First, the Sri Lankan government has not addressed the lingering grievances of the Tamil minority and has done little to alleviate the systemic and institutional racism in the country. [The government has] won the war, but are fully capable of losing the peace. They must quickly come to the assistance of the tens of thousands of displaced Tamils.
One should not expect [second in command of the LTTE and world class weapons dealer] Pathmanathan to fade quietly into retirement, and gently accept the Sri Lankan rout of the LTTE. He was Prabhakaran’s closest lieutenant. He will remain committed to the Tamil cause. It will take time to rebuild even a small organization. But, in the mean time, there is a new gun (merchant) for hire.
It is important to understand what exactly has recently occurred in Sri Lanka. The hierarchical geospatially-bound LTTE network was crashed. However, it’s reason d’etaire as well as its external sources of funding guarantee that the same fight will be rebooted in another form. If current global trends are any indication, it will be faceless, it will be small and agile, and it’s structure will almost be flat.
The Tamil Tiger is far from dead.
For the LTTE, the lasting legacy is pioneering the use of suicide bombers and suicide belts, which have widely been adopted by radical Islamist groups and others. The specially trained and selected Black Tigers, the mystique surrounding them within the organization and the belief in the validity of the tactic have now been widely transferred to other terrorist organizations.
It is, as some theorists like to say, the “atomic weapon of the poor,” and a weapon that is tremendously difficult to defend against, especially when any constraints on killing the civilian population is lifted, as it was for the LTTE, as well as al Qaeda, Hamas and others who learned the lesson well.