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THE AUSTRALIAN SAYS THE INDIAN GOVERNMENT FEARED AN ATTEMPT ON THE LIFE OF MANMOHAN SINGH BY THE TAMIL TIGERS

By Walter Jayawardhana

The Indian government feared an attempt on the life of the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh by the Tamil terrorists Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and has already deployed warships and guided missile destroyers to protect him when he arrives in Colombo, the Australian reported.
“INDIAN warships, including two frontline guided-missile destroyers, were being deployed to waters off Sri Lanka last night as part of a massive security operation aimed at protecting Manmohan Singh when he arrives in Colombo to attend a key regional summit,”the Australian said..

"Given the Tigers' track record, there has to be serious apprehension about their ability to launch some sort of attack on the summit, and we're doing everything possible to ensure that does not happen," The Australian quoted a senior official in New Delhi as saying last night

The newspaper specifically said the deployment of warships etc., which reportedly involves Indian air force helicopter gunships patrolling the skies of the Sri Lankan capital, comes amid fears that Tamil Tiger terrorists are planning an attack on the Indian Prime Minister while he is at the summit of the eight-nation South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation.

The South Asian Summit members India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Nepal and Bhutan in what will be the most high-profile international meeting to be held in Sri Lanka for many years.

The unprecedented deployment of warships and an airstrike capacity follows a visit to Sri Lanka by India's National Security Adviser, MK Narayanan, to assess the threat potential at the summit, the Australian said..

The Tamil Tigers are notorious for carrying out suicide bombings, and were responsible for the assassination of then Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1984.

Theterrorist group, which is fighting for a Tamil homeland, has an airstrike capacity and sea divers who have launched suicide missions. Tiger aircraft have attacked strategic targets in Colombo, including the international airport.

The summit, for which preparatory sessions are due to begin next week, is proving a security nightmare, especially for Indian officials seeking to protect Dr Singh. It was reported last night that the contingent of the country's crack Special Security Group, which provides security for Dr Singh, will be "much larger" than usual while he is in Colombo.
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There were reports that thousands of Indian troops would be on the streets of Colombo during the summit, but this was denied.

In any event, Dr Singh's attendance at the summit depends on his Government surviving Tuesday's make-or-break vote in the New Delhi parliament on India's nuclear deal with Washington.
If the Government is defeated, Dr Singh is expected to resign and early elections will be called.

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