most observers including myself expect tamils to vote for ranil ,and with some reason too. a victory for mahinda would mean going back, to war maybe, or more likely to more of present stalemate and low intensity war. result will be bad for sri lanka but especially for the northeast tamils. so if they think about their own well being they do not have much choice.
as for the ltte, things get more complicated. to some people in the ltte leadership, war in itself or the present stalemate may not seem bad at all. contrary to what most people in the south believe ceasefire has in fact weakened the ltte. it's discipline is going overboard, cadres are getting increasingly corrupt and recruitment is falling, in this relatively peaceful atmosphere. this is to be expected. all authoritarian organizations need a high intensity struggle to remain cohesive. of course ltte can over time evolve in to a more democratic political party but that would entail the present leadership giving up some of its powers and dictatorial ambitions. this is still possible, south asian political history is filled with almost dictators getting their way without being homicidal maniacs. mr velupillai prabhakaran has to decide whether he chooses to follow that path in the future or not. problem is he may be incapable of doing this. now is the time to decide.
that doesn't mean ltte has to endorse ranil. given that tough negotiations will have to take place in the future they will probably be better off and ranil will also be better off if they stay neutral. but they should definitely not endorse a election boycott or in any way hinder the ordinary tamils from voting in the election.
so what does all those conflicting signals that seem to be coming from the ltte during the last few days mean. are they deliberately willing a mahinda victory by starting a boycott? what do they hope to achieve by that? if they think they will be able to occupy moral high ground and get international sympathy in the event mahinda wins and starts a war, they are sadly mistaken. reality will be the opposite and ltte will once again be considered terrorists in a world that abhors terrorists.
a ltte backed boycott at this stage can mean only one thing: ltte leadership has decided against peace and is for war. period.
war would mean suffering all around. that is why ltte and all those who can influence it should not let it come to that.
time to decide.