Thursday, October 23, 2008


AS the nattami circus in Tamilnadu fizzles out with the Indian bureaucracy taking a firm stance with the cooperation of the well established south Indian policy makers, the Sri Lankan Defence Forces have commenced the thrust into LTTE held area.

Although taking Killinochchi has its propaganda value and would be a tremendous blow to the racist Tamil movement, it lacks real strategic value. Bypassing K'nochchi and taking Paranthan instead would allow the security forces greater tactical and strategic advantage.

On the coastal front, Division 58 has almost reached Pooneryn, capturing which would complete sea denial to the LTTE on the eastern sea board. Taking Pooneryn would also open the Kilali region to naval dominance and allow Divisions 53 and 54 in the peninsular to go active.

There is also speculation about a prominant LTTE leader's possible defection soon. The LTTE forces getting boxed in on the western divide of the A9 highway will soon face the reality of either surrendering or death. Middle level LTTE leaders who are now becoming disillusioned with the movement are expected to take advantage of this situation to surrender to the SLDF.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Lanka-e-News, October 22, 2008, 1.45PM) "Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam general secretary Vaiko on Tuesday (21) warned Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that any help extended to protect the integrity of Sri Lanka would only jeopardise the unity and integrity of India itself.

Addressing a meeting here, Mr. Vaiko said that there had been a resurgence of support for Sri Lankan Tamils in Tamil Nadu. People in the State would not hesitate to throw out any government at the Centre “if it does injustice” to the island Tamils.

He said he and his party cadres would not hesitate to carry arms to Sri Lanka in support of Sri Lankan Tamils in their struggle for Tamil Eelam. He was capable of mobilising people from all over the country for this purpose.

Chairman of the party presidium M. Kannappan said the opponents of LTTE were "Tamil traitors." He warned the Centre not to force Tamils in the State to launch a struggle for a separate Tamil Nadu. .."

It would be interesting to witness Vaiko attempting any thing of this nature, as he clearly understands that the Sri Lankan Defence establishment would have little trouble dealing with him. Vaiko is a demogogue, a panderer to the low end gallery and yet has to make any significant political inroads in Tamilnadu politics to be considered a power broker. In fact his latest assertion, which is a clear threat to India's national security, could easily become a career limiting move for him as well.

Sri Lanka needs to take a pro-active stand against these miscellaneous irritants, and would do well to let India know in advance that any attempts to smuggle arms or support the LTTE within our territorial boundaries would be dealt with deadly force.


THE Tamilnadu political circus began ratcheting up the heat on the Central government in New Delhi, as the Sri Lankan Defence Forces began encircling the major domain of the Tami Tiger terrorists in Killinochchi.

As major battles for Killinochchi were drawing closer, the TamilNadu's racists began to pressurize the Center to force the Sri Lankan government to halt its military offensive against the Tamil Tigers.

This led the Central Government to face a unique situation. It carries moral responsiblity to support its neighbor Sri Lanka, since the LTTE was a monster created and supported by a previous Indian administration. It also has so far failed to bring the LTTE's killers to justice for the murder of Rajiv Gandhi and thousands of Indian soldiers. It has also failed to bring LTTE's killers to justice for many terrorist attacks carried out on its soil. On the other hand, mass resignations threatened by Tamilnadu's politicians could seriously undermine its political clout.

The political tsunami in Tamilnadu also suddenly brought the well known threat of secession again to the forefront. Tamilnadu's failed politician 'psycho' Vaiko went as far as to verbally threaten secession if a seperate state of Eelam in Sri Lanka is not allowed. Related article from the Hindu;

The Indians will now face their long awaited moment of sanity, where Tamilnadu is concerned. The idea of secession obviously was never far from the chauvanists of Tamilnadu, and a seperate state in Sri Lanka would have ideally supported that effort since military action could be planned and executed from the dense jungles of Mullaitivu, in which thousands of Indian soldiers miserably failed to successfully confront the LTTE. The LTTE would support a 'Greater Eelam' and where would it be best located, but in Tamilnadu itself, with its thriving economy.

India walks a tight rope, and has her own future as well as her reputation at stake in the next steps her leaders take regarding the Sri Lankan terrorist situation. Supporting a seperate state administered by teh world's most ruthless terrorist group in Sri Lanka may provide temporary releif from minor political discomfort for now. In the long term it would prove suicidal for India without fail. Supporting terrorists would also bring her into worldwide contempt and make India the laughing stock of the international community.

Not playing any role in Sri Lanka could also be interpreted as a sign of weakness by her neighbors, even though Sri Lanka's alligiance to India has grown many fold in recent years. India would finally wish to witness some form of autonomy being granted to the Tamil minority which it can claim credit for.

Sri Lanka for her part needs to take the opportunity to empathize with India's concerns and find a middle ground which favors both. It has a convenient explanation, which Sri Lankan leaders have so far failed to exploit; an outright military win against the LTTE would leave the government in a position of strength and its population filled with confidence in the ability of the Sri Lankan Defence Forces to defend the nation's soverignty and territorial integrity. From success would flow national confidence, and that confidence can and must be exploited to devolve greater autonomy not only to a single minority, but to every one who lives in the country. To consider a particular linguistic group as specially priviledged, would be a reward for terrorism and a recipe for another, greater disaster. This is why devolution needs to be even handed, without favoring any particular group.

Local governments can and need to be provided with greater autonomy while overall national policy making is retained by the Parliament of the Sri Lankan central government. This would help reduce wastefulness and inertia of the present political establishment and lead to a more balanced power structure which will provide stability for the future. It will also provide a basis for an inclusive nation in which all Sri Lankans feel a sense of belonging, where long term peace and prosperity can be found.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


WE've always had an imports dependent economy when it came to goods. Our best export always has been skills and people. In the global scale of things, we've been a trend setter, a nation of global nomads and a skills based economy.

How sustainable would this be? What are the personal implications for those who seek wealth and prosperity abroad and yet crave to return home someday? These are largely unexamined, unanswered and known only to those who have lived through the experience.
At a larger level, the sustainability of the trade deficit (the deficit caused by higher import cost versus lower export income) has drawn scholarly interest. Here is an article worth reading;


THIS is a wierd way to present a good idea, but the underlying truth is undeniable.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


SRI LANKA shares a unique, even if unenviably similar situation with the present day United States. Both are economically troubled, for different reasons, and have to look to the future to overcome their problems.

Watching the US political contestants Obama and McCain vying for the Presidential seat gives an insight into what future leaders should be offering nations as promises versus what they should not. So far, Obama has proven to be a vastly superior speaker, inspirational and visionary. McCain is the proven hero of the country, a nice guy who didn't get his right opening until almost too late in life. And when he did, his opportunity comes in the long shadows of one of the most unpopular and ineffective regimes of US history. To further complicate and diminish his chances, his chosen VP candidate is proving to be a liability so far. Between baby-sitting his VP wannabe and attempting to stem the bleeding of potential votes, McCain is drowning slowly. Irrespective of who finally wins, both these presidential candidates offer a grand study in leadership qualities that our leaders and people can learn from, and should.

Both Obama and McCain's careers are examples of how leaders should be allowed to reach those leadership positions. They've both served their country and people, and done so selflessly. They are both faced with the prospect of cleaning house after the monumental failures of the present administration, and are adopting futuristic visions and a fighting stance. Grit and determination to succeed is their hallmark and the future is their promise.

There is no shame in learning from anyone. Sri Lanka's present and future leaders should watch these men and learn from them. Sri Lanka would do well to emulate the thinking, planning and execution of economic strategies by the next US administration to help pull our nation out of the doldrums it is currently in.

We have had to fight a vicious war in search of peace. When it is over, our people need and deserve peace and prosperity, which our leaders need to be held accountable to deliver. In developing a vision, Sri Lanka could learn much from the evolving scene in the US.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


THE world is reeling under the weight of the present economic crissis. The US stocks took a further beating today and caused further deterioration of confidence among institutional as well as individual investors alike. While the present economic turmoil is widely discussed and speculated as being next to only the Great Depression of the 1930's, it is by size far smaller and should be easier to fix.

The onset of US Presidential elections with a very probable change of incumbant in the White House, from big business favorite Republican to a Democrat widely seen as a liberal, also contributes to the uncertainty in some measure. Irrespective of who finally wins the Presidency, the US appears to be on the threshold of revolutionary change in many ways, and some of which should herald a new era in economics, politics, international leadership and technological advancements.

For Sri Lanka, the advent of a new President in the US could have potentially serious consequences. For quite a while Sri Lankans home and abroad have been closely watching and following up on the evolving scene, sometimes in trepidation as one time presidential candidate Hillary Clinton openly declared Tamil Tiger terrorists to be freedom fighters. With such intellectual incapacity it is little wonder that she is no longer in the race.

Watching the contestants Obama and McCain, something which comes through with clarity is how much they both still remain in the same page with the present regime, which they both criticize for diplomatic failures worldwide. Interestingly, there has not been any clear evidence that either of these would prefer to deal with identified terrorists any differently than the Bush White House has done over the past years. Also, given the magnitude of the economic crissis they are about to inherit, it is doubtful whether the new administration would have enough time to devote to a low intensity conflict in a far away Third World country. Nevertheless it may be in Sri Lanka's own interest to cause maximum damage to the LTTE before the change of Presidency takes place in the US.

Monday, October 6, 2008


THE cawardly hyenas from the Wanni struck again, this time killing yet another group of unarmed people in Anuradhapura, most notable among them being retired Maj.General Janaka Perera.

Maj.Gen Perera became a celebrity for a spectacular operation which he conducted in the Weli-Oya area in the 1990s when his troops slaughtered hundreds of Tamil Tiger terrorists in one night, by adopting unconventional defensive tactics which they soon turned into an ongoing offensive. He was also instrumental in turning another LTTE offensive on Jaffna Peninsular into a route for the terrorists. From those times onward he had been on the LTTE hit list and his move to get involved in politics probably made this valiant soldier easier to access for his assasin.

In other areas of conflict the SLAF is now said to be in possession of sophisticated Mig29 aircraft which hopefully would be proven useful in the current context, while providing a solid platform for air defence into the future. Whether the SLAF has fancy hotrods to play with or not, the SL Defence Forces have continued thier thrust and are within spitting distance of downtown Killinochchi. The SLAF meanwhile possesses 'bunker busters' which can take out targets 40meters underground, according to military sources. What's holding them back is unknown.

The coming weeks will provide Sri Lanka an insight of what it means to achieve a decisive military victory over the world's number one terrorist outfit, when more powerful nations have been struggling against lesser opponents. The Sri Lankan case will most probably become the text book case for future anti-terror operations the world over.

Sunday, October 5, 2008


LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's commander in Afghanistan has said the war against the Taliban cannot be won, the Sunday Times reported.

It quoted Brigadier Mark Carleton-Smith as saying in an interview that if the Taliban were willing to talk, then that might be "precisely the sort of progress" needed to end the insurgency. "We're not going to win this war. It's about reducing it to a manageable level of insurgency that's not a strategic threat and can be managed by the Afghan army," he said.

He said his forces had "taken the sting out of the Taliban for 2008" but that troops may well leave Afghanistan with there still being a low level of insurgency.

That's how Reuters reports a conflict involving Western governments while the reporting on the conflict in Sri Lanka would always revolve around why there could not a clear winner and how hard it would be for Sri Lanka to move forward without giving concessions to groups determined to cause the nation irreperable harm.

Sri Lankan leaders and civillians need to look to a horizon where there could always remain the threat of violence and terrorism, but reduced to manageable levels from where it was two years ago as well.
There has never been any need to give concessions to terrorists. We have busted the myth that terrorism cannot be defeated militarily. And that fact is not reported quite conveniently, by those who used to use it as a slogan.
Terrorism can and must be defeated. Sri Lanka is a clear example of this fact.

Saturday, October 4, 2008


A fairly decent write up here from;

"...Vast improvement in terms of armaments, tactics, territorial control and popular support among Sri Lankan Tamils over the past twenty years, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) are in deep trouble today. It is not that they are about to lose their political headquarters, Kilinochchi. In the past, they had lost and regained it. The critical difference between the past and the present is that, for the first time, the Tigers have no influential domestic or foreign political force to pull them out of the woods. Following Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination, support in Tamil Nadu and India has thinned, and post 9/11, the West has been looking at militancy in an unfavourable light.

On the domestic front, the majority Sinhalese community has closed ranks behind the hawkish regime of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. On the battlefront, the LTTE is facing an enemy who is no longer hidebound, reticent and inconsistent.

The government’s earlier piecemeal approach has given way to an integrated politicomilitary campaign based on a long-term, grand design. The armed forces now use small, highly mobile, deep penetration teams, which are but replicas of the LTTE’s dreaded sabotage and assassination squads. The use of unconventional jungle paths has sprung surprises on Tiger defenders. To thin and wear out the enemy, the armed forces have kept a 200-kilometre coast-tocoast front constantly active, conducting offensives and probing missions, as jet bombers and helicopter gunships pound identified targets over a wide swathe of land. However, it will be a grave error to think that the LTTE is on the verge of annihilation.

It is only now, after nearly a year and a half of heavy and constant fighting, that the army is encountering the Tigers’well laid out defence lines, its guns and its best fighting units. Despite claims to the contrary, progress has been slow and painful, of late. The greatest asset that the LTTE has is the local population. For this, Colombo is to blame. Had the police not abducted, detained and forcibly repatriated North Eastern Tamils over the last two years, the trapped war zone Tamils would have come over to the government-held areas. If Colombo had implemented the constitutional provisions for devolution, and if persons in authority had not declared that Sri Lanka belonged to the Sinhalese only, the average Tamil would not be ‘sullen’, as India’s National Security Advisor M K Narayanan put it. Conditions in post-war Iraq and Afghanistan show that if underlying political issues are not addressed, success in wars may not mean the end of violent conflict..."

This article certainly raises some interesting thoughts and leads to the need for a political doctrine on how seriously we view national soveriegnty and our security into the future.

This one WILL necessarily have to be the final conflict. It will need to establish precedents, expectations and modes of operation. It will need to hardwire the Sinhala polity into understanding that all forms of militancy need to be stamped out, and without mercy or concern for outside opinion. For the individual it must carry a simple and blunt message; Sri Lanka will always remain a single, unified nation and its problems need to be resoved through negotiation and within a democratic framework.

No one seriously doubts there could be further attempts to fuel unrest or even outright militancy after the LTTE is snuffed out. No one should also be allowed to have any serious doubt regarding the resolution of not only the present government, but also any in the future to stamp it out with determination and conviction. This is why the present precedents need to be turned into national security policy.

There could be another short rebellion or two, which will add impetus to the ongoing social modification and fertilizer to the soil from the fresh corpses. In the end, a change of generations will erase all memories and create a new environment and a set of ground rules for a unified nation.


A possible scenario analysis of the future moves available to both the SLDF and the LTTE point towards a protracted guerilla war faught deep within the Mullaitivu jungles.
This is in the unlikely event that the LTTE would be able to blunt the Sri Lankan Defence Forces' overwhelming superiority in the coming months and survive the present onslaught to an extent where they continue to possess not only fighting cadre and equipment, but also credible leadership, an uninterrupted supply route/s and effective communication and mobility. Understanding this situation clearly allows the SLDF to drag the LTTE into urban and open space warfare where higher casualties can be inflicted upon the enemy.
Losing Killinochchi would have almost an unquantifiably large impact on the LTTE, not only in strategic and morale terms, but also in its newfound incapability to define a future goal in terms of past accomplishments. For many years, the slogan ' the goal is unmistakable' emblazoned with a map of Sri Lanka's North and the East held the racist Tamils of Sri Lankan origin now living all over the world spell bound and ready to contribute. On both militant and moderate platforms there was a basis on which a protracted campaign of violent and other struggle could be justified and fuelled. Losing Killinochchi denies the basis for the entire argument. It also tells the world a profound truth about Sri Lanka and its people; we shall not be intimidated or put down by violence.
Sri Lanka today stands on the threshold of sustainable peace and prosperity following a decisive defeat of the LTTE. This would irritate her enemies without any doubt. And our enemies who have proven to be resourceful many times in the past can also be depended upon to do their utmost to sabotage Sri Lanka's struggle to end terrorism yet again in many forums, including through authoritative international institutions such as the United Nations.
This is why Sri Lanka must take the initiative to take the fight out to those who could even potentially create problems for us, by adopting a Bush doctrine of carrying out pre-emptive strikes against those individuals and organizations which are conspiring to attack us. This could be done in many forms; listing such individuals as persons wanted in connection with supporting international terrorism and requesting their extradition and/or prosecuting such individuals in their own countries of residence, causing them severe hardship of a level adequate to keep them busy defending themselves, and not have the resources to conspire against us.
Sri Lanka also must not waste a single opportunity to highlight the importance of defeating terrorism on our soil, since that sets a basis for a previously unprecedented lesson that terrorim does not work and it can be defeated militarily. This must be done repeatedly and often, loud and clear. We do have plenty of friends all over the world who will agree with us and also support in establishing that lesson in no uncertain terms.
Nothing is too crazy in our situation. In war all that matters is winning. Not how.