Friday, May 29, 2009

First journalist to touch the AWACS !!!

Adding another first to my credit I became the first journalist in India to touch the mighty AWACS in Palam technical area where they were inducted into the IAF on May 28, 2009.

Photo courtesy - Sandeep Unnithan of India Today

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Prabhakaran's death--what's the truth?

There have been different stories about LTTE Chief V Prabhakaran's death, so much so that people have gone to the extent of calling it a farce. DMK Supremo M Karunanidhi too believe's that he cannot die.

I spoke to some senior uniformed friends of mine who have been in the business of national security and have worked in the southern peninsula and gathered the following inputs.

My strong doubts on the story put forth by the Sri Lankan Army (SLA).about Velllupillai Prabhakaran's death announced on May 18, 2009, are based on certain facts.

He was shown having his ID roof (identity card) with him. That's ridiculous. In his area everybody knew him. Why should he carry an ID proof? Dog tag I can understand as an article of uniform though even that is not necessary. In his area he was the head of state. Why would he carry the ID? It is like Pratibha Patil carrying her ID, if she has one. And why would he like to show his ID to the SLA?

It was as if the LTTE wanted to prove the identity of some dead body and make the SLA believe in it or the opposite of it--after all they are as fools as the Indian police who plant Pakistani passports on dead bodies as if a terorist would be carrying his Pakistani passport on his body all the time!!

Then the manner of encounter. The SLA are saying that he was fleeing. That's ridiculous again. That is just to insult him and project him as a coward. There was no escape by land--impossible--he knew at least that much.

For months he would have known that he has violated the basic principles of terrorism and he can't win. A terrorist should remain a terrorist. Never try to hold ground or defend a position. That's not for a terrorist. The regular forces have more firepower and they would eventually kill you even if you manage to inflict great losses on them. Bhindaranwale also was not able to understand this. A terrorist should hit and then melt away. Never try to become an army because you can never have the resources of an army.

The SLA says that he was in an armored vehicle and there was an escort vehicle whether in the shape of an ambulance or otherwise. That too is ridiculous. He should have known that in an encounter of that type it is quite possible that they would be merely wounded and not killed. And then he should have known that the SLA would make mince-meat out of him.

For example, the SLA could have used gas--they are committing so many violations--they could have used gas also. In any case, the SLA was not going to let any ambulance go unchecked. Hence that cover was foolish.

If at all he wanted to die fighting, it could have been a heroic end--for example a frontal charge with bayonets fixed and bombs strapped to the body so that you are properly killed and there is no chance of getting caught alive.

Or else he could have committed mass suicide. But that too is not heroic--unlike the Fuhrer these guys depended a lot on the psychological factor and showmanship.

The manner of death is quite unlike him. He could not have been that big a fool.

If at all he had to escape he should have escaped quite some time ago by sea route--that's quite possible--no naval blockade can be foolproof.

If he has escaped, it would be proper for him to revert back to proper terrorism and not fiddle with the mobile warfare stage of an insurgency--that is enough to keep the govt on tenterhooks. That can be easily done even from abroad and the reaction of the govt could be projected as repression of the Tamils.

Above all why should he have waited till the very end. Any fool could have sensed the hopelessness of the situation months ago. He could not have expected a military miracle to happen. They had, in any case, spurned the offer of a negotiation.

The Fuhrer was in a different situation. He could have expected a military miracle to happen. He had regualr forces who put up a terrible fight even in the Battle of Berlin--the Soviet casualties were four times higher than those of the Germans.

It was an anti-climax and that does not fit into the scheme of the things. If he died that way then he was fool much bigger than what we thought.