US embassy cable - 89COLOMBO158

GOI OFFICIAL ON STRENGTH OF LTTE

Identifier: 89COLOMBO158
Wikileaks: View 89COLOMBO158 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Colombo
Created: 1989-01-09 06:53:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PREL IN CE
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
P 090653Z JAN 89
FM AMEMBASSY COLOMBO
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2334
INFO AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI
AMCONSUL MADRAS
C O N F I D E N T I A L COLOMBO 00158 
 
E.O. 12356: DECL:OADR 
TAGS: PREL, IN,  CE 
SUBJECT:  GOI OFFICIAL ON STRENGTH OF LTTE 
 
REF:  NEW DELHI 102 
 
1.  CONFIDENTIAL ENTIRE TEXT. 
 
2.  REFTEL (MFA UNDERSECRETARY FOR SRI LANKA'S COM- 
MENTS ON LATEST IPKF TROOP WITHDRAWAL) PRESENTS AN 
INTERESTING SNAPSHOT OF CURRENT SOUTH BLOCK THINKING 
ON SITUATION IN NORTHEASTERN PROVINCE. 
 
3.  ON THE ROLE OF LTTE, HOWEVER, THE WORKING-LEVEL 
INDIAN HIGH COMMISSION OFFICIAL WHO DEALS MOST CLOSELY 
WITH ALL ASPECTS OF INDIA'S ROLE IN NORTHEASTERN 
PROVINCE, DR. S. JAISHANKAR, PRESENTS A SOMEWHAT MORE 
SOBER VIEW OF CURRENT STRENGTH OF THE LTTE.  HE 
SAYS THAT THE LTTE HAS BEEN OUTMANEUVERED IN THE 
EAST AND IS NO LONGER OF MUCH IMPORTANCE THERE.  BUT 
HE TOLD POLCOUNS JAN 6 THAT THERE ARE PROBABLY STILL 
2000-3000 TIGERS IN THE OLD NORTHERN PROVINCE, IN 
WANNI AREA SOUTH OF ELEPHANT PASS, AND THAT THEY CAN 
CONTINUE TO ELUDE IPKF.  JAISHANKAR SAID THAT A STEADY 
(ALBEIT SMALLER THAN PRE-JULY 1987) STREAM OF WEAPONS 
STILL COME ACROSS THE PALK STRAIT TO THE TIGERS, 
AND DENIED THAT THE SECURITY OFFICIALS IN TAMIL NADU 
WERE CAPABLE OF MORE THAN MARGINALLY AFFECTING THIS 
TRAFFIC, WHICH HE POINTED OUT, DREW ON TIES BETWEEN 
FISHING/SMUGGLING COMMUNITIES WHICH DATE BACK A 
HUNDRED YEARS.  HE EXPRESSED SOME CONCERN ABOUT WHAT 
WOULD HAPPEN TO SUPPORT FOR THE LTTE IN TAMIL NADU IF 
THE DMK WERE TO WIN IN THE JANUARY 21 ELECTION. 
 
4.  THE INDIANS SEE THE FEB 15 GENERAL ELECTION HERE 
AS A REAL TEST OF STRENGTH IN WHAT USED TO BE NORTHERN 
PROVINCE, PARTICULARLY IN JAFFNA PENINSULA WHERE THE 
LTTE CONTINUES TO EXERT SOME POLITICAL FORCE EVEN 
THOUGH ABLE TO DO ALMOST NOTHING MILITARILY.  JAISHANKAR 
SAID THAT IPKF WILL GO ALL OUT TO HELP ENSURE A BIG 
TURNOUT IN THAT ELECTION SINCE THE INDIANS EXPECT THE 
LTTE TO CONTINUE TO SUPPORT A BOYCOTT OF THE POLLS. 
HE IMPLIED THAT THE GOI WOULD VIEW A 65 PER CENT TURN- 
OUT IN JAFFNA PENINSULA AS A REAL VICTORY FOR HIS SIDE 
BUT REFUSED TO SPECULATE WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF THE 
TURNOUT WERE LOW. 
 
 
SPAIN 

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