If some one wants to convince that the path they are following is the correct one to achieve the set goal ahead of them, he or she must prove that fact after achieving the set goal following the very same path he or she believes in.
In the case of defeating LTTE terrorism Sri Lanka also proved the fact that it had followed the correct path in achieving the objective at a time the entire world, with few exceptions were objecting to path it had taken to defeat terrorism. Mullaitivu, Security Forces Commander Major General Nandana Udawatta, 55 Division GOC Brigadier Prasanna de Silva, 59 Division GOC Brigadier Chargie Gallage accompanying Army Commander to Mullaitvu.
Ultimately those who opposed the Sri Lankan Government’s effort to defeat the most ruthless terrorist organization or the terror movement, they thought were invincible, had to accept the bitter truth that the Sri Lankan Government had followed the correct path in achieving its objective of defeating terrorism.
Many experts on terrorism who had closely followed the conflict in Sri Lanka are learning lessons from the glorious victory achieved by the Sri Lanka Security Forces since this is the first victory against a terrorist outfit after the victory achieved by the Malaysian Government against terrorism in the 1950’s.
The research papers on Malaysia’s victory against terror movement says that although Malaysia lacks the ‘state of the art technologies’ that existed in many developed countries, the employment of ‘Human Intelligence’ had successfully contributed to defeating the terrorists.
Those who studied Malaysia’s success story against terrorism as a success story are no turning their eyes towards Sri Lanka’s success story on the war on terror to learn lessons for the yet unfinished global war on terror as Sri Lanka had fought a modern war against one of the most elite terror outfit in the world which had ships, aircraft and modern weaponry.
According to Army Commander General Sarath Fonseka the lessons from Sri Lanka’s war against the LTTE will one day he added to military manuals will become a part of defence studies since this is the first success story against terrorism after half a century following the Malaysian conflict which was fought using 303 rifles in the 1950’s.
The recent editorial in the Washington Times states that there are nine lessons the United States and other countries could learn from Sri Lanka. The Washington Times said, “Perhaps the most important lesson is the debunking of the widely held belief that terrorism cannot be quelled militarily. The Sri Lankan military demonstrated that professionalism, strategy, discipline and unswerving commitment can beat terrorism.”
It is interesting to note that the Washington Times had stated: “Sri Lanka’s war was complex and challenging, spawning several dimensions of terrorist activity. The war was fought on the ground in Sri Lanka, while propaganda and funds for weapons were handled by LTTE supporters living in the West, and weapons were acquired from Southeast Asia and Central Europe.
Although the United States designated the LTTE as a foreign terrorist organization in October 1997, it was not until November 2007 that it banned the Tamil Rehabilitation Organization as an LTTE front organization. Until then, in the guise of charity, LTTE activists were collecting funds and transferring them to the Tiger war chest. Canada proscribed the LTTE in April 2006 and banned the World Tamil Movement (WTM) in June 2008. The banning of these front organizations was a major blow to LTTE terrorist operations.
Even after the unequivocal military defeat of the LTTE, its overseas supporters defiantly keep the separatist dream alive despite annihilation of most of the LTTE’s leadership and the death of founder Velupillai Prabhakaran.
If unchecked, they may well transform that dream once again into virulent terrorism, and this time, the Eelam War may well be fought locally – by the Diaspora in the West”.
These countries are realizing all these facts the Sri Lankan Government was highlighting at each and every international forum they spoke about terrorism for the past few decades.
It was the very same point the late Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar, tried to drive home at each and every international forum he represented and it was the very same reason he was subjected to a cold blooded murder by the LTTE at his private residence in Colombo.
So that is the challenge the Sri Lankan Government and the international community had to face even after the defeat of LTTE terrorism in the Sri Lankan soils.
Therefore, the cooperation of the international community is a must to launch a campaign to crack down on the LTTE internationally before it become a threat to those Western nations where a more than some 800,000 thousand Tamil Diaspora is deeply rooted at present.
Now it is up to those Western nations to extend their support to the Sri Lankan Government to continue the effort of eradicating LTTE terrorism internationally too as the Sri Lankan Government is taking initiatives to do justice to the Tamil civilians who lived under the pressure of the LTTE for decades. Army Commander General Sarath Fonseka in conversation with Special Forces and Commando divers at the Vadduvakkal causeway, in Mullaitivu during his visit to Mullaitivu last week. Pictures by Rukmal Gamage.
The Sri Lankan delegation comprising Senior Presidential Advisor Basil Rajapaksa MP, Presidential Secretary Lalith Weerathunga and Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa who are now on an official visit to India are reportedly had discussions with Indian External Affairs Minister S M Krishna, National Security Advisor M K Narayanan, Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon and Defence Secretary Vijay Singh.
Displaced civilians in
The resettlement of displaced civilians in the Vanni and the de-mining process were high on the agenda during these discussions according to media reports from India as they were the main concerns of India which was closely following the Sri Lankan situation in the post conflict scenario.
As the President had highlighted in his ‘Victory Day’ speech the Government has embarked on a speedy development drive in the North to speed up the process of resettling the displaced civilians to close down all relief camps set up in Mannar, Vavuniya and Jaffna districts within 180 days program.
Resettling more than 282,000 people within 180 days is not an easy task to achieve in an environment where hundreds and thousands of land mines are buried. Above all, the Government cannot simply send them back to their villages without ensuring their safety and also without ensuring them a proper livelihood.
But the Government has to take up the challenge in the same manner it had taken up the challenge of defeating terrorism. To achieve this objective the entire Government machinery will have to work alike with their commitment and dedication as the resettling of Tamil civilians back in their villages is the best way of ensuring that these innocent Tamil people will not been neglected at all.
Therefore, the entire Government machinery is now geared to develop the infrastructure facilities in the Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu districts.
The Government had to make extra effort whereas these areas have not seen even a glimpse of development for the past few decades as the LTTE deprived them all rights the normal Sri Lankan citizen have enjoyed, for the past few decades forcing a useless war on them to achieve an unrealistic goal.
At last that so-called leader Velupillai Prabhakaran, had to die in vain after preying on thousands of youngsters who could have turned the land of Vanni into one of the most fertile agricultural lands in Sri Lanka in an environment free of terrorism.
Not only had the LTTE deprived an entire young generation of their lives but also made a considerable percentage of them disabled depriving their contribution towards to the national economy in an effective manner.
Apart from this the LTTE not only deprived them of those fertile lands for the past few decades but also filled them with mines making them inaccessible for years for cultivation even at a time the civilians are making an effort to stand on their own feet as independent men and women without being suppressed by the guns pointed at them by the LTTE.
So the Government has to consider all these factors in its effort of launching it’s development drive for the North and to put them on same gear on par with the development in the other parts of the country.
As a part of this process the Government has lifted the ban on fishing in the Northern and Eastern seas providing a great relief to the people who were depending on the fishing industry.
With the relaxation of fishing restrictions the fishing community of the North can now engage in fishing in the seas extending from North of Kokilai in the Eastern seas up to Nachchikuda in the North Western sea. They also can now engage in both day and nighttime fishing.
The Sri Lanka Navy has taken the measures to ensure the safety of the civilians involved in fishing activity. Special entry exit points are set up to monitor the movement of fishing vessels.
All fishing vessels have to be illuminated at night and those involved in nighttime fishing should be fitted with Radar Reflectors. Fishermen can use Out Board Motors of up to 15 horse power engine capacity.
Therefore, the fishermen especially in Jaffna can now switch from their traditional canoes to boats and go out of the shallow waters to engage in fishing activities under the supervision of the Navy. That will definitely be a great boon to the Northern and Eastern population who were heavily dependent on fishing industry.
Apart from the measures taken by the Government to uplift the livelihood of the Northern people it had also taken measures to establish democracy in the North by announcing elections to the Jaffna Municipal Council, the citadel of Tamil politics in Sri Lanka and also for the Vavuniya Urban Council.
The Elections Department fixed August 8 as the elections date for the two Local bodies in the Jaffna and Vavuniya districts. The people in the Jaffna district will not get the chance of electing their own candidates for these two local bodies as this would be the first instance they are going to cast their vote without any pressure from the LTTE.
Therefore, the elections on August 8 will be one of the most crucial elections for the Tamils as it would give an idea about the true political affinity of the Tamil people as they are now free to cast their vote and the candidates are free to engage in their elections without any guns pointed at them.
Above all there won’t be any terrorists to fix claymore mines and point guns to assassinate elected members to these local bodies to run their own administration in those local bodies.
As all these measures are being taken to restore normality in the North the security concerns should also been given top most priority in the North and East and also other part of the country although one month had possed since the elimination of the LTTE from the country.
However, the Security Forces have not yet dropped its guard on security as Tiger elements are still haunting in the North and East.
The capture of female Tiger cadres inside the jungle in Puthukudiyiruppu South who had survived for one month after eating uncooked dhal and rice hiding from the Security Forces and the killing of LTTE leader in Jaffna were two examples of their alertness.
The 522 Brigade troops who conducted a search operation in the Kodikam area on information about the presence of a few suspected persons, observed one suspect hiding behind a bush and attempting to throw a hand grenade towards troops engaged in the search operation.
However, the alert troops instantly opened fire at the suspect killing him on the spot.
Subsequently troops had identified the deceased as a Tiger cadre named Salappan. They recovered a micro pistol, two hand grenades, one mobile phone and Rs. 6,100 in cash on the dead Tiger cadre.
The Security Forces have also intensified search operations in the East too in search of Ram and Nagulan who are hiding in the Eastern jungles since there is no indication that they are going to surrender.
If the Security Forces allow these Tiger cadres to move freely in any part of the country they will definitely take a risk to sabotage the normal life in the country as they are now in a desperate situation.
Therefore, intense security measures are a must at a time the Elections Department is planning to hold two key elections for the Jaffna Municipal Council and the Vavuniya Urban Council which are of utmost value for the Tamils.