Saturday, October 10, 2009

WHICH PART OF THIS DON'T WE GET, REALLY?

WE emphasized the importance of focussing on effective outward communication earlier when the visiting UN representative Lynn Pascoe, after visiting IDP camps amidst the post-war chaos commented 'you have a better story than is getting out today.' At the time the government was patting itself on the back for a job well done, when the opposite was true; it was failing miserably to establish the facts with the international community as to what is happening with the internally displaced persons, while anti-government forces were very successful at portraying a completely different and derogatory picture of Sri Lanka. That situation has not changed since then and the warning signs are continuing.

The most recent of these signs is the communication issued by the veteran US foreign policy figure Madeline Albright who commented in relation to Sri Lanka and in the absence of verifiable facts US political analysts are forced to make deductions from unrealiable sources which continue to feed even flawed information to them on a regular basis. This is a harsh statement of reality and is an indicator of how vulnerable the SL government is, due to a combination of the not very original, yet effective propaganda activities of the pro-eelam lobby and Sri Lanka's own ineffectiveness and lack of interest in establishing constructive dialogue based on ground realities with outside forces. Sri Lanka may be an island geographically, but in international relations no nation can expect to be an island unto itself. Isolationist policies whether actively sought or forced by circumstances has never served any nation well. Even the mighty US came down to its knees economically and militarily after its previous President followed similar 'go alone' series of policies. There are plenty of other examples elsewhere in history.

Albright's comments are a second reminder to Sri Lanka that the government needs to talk more often to the international community, to get the facts out to them. Hidden behind this warning are subtle forces which seek to have dialogue to be channelled to and through them, so that they have opportunities to continue covert activites within Sri Lanka. Some of these forces can be found on the Scandinavian part of the world map. Contemporary Europe's continuing politico-military impotency is a definite threat to Sri Lanka's national soveriegnty in that context, and can be expected to remain so for a considerable period of time. What that spells out is that Sri Lanka should get the facts out to the world fast, often, and in easily digestible potions. The fact that the EU will grant GSP+ concessions yet again to Sri Lanka should not be taken as a sign of improved relations between us, even though the politicians on the two sides of the divide may make misleading statements and the usual stupid noises. Not surprisingly, some on Sri Lanka's side may even belive what they utter.

And then there's the not so little issue of a Nobel peace prize for Prez Obama. There are many and diverse views on this surprising turn of events, which 'deeply humbled' Obama the brilliant orator and led the majority in the US and elsewhere to wonder what next? While a minority usually in the lunatic fringe either support or oppose (Rush Limbaugh is livid and frothing at the mouth) the Nobel happening, majority are concerned about how the pressures of recieving such a prestigious award would influence their yet to be tested President, who is already facing apparently insurmountable challenges at home and abroad. Although it is quite possible that the main promoters of the event, Sweden and Norway are following their well established anti-George Bush rhetoric by awarding Obama, it is also more possible that they intend to use the shock and awe of the situation to make the office of the US Presidency more amenable to their views about how the world should be run. With Hillary Clinton and now potentially Obama coming under the Scandinavian peacenik influence nations such as Sri Lanka Israel which are plagued by deep rooted terrorist problems that essentially require military responses, better watch out.

This is not to say Obama is anyone's puppet. The very fact that he has not relinquished the pressure on anyone should tell the world that attempting to mislead him in the long term is very likely to be futile. In managerial and analytical skills, Obama is much superior to his predecessor and that characteristic provides for hope for a balanced perception in this worrisome situation.

But that does in no way eliminate or even diminish the fact that Sri Lanka is yet again spiraling out of control into a propaganda vaccuum, when the need of the hour is the very opposite; an effective international public relations mechanism which drives the change worldwide that uniquely benefits us. In that context we can and must learn from the pro-eelamist lobby amongst others to be able to not only counter, but to overcome them. Worse, in the propaganda game, time is not on our side. Sri Lanka needs to act now.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

THE FACTS WHICH ARE UNDENIABLE

THERE are many interested colonial wannabes who are pointing the finger at Sri Lanka, while attempting to whitewash, or even blatantly ignore their own horrendous attrocities in recent times.

In Iraq, the US led invasion has so far led to over half a million civillian deaths and unquantifiably large scale destruction to the once prosperous country. And yet there doesn't seem to be any accountability for the horrendous crimes against humanity commited by these military forces, even though ample evidence exists to support undeniable indictments against the previous Bush Government.

Similarly, but lesser known and even less cared about is the carnage that has been happening in Afghanistan, which has now become a testing range for US and allied weapons systems where they are deployed against live targets with absolutely no sense of accountability. Even though some reporting happens on these mass scale killings, they do not lead to any legal consequences in the Western world.


Meanwhile Sri Lankan media is hyper ventilating on reports that the present SL government has succssfully deterred yet again another attempt to bring war crimes indictments against them in the US Senate, with the assistance of the Israeli influence groups. Reality behind such claims could easily be quite different.

The fact remains the Americans and the British do not possess adequate evidence to prosecute a war crimes case against Sri Lanka and the present attempts are based on flimsy and baseless accusations of a few pro-LTTE groups affiliated with a few Democratic party leaders. In such a situation it would not take much to convince the US Senate that they shouldn't proceed further until and unless solid and irrefutable evidence is unearthed. In any case the Americans have bigger problems; two losing wars, an ailing economy, a declining politico-military stature and a deeply fractured nation divided over the policies of its first black President.

The situation for the British is no better. An increasingly unpopular government led by a group of incompetents has led the country to a gradual political and economic decline while its idiotic foreign minister is seen as many as a juvenile amateur who craves recognition at any cost. British forces abroad have also commited many documented attrocities including the indiscriminate use of white phosperous ordnance in civillian areas leading to large numbers of deaths.

Complicating the issue for those who'd like to bring a successful indictment against Sri Lanka is the fact that the island nation is not a signatory to the Geneva convention.

It is in this context that the Sri Lankans are now compelled to play the diplomatic games of recovery. Not only must we rebuild the nation, but must also help rebuild our diplomatic clout to one of decisiveness and usefulness. The Sri Lankan government needs to reach out to her loyal and patriotic diaspora population and garner support in coherant and well planned exercises to manage this outcome, which is not too difficult irrespective of hostile attempts by pro-LTTE groups operating from abroad.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION - THE BIGGEST NEED

BEATEN to the draw by the SL Defence Forces on Sri Lankan soil, the eelamist lobby overseas is busy making alternate arrangements to pursue a campaign of subversion against the island nation. These anti-Sri Lankan forces stlll possess formidable clout in many influential places including the UN, US Congress, with powerful EU law makers and various others across the world.

Primarily they seek to accomplish two distinct goals. In the short term to intensify international pressure on the Sri Lankan government to force it to allow all civillians currently in refugee camps in the north and east to disperse into the country side, so that the thousands of LTTE cadres hiding among them immediately become free to re-organize, re-arm and be ready to re-commence hostilities.

Time is a crucial factor for both sides, it is currently on the side of the Sri Lankan state which badly needs to identify and neutralize all threats currently in hiding; the well trained LTTE cadres and the massive arms caches that the Sri Lankan forces are continuing to unearth as evidence is analized. The SLG has a valid card it needs to play well; it cannot afford to send civillians into areas that are dangerous due to mining, and potential desease. Assistance offered by some foreign nations to expedite this process must be viewed in this context as both benevolent as well as a part of a well formulated strategy to counter Sri Lankan government's ability to stretch the time it needs to weed out the terrorists and destroy their arms caches. Therefore it is essential that those who are to be re-settled in the soon to be cleared areas are investigated quickly for the level of their connections to the LTTE.

The pro-eelam lobby's long term goal would be to develop the potential to offer a combination of threats against Sri Lanka, while weening itself from the currently debilitating terrorist group image. Sri Lanka needs to understand the growing threats in these twin scenarios; her enemies have been successful so far in implementing both strategies to considerable extent, being able to to bring increasingly greater pressure on Sri Lanka to hastily let loose LTTE terrorists along with civillians. They have also begun to effectively excercise well developed long term relationships with leading international political figures towards earning recognition that of being representatives of almost a seperate state entity. The eelamists have a delicate balancing act in this game; they have to be able to build internal military pressure necessitating the Sri Lankan state to maintain a very difficult, high lelve of vigilance, while working hard to convince the outside world that they are no longer terrorists. Their close connections to liberal politicians in many western nations is a huge asset for this purpose and the diaspora eelamists can be relied on to be put it to use. The readiness of some of the outspoken foreign law makers and supporters of the eelamist lobby abroad, who seem to be increasingly willing to consider the pro-LTTErs connections with Tamil Tiger terrorism as a distant and unrelated happening should ring alarm bells in Colombo.
Sri Lanka as usual has lost the initiative in the diplomatic skirmishing since military operations ended. The government has succeeded in tying itself in knots by muzzling its own best attack dogs in international fora while slowly degenerating in the international mind's eye to appear increasingly like a corrupt, family regime which dependents purely on violence to rule with an iron fist. Nobody likes a thugocracy.
Disenchanted domestic politicians and some media factions are contributing towards this decline in no small measure. While the SLG had understandable reasons to muzzle the press while the fighting was on, there needs to be a visible decline of government pressure tactics to do so now that fighting is over and the nation needs greater transparency in what happens next. This is where responsible media institutions need to reach out to the upper echelons of government in order to establish an understanding of how necessary levels of media freedom can yet again be guaranteed and be free of government interference or intimidation.
The end to fighting didn't end the war of Tamil tribal racist seperatism in Sri Lanka. It simply forced a change in the way this conflict now will be faught; on unfamiliar soil and a terrain in which the enemy has always held a clear advantage. Where the supremacy of the pro-eelamist diaspora was challenged only with some success and that too very briefly when the government let loose talented and unbridled Sri Lankan intelligensia to represent it. Over the past few months the SLG has destroyed its own ability to be heard overseas effectively by a comitting a series of near sighted blunders such as replacement of important diplomatic positions abroad with political nominees whose skills and capabilities at best are debatable.
Sri Lanka's failures in the international fora since the fighting ended is well summarized by departing comments by the most recent UN representative to visit Sri Lanka, Lynn Pascoe who said, "you have a better story than is getting out today...". Sri Lanka's recent actions tantamount to shooting itself in the foot and then the belly. Whether we will proceed to shoot ourselves in the head next, seems to be a matter of time.
Sri Lanka must understand the importance and urgency of Lynn Pascoe's words and not treat them as lightly. His words are not a commendation. They in reality are a critique of an important Sri Lankan governmental failure which can and will lead to disastrous long term consequences for the country. This is not an accomplishment the Sri Lankan government should pat itself on the back about, yet recent media announcements from the Presidential Secretariat seem to indicate such a perception.
It is very imporatant that Sri Lanka no longer fail to keep the outside world informed of exactly what is happening on Sri Lankan soil. Keeping the outside world informed can still offer the island nation much needed international understanding and support in this continuing and fast evolving conflict. It can also be used effectively to counter the anti-Sri Lanka rhetoric which depends largely on the unpreparedness of the Sri Lankan government to counter its blatant lies with any degree of effectiveness.
In order to be able to communicate effectively and also earn international respect, we must with all honesty ensure that our actions against our own people are both responsible and dignified. Communicating facts surrounding issues related to resettlement with the truly affected, the long suffering Tamils in the camps for the internally dispalced must also be done with equal or greater frequency and clarity. Much greater transparency now becomes an urgently needed concession.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

SHARING OUR TACTICAL ADVANTAGE - WHY?

They say fools rush in where angels fear to tread. We Sri Lankans are no strangers to rushing into situations we barely understand, in fact we've made history doing so. Not just once, but repeatedly over the decades and centuries. Maybe we are a nation of fools, perhaps we have a national level learning disability which keeps us from stopping to think. Especially when we are at an emotional high as a nation, like these present days.

When Sri Lanka decided to respond to the LTTE's 'Final War' with a decisive campaign of her own, we heard the opinions of various self-appointed experts who predicted a situation in which no clear winner would emerge. We saw the funny faced Norwegians, in particular a bitchy whore who made every effort to portray the Tamil Tiger terroristas as the good guys, simply because she was openly sleeping with one of them. And then there were the other NGO wallahs whose activities can be only guessed at from the numbers of blue eyed tamil kids now found abandoned in the refugee camps. These characters and the similarly amusing Colombo based Sri Lanka's own peaceniks were making every effort to convince us that the war was a losing proposition. But that's in the past now, nevertheless an important part of history we should never forget.

To forget what these paraihs attempted to do to Sri Lanka will not only be a mistake, but also an unforgivable disgrace to the memory of the brave Sri Lankan Defence Forces personnel who sacrificed their lives to prove them wrong.

We also seem to be in a hurry to make a new mistake. Now that we've proven our new found capability in being able to deal with modern day terrorism more effectively than everyone else, significant interest is seen from other nations who are keen to learn how we did it. Among these are nations such as the UK, whose eager beaver Foreign Minister rushed to Sri Lanka wanting to stop us from accomplishing the very result that they are now interested in learning about in greater detail. In April this year, even before the war was won we forecasted "..In two years from now, no one will give a rat's ass as to how many died in the process but will only remember how we defeated terrorism.." in these columns. In two months they've come asking us how we did it and in our own unique boastful arrogance and stupidity our government seems to be only too willing to share it all even with the vermin who openly attempted to support the LTTE and provide it yet another lifeline.

That brings us to the very important question of whether we need to share our expert knowledge with everyone who merely asks for it. The simple answer is No. Had the Brits and Americans shared their specialized combat skills with us when we really needed it, this war would have been over decades ago. They didn't. We owe them nothing.
To emphasize the obvious is usally a wasted effort. Yet the obvious stupidity of the present situation demands nothing less. Openly sharing our strategic, operational and tactical secrets opens the door to effective counter-measures being developed. Those who support terrorism from abroad will then have the ability to better arm the next crop of terrorists and train them in strategies to defeat our capabilties. For that simple reason, sharing our secrets is not only stupid, but unnecessarily dangerous as well.

So Sri Lanka should just say No. If they don't get it, try Nyet, Nada, or even Illayi.

HUMAN RIGHTS TERRORISTS DEFEATED IN US COURTS

COURT UPHOLDS U.S. LAW ALLOWING PRESIDENT TO DESIGNATE GROUPS AS TERRORIST ORGANIZATIONS

A law that allows the U.S. president to designate groups as terrorist organizations, freeze their assets and block aid to them was upheld by a federal appeals court in San Francisco today.
The International Emergency Economic Powers Act was enacted by Congress in 1977 and was originally used by presidents to impose economic sanctions on foreign nations considered a threat to national security.

In 2001, President George W. Bush issued executive orders under the law that enabled him, through the Treasury Department, to designate groups as terrorist organizations, freeze their assets and prohibit any aid or services to the groups. The penalty for violating the law is a fine of either $250,000 or twice the amount of money given to a group.

The procedure was challenged in federal court in Los Angeles by the Humanitarian Law Project, which sought to aid the Kurdistan Workers' Party in Turkey and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam in Sri Lanka.

Project lawyers argued that the law was unconstitutionally vague and that it violated the First Amendment right of free speech.

But a panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled by a 2-1 vote that the law regulates conduct, not speech, and does not violate the Constitution. The court majority said, "There is no right to provide resources with which terrorists can buy weapons and explosives."

Source: http://cbs5.com/localwire/22.0.html?type=bcn&item=TERRORIST-ORGANIZATION-LAW--12-24

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

IN AFGHANISTAN AND SRI LANKA - SEEKING AN END TO TERROR

When Sri Lanka went after the LTTE in a fight to the finish, they used tactics which are hard to repeat elsewhere. As her armed forces employed innovative military strategies to wreak havoc in the terrorist groups’ strongholds, the Sri Lankan government received strong backing from a determined and silently vengeful population who were willing to pay any price to eliminate the Tamil Tigers. Such popular backing and a series of unforeseen opportunities worked in favor of the Sri Lankan government both in the domestic and foreign theaters enabling her to pursue the conflict until the LTTE was completely liquidated as a fighting force.

It was only towards the tail-end of the fighting that political changes in the US and other distant lands brought some human rights related pressure on the Sri Lankan government, which it managed to keep at bay successfully.

And then the Sri Lankans pulled yet another classic stunt by virtually abducting the newly self-appointed LTTE leader known as KP from somewhere in South East Asia, blowing the lid off the entrenched belief that the conflict would remain within the territorial space of the island nation.

Even though most democratic nations would flinch at the prospect of adopting the withering tactics used by Sri Lanka in her spectacularly successful anti-terrorist campaign, the lessons learnt here have not been lost on most. Even before the fighting came to an end, many defense analysts were speculating how far the Sri Lankan war would influence the future of asymmetrical warfare across the world. There is an undivided consensus that Sri Lankan Defense Forces have rewritten the book on modern warfare and changed conflict strategy irreversibly. Once considered undefeatable, terrorism is now a very curable disease, one which required bitter medicine.

Coming on the heels of an Indian military victory over terrorism in Khalistan and Russian suppression of terror in Chechnya, the Sri Lankan conquest of Tamil Tiger terrorism comprehensively proves the case for decisive military action as a solution for this modern day scourge. It is perhaps due to this reason that a US Special forces contingent is currently in joint exercises with Sri Lankan Army Special forces and SL Navy Special Boat Squadron units in North Eastern Sri Lanka.

The situation in Afghanistan is diametrically opposite to that of Sri Lanka. The Americans have ventured into perhaps the world’s most inhospitable land where no invading army had ever been successful as occupiers for any considerable length of time. Just as they defeated innumerable hostile forces over the centuries the Afghans could quite possibly prove that they can still remain unconquerable even by the mighty Americans, if they decide to do so. Just as they had help from friendly neighbors to defeat the Soviets in the war which lasted thru’ 1970/80s, the Afghans could muster plenty of support from Iran, Pakistan and other predominantly Muslim nations in the region.

In their present war against some of the world’s most powerful armed forces, the Afghan guerilla forces have so far held a decisive upper hand; they field warriors who are willing to die, to fight an enemy who wants to win wars with no casualties to own side. But the game is changing, as is only to be expected in the aftermath of the Sri Lankans’ comprehensive defeat of terrorism.

US forces appear to have since of late adopted leadership decapitation strategies which are yielding positive results. A recent air strike by US unarmed drones killed the Taliban commander in Pakistan throwing the terror group into disarray. Snatch operations since then have netted at least two high profile terrorist leaders, causing further disintegration of the Afghan guerilla operations.

How far the American will go to eradicate the Taliban under the present Obama administration will remain to be seen, even though tactics similar to those adopted by Sri Lanka definitely are providing significant success in the battle field and elsewhere. The Taliban on the other hand are unlikely to go quietly, as the recent suicide bombings which caused massive casualties indicate. In response the US backed Afghan government has clamped a press censorship ostensibly to control panic during the fragile election process in the troubled land, drawing absolutely no adverse comments from the Western press who were overtly critical when similar action was put in effect by Sri Lanka during the height of her own bloody events.

Wars often define human history. How we fight decides who wins. Sri Lanka recently re-wrote the book on how wars will be fought in the future. And thereby, whether her most ardent supporters and detractors admit or not, Sri Lankans have effectively changed how how our part of history will be written in the future.

Friday, August 14, 2009

TOP TIGERS WERE ALL COWARDS

SINCE the world stunning events of May 2009 which culminated in the elimination of the top heirarchy of the LTTE, a stark realization has begun to dawn on many Sri Lankans, including those who vehemently supported the Tamil Tigers; the entire leadership of the terrorist group turned out to be absolute cowards when faced with personal physical danger.

It was SP Thamilselvam, who it is said was in the habit of repeatedly requesting for assurances for his physical safety before arriving in the proximity of any Sri Lankan military group or even unarmed Sri Lanka government negotiators. He obviously underestimated the capacity of Sri Lankan intelligence to find him swiftly when they wanted to, and to bring the wrath of the SLAF to his doorstep. Tamilselvan's elimination was a clear declaration by SLG that it meant business and a no-holds barred war on the cards.

Towards the last stages of fighting when the writing was on the wall for the LTTE and since then, the begging and pleading in private even while bragging in public by the remaining tamil tiger leaders has been continuing. The subtle transformation of the TNA even while attempting to overtly portray a different image to the public is a clear indication of the level of frightening uncertainty the present SLG and her defence forces have made these terrorist supporters face upto.

The rumors regarding the circumstances of the LTTE supremo's death also indicate the possibility that he offered to unconditionally surrender in exchange for personal safety guarantees. Saving the brute perhaps was considered an unnecessary expense by all those with vested interests. Instead, Velu's death and not surrender was an absolute necessity for the Indians to neutralize any further pressure from Tamilnadu politicians, while many others who had secret dealings with the LTTE leadership elsewhere in the world would have wished for none less.Velu's death was a much greater necessity for his influential friends than to his enemies.

KP's capture and quick extradition has indeed taken the growing uncertainties surrounding the terrorist group to an unanticipated hieght. The shock of his capture and events since then are making this self-appointed top Tiger confess willingly to Sri Lankan Intelligence providing a wealth of information which could easily lead to further arrests worldwide.

Interestingly, survival prospects for terrorists aren't very good in Sri Lanka these days, if the last few high profile happenings are anything to go by. The last LTTE mouth-piece Nadesan who approached Sri Lankan forces hiding behind his Sinhalese wife begging for clemency as claimed by unverified various sources, was found full of bullet holes along with an entourage of other Tamil terrorist high rankers. While KP's future may be different for obvious reasons, his long term career prospects may quite well be limited within the walls of a prison cell.

They say a coward dies a thousand deaths each day. Deep in his mind KP must be wondrering how and where he will meet his end. While KP's end may be less uncertain now that he is a prisoner in Sri Lankan government's official custody, the fate of others out there may becoming more uncertain by the passing minute as he continues to divulge information.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

BANNING RACIST AND RELIGIOUS POLITICAL GROUPS

IT is bad enough that we have entrenched religio-racist agendas in every walk of life, without adding legitimacy to such abhorrantly discriminatory systems by providing it a political platform to access power.
There are arguments in favor of and against political entities which espouse a distinct bias towards certain ethnic, religious or linguistic groups. For many years the Sinhalese did find the existance of a radical JVP useful against minorities which they percieved as discriminating against the majority, while holding disproportionate priviledges. Even Sinhalese intellectuals often percieve the JVP's radical dogma as a knee-jerk reaction to a realistic ground situation in which the majority is gradually losing an equal footing to unfair minority demands. Similarly the minotities argue in favor of not only discriminatory political agendas, and in some cases covertly favor the use of force to further their own extreme views in an environment percived as inherently disadvantageous to their kind.
Where did this horror really begin? Depending on whose side you are on, some would hold the 'pancha bala' (five forces) concept introduced by late SWRD Bandaranike to be the starting point of racial chaos. Old timers from that era claim that Bandaranaike simply attempted to correct the monstrous wrongs committed by the British colonial rulers who had established systems which unfairly advantaged English speaking Christians. Digging further back through history a pattern of discriminatory action and counter-action begins to emerge.
History can teach us many lessons, and in this one there's a simple lesson to be learnt; this vicious cycle of politically favoring any religion, language or ethnic agenda must be firmly and permanently stopped.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

DECIMATING THE LTTE REMNANTS - BY OWN HAND

DID the capture and swift extradition to Sri Lanka of the newly self-appointed 'savior of the Tamil people' happen as a result of on going internecine struggle within the LTTE? Reports from those with deep rooted contacts within the tiger lobby such as veteran reporter DBS Jeyaraj say yes.

Kumaran Pathmanadan aka KP was the last remaining top Tamil Tiger who was badly wanted by Sri Lankan authorities now keen to wrap up the endgame against the terrorist LTTE. Though the LTTE was wiped off militarily in a punishing campaign which stunned the world for its swift and decisive action, Sri Lankan authorities and defence analysts worldwide continue to see the LTTE remaining a credible organization overseas where a large Tamil diaspora sympathetic towards the Tigers still harbor searing hatred towards the island nation.

The final phase of the anti-terrorist operations by the Sri Lanka Defence Forces [SLDF] saw the annihilation of the LTTE leadership under circumstances which still remain speculative, irrespective of statements by the government and military authorities. However, the average Sri Lankan and anyone who has known the facts about the LTTE find the elimination of the terror group to be only a source of comfort.

The capture and removal of KP from the self installed leadership position creates an interesting scenario. Firstly, the overseas pro-LTTE diaspora was convinced that the death of the Tamil Tiger leadership would automatically facilitate removal of the LTTE's terrorist stigma and make it easier for the group to access international political leaders. Statements issued by KP indicating a move towards becoming a democratic entity are aimed clearly towards convincing world leaders with known sympathy for the Tamil Tiger cause that they can now be openly associated with, without adverse publicity. Had the pro-LTTE lobby been capable of building up a coherant campaign which resulted in convincing the interested international players that the group will no longer resort to terrorism, it may have resulted in increased pressure on the Sri Lankan government to negotiate or grant siginificant concessions to them. Although KP made the right noises in this regard he failed to impress anyone even if it seemed to bring about a reconcilliation among some of the fractured pro-LTTE lobby. The wider international community seemed unconvinced, at least for now.

The prevailing politico-military ground reality in Sri Lanka does not allow for another uprising to be successful in anyway for the foreseeable future, unless significantly supported by the regional power India. Given the current political climate in the region, India is unlikely to support another terrorist movement in Sri Lanka knowing quite well that it would lead to disasterous results in Tamilnadu and adjacent states.

Had KP been successful in executing a long term strategy to gain the confidence of world leaders to remove the ban against the group for long enough to re-organize and re-arm a sizeable dissident force within Sri Lankan territory, a protracted future war could have resulted though with predictably doubtful results. From the pro-LTTE lobby's perspective it would have nevertheless been a worthy effort, to show to the world that there is a continuing tamil struggle which needs recognition. To the remaining overseas Tigersit would provide the much needed means to keep the lucrative funding lines open, which in turn provides a life of luxury to those holding powerful positions within the organization.

Now that KP has been virtually eliminated, his overt rival Perinpanayagam Sivaparan alias Nediyavan becomes the heir apparent. Tamil sources are abuzz that it was Nediyavan who provided the information to Sri Lankan intelligence leading to KP's quick rendition. While the circumstances surrounding his arrest by Sri Lankan authorities remain unclear, it appears to have been a Mossad style extraction operation originating in Malaysia and arriving in Sri Lanka via Thailand.

Nediyavan, backed by hardliners who detested KP's apparent soft approach are likely to carry forward the same violent rhetoric while attempting to raise funds from the Tamil overseas diaspora using strong arm tactics. Members of Tamil diaspora are now in for another nightmare period as the new leadership attempts to establish itself in power using the best known method to the Tamil Tigers, physical violence and coercion.

To the Sri Lankan establishment, KP's capture would be another feather in its cap, as the grand finale grinds on. At this moment even if this prized capture is yet another reason for additional jubilation, Sri Lankan decision makers need to focus more on strategically thinking ahead to proactively neutralize the next potential threat to our national security and territorial integrity.

The next threat will come from the Tamil hardliners abroad attempting to re-establish themselves into a coherant organization which will attempt to deny any connection to the globally banned LTTE. Such an entity can be expected to be more successful in winning over the allegiance of a wider majority of overseas Tamils and the usual international political figures most Sri Lankans percieve to be LTTE stooges. The Achelles' heel of any such organization will still be a dire need to finance its operations, primarily from member contributions. Knowing that coercion will be used to obtain contributions, Sri Lankan intelligence needs to watch for tell tale signs and seek the cooperation of international law enforcement agencies to restrict such activity.

The war didn't end when the last shot was fired on a lonely stretch of land in North Eastern Sri Lanka. It merely changed hue and moved overseas. Capturing and incarcerating LTTE leaders whenever possible will not end it either. A series of well planned and executed diplomatic and law-enforcement operations that reach far out across the world are now needed to snuff out the remaining monsters.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

LTTE'S NEW LEADER ARRESTED IN THAILAND

SL defence sources report that the LTTE's self appointed new leader KP has been arrested by authorities in Thailand, where he had been domiciled for a long time.

Though KP made concilliatory noises about a peaceful struggle for a seperate state, it was known that the Tamil Tiger procurement channels were buzzing yet again, collecting arms for a possible resumption of terrorism in Sri Lanka. As recently as a two weeks ago a shipment of arms is suspected to have been recieved by KP's operatives in Thailand from North Korea.

KP's arrest and potential neutralization opens the door for a further alienation of the remaining Tamil Tiger supporters from the moderates who are now attempting to regroup for a more democratic approach towards achieving greater autonomy for areas they call traditional tamil homelands. Remaining hardliners are now more likely to pursue an even more extreme approach leading towards further conflict with the Sri Lankan government, which has already proven its ample superiority in this game. Recent changes made to bring all of Sri Lanka's armed services under one structure for greater functional effectiveness puts the island nation's security apparatus in adequate readiness for any such eventuality. A resurgence of violence will also strengthen the hand of the hawks in the government.

While the news of KP's arrest is still new, prospects for his extradition to Sri Lanka will remain to be seen. India's previous demands for his arrest and extradition in connection with the Rajiv Gandhi assasination for which an outstanding Interpol warrant is still pending may take precedence over any requests from Sri Lanka.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

BLACK JULY AND POST WAR SRI LANKA - ASIAN TRIBUNE

A REPLY TO THISARANEE GUNASEKERA - by Sandman

Now that Dayan Jayatilleke has been fired, his old sweetheart comes out of the shadows, spewing venom as we expected. It’s hard to know who actually wrote this article, whether it is Dayan himself.

Nevertheless, here’s yet another example of someone attempting to mislead the public about the facts of the case, and ostensibly for a very likely personal agenda.

The refugee camps are still there, because they are an expensive alternative to a more expensive and absolutely self-destructive one. Letting all who are in those camps out at once could result in a number of destructive outcomes;

1. Most areas are still not completely de-mined. Civillian casualties as a result of being let into dangerous areas cannot be accepted by a responsible govt. The author conveniently avoids analyzing that fact.

2. Most areas are bereft of drinking water, wells were polluted and water tanks destroyed by the retreating Tigers. Restoring these facilities take time, most cannot be even started until areas are completely de-mined.

3. The military are still recovering massive arms caches, which could easily support massive scale guerilla operations within a very short period of time. Both the trained men (now in hiding) and arms have to be located and neutralized before a fully fledged guerilla war imperils the civillians yet again. The near exhausted Army may be at a distinctive disadvantage to deal with such.

4. Majority of the camps now have functioning school facilities. Even young LTTE recruits are currently following the standard school curriculum in many of these. If the camps were dismantled before the schools are reconstructed and restored to operations readiness, it would disrupt their education and make these youngsters yet again vulnerable to the violent rhetoric of the anti-social psychopaths and trained terrorists still at large. Sri Lanka would be back to square one, facing another burst of terrorism, this time led by random destructive instincts. If that happens and the Sri Lankan Army is called out again, people like Thisaranee would have cause to howl at the moon using cookie-cutter phrases like “..sinhala chauvanist, sinhala-buddhist extremist…’ etc a whole lot more. Construction work, including that of schools have to commence once demining is completed. All these take time.

5.Though not reported in most cases, intermittant and scattered attacks are already happening in the Wanni and other areas again. The military is effectively dealing with most, leading to arrests and unearthing of new and more astonishing evidence of preparedness for very long term underground guerrilla operations in most areas. The amount of arms hidden in the Killinochchi area alone may take years to locate and destroy.

De-mining and disarming a conflict area of unexploded ordnance is a dangerous activity which requires specilized skills and equipment. Sri Lanka does possess some of these skills and tools, but not in quantities that would facilitate swift progress, considering the large swathes of land that was mined by the retreating LTTE. To compound the problems, the Tigers are believed to have destroyed all maps describing the mined areas. Thus search itself consumes considerable amounts of time and patience. Six decades after the end of its last war, Germany is still finding unexploded bombs in her suburbs.

The problem the world faces from people like this author is exactly this; they twist and misinterpret facts to suit their own agenda. When there aren’t any, they even go to the extent of manufacturing some. Case in point; the author in one para claims sinhala racism is dead, and then later claims we are back to where we were; in an era when sinhala racism was the staple diet of the majority.

Now that Dayan J has got the boot from the govt, these venomous outbursts targetting the Rajapaksa govt, the Sinhalese and also the Buddhists can only be expected to get worse. Don’t be surprised.

There is a distinctive difference between a journalist and a mud-slinger.

A journalist reports facts, with clarity and accuracy, and definitely without prejudice. A true journalist will never do anything to lose their credibility.

A mud-slinger on the other hand will deliberately mispresent facts, take facts out of context and manufacture evidence where there is none, or even simply make accusations believing that ‘told enough times with conviction, any lie can become the truth’. The author definitely fits into this mould. Thisaranee Gunasekera is a mud-slinger.

To understand this analysis, take this example; Walter Cronkite was a true journalist. He was trusted and never did anything to violate the trust the nation placed on him. When he broke the news about losing in Vietnam it was perhaps one of the worst news to report home, but he did it nevertheless, reporting facts and not his personal interpretations.

Cronkite’s recent death diminishes the world of quality journalism. Worse, it leaves us with the likes of Thisaranee Gunasekera.

[Article under reference can be found here; http://asiantribune.com/07/26/black-july-and-post-war-sri-lanka/comment-page-1/#comment-777 - Ed. ]

Saturday, July 25, 2009

THE NEXT WAR IS ON, WHILE SRI LANKA SLEEPS

END of the war saw the Sri Lankan economy teetering on the edge, battered from all sides. A no-holds-barred war faught for the first time in its history of combatting terrorism amidst a global recession which seriously affected her exports led Sri Lanka deep into the red. Even though the main arms suppliers China and Pakistan were happy to provide weapons and ammunition on credit, other needs of the country suffered serious economic lapses causing untold hardship to most of the population concentrated in the cities.

The Sri Lankan government's commitment to completly eradicate terrorism from our shores must be applauded, even though it caused horrendous casualties even among the armed services. By conservative estimates the number of soldiers killed in the last two years of fighting is around 6,500 while opposition party sources quote much higher.

Having lost the war on the ground, the pro-Eelam lobby was faced with a number of obvious realities. Another war on the ground on Sri Lankan soil could not be even attempted for a very long time for the sheer lack of man power and the extreme combat readiness of the government forces, while there was opportunity to take up the issue in the diplomatic forums in an environment where the current Sri Lankan government has plundered almost all goodwill and cornered herself internationally. Also the lack of a coherent opposition by the pro-Sri Lankan diaspora abroad provides the pro-Eelam lobby a distinct advantage. Having access to world leaders such as Hillary Clinton and others in Canada, EU and Australia, most of whom view the Sri Lankan government with obvious distaste provides unprecedented leverage to the pro-Eelam lobby currently. The hurried preparations being made to build a comprehensive case against Sri Lanka, including war crimes allegations, arise from this percieved advantage. Any new combat operations on Sri Lankan soil also would need to be of a guerilla nature, using hidden arms caches and well trained cadres currently holed up in refugee camps under assumed names.

However, this scenario is not without its own flaws. Since taking office, Hillary Clinton has continued to perform less than expected and has continued to shrink in stature and, so far, in utility. Widely distrusted by most Americans and having bungled even her first high profile meeting with the leaders of Russia, Clinton is facing an uphill task staying on the job. Irrespective of how she is percieved by the American general public or how she performs in office, Sri Lanka could face serious problems with her unless new found evidence allegedly linking Clinton having contacts with the Tamil Tigers isn't taken up officially. In this connection the testimony of an escaped LTTE high ranker who in an interview with Indian media claimed that the Tamil Tiger leadership was certain of Clinton rescuing them from the advancing Sri Lankan Defence Forces needs to be further investigated. There has been intermittant evidence of a link between the Clinton's Presidential campaign and the LTTE lobby for a while, providing credence to such allegations.

The desperate efforts now being made through various non-governmental organizations and media to facilitate the premature release or escape of trained cadres currently in refugee camps assumably to commence guerilla operations has been stymied by the Sri Lankan government's efforts to unearth the hidden arms caches and identify the terrorists among the civillian population. The government is correct in refusing to give into pressure by pro-eelam parties to allow civillians into heavily mined areas before they are cleared, and thereby potentially facing charges of public irresponsibility. It's heavy handed actions, often leading to raised eye brows in Colombo and elsewhere do in fact have valid reasons behind them, even though the continuing qualitative decline in our diplomatic corps hinders the ability to rationally explain these measures to the outside world. The departure of diplomats of the calibre of Dayan Jayatilleke will further impede Sri Lanka's communications effectiveness in the diplomatic war that is imminent.

Friday, July 24, 2009

BUY SRI LANKA

The end of the war may not mean the end of all problems in SL. Though there will be recurrent issues, Sri Lanka currently is one of the most viable emerging markets because of how far the stocks have fallen and also the SLRs has depreciated against the dollar and other currencies.
This is a great time to pick up some investments that can make you laugh all the way to the bank in another 10-15yrs. By committing as little as $100 a month, you could build a well diversified broad based portfolio of investments in as little as 12 months at present day market prices. There are also plenty of reliable stock brokers in SL. Do check the Colombo Stock Exchange web site for more information. http://www.cse.lk/welcome.htm

If majority of Sri Lankans abroad were to invest in stocks of our very dynamic private sector, the nation's working assets wil continue to remain liquid and the returns will be ours as well.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

BIG LIES FROM THE BIG BOYS - Prof Rajiva Wijesinghe

Tuesday, 02 June 2009

Setting the Stage

Last week, the Times of London announced that 20,000 civilians had died altogether in the course of this year because of the operations in the North. This claim was not surprising since, as I had just pointed out, the British were determined to crucify us and had already begun to inflate the figure. Six thousand had gone to seven and then to eight, in rapid succession, so more was inevitable, though the speed of the escalation was remarkable, even for the Brits. Predictably enough, the new figure began to reverberate round the Western World, with reference not to the Times but to its presumed sources.

These were as usual supposedly from the UN. From February on, the game had started, with the UN supposedly developing a count which was promptly leaked. Regularly the UN Resident Coordinator would bleat that the figures were just an extrapolation (i.e. completely made up, as his Security Coordinator admitted when we called him in and used logic and argument, elements with which he had evidently not been familiar with previously).

Then he (the RC, not the SC - no bleater he - with a Boer determination, now evidently at the service of the British agenda) would bleat that certainly there had been no leak from his office, though he left it open whether there had been leaks in New York . Then he would bleat that he would hold an inquiry, though these never seemed to get off the ground, and we were always too nice to press him on his promises. And then the whole cycle would start again.

This time around, there seems nothing for Buhne to bleat about, though it would be interesting to record his response if our Foreign Ministry were to call him in and get something on record instead of the customary sweet talk. This time, the Times claimed that it had gathered its own evidence, though with characteristic sleight of hand it tried to draw the UN in too - 'The UN estimated that 7,000 people were killed in the first four months of this year; the figure now appears to be at least 20,000’.

There was no note there that the 7000 was not an official UN figure, and that the 20,000 had nothing to do with the UN, unless it were gossipy underlings of the (both British) Dix and Campbell sort Buhne had to repudiate and get rid of, so hysterical were their emotions, so biased their assertions. The UN then does not have much to answer for in this instance. But their reaction, which is defensive, plays straight into the hands of the Times, since it allows others to declare that something is fishy and the Times allegations must be investigated.

Conjuring tricks -

Extrapolating from extrapolations - How exactly then did Catherine Page (or whichever groupie did the calculations) arrive at this magic figure of 20,000? The first article was extraordinarily vague. The manner in which the groupie uses language merits careful study -

Some civilians were probably killed by the Tigers, whose brutality and ruthlessness over the past 28 years has fully justified their depiction as terrorists. Finding out what happened, however, is impossible: the army has barred entry to all outsiders. Food is short, sanitation appalling; wounded and traumatised civilians are in desperate need of help. That much is clear from those who have been able to escape. More sinister reports are now circulating of systematic “disappearances” of families separated and young men taken away. But until the Government allows in aid workers, the presumption must be that it wants nothing to be heard or seen of what is going on. This tactic was used in the final push to beat the Tigers."

The language used provides a fascinating study in obfuscation. The transition from the past-tense to the present is intended to create the impression that the description is of the present situation in the welfare camps, where those who were rescued from the Tigers are housed. The second part of the paragraph, with its mention of the reports that British media outlets have been putting out with increasing shrillness, clearly applies to the current situation. In the process we lose sight of the fact that those who managed to escape, did in fact escape from the Tigers, and the hostage situation the British seemed to wish to perpetuate in refusing to follow the rest of the world and call upon the Tigers to surrender.

All this confusion has the effect, as doubtless intended, of drawing attention away from the absence of any argument to justify the newly inflated figure of 20,000. The text itself refers to hundreds of fresh graves, and apart from that there is no trace of argument for the new numbers.

This came later, first through a remarkably silly assertion that, to the earlier (and in any case, unverified) 7,000, there had to be added 1,000, a day which was what the UN was claimed (again with no verification) to have estimated. The Times itself, on the 30th, produced an even more lunatic argument, also worth quoting in full -

“The figures have been collated from deaths reported by priests or doctors and added to a count of the bodies brought to medical points. Of the total, the bodies collected, accounted for only a fifth of the reported deaths. After the bombing intensified this month, the only numbers available were by a count of the bodies. The 20,000 figure is an extrapolation based on the actual body count”.

Put in simple English, that means that the Times believes there were 4,000 bodies in May, which they multiplied by 5 to get at the figure they tossed into cyberspace. Even more astonishingly, it would seem that the earlier figures are based on reports from individuals, identified as priests or doctors, which were then added to bodies brought to medical points. This suggests there were 'doctors' not at medical points who added their stories to 'verifiable' bodies, also presumably reported by doctors. At all stages the figures were the highest possible that could be put together, and the failure to identify bodies to substantiate these claims was then turned into another instrument of aggression, to justify actual (or rather reportedly) verified figures to be multiplied by five.

The historical continuity of the current Western approach

Underlying this balderdash is the assumption that only callow Western reporters care about Tamils. This I find particularly irritating, since I have been concerned about Sri Lankan treatment of minorities long before it became fashionable. I remember taking Radhika Coomaraswamy, now wailing and gnashing her teeth because there is no war crimes probe, to task more than a quarter of a century ago because she kept quiet about what the J.R. Jayewardene government was doing to the Tamils. I could understand family gratitude, since I have been told regularly how well J.R. treated her father Raju, but that was no excuse for the International Centre for Ethnic Studies keeping quiet about what was happening to Tamils in the early eighties.

Radhika explained that ICES was allowed to operate on the condition that it would not look at internal problems - a compromise I found shabby - and which I described as such in an article at the time. Fortunately the situation changed after 1983, but even then Radhika operated through a different body that she had set up called the Committee for Rational Development, for which responsibility was entrusted to a younger, but still idealistic and clear-thinking Dayan Jayatilleke.

Now ICES has swung the other way, and even Mrs Tiruchelvam, forgetting how her determinedly anti-terrorist husband died, hankers after tying the Sri Lankan government up in knots for daring to go after his killers. But ambition makes strange bedfellows of us all, and the West and ICES which connived at the oppression of the Tamils and of democracy in the early eighties, when Cold War compulsions held sway, now wish to perpetuate a patronising unipolarity through an even more ruthless hypocrisy.

Comparisons with intelligent and concerned monitoring

Our own approach has been equally consistent, care for all our people, criticism of those who wish to abandon our sovereignty and betray our friends on whose defence of our common interests we can rely. I make no apologies, and now I do not need to, for the consistently pro-Indian sentiments I have expressed for nearly 30 years, and for having my first novel and my first political history published in India, way back in 1985 and 1986, when the Sri Lankan printer thought my direct critique of the Jayewardene government for the 1983 anti-Tamil riots too dangerous to publish.

In the same spirit, I have, at the Peace Secretariat, monitored TamilNet - all allegations of harm to civilians caused by military offensives, and asked the forces for explanations as necessary. That is how I could say proudly that, until the end of 2008, our record was the best in the world, even on a worst-case scenario - for surely TamilNet would not have omitted any possible charge. I should note that, while my staff may have missed an item or two, the al-Jazeera reporters who compared my lists with theirs thought I had covered pretty much everything (and they were British, though obviously not paid by the British).

There were only 78 civilian deaths alleged in all army operations in the last seven months of 2008. In over 400 airstrikes, there were fewer than 20 in which there were even allegations of civilian deaths, and in all such cases I was promptly given information of the target taken, and the distance from regular civilian areas. Of course, no one could guarantee that there were no civilians in military installations, but I also know that my other staff complained that even when precise locations were provided, the air force would not strike if there were civilian dwellings nearby. I should therefore take this opportunity to pay tribute to the decency of our forces, who never lost sight of the fact that these civilians were our people.

The situation changed after January, and while of course there must have been some collateral damage, given the way the LTTE had set up (with some connivance from some Western elements) their hostages, the evidence also shows clearly how much damage the LTTE themselves caused, and how they forced civilians into the battle lines. Obviously they wanted as many civilian casualties as possible, and that explains both their callousness and the inflated figures, which even our now worst enemies cannot claim are substantiated by body counts even in the tiny area to which the LTTE and its vicious leadership were finally confined.

Yet with all this desire to inflate figures and play on (or add support to) gullible (or bitter) Western feelings, TamilNet allegations in May give far lower figures for civilian casualties than the Times groupies wish to perpetuate. In the first weekend in May, they alleged 64 deaths. Then there was a lull until the 8th when 47 deaths were alleged. That, it will be remembered, is when there began again an exodus of civilians after the LTTE had brought the shutters down after the mass exodus in the latter part of April. Forty-seven is indicative not of a barrage by the Sri Lankan forces, but of LTTE killing with small arms as 1000 civilians fled. On the 9th, the LTTE brought out its heavy weapons, and for a short time they succeeded in stopping the flood. I believe the Sri Lankan forces had a moral obligation to quell the heavy weaponry, but for the moment they failed, and, while claiming that 1,200 had been killed, the LTTE brought down the shutters again.

The Times probably does not understand enough about logic to work out who benefited from these deaths, and the stopping of civilian escapes, but unless it has completely forgotten its basic arithmetic, it will understand that until May 10th, the TamilNet allegations amounted to fewer than 1,300 deaths, not 10,000 on the assumption of 1,000 a day. The Times may believe that TamilNet was now in the pay of the Sri Lankan government, or wicked non-Western countries, and that the Times and its little friends in the UN know better, but any government that does not see this as a worst-case scenario is obviously working to a perverse agenda.

After the weekend, the figure was raised to 3,200 by a TRO spokesman, referring to Sunday night to Monday morning, but this was not taken up elsewhere, and it is not clear whether he was referring again to the carnage caused by the LTTE stopping of the escape earlier in the weekend.

Over the next few days there were new allegations about a hospital being hit, with varying figures for deaths of 38, 47 (the same figure as ten days previously) and over 100, the smallest coming at the end. While this drama was going on, the Sri Lankan forces made another breach in the defences, and over 5,000 got away on May 14th. So, on the 14th, there was yet another TamilNet claim of 1,700 killed, though significantly enough it claimed that this was over the previous 48 hours.

After that we simply had mass hysteria, with a claim by the Sea Tiger Leader Soosai, whose wife had got away by sea with several relations and plenty of money, that 25,000 were 'injured to death'. That claim was repeated on TamilNet on the 17th, along with the assertion that the forces preferred to kill those who were fleeing, a strange assertion given how many were helped to safety.

That figure could not be the basis of the Times assertion, unless they decided that Soosai was exaggerating and they reduced his figure by a mathematical formula they had worked scientifically, as they did their one for extrapolating deaths from bodies they accepted on trust from unidentified sources.

Omitting this last claim then, it is clear that TamilNet has much to learn from the Times about how to make up figures. Or perhaps we were wrong to think that TamilNet figures are of a worst possible case, and actually they have been lying throughout to conceal the true depths of Sri Lankan iniquity, which only the Times and its unnamed informants can truly fathom.

Whatever the explanation, the Times decided to go out on a limb last week. They were justified in their view of Western gullibility, for their speculative figure, justified subsequently in the shadiest way (or rather ways, for good measure), has now become gospel in what purport to be influential Western eyes.

Sir John Holmes, in Sri Lanka , warned us we had to expect this type of behaviour from newspapers. The war was over, they were sitting in Colombo with nothing to do. But the way in which the Times in general, and a couple of correspondents from other places, have made things up relentlessly, suggests something more than just pique and anxiety for sensation.

They are determined, together with their friends in low places in the UN, and high places elsewhere, to put pressure on senior officials, and then misreport what they say - as we have seen happen already, when John Colville speaks for Navanethem Pillay and she and John Holmes are alleged to want a war crimes inquiry, and the Secretary General is pilloried for not being tough, i.e. not doing exactly what a few Western countries want.

Over the next few days, those countries will try to build on what the Times has started. More recent articles suggest what the agenda is, and I shall look at that next. But for the moment we have clear evidence that what is termed the independent international media is partisanly parochial.

Rajiva Wijesinha
Secretary General
Secretariat for Coordinating the Peace Process

HUMAN RIGHTS TERRORISTS RULE AT THE UN

THEY are now known as Human Rights Terrorists; those who attempt to covertly support various terrorist agendas hiding behind the sanctimonious banners of human rights and opposition to war crimes, by pressurizing legitimate governmental action against terrorists on their soil. The UN is widely infested with this variety and they are fed and nurtured with support from the shadowy world of corrupt politics and even worse; groups that support illegal and even terrorist objectives targetting elected governments world wide. Most prominant among such activist organizations that provide a basis for their existance are the so called Non-governmental Organizations [NGOs] which are non-regulated, raise funds unrestricted and virtually un-audited and apparently are not accountable to anyone.

The rise of these organizations and individuals as champions of human rights was phenomenal a few years ago. A troubled world awash in cash provided a convenient and lucrative feeding ground for those who could argue loudest on behalf of who ever pays the best made such organizations into sources of quick money for the unscrupulous and unemployed former civil sector employees with high level diplomatic contacts. The existance of the world's conflict zones and human misery provided them a ready platform to preach from and hold the world to emotional ransom. Perpetuating such problems and human misery now provide these people life long lucrative careers. The proof is in the speed and instant clamoring with which various NGOs flock to places of conflict and natural disasters, claiming to be international do gooders and demanding instant access. It goes without saying that any efforts to end a conflict is detrimental to the welfare of the NGOs and their carrion birds who aim to feed off human misery for the rest of their own lives.

There is also a reason for the thriving existance of such NGOs operating mainly in under-developed and conflict torn places on earth. To the western nations interested in exerting a far ranging sphere of influence, they provide a means of pressurizing local governments through various means including corruption, and thus have become an efficient control mechanism which works well in nations which could otherwise resist diplomatic channels. NGOs operating in rural parts of developing nations also gather grass roots level information and have the ability to fund and support covert action against nation states. Norwegian NGO action in rural parts of northern Sri Lanka is widely suspected of having facilitated the Tamil Tiger movement for a long time, while bringing in pressure to prevent successive Sri Lankan governments from taking effective anti-terrorism measures through various means.

Such organizations and UN based bureacrats who are apparently part of the same gravy train [I often wondered who paid off the colorful African UN official who repeatedly praised the Tamil Tiger 'rebels' for releasing child soldiers] have grown over the years to tremendous stature and today are a shadowy organization which exerts considerable pressure on the UN itself. In most cases they are able to interfere unrestricted with the activities of legitimate governments worldwide to a level which undermines the very precepts of democracy, soverignty and even poses significant threats to the national security of target nations. A few years ago during the Bush administration an excessively vocal and out of control UN human rights official was removed from her position after challenging the US's conduct of anti-terrorism operations in various parts of the world. Since then these shadowy groups seem to have shifted their focus to more vulnerable countries, especially those in the developing world, who they deem incapable of putting up a fight.

Sri Lanka has been a very attractive feeding ground for such organizations for over two decades and has suffred numerous reported and unreported ignomities as a result. While the majority of these organizations did not provide services to the extent of the funds collected by them from the UN and other donors, some have even covertly funded and supported tamil tiger terror activities for many years. Other activites such as NGO employees being involved in child molesting and pornographic movies involving minors etc have largely gone unreported, while successive governments have resorted to silently having such individuals deported without legal process to avoid antagonizing the organizations they consider too influential in the international diplomatic arena.

The apparent current raging antagonism against Sri Lanka by western (predominantly an EU phenomenon) nations needs to be understood in this context. It is not about the tamil civillians, who have been victims of terror of an extent which will perhaps be never known. That is evident from the fact that their opinion, or that of moderate tamil voices are not being considered by these chauvanistic vocal bandits who are still attempting to hijack human rights to further their own agendas. It is instead based on the fear that just as Sri Lanka set a precedent in stamping out terrorism by military force, that the island nation may also set a precedent in curtailing the activities of the shadowy organizations through which lack luster former colonials have so far managed to exert indirect control over poorer nations.

The attempts presently being made against Sri Lanka to threaten it with not only human rights violations but also war crimes lack basis in evidence. This is quite obvious from the way even the UN chief Ban speaks out from time to time. His comments on the Sri Lankan anti-terrorism operations producing 'unacceptably high number of casualties' raises the interestingly disturbing question of exactly how many casualties are acceptable in such situations to the people at the UN. To the civilized mind none should be, while to the rational, there can not be a pre-determinable quantity in the rapidly changing chaos of war. Similarly are the wild accusation of high death counts made by western media's instant military experts whose only known and provable skills are that of operating a camera or speaking sensationally in front of one. Where sensationalism is concerned such media persons are often capable of making a hot piece of dog droppings appear to be a biological weapon as long as suits their intended audience.

Similarly are the likes of Navi Pillai, an ethnic tamil from South Africa whose personal emotions are quite obviously clouding the objective discharge of her duties at UN. Her attempts to use official position to wage an assault against Sri Lankan leadership based on what apperas to be purely personal sentiment based purely on sensational journalism is another symptom of how far the UN has been hijacked by individuals prone to human rights terrorism. A recent comment by the Head of the UN Ban Ki Moon carries a subtle change in language which perhaps indicates that he too is now becoming suspicious of the activites against Sri Lanka that are being rushed at warp speed. His second comment calls for impartial investigation of 'all credible evidence' of war crimes, instead of the earlier version which lacked any reference to the credibility of accusations being thrown around. "I would like to ask the Sri Lankan government to recognize the international call for accountability and full transparency," he said. "And whenever and wherever there are credible allegations of violations of humanitarian law, there should be a proper investigation." Looks like ol' Ban Ki clearly doesn't want to be associated with the lunatic fringe, while keeping all options open for any future action.

Sri Lanka has stood firm and defended her national security, integrity and more importantly our self respect as an inclusive single nation which embraces all people who consider themselves Sri Lankan. Our youth have willingly sacrificed lives and many will continue to live with visible and invisible scars of our nation's heroic struggle to achieve a semblence of dignity. While not all among us are happy with everything that happened in the course of decimating the tyrannical tamil tigers to bring peace to the nation, it must be bourne in mind that those who now attempt to press charges against the nation's leadership intend nothing less than to take away our nation's self respect. They are definitely not our friends, nor are they friends of our enemies.

They are the enemy.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

LOOKING BACK| WHAT OUR CRITICS REALLY ARE LIKE ON THEIR TURF

WORLD famous minority rights advocate Desmond Tutu is unlike anyone else. The image is bigger than the man and it over whelms most people. Quite obviously his contributions to the liberation struggles of black Africa must have been significant, unless everyone is mistaken.

And from that moral high horse, the good Arch Bishop has lectured Sri Lanka a few times, about how it should conduct its internal affairs. But when a group of South Africans set upon a some others from a minority causing grievious harm exactly one year ago, the voice of the usually prominant freedom fighter was conspicuously absent in demanding action.

This made an interested someone write to the Arch Bishop. Following are the emails which passed between these two parties;


Sent: 27 May 2008 12:00 AM
To:
mpilo@iafrica.com
Subject: Light 'em up, eh?

My dear Arch Bishop

The boys with the matches are at it again, and this time it is in your own back yard. And this time, they are your boys.

I thought of giving you a wake up call, since you, old chap, are rather fond of making lengthy and emotional speeches calling for action against those who commit horrific deeds targetting innocent victims. I didn't want you to miss out on this big one in your own back yard.

By the way, some vindictive people who still think South Africa should have remained under those horrible Aparthied folks say you'd never venture out to condemn and demand action when it is your own boys committing the horrible deeds. But dear Sir, I know they are saying such things out of the malice in their hearts. And I await breathlessly to hear you condemn the terrible deeds we just witnessed and call for the perpetrators to be taken to task without any further delay.

Please don't keep me waiting..

Respectfully

Ron Tills
Kentucky , USA


..It evoked the following response from the office of the Arch Bishop

Dear Mr Tills

I acknowledge receipt of your letter. Thank you for expressing your opinion.

Lavinia Browne
Personal Assistant to Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu
----------------------------------------------------------------
Postal address: Street address:
P O Box 1092 44 Frazzitta Business Park
Milnerton 7435 Koeberg Road , Milnerton 7441
Cape Town Cape Town

Tel: 0027 21 552 7524
Fax: 0027 21 552 7529
cell: 082 459 2731
mpilo@iafrica.com


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

NOW | SL'S VICTORY OVER TERROR OFFERS LESSONS TO OTHERS

The tactics the government used to defeat the Tamil Tiger rebels could help other nations grappling with insurgencies. - By Mark Magnier, May 23, 2009. Reporting from New Delhi

Sri Lanka's victory this week after a 25-year battle against the Tamil Tiger rebels represents a rare success story for governments fighting insurgencies.

Even as leaders in Colombo, the capital, declared a national holiday and citizens danced in the streets, military planners and analysts around the world began scrutinizing the war for lessons on how to fight Al Qaeda, the Taliban and other militant groups.

For more than two decades in the conflict in Sri Lanka, neither side was strong enough to overcome the other. That changed three years ago, when the army adopted more mobile tactics, overhauled its intelligence system, promoted young commanders and steadily hemmed in one of the world's most ruthless and innovative rebel movements.

At its peak, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, as the rebels are formally known, controlled one-third of the country, had their own army, a sizable navy and nascent air force, and served as a role model for insurgencies worldwide with their pioneering use of explosives vests and female suicide bombers. This week, the army displayed in triumph what it said was the portly, bullet-riddled body of Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran in his signature fatigues.

What may be the most important factor in ending the stalemate was the political will to do whatever it took. In a supreme irony, President Mahinda Rajapaksa was elected in November 2005 by a 1.9-percentage-point margin after Prabhakaran urged Tamils to boycott the election. Rajapaksa made military victory over the Tigers a cornerstone of his administration and signaled to the military that it could get whatever resources it wanted simply by asking.

"They did everything a general dreams of," said retired Indian Maj. Gen. Ashok Mehta, a commander of the Indian peacekeeping forces in Sri Lanka in the late 1980s. "Unfettered resources and no political interference."

The military budget grew by 40% a year, and the army exploded by 70% to 180,000 troops, adding 3,000 a month compared with 3,000 a year previously, drawing largely from rural Singhalese attracted by relatively high wages in a struggling economy.With more soldiers, the army was able to hit the Tigers on several fronts simultaneously, breaking with years of hit-or-miss operations.

"Before, the army would take territory, then move on, allowing the LTTE to come back," said military spokesman Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara. "That changed and we hit them on all four fronts so they could no longer muster all their resources into one place."

Some of the lessons are transferable, experts said."Sri Lanka provides a case study," said Rohan Gunaratna, head of the International Center for Political Violence and Terrorism Research in Singapore.

Other lessons are either unique to Sri Lanka or would be politically unpalatable in other societies, including the high civilian and military death tolls and alleged human rights violations. The United Nations and many human rights groups repeatedly called for a cease-fire so civilians caught in the crossfire could flee the conflict area -- calls the government largely dismissed.

"They were not worried about collateral damage," said Ajey Lele, an Indian military analyst and ex-wing commander. "So in many regards it's a very difficult model to adopt."

By some estimates, nearly 100,000 people died in the war, which began in 1983, including more than 7,000 civilians since January.

Because Rajapaksa's base was the nation's Sinhalese majority, there was relatively little domestic pushback over the deaths and displacement of ethnic Tamil civilians. The government restricted the access of international media and independent humanitarian groups, making it difficult to report what was going on.

The lesson of nonstop, no-holds-barred combat -- the army even powered on during monsoons -- was complemented by better use of small, flexible "deep penetration" special forces units, many trained by their U.S. and Indian counterparts. Dressed like the rebels, they went behind enemy lines, assassinating Tigers, crippling infrastructure in rebel-held areas and reporting target locations to the army and air force.

Cutting supply lines, creating faster and more mobile special forces units, going after financing and hitting jungle hide-outs are additional strategies applicable to other insurgency battles, experts said.

At the same time, the Tigers' scope made them a bigger target. For years, they parked freighters at sea and ferried arms, oil, food and other supplies into ports they controlled.In recent years, the government destroyed seven of these mother ships, reportedly with the help of satellite intelligence from India and the United States, and made better use of small, maneuverable, heavily armed "Arrow" vessels.

"It adopted many new tactics and techniques," said retired Indian Col. Ravindra Tripathi, a military analyst. "And it imbued fighting spirit in its troops."

The broader political climate also was changing, some critics said. Any lingering sympathy for so-called freedom fighters eroded after the Sept. 11 attacks. Though some militant groups, such as the Irish Republican Army, eventually opted for political settlement, Prabhakaran rejected the idea of compromise.

In this new climate, Sri Lanka also gained access to U.S. satellite intelligence and training and benefited from designation of the LTTE as a terrorist organization by the U.S., European Union and India. Smuggling and arms deals, as well as financing from the Tamil diaspora, became more difficult as the international community stepped up its scrutiny of money trails.

"A military precept the world over is that you can't win militarily against an insurgency, which is essentially a political struggle," said Maj. Gen. Mehta. "They turned that on its head."

mark.magnier@latimes.com (http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-sri-lanka-lessons23-2009may23,0,2254784,print.story)
Pavitra Ramaswamy in The Times' New Delhi Bureau contributed to this report.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

LOOKING BACK| EPILOGUE - OF A DIVIDED SRI LANKA

''There's an eerie feeling here,'' the diplomat said of the capital. ''People are going about their business as if they don't realize that their country no longer exists.''

STEVEN R. WEISMAN, Special to the New York Times published the followng article on Wednesday, October 28, 1987. Sri Lanka was in turmoil, the IPKF had landed and were fighting a war they would lose horribly to the LTTE in the north, while the SL Army was cracking down on a vicious JVP insurrection. Forecast; Sri Lanka will end in two seperate states.


By capturing the Tamil rebel stronghold of Jaffna this week, Indian Army troops signaled their determination to enforce a peace accord in Sri Lanka. Yet achievement of a genuine peace here appears to many analysts to be more distant than ever.

Indeed, a mood of pessimism has settled among diplomats, Sri Lankan leaders and Indian officials regarding the future of Sri Lankan national unity. More and more, one hears comparisons with the permanent divisions and alien occupation forces of two other troubled islands, Ireland and Cyprus.

''I don't think that until recently I realized how much I love my country,'' a weary and saddened Sri Lankan official said. ''But I have to be realistic. Sri Lanka is finished as we have known it.''
Since 1983, Sri Lanka has been torn by warfare as ethnic Tamil rebels in the north and east pressed their fight for a separate country. The island is dominated by the Sinhalese ethnic majority.

A Shift in Tactics

This summer the Sri Lankan Army counterattacked, pushing the main guerrilla group, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, into the northern Jaffna Peninsula. Then, President J. R. Jayewardene shifted tactics and agreed to a negotiated settlement with India as a collaborator.
At first the Liberation Tigers seemed to accept the Indian-Sri Lankan accord calling for them to surrender their arms in return for greater political autonomy in Tamil areas. The Tigers, in effect, bowed to New Delhi after years of using southern India as a sanctuary, supply center and training base.

But this month the Tigers resumed attacks on military and civilian targets, evidently feeling that India and Sri Lanka were not living up to their part of the bargain. The collapse of the accord compelled India to disarm the Tigers by force or risk being ordered to leave by Mr. Jayewardene.

The current pessimism derives from the configuration of armed forces in Sri Lanka and the increasing likelihood of continued fighting.

In the north and east, Indian troops are given little chance of crushing the Tamil rebellion, as they had recently hoped to do. Meanwhile in the south, the Sri Lankan Army has become almost an occupying force, itself pressing a campaign against extremist Sinhalese who have carried out assassinations and other acts to undercut the peace accord.

In Jaffna, the escape of Tamil guerrillas this week rendered the fall of the city a hollow victory for India, which lost more than 200 men by its own count. ''No doubt India has dealt a psychological blow to the guerrillas,'' a Western diplomat said of the Jaffna campaign. ''But the guerrillas are alive and well in the countryside, armed and dangerous, with a sense of fervor that is extremely worrisome.''

Sri Lankan and Indian military analysts say also that the Liberation Tigers are likely to melt into the jungles, the countryside and even urban centers in classic guerrilla fashion. Indian troops are handicapped by their inexperience at this sort of fighting, and by their role as an alien force unable to speak the local language.

Some analysts think there may be a lull in attacks by the Tigers in the next few weeks, but the group's leaders indicate that they may soon turn to suicide squads to bomb civilian targets. The Tigers are also considered certain to continue their highly effective technique of blowing up police convoys and troops with land mines and other kinds of bombs.

These tactics, in turn, almost always provoke retaliatory excesses such as mass arrests of young men suspected of involvement, further inflaming the civilian population. Jaffna residents appear to distrust or hate Indian troops after the death of hundreds of civilians and uprooting of tens of thousands of residents in two weeks of fighting.

India's main task now is widely seen as restoring its credibility by rushing in food, medicine and other supplies to Jaffna and surrounding areas it occupies. But two other tasks facing India are much more urgent and difficult, if not impossible.

Given the likely refusal of the Tigers to lay down their arms or participate in a peace settlement, the first of these is to somehow keep them on the run, unable to inflict military damage.
Second, Indian officials say they must somehow help knit together a force of mainstream Tamil leaders to assume control of the civil administration in the north and east as an alternative moderate political force. Mounting Political Pressure

But this task is shadowed by fear on the part of moderates that they will be assassinated if they try to present themselves as rivals to the Tigers. Such assassinations have occurred many times in the past.

A few months ago, the presence of Indian troops here was looked on as a temporary measure to enable Tamil guerrillas to surrender their arms. But now, no one can see circumstances permitting an Indian withdrawal in the near future. Some say that Indian forces could be here for years, constrained only by the possibility of mounting political pressure in India for their withdrawal.

An irony of the situation is the perverse pride that many Sri Lankan Sinhalese who despise the Tamil guerrillas take in the skill, courage and fighting ability of the Tigers. ''The Indian Army thought they were coming here to subdue a bunch of primitive tribesmen,'' said a Sri Lankan official who is Sinhalese. ''But these boys are Sri Lankans! The Indian Army had a superiority complex that was unwarranted.''

Another paradox is that the presence of Indian troops in Tamil-dominated areas has already created a kind of de facto separate state with a separate form of government in the north and east, except in those areas where there is such chaos that no government exists at all.

A diplomat friendly to Sri Lanka pointed out gloomily that with the Indian Army in the north and east, and the Sri Lankan Army in the south, only two parts of the country are in a truly normal state of affairs. These are the capital, Colombo, which bustles warily with tourists and commerce, and the central highlands, an area of forest and tea estates.

''There's an eerie feeling here,'' the diplomat said of the capital. ''People are going about their business as if they don't realize that their country no longer exists.''

http://www.nytimes.com/1987/10/28/world/analysis-sri-lankan-epilogue-a-divided-land.html?sec=&spon=&pagewanted=2

Thursday, May 21, 2009

WHEN REALITY IS HARD TO TAKE,DENIAL WORKS FOR SOME FOLKS


Pro-LTTE lobby in Tamilnadu trying hard to deny the death of their favorite terrorist, with photoshpped pictures.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A TENTATIVE TIME LINE OF EVENTS

It is quite possible that we may never know the entire sequence of events in the last few days of the 'Final War for eelam'. But even for us who live half a world away from the action with an ear to the ground, a timeline is not too difficult to construct.

As our forces closed in from all round, the pressure mounted, in particular as a result of the Indian elections getting close. It may have seemed like the life line opportunity the tigers waited for. Yet when the SLG didn’t seem too concerned about the fall-out on the Indians in Tamilnadu from the anti-LTTE operations in Sri Lanka's North east, the screws started tightening. This time it was the Americans who were joining the cacophony from europe. The pressure instantly became overwhelming, and even the Chinese and Russians are believed to have told SLG that they may not be able to hold off a UNSC resolution against Sri Lanka. SLG for once blinked, and asked the SL forces to go slow.

And then the 13th May rolled past and Indian voters ruled the pro-LTTE monkey circus in Tamilnadu out of style. The same Indian power bloc was back in the saddle and our part of the world rapidly started to look familiar. In the Wanni, the SL forces loaded their guns.

In India Manmohan spoke against the tamil tigers and Obama wanted them to surrender. UN’s Ban condemned the LTTE’s human shields.

Somewhere in Washington big brother reluctantly nodded.

And on a thin strip of wasteland in the north east of Sri Lanka, lights went out for the monsters.

DEATH OF A MONSTER














LTTE's numero uno, aka Thalaivar, aka sooriya thevan (Sun God) lies in a muddy lake front part of his head blown off. The third eye of wisdom this self appointed savior of the tamil people and God of the Sun lacked in real life, was evidently given him by a Sri Lankan Defence Force sniper in the form of a bullet hole centered on the forehead, which perhaps blew the back part of his head far into the muddy lake.

The LTTE leader may not be alone on his journey across the river styx. At least 18 of his closest terroristas including son fat Charlie also were despatched to hell at the same time by Sri Lankan forces. After all, those who kill together deserve to die together.

Life can be a whole stranger than fiction. The irony of the first picture is one such case. Standing beside the corpse of the slain LTTE leader in business casual is his former stalwart Karuna who switched sides at the right time and now enjoys the priviledges of being a Sri Lankan cabinet minister. Standing next to him is a recent LTTE decamper who also is now being tolerated undeservedly by the Sri Lankan government at tax payer cost.