Fighting Muslim Terrorism Far More Complicated than Fighting Tamil Terrorism
Posted on May 12th, 2019

Dilrook Kannangara

Fighting Tamil terrorists and Muslim terrorists are two different things.

1. (During the war) Tamils were a net economic burden to the nation.

Over 70% of Sri Lankan Tamils lived in the north and the east but a very small amount of tax was paid by them. Their expenses were enormous. A massive number of taxpayer funded schools, a large number of Tamil university students (far more than 12.8% their ethnic percentage then), very high free medical cost, free fertilizer, free food, etc.

The more the dead and emigrated, the lesser the recurring economic burden on the economy as tax payers were extremely few in the north. (Sorry, economic realities don’t play catch-up with morality).

This is not the case with Muslims. They make a net positive contribution to the economy and less tax money is drawn by them for education, healthcare, higher education, etc. (for whatever reason). Therefore inevitable disruption of Muslims’ economy in a conflict has an adverse impact on the nation.

2. India (the main sponsor of Tamils) doesn’t provide any economic benefit to Sri Lanka. In fact, India is a net economic drain on Sri Lanka. So if India imposed sanctions, etc. It would have benefited Sri Lanka! Even in India only 6% of the population is Tamil. So whatever happened in Sri Lanka to Tamils mattered a little to India.

However, OIC countries are providing Sri Lanka over $7 billion net gains. They are at the heart of this conflict and they stand up for each other of the Muslim community. If Sri Lanka gets them off side, that is the end of the nation and the economy of the Sinhala community. Almost 100% of these countries’ population is Muslim.

3. The distribution is another factor. Over 70% of Sri Lankan Tamils live/d in the north and east. The north is/was almost 100% Tamil only. The collapse of the northern economy didn’t impact Sinhalese and Muslims. But Muslims are everywhere. The collapse of their economy affects all.

4. Although Tamil terrorists maintained links with other terrorist groups and nations, it was limited. Muslim terrorists are very tightly linked to at least 50 similar terrorist groups around the world.

5. Muslims are far more integrated to the Sri Lankan society than Tamils economically and politically. No Tamil politician is voted by Sinhalese but plenty of Muslim politicians are voted into parliament by Sinhalese. e.g. Imitiyas, Marikkar, Cader, Fowzi, Aboosally, Hameed, MH Mohammad, Hasheem, Musammil.

Muslim businessmen sponsor many community events benefiting all.

Uprooting Muslim terrorists has collateral damage and the impact seeps into the entire Lankan community. Self-isolated Tamil community didn’t have any such impact.

For these reasons we must be extra careful in handling this. We cannot exterminate Muslim terrorists as easily (and as least costly) as we exterminated Tamil terrorists.  

However, it must be done. That’s why a very clever strategy is needed that saves the economy and the nation both at the same time.

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