Archive for April 17th, 2008

The Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF), after being relatively inactive in the past two weeks due to bad weather conditions, have stepped up air strikes over LTTE targets in the northern province. Fighters of the 10th fighter squadron conducted nigh time air raids on a series of LTTE bases in jungles of Oddusudan on the 15th while helicopter gunships of the 9th attack helicopter attacked a LTTE mortar launching pad near the Muhamalai defence line on the 16th. The Air Force conducted air raids on an LTTE communications facility located south of Kokavil, Mullaithiv, also on the 15th. Exact damages caused to LTTE cadres from these air strikes are not yet available.

Meanwhile several friendly foreign intelligence services have renewed their warnings of LTTE infiltration in Colombo. According to these intel sources, between 75-100 hard core cadres from LTTE’s intelligence wing and Black Tiger suicide wing have entered Colombo. VVIP assassination (the president is a top priority target of the LTTE), destruction of economic structures, disruption of day to day civilian life and assasination of key military personnel are some of their objectives. The LTTE, as usual, have deployed several teams working on the same target. This strategy is known to boost the success rate of the mission as there is always the chance of another team successfully completing the mission even if one gets busted.

A foreign intelligence service had previously warned of LTTE threats to minister Jeyeraj Fernandopulle. According to these warnings, two black tigers had been given the task of assassinating the minister. One of them apparently succeeded.


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The foul murder of Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle by the LTTE brought forth from the so called “International Community” –[i.e  a group of `Rich Foreigners’, principally of the West who appear to believe in Kipling’s theory of the “White Man’s Burden” ], the expected outpouring of words of condemnation with no accompanying action against the LTTE. What is worse is that to these insincere words were added the gratuitous  and equally moronic advice that “There is no military solution to this problem, but only a political solution”. Added to this international cacophony was the voice of Wijeyadasa Rajapakse P.C. MP., who is reported to have tabled a highly verbose motion in Parliament calling for the appointment of a Select Committee to find a political solution.

While many and varied are the sources that call for a “political solution”, there are three common factors among all of them. Firstly, they all assume that a political solution is available without giving any thought to the question whether the evidence supports that assumption. Secondly, apart from some who glibly opine in the most general of terms that that solution lies in “the devolution of power” or “power sharing”, none of them spell out any proposal for such a `solution’. Thirdly, not one of them has given his/her `mind’ to the question of how a `Political Solution’ which, where possible, could only be achieved through rational negotiation could be achieved when the LTTE will not negotiate and has successfully scuttled every set of negotiations that were conducted by the Government with them.

By far the most important factor that has been ignored by these proponents of `mirage chasing’ is the real nature of the problem facing us. In brief, the problem facing us is that a group of unrepentant terrorists who are proud of their terrorism have, through that terrorism, usurped control over a significant portion of our Country’s territory on the fraudulent pretext that they have done so to “liberate” the Tamils from the purported

“tyranny” of the purported “Sinhalese Government”. The absolute falsity of this pretext  is borne out in spades by the conduct of the LTTE in slaughtering any Tamil who will not unquestioningly accept their leadership [such as Amirthalingam, Tiruchelvam, Yogeswaram, Tambimuttu, Padmanabah, Sabaratnam etc. etc.] and Muslims by the hundred while worshipping in their Mosques, sleeping in their beds and working in their

fields. How the  murder of such Tamils and Muslims could help to `liberate’ the Tamils from the purported “tyranny” of the purported “Sinhalese Government” is something neither the LTTE nor any of their supporters, apologists, hangers on   or admirers have ventured to explain. To even imagine that this bunch of terrorists would peacefully give up their usurped power and  enter the mainstream of democratic politics would be an act of sheer lunacy. No sovereign state can tolerate any part of its territory being `ruled’ by a usurper and has not only the right but also the manifest duty to reclaim its territory from that usurper using all the military might at its command. There can be no  doubt that the sanctimonious `Rich Foreigners’ who have the gross arrogance and equal  insolence to give us, often through their bureaucrats  called “Ambassadors” and “High

Commissioners”, unsolicited advice that “There is no military solution to this problem, but only a political solution” would do no less if any group of terrorists usurp control over any part of their territories.

The LTTE which has usurped control over a part of our territory has committed not only horrendous crimes of the nature referred to above, but has also kidnapped and continues to kidnap little children for slave labour in their terrorist cadres or to be used as “cannon fodder”, and actually trains young men to commit suicide by detonating explosives strapped to their persons to murder selected persons, such as Minister Fernandopulle while indiscriminately slaughtering and maiming any number of persons of whatever age, race or gender who happen to be around. Do the `Rich Foreigners’ seriously suggest that we should “share power” with such wholly unconscionable and unrepentant terrorist

monsters and subject any part of our citizenry to their `benign rule’ ??? Would any of these `Rich Foreigners’ do likewise if they had the misfortune to be placed in the same predicament as we ??? The suggestion that the devolution of power [a concept that will be dealt with in next week’s article’] would provide a basis for a `Political Solution’ is downright stupid and exposes the ignorance [whether willful or otherwise] of the proponents of that piece of idiocy. The conduct of the LTTE from 1987 onwards proves conclusively that they do not want the devolution of even `a lot’ of Governmental power but that they want the `abdication by the Republic’ of `the lot’ of  its powers of Government in the Northern and  Eastern Provinces in their favour. Thus, when the then President JR Jayewardene in 1987, offered to appoint an `Interim Advisory Committee’ with a  majority of members nominated by the LTTE for the administration of those Provinces pending the constitution of a Provincial Council therefor, Prabhakaran, having first  nominated the requisite number of members thereafter sabotaged the said scheme.

Later, when the then President CB Kumaratunge, in 1996-2000 formulated a  `devolution package’ so utterly extensive that the dividing line between it and a proposal for a separate state was less than `wafer thin’,  and thereafter presented a Bill to Parliament to enact a new Constitution that was `federal’ in the extreme and incorporated the provisions of that `package’, the LTTE rejected them out of  hand. As stated by Anton  Balasingham the LTTE’s response to these proposals was:-

“I do not want to repeat the LTTE’s position on the proposed Constitution. It is a well known fact that we have already rejected the constitutional proposals as limited and inadequate failing to address the political aspirations of our People.

As far as the LTTE and the Tamil political parties are concerned, the constitutional proposals have become a dead letter and there is no purpose in resurrecting this deceased document” [see Weekend Express 17-18 February 2001 at page 5 It would perhaps interest Wijeyadasa Rajapakse to know that his erstwhile leader

Kumaratunge’s  `constitutional proposals’ so summarily rejected by the LTTE were the fruit of the labours of a Select Committee of Parliament. Does he then want Parliament to keep  appointing more and more Select Committees like a set of recurring decimals ???

The rejection of the said draft Constitution constituted an expression of the LTTE’s unyielding position that it would settle for nothing short of a separate state in a negative format. An expression of its said unyielding position in a positive format was not long in coming. It came in 2003 in the form of a proposal for what the LTTE termed an “Interim Self Governing  Authority” by which it proposed that in the `interim period’ pending a `final settlement’,  the Government should abdicate every vestige of its legislative, executive and judicial powers in the Northern and Eastern Provinces in favour of the LTTE.  !!!

In the light of these irrefutable facts, it is truly amazing that any person with the interests of our Country at heart [this excludes the `Rich Foreigners’] could still call for a `Political Solution’ !!! Indeed calling for a cessation of military operations against the LTTE pending a `Political Solution’ is clearly  no less nonsensical than demanding a cessation of all surgical operations for appendicitis  until a medical cure therefor is found !!!

Wijeyadasa Rajapakse, in his motion referred to above, has stated the obvious by detailed reference to the untold suffering created by the hostilities with the LTTE. However, the question at issue now is how that tragic situation can be remedied. Clearly, it cannot be remedied by chasing the mirage of a non-existent `Political Solution’ but only by the military defeat of the LTTE or the annihilation of its leadership. It is pertinent in this  regard to hark back to the dark days of terror of 1987-90 when murders and disappearances were the order of the day; when schools, universities, hospitals, courts, shops  and Government  departments were closed by  small `chits’delivered by small boys; when factories were  destroyed and the life of this Country, and particularly its economic life, was brought to a halt by the terrorism of the JVP. That terror ended and the life of Country was resurrected with relative peace when the leadership of the JVP was almost wholly annihilated by the `extra judicial executions’ of all  but Somawansa Amerasinghe of its leadership.

Had such annihilation not been effected our Country, today, would not have existed as a viable entity. Nobody, no, not even the `Rich Foreigners’ then called for a `Political Solution’. They cannot  be faulted for not so doing because it was obvious that no `Political Solution’ was available. Why then, do they now call for one in strident, if not threatening tones  ???

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Both before and after the recent escalation of hostilities, a few such isolated rescue missions were planned but only a few were executed after brave soldiers from the Special Forces and Commando Regiments made their way back from the dead. Some however were less fortunate.

One such incident occurred in 2006 (names and places withheld) when the location of a small team of LRRP was compromised by accident. The LTTE surrounded the entire area with around 3000 auxiliary and elite soldiers and started combing the jungles. The unit was so very well camouflaged that the Tigers could not find them. Unfortunately, the Tigers laid siege to the area for many days and the team was forced to make a move.

The unit broke through the LTTE cordon and made to the unguarded forest area beyond. Unfortunately, a highly seasoned Sergeant from the unit was hit on the knee and the bullet traveled through-and-through, making him completely immobile.

His colleagues carried him on their shoulders with the LTTE units on hot pursuit. The unit’s getaway was being delayed by the Sergeant’s injury. Finally the Sergeant convinced his colleagues to stop running and to listen to what he had to say.

He then took his gun and a few grenades and asked his colleagues to leave him behind. His arguments were very convincing and he spoke without the slightest fear. After many arguments the rest of the team had no option but to leave the Sergeant behind.

As the team sadly retreated without their colleague and leader, the Sergeant started engaging enemy troops, even managing to kill a few of them and prolonging the advance of the enemy.

Finally, short of ammunition, injured by enemy fire and facing possible capture by the enemy that could jeopardize the secretive mission, the brave soldier committed suicide by removing the pin from a grenade in his person and bid farewell to his motherland.

The loss of quality men is a risk in war, yet there are always new methods of reduce such risks in the modern battlefield. The use of technology, for the rescue of such troops from a battlefield less than 50 miles from base, should not be a serious problem to any reasonably equipped armed forces.

Like in the MCNS story, Armies around the world use helicopters to evacuate elite units from the battlefield. US Special Forces, for example, use the Black hawk for infiltration and extraction of elite troops.

There are other much faster methods of evacuating trapped units from the battlefield. The Skyhook or variations of the Fulton surface-to-air recovery system are in use in most developed militaries. The system uses a lift line tied to a balloon, a harness for upto two men and an air hook fixed to a C130 plane for speedy extraction of troops from the ground.


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