DNA is reporting that a bomb was sent to the Indian Embassy in Rome with the sender’s address marked as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), the Sri Lankan insurgent group which was defeated by the government last year.
The letter bomb apparently arrived on 20 January, and the news comes the day before hotly contested elections in Sri Lanka. India was controversially involved in the Sri Lankan struggle in the past. Official Indian policy has been torn between the need to appease its own Tamil community in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, the wish for a stable and peaceful neighbour and its support for Sri Lanka’s brutal counter-insurgency tactics, which it hopes to emulate against its Maoist problem. India joined with Pakistan and China last May in blocking European attempts to launch a probe into alleged war crimes by the Sri Lankan authorities with UN Human Rights Council.
Meanwhile, the people of Sri Lanka go to the polls facing a ridiculous choice between the president who won the war and the general who fought it – neither of which are likely to ensure a better deal for the Tamils in the future.
If the report is true about a bomb at the Indian Embassy in Rome, then it’s a bizarre choice of venue. The LTTE retains a structure outside of Sri Lanka, and is angry at the diplomatic support offered the Indians to their enemies in Colombo, but it’s too early to draw any conclusions.