Ways to avoid a return to ethnic conflict, lessons to be learnt
Posted on September 23rd, 2010

Ben Silva

Open Letter
Com of Inquiry on Lessons Learnt and Reconcilation
24- Lakshman Kadir: Inst, no 24, Horton Pls, Colombo 7

 Dear Sir,
 Ways to avoid a return to ethnic conflict, lessons to be learnt
Summary
If a terrorist organisation is to operate successfully, it needs the following ingredients:
Funds
Bases
Weapons
Supply chain
Training
Supporters
Propaganda

 Initially India funded, trained and supported LTTE. If Sri Lanka want to learn lessons, then it should investigate how LTTE organised its funds, bases, supply chain, weapons, training, supporters and propaganda. The first thing to observe is that LTTE was an Indian and Foreign funded terror organisation. Its supporters were from mono ethnic Tamil areas. If we are to stop future wars then we should not allow foreign links, such as Indian links and should not allow mono ethnic areas in Sri Lanka. We need to move away from being passive, if we do not want to end up as the native Americans. Unfortunately, our belief system makes us passive, and we need to question if we are following the right path, as we have lost most of the coast line, the hill country and even our Capital. It is worthwhile noting that Buddhists in countries in the Silk route were wiped out by invaders. Also note that every passive ethnic group either got wiped out or ended up as second class citizens as in Bolivia.

The main lesson is not to be weak militarily or economically, or weak in intelligence gathering as it will allow our enemies to harm us or invade us on false pretexts. CFA was forced on us as we were very weak. We should not have mono ethnic areas such as exclusive Tamil areas in te North or East as these areas will become launching pads for Tamil racists, local and Indian to invade and capture the rest of Sri Lanka. My fear is that some Tamils still have a tribal mentality and view the North and East as captured areas, captured by Cholas and recent ethnic cleansing and want to use the North and the East as a base to capture the rest of Sri Lanka. Remember that Prabakaran used a Chola emblem and had links with racist Indian Tamils such as Vaiko and Seeman. This potential threat from some Tamils should not be ignored. There should be no mono ethnic schools and the aim should be for racial integration.

 Sri Lanka should not allow any Tamil groups to form with the intention of dividing the country. LTTE obtained funding and weapons for terrorism from foreign sources. Its support base was mono ethnic Tamil areas. Any mono ethnic Tamil enclaves is deadly to the Sinhalese, as these areas become safe heavens for potential terrorists. We must strengthen our security forces and intelligence and always keep a close watch of any arms smugglers sending arms across the Indian Ocean. We should have our civil defense forces trained and alert so that our enemies would think twice before invading us. We should be self reliant on defense and energy. We also have to remember that Tamils may be used as proxies by our enemies to wage war against Sri Lanka. Prabakaran may have wanted Sri Lanka exclusively for Tamils and perhaps as an extension to Tamil Nadu. We have to be aware of threats from people, who may have a mindset similar to Prabakaran. Sri Lanka should be for all it citizens and not just for Tamils.

 Whole` of Sri Lanka has been the home land of our ancestors. The home land of the Tamils is Tamil Nadu. Unfortunately from time to time Tamil war lords invaded our only homeland and caused massive destruction. In fact the destruction of our ancient hydraulic civilisation has been attributed to the destruction caused by invading Tamils who destroyed our irrigation system. The main reason for the conflict has been our inability to defend ourselves and not dealing firmly with aggressors. That is the past and our present day Sri Lanka belongs to all its citizens. However, we have to remember that the Tamils were used by Indians to destabilise Sri Lanka. Later the Tamils were used by Western nations to carryout a proxy war against Sri Lanka. We must never forget that Tamils may be used to carry out proxy wars against Sri Lanka, and any strengthening of Tamil war capability will simply bring forward the day we have another deadly war. The Sinhalese have not denied the rights of other citizens. However some Tamils live in the past and want to treat part of Sri Lanka as a part of the Chola empire. I do not think this is acceptable to non Tamils. Any organisation that is racist and promoting division of the country should be banned, with intelligence services keeping a close eye on potential trouble makers. Indian consulates in Jaffna and also Hambantota are serious threats as it was India that organised, trained and funded LTTE terrorists and it was India that landed the invasion force IPKF, under false pretexts.

 Having friends and relatives of various ethnicities, I am happy that modern Sri Lanka is multi ethnic. ALL need to care and share with all groups and should not yield to temptation of Tamil racism or emulation of Tamil empire building.

With an organisation as destructive as the LTTE, there are always bound to be some elements who would want to re-group and we must be wary of such possibilities.

 I believe protecting our coastline should be a priority now. If our beaches were secured previously, the Tigers could not have smuggled in weapons in such large quantities and they wouldn’t have grown in to the monstrous organisation that they were. Similarly the vast jungle terrain in the Wanni must be dominated. it is this land that the LTTE exploited to the maximum during the early stages of its campaign to wage guerrilla warfare.

My view is Sri Lanka is for all its citizens and not just for Tamils. I would appreciate if readers forward my article to appropriate authorities, including the lessons learnt commission.

Yours sincerely,

 Ben Silva

4 Responses to “Ways to avoid a return to ethnic conflict, lessons to be learnt”

  1. Samson Says:

    Dear Ben,

    Can you please take the time to write to the Commission directly. These matters are too important to be missed. The Commission does not take matters from open letters from what I know.

  2. Siri Says:

    You have brought up an interesting point Mr. Ben Silva. It is too important to be ignored. You should write directly to the commission and also reccommend that a clause be included in the constitution to make divisive politics a punishable offence. this way any sign of trouble can be nipped in the bud.

  3. dhane Says:

    Dear Ben,
    There is one point you may have reluctant to expose. Look in Colombo and many big cities major business and land take over by Tamils. See Main Street, all other Cross Streets and many areas of Colombo. Tamils keep-on buying paying good price to Sighalese. I cannot understand what happened to Sinhalese business people. Are Sinhalese stingy or poor?

  4. Ben_silva Says:

    dhane has made a good point. It appears that the Sinhalese are driven out due to the economic and financial power of Tamils. This may be due to the lack of competitiveness of the Sinhalese. Reasons need to be investigated. My theory is every one except Sinhala Buddists want to be wealthy, where as Sinhala Buddhists aim for Nirvana, which is seeking extinction.

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