"In the chequered history of the LTTE spanning the past three decades during which Prabhakaran has held sway as its supreme leader, there have been several spells over which its insurrectionary capacity suffered serious setbacks. Prominent among such recessions were: the brief eclipse of the LTTE in the aftermath of the Indian 'peace-keeping' intervention in 1987; the worldwide anti-Tiger revulsion evoked by the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi in 1991; the strategic losses consequent upon its expulsion by the Sri Lankan armed forces from the Jaffna peninsula in 1995; the constraining effects on its international operations generated by the global tide of hostility towards terrorism following the al-Qaeda attack on the US in 2001; and, more far-reaching in impact than any other, the internal revolt led by Colonel Karuna in March 2004. The impression conveyed by the experiences in each of these episodes, however, is that the LTTE possessed the inner resilience and the external support required for recovery, if not entirely unscathed, at least with sufficient strength to persist with its campaign of warfare and terror. In contrast, the losses suffered in the more recent past appear as constituting an irreversible and aggravating trend featured by indications that could well portent its final collapse."
(G. H. Peiris in 'Twilight of the Tigers: Peace efforts and power struggles in Sri Lanka,' p. 273 OUP)
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