHOWDOWN BETWEEN 
IT AND LTTE WAS POSSIBLE.  THE PRINCIPAL, PASSING 
THROUGH COLOMBO FROM JAFFNA ON HIS WAY TO THE UNITED 
STATES, SAID THAT THE PERCEPTION IN THE JAFFNA AREA 
WAS THAT LTTE WAS THE STRONGER AND MORE DISCIPLINED 
OF THE TWO MILITANT GROUPS.  HOWEVER, THE EPRLF 
HAS CONSIDERABLE SUPPORT--BOTH MONETARY AND MORAL-- 
FROM TAMILS IN EUROPE, WHO BELIEVE EPRLF MORE 
LIKELY TO TRANSCEND CASTE BARRIERS THAN THE LTTE 
WHICH IS GAINING INCREASING SUPPORT FROM THE 
JAFFNA TAMIL ELITES. 
 
 
SPAIN 

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