Sri Lanka : The Living Laboratory on How to and How Not to Fight Terrorism
Posted on April 9th, 2012

By Ayesh De Silva

Governments from all over the world have started to study the case study of Sri Lanka on how to defeat terrorism. Sri Lanka is the best example in the world on how to dismantle a terrorist group militarily. The fact that the present government succeeded and others failed is clearly visible. That is because none of the previous governments had the political will and military strategies to defeat the LTTE. The other governments did not have a national plan or well-coordinated strategies. The present Sri Lankan government with the vision and the mission of His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa, understood the vital importance of public support for recruitment to the armed forces and police. His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa did not have a dual policy of war and peace. His government generated public support by explaining its position, i.e. the government will fight to the end without cease fire agreements unlike which signed on 2002 between the LTTE and the United Front Government led by Hon. Ranil Wickremasinghe. The present government always highlighted its victories, and consequently, success generated success day by day.

At present, the Sri Lankan government reduced the LTTE power from a formidable to a mediocre organization, but Sri Lanka needs to develop its core competencies to fight the LTTE’s domestic and foreign support base politically, economically and diplomatically. The foreign community lacks a proper understanding of the motives behind the LTTE. Therefore, to educate community in the West, we need to train our diplomats and other people how the LTTE operates in the West before the LTTE hoodwink the international community around the world.

Prabhakaran is Asia’s master of terror. The LTTE belongs to the most ruthless class of terrorist groups. They engaged in mass fatality and mass causality attacks. The tactics of the Al Qaeda, the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban, the Lebanese Hezbollah are identical to that of the LTTE. The LTTE is an “ƒ”¹…”A’ team of terrorists who targeted and killed so many leaders. If they had resources such as nuclear, chemical, and radiological weapons they would use it. Although they were an “ƒ”¹…”A’ team of terrorists, within three years they collapsed under the vision and the mission of His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa. It is a symbolic example for other governments all around the world that even a ruthless terrorist group like the LTTE can be military defeated.

Unlike in the previous governments, Hon. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, the Secretary of Defence coordinated the Sri Lankan armed forces, the police, the intelligence service and other capabilities. There were highly motivated, dedicated and competent commanders in all the forces. Everyone worked very hard day and night everyday and supported the front line warriors to fight to the end. The government forces fought on multiple fronts as a strategy. The government locked the LTTE on all its fronts.

By the government building bridges with the Tamils, the LTTE’s crimes and atrocities and the mass extortion and hostage taking orchestrated by Prabhakaran were exposed and highlighted. At present, Sri Lanka has become a living laboratory by setting the best example of how to dismantle a terrorist group militarily.

His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa has three major challenges with defeating terrorism. Firstly, he has to develop a master plan to economically develop the country especially in the north and east areas. Indeed, it is to inject a new life to Sri Lanka. He needs to tap into Sri Lanka’s untapped resources. Secondly, he must make the Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims and Burghers think and act as primarily as Sri Lankans. Sri Lanka belongs to all its inhabitants. Thirdly, His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa has to institute good governance, i.e. prosecute all corrupt around the country and sack incompetent ministers and civil servants immediately.

On 30th March, 2012 His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa pointed out that Sri Lankans do not see any change in this distressing trend in the Western and certain local media, even after almost three years since the defeat of LTTE. What we hear from the media is not the work done by the government, such as the rehabilitation and reintegration of nearly 10,000 ex-LTTE Cadres, resettlement of 300,000 IDPs, the vast reconstruction and development programmes in the North and East or the efforts taken for the reconciliation and the restoration of democracy. Moreover, His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa states that sadly, we still hear the voice of the LTTE sympathizers and unfortunately we are not in a position to put a stop to this issue.

As Sri Lankans, We all have an obligation to build the broken bridges between the different communities. We must treat all communities the same way. We wish all the best to His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa who is the head of the team who is building a visionary plan, “ƒ”¹…”brighter future for Sri Lanka’, which will enable the country to improve its position as the most developed country in South Asia.

-ends-

–       Ayesh Madhawa De Silva

4 Responses to “Sri Lanka : The Living Laboratory on How to and How Not to Fight Terrorism”

  1. AnuD Says:

    Sri Lanka needs to develop its core competencies to fight the LTTE’s domestic and foreign support base politically, economically and diplomatically-

    Root cause for the above problem is there are Tamil ethnic enclaves in Sri Lanka. If people are mixed we won’t have this problem.

  2. Jayantha Says:

    Very interesting article with common sense approach.

    A case in point, when one reads the Tamilnet (which is considered by all the tamils of the diaspora as well as by bulk of the diplomatic missions in Sri Lanka and overseas) every day one reads about Sinhalese encroaching into the North and East as well as buddhist temples being built and the SL military building camps.

    In actual fact Prabhakaran opened the eyes of all Sri Lankans to look at Sri Lanka properly. The claim by the tamils, spear-headed by Prabhakaran for so called Eelam in the North and East made all of us realize that never again should we neglect Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is for all of us who live in this land. I wish we have as many buddhist temples per mile in the North and East as we have in the South. There are rich fishing grounds, rich agricultural land (lots of it), beautiful beaches, lots of inland water and not enough people.

    The Sinhalese must go north and settle down there in millions. The government must assist those who want to settle down and develop the north and the east. D S Senanayaka did this in 1950’s in Ampara and Galoya. The Army camps are necessary for the first (may be) 20 years to ensure that there is peace in the settlements. There should not be more than (let’s say) 12 percent ethnic minorities in any province in Sri Lanka. The Sinhalese majority in the country paid dearly with their lives) to keep this little island country together. In fact we must thank Prabhakaran (even though he was a blood thirsty maniac) for showing us our wrongs and for showing us how much we could have lost by ignoring the north and the east. JP/Indonesia

  3. Fran Diaz Says:

    We have to secure the country from within. There is no other way. There are many practical ways to do this. Here are some ideas which I am repeating over and over again, hoping for the best.

    * Make the N&E truly multi-ethnic, permanently.
    * Deport all illegal migrants most of whom are from Tamil Nadu. Take care of all true born Lankans only.
    * Get rid of the 13-A via a Referendum.
    * Least dependency on tamil labor especially for tea plucking. Introduce tea plucking machines which can be used by any ethnicity.
    * Have an Oath of Allegiance for all Lankans.
    * Death Penalty for all murderers and drug smugglers.
    * No caste/ethnicity bound enclaves for minorities.
    * Ban ethnic political parties with clause to do same for religion based parties if trouble is created re Separatism.
    * Distribute free Birth Control material. Sri Lanka is a small country with limited resources.
    * Limit the number of registered political parties to 20. At present we have over 100 and growing.

    and many more acts await ….

    Note: Just today’s news states that Gunaratnam (leader of the breakaway jvp), had overstayed his visa days in Lanka under a false name and had teh done the disappearing act via a so-called ‘abduction group’ !
    Do we have tracking systems in place to deport illegal migrants who may enter Lanka as tourists or even fishermen ? Shouldn’t tourists staying more than 3 months report to a police station every 3 months, with the police (or Army? or both) keeping records in computers ?

  4. Vijendra Says:

    I like in principle most of the ideas expressed by the author and the commentators, particularly those of Fran. I have a few more ideas in my wish list to add.

    As I have expressed before, Sri Lanka belongs to all Sri Lankans and Sri Lankans only. The government must gain the confidence of the Sri Lankans and prevent foreign interference. It should make it illegal for any Sri Lankan to speak on behalf of Sri Lankans without the consent of the democratically elected government of the day. No party should be allowed to speak for one ethnic or religious group as this is nothing but separation. All those elected MPs in government and opposition and all civil servants must be made to sign an oath of allegiance to the President, the Head of the State. Anyone committing criminal offences must be sacked immediately, irrespective of their position. All must be treated equitably. Anyone soliciting bribes must be punished by the law of the land to the greatest degree possible.

    Apart from these measures, as mentioned by many already, the government must reduce the politicization firstly by holding a general referendum on the Indian imposed 13A and getting rid of it as soon as possible. The whole country must be brought under a strong central government to build a homogeneous patriotic society.

    Education system, the back-bone of the nation, should be revamped to build a capable, tri-lingual future workforce who will be able to communicate with one another without fear or prejudice.

    The judiciary must be well and truly separated from the executive in order to prevent political interference in judicial matters.

    Corruption in the police force must be eliminated by developing a strong code of conduct and by strengthening and enforcing the discipline.

    All NGOs must be very closely monitored, and particularly any foreign NGOs deviating from their mission, should be banned and their personnel expelled from SL. Government must keep all religious leaders away from politics there by preventing them influencing rational political decisions.

    Only properly educated, capable and well trained representatives should be appointed to foreign missions putting an end to political patronage. They must be trained to disseminate news conducive to promoting SL in the world.

    Government must develop its forces militarily and keep them strategically deployed in the country and engaged in community development work.

    The basic infrastructure must be developed right through the country so that people will have no problem in moving and living in any part of the country.

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