Research paper, 5-6 pages in length, plus bibliography. Students must choose a terrorist group from an area not covered in the class. You must describe its history, significance today and impact on other terrorist group(s), if any.
Note from buyer: please write out 5 pages, not including the bibliography. A list of sources is needed!
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), also popularly known as the Tamil Tigers, was a militant organization based in northern and eastern Sri Lanka. The group was formed following a common historical pattern: superiority and inferiority of ethnic groups created during colonization (Richards, 2014). In this case, the Tamil group had enjoyed favoritism during colonization while the Sinhalese majority was discriminated against and intimidated at economic, political, and social levels. After independence, the incoming government was Sinhalese led under Sirimavo Bandaranaike. This government implemented the policy of standardization meant to tip the scale and put more Sinhalese in universities and other institutions in which they had been previously been discriminated against. This move was met by opposition by a group of Tamil University students in what became the first form of Tamil insurgent group. Years later, one of its leaders, Velupillai Prabhakaran went on to become the leader and military commander of the LTTE.
Several insurgent groups came up in the years that followed. The Tamil New Tigers (TNT) was the last unit that eventually transformed into the LTTE with Prabhakaran as its military commander (Richards, 2014). He was extremely particular with his training. He kept the number of fighters at a low and manageable level with an aim of developing his force into an elite force that had a land, air and naval unit. It was officially formed on 5th May 1976 with the sole aim of separating the northern and eastern region into a Tamil independent state.
In the years between its founding and its first significant attack in 1983, the group went through organizational and structural transformation. The leader of the Tamil united Liberation Front, Appapillai Amirthalingam, openly supported the LTTE and believed that this move would grant him more power as an opposition leader (Richards, 2014). He assumed that this move would guarantee his control over all the Tamil Insurgent groups, place political pressure on the government and grant them their demands to separate into a single Tamil state. Interestingly, LTTE had no interest in political solutions and agreements; therefore, they enforced more domination in the Tamil regions and completely alienated Tamil political parties. Eventually, Tamil political parties including TULF were rendered obsolete and the insurgent groups completely took over Tamil regions.
In 1983, the Thirunelveli attack by the LTTE was followed by a predetermined plan by the Sri Lanka government and officials against the Tamil group. This incident was a significant factor in the onset of unrest and constant conflict between the insurgent groups and the government. Many insurgent groups, including the LTTE acquired a lot of military, financial and training support from India. Soon after merging into a militia front, there emerged clashes and conflicts between the insurgent groups. The LTTE claimed that India had other malicious intentions that would be beneficial to it. At the same time, they had a fallout with Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization (TELO) which soon escalated to attacks that left the TELO group severely disfigured.
In 1987, the two countries entered into the Indo-Sri Lankan Accord. Even though the peace agreement seemed to have provided some autonomy and freedom to the Tamil groups, they were still majorly dissatisfied and took military warfare tactics against Indian troops. The Indian military was quick to counter and often implemented extremely ruthless tactics that were unappealing to both the Tamil and the Sinhalese government. In 1990, the newly elected president Premadasa made a successful move of removing the Indian military and defense from the country. After this, LTTE carried out its biggest assassinations: Rajiv Ghandi, the Prime Minister of India in 1991 and President Premadasa in 1993 (Richards, 2014).
The government and the LTTE entered into a cease fire agreement in 2002 that was occasionally violated by both parties throughout the years. The new government that came to power in 2006 was determined to nullify the ceasefire agreement and apply the only method that it deemed fit: the government would deal with ethnic conflict by completely eliminating the LTTE, and with that resolve, the agreement was terminated (Stanford.edu, 2013).
Meanwhile, war broke out in the East, and the Sri Lankan government was able to take back control of this region. The areas of Mavil Aru, Sampoor,Vakarai and Batticaloa all came under government control in a move aimed at collectively relinquishing the entire region and putting it under government control. By 2007, the government was making significant progress in recapturing the north. Alongside other senior commanders, Prabhakaran was injured by government air attacks. At the same time, Kilinochchi was eventually captured on 2 January 2009, as announced by the president. These developments ruined the image of the LTTE since this capital had served as their most centralized headquarters and administrative town. The group had even established this town as a normal administrative headquarters in a country with courts and schools and prisons. Evidently, the Tamil had been laying out its foundation for independence as a free nation, particularly the northern region, through this town (RIR, 2016).
The LTTE gave up the Jaffna Peninsula and went into the Mullaitivu jungle as a measure of last resort (Richards, 2014). On 16th May 2009, President Rajapaksa officially declared victory over the group after decades of conflict. Many of its fighters escaped to India while some remained in the country. Thos who surrendered to the government were taken through rehabilitation and integration programs. These fighters were divided into different groups. Hardcore former militia members were forcefully recruited as military combatants. Others were apprehended to face charges of human rights abuses. Another group comprises individuals who were assimilated into intelligence organizations that were focused on observing the activities of LTTE, its reformation, the dynamics of other Tamil insurgent groups as well as the terrorism threats they posed.
Throughout its time of formation, operation, strengthening, up until now, the LTTE group has had a stable and well-established international network, which is now primarily concerned with propaganda, arms/weapons and shipping. This has been enabled by the large population of Tamil natives and immigrants all over the world. There are significant LTTE activities and stations in Canada, US, UK, France and Germany. Other notable countries through which members of the group operate include Morocco, South Arica, Botswana and most of Sri Lanka’s neighboring countries – Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Singapore and Malaysia. These regions have continued to serve as an interconnectedness network that supports shipping and economic activities that fund attempts to revive the group, which has since been categorized as a terrorist group by thirty two countries including US, UK, India and Sri Lanka.
The LTTE has been described as one of the most sophisticated terrorist and militia group in the world. It international network dealt in many criminal activities in a way that was effortless and profiting. These activities include drug trafficking, piracy, people and children smuggling, arms smuggling and trade, passport and identity forgery and cyber attacks. They increased the group’s network to about 400 million members when it was at its strongest (RIR, 2016).
The innovation and distinctiveness in techniques used has also meant that the group has had tremendously influenced other terrorist groups. For example, a special and elite group known as the Black Tigers operated the suicide attack unit (RIR, 2016). For the longest time, the group considered it honorable and heroic to die in the line of duty. This group has been identified as the first insurgent organization to use concealed explosive belts in their attacks. This method was mostly applied in their assassinations, ethnic cleansings and economic attacks.
Besides, the group famously integrated children and women soldiers into their military training through forceful means. Soldiers were expected to cut communication and contact with their families to avoid distractions and refocus energy towards the group’s goals. The training methods used often left behind ruthless soldiers who were extremely good at combat and defense (Richards, 2014). The Aranthalawa or Mosque massacres are good examples that demonstrate the cruelty and extent of terrorist operations undertaken the group. However, unlike most contemporary terrorist organizations, the LTTE had highly protective regulations and punishments against female sexual violence and abuse. Sexual abuse was not applied a method of combat. At the same time, wives were less prone to domestic violence because the local courts enforced extreme consequences for these crimes (RIR, 2016).
The LTTE can be studied to offer insights into the network of insurgency groups and terrorist groups. This move would greatly be beneficial in regards to the subjective topic of defining terrorism. In this case, it takes up a political and national form that soon poses the danger of expanding to other neighboring countries. By observing the intricate organization of this group, research and security stakeholders can begin to understand the dynamics of modern-day terrorism. Evidently, today’s future terrorist groups will not be limited to countries warring over natural resources. Rather, they will assume a sophisticated, modern front that takes position in the cyberspace and across all countries of the world. The LTTE must not be underrated for its network could easily lead to its successful revival. If this was to happen, it would be almost impossible to defeat the group again.
Stanford.edu. (2013). Stanford University. http://web.stanford.edu/group/mappingmilitants/cgi-bin/groups/view/225
RIR. (2016). Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada. https://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/pages/attachments/2016/04/27/lka105432.e.pdf
Richards, J. (2014). An Institutional History of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. Geneva: Center on Conflict, Development, and Peacebuilding, The Graduate Institute of Geneva. https://www.sem.admin.ch/dam/data/sem/internationales/herkunftslaender/asien-nahost/lka/LKA-geschichte-ltte-e.pdf