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THE COUNTDOWN

Prof. Hudson McLean

The clock is ticking, one way or the other, towards the "Final Solution". Reading the pulse of various defence merchants, the procurement programme of several state-of-the-art material has never been so selective and intense.

The stock piling started long before the September 11th and with the Sri Lankan Defence Forces tail pinned to the floor with their ears tied to the ceiling since the MoU, by government decree, they were helpless to counter the situation even with defensive actions.

However the options available to the Sri Lankan government (SLG) are more challenging than those offered in an Agatha Christie thriller. The main options are-;

1: When will India carry through its demand to seek extradition of the Terrorist in Chief, Velupillai Prabhakaran (VP) to the final end, with a show trial in India, with the tacit approval of the SLG?

Hopefully, India will have the courage of their convictions to enforce their legal rights to bring VP to justice for the murder of their Prime Minister, late Rajiv Gandhi. during the course of 2002.

The same thing cannot be said of the lame duck Sinhala leaders, without any backbone, both present and past, who witnessed the massacre of several Sinhala and Tamil political leaders, on the direct orders of VP.

2: Who would lead LTTE delegation to the ever elusive, virtual and imaginary "Peace Talks" wherever and whenever they are going to be held?

From the day the LTTE unilaterally declared the cease fire, the ones in the know knew that VP was only playing for time to regroup their forces and replenish their coffers.

With the leader of the LTTE hiding in the bushes in Wanniya, Dr. Anton Balasingham holding fort in London probably on a dialysis drip, will the LTTE nominate one of the "new" generation of LTTE Cats to take the centre stage?

3: Would RanilW invite (VP), someone with a worse record than Charles Manson, Milosovic or Pol Pot as his dinner guest to Temple Trees?

As the entire civilised world is aware, VP is a cold blooded murderer, who would not give two hoots of blowing the head off his "partner" RanilW, if ever he considered it would help achieving his final goal of an independent fiefdom.

4: Are the Defence Forces of Sri Lanka absolutely confident of their ability to take on a well organised, highly motivated, professionally trained, passionately dedicated terrorist force, who has now got their offensive positions in key places within Sri Lanka, for a massive showdown?

5: Would RanilW have the courage of his convictions to tell the opportunistic Norway to KEEP OUT?

The primary reasons are-;
5:1: Norway is biased towards the Tamil LTTE position.
5:2: Norway has no historical understanding of the cultural values of either Sinhala or Tamil or any other Asian or Oriental civilisation.
5:3: Norway involvement is only politically motivated to grab the prestige and possibly other spoils such as fishing rights in the vast Indian Ocean, if and when the parties reach an eventual conclusion. Remember the unacceptable illegal Norwegian position on whaling.
5:4: LTTE unilaterally declared cease fire was forced by the WTC Twin Tower terrorist debacle. Nothing to do with a quest for peace.
5:5: Norway has no credible record of success in any of their Peace initiatives. Norway has been acting like a blind player in a darts match. Observers BEWARE!
5:6: Prior to preaching Peace and Equality, Norway should practice what they preach on their own minorities such as the gypsies, Eskimos, Sami people etc, in their own territory.
5:7 This is strictly an internal matter between a democratically elected government trying to protect the sovereign rights of a Nation and a self appointed group of fanatics who are making illegitimate claims with terror and bloodshed. There is no need for any outside interference, specially when the interferers are biased.

6: Who would call the first shot?
The side which calls the first shot may not necessarily be the ultimate winner.

The playing footsie will have its time limits. There are other factors such as the political considerations of the Sri Lankan electorate, actions to please the LTTE supporter-audience, VP's own survival as its leader, will force either side to throw the first stone.

It is very much similar to riding a bicycle up hill. One has to keep on peddling. If one stops, either the rider goes backwards or loses the balance, In both cases, the rider will fall off the seat.

7: What will be the role of the Executive President?
Will RanilW try a similar strategy (to that of the Defence Forces in the early sixties when Royal Ceylon Navy Rear Admiral Commodore Royce de Mel and his Army brother Maurice, who attempted to place the then Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike under house arrest at the Temple Trees) and neutralise (her daughter) CBK?

8: In the likely eventuality of paralysis of the Sri Lankan government, will the Defence Forces move in swiftly and take over the controls in a joint military Coup de Etat with the tacit support of the Indian government?

9: With Pakistan largely relegated to the sidelines due to Kashmier conflict, will China move in with a more significant role in military assistance to counter balance a possible determined retaliatory Indian invasion of the NE of Sri Lanka to neutralise the LTTE?

It is very likely that India would not wish any Pakistani involvement on her Southern flank. This might be the reason why the Chinese came in with a strong offer of military support to balance any Indian adventures on a key international sea lane.

10: Will the Sinhala ever learn to stop their infighting on matters of Faith and caste, to unite and fight their main leading enemy, the LTTE and their disgusting leader VP, once and for all?

With the clock ticking away, and the Cat licking its paws to get the grip in place, will the Sinhala forces, both political and the military plan an unequivocal response with the determination to win?

Well, Let us hope that history does repeat itself on some of the major points!


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