Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Post Prabhakaran-to Ramans article in Lanka Guardian

In political analysis, it is often seen that the analyser delves in to his knowledge of history, similarities of situations to place them side by side with that which is being analysed. On the question of whether the LTTE could stage a come back B.Raman goes to Balochs and Talibans to compare situations with regard to the LTTE terrorists.

Leaving aside the Talibans and Balochs and looking purely at the LTTE as a terrorist group without side stepping to see other similar situations, do we see the possibility of the LTTE terrorists stage a come back ?

We do not know the nucleus of Prabhakaran’s initial idea that ventured him to form an armed group to wrench political power to form a homeland. Perhaps it was never his idea to commence an armed struggle to rival a government, to set up one of his own.

Perhaps the idea of a terrorist moment was not at all his, but an idea driven into his mind by some one outside to make of him a possible terrorist. It is in this process of thinking that one begins to see the possibility of the Indian RAW using a discontented youth to turn him into a terrorist.

Mr. Raman may perhaps have the answer . Prabhakaran was in fact given a training in the use of arms and guerrilla warfare tactics, in the jungles of South India by the Indian Intelligence Service. If that is a plausible argument then there is the possibility of another youth groomed to take Prabhakaran’s place.

But it would not be in India’s interest to embark on such an adventure, as from lessons learnt if there were to be such a come back India would be embroiled in a greater political problem that may result in its own destabilisation.

The Tamil Diaspora played not so much a pro-terrorist role, but it played the part of a wounded animal still licking the wounds left from the still not forgotten past communal conflict in Sri Lanka. The Tamil diaspora who still thinks that the Sinhala majority was the perpetrator of the 1983 racial conflict found the appearance of a group of terrorists a means to take vengeance from the Sinhala majority, by setting up a separate Homeland.

But this racial conflict of July, 1987, found its commencement in the act of the murder of the 13 policemen by the LTTE terrorists. This incident may have been stage set by the terrorists as a tactic to draw the Government’s attention to the presence of terrorists in the North, and take them as a serious challenge to its authority.

But this self same pro-terrorist players among the Tamil diaspora, may not remain to support a future terrorism, if there were to be another, in Sri Lanka. The mentality of the Tamil diaspora several generations from now may not be the same as that of their elders who had ”wounds to lick”. But it is possible that some of the NGO’s who may have their own agenda in a future Sri Lanka may use the Tamil diaspora for the setting up of a separate homeland by helping future discontented Tamil youth in the North.

But if the government could create a situation of contentment socially, economically, and culturally in the North and East of Sri Lanka bringing in a mixture of communities settled in these areas, it would be difficult to make terrorism stage a come back in a future Sri Lanka.

End of LTTE terrorism will probably be the end of terrorism in Sri Lanka. Before that there were rebellions against the Colonialism, and then there was a coup d’etat by the Army and thereafter there was the JVP that amounted to terrorism. But the terrorism of the LTTE was different it was ferocious, brutal and inhuman. That type of terrorism may not happen again. If it were to happens it will spring from among the Tamils, because the terrorism of LTTE had an inane hatred for the Sinhala Majority, and it was this same hatred that drove the Tamil diaspora to support terrorism.

The terrorism that we lived through showed every one of us the Sinhala , Muslim and above all the Tamil people themselves the ruthlessness, and the utter inhuman aspect of terrorism. Therefore, the Tamil people themselves will not support the arising of another group of terrorists from among them. Without the support of the people terrorism cannot exist. The LTTE terrorism suffered from lack of support from its people itself at least towards its end. There were Tamil people who were willing to give information to the army about the hiding places of bombs, suicide jackets , and even where abouts of the terrorist leaders.

There were many Tamil people who were against terrorism, but were frightened to come forward to declare their opposition openly.

Further more the Sri Lanka army is well experienced in anti terrorist warfare. The jungles of Sri Lanka are no more an unknown terrain for the army. In that situation too the terrorists will not find it easy to set up terrorist camps in future in Sri Lanka. The LTTE terrorists became very strong only after the CFA, had it not been there the terrorism would not have lasted so long.

It is wrong to try to understand LTTE terrorism in reference to Khalistanis, anger in Punjab and Pakistan. They have no relevance to terrorism we experienced in Sri Lanka. This may be the last time Sri Lanka experienced terrorism. Terrorism may be ruled out in Sri Lanka in the future.

B. Raman cannot stop comparing other terrorist, other places and other situations in analysing the terrorism in Sri Lanka . The West looked at LTTE terrorists differently, as they were open to the Western NGOs, Western Government Representatives, Ambassadors, and all sorts of humanitarian activists.

Therefore, most of them had a close friendly relationship with the terrorists, despite the fact that they were ruthless and inhuman towards the Sri Lanka Government, the Sinhala Majority, and the Muslims. Therefore there was no reason for the Western Governments to stand by the Sri Lanka Government against the terrorist.

The Tamil diaspora carried out a very forceful propaganda campaign in favour of the terrorists. If the Government of Sri Lanka did not put the terrorists into isolation from the influence of the Westerners, by removing NGOs, and Aid Workers etc., it would have been impossible to carry out the successful military operations against the terrorists. The victory over terrorist in Sri Lanka is partly due to what Raman says the , the total iron curtain in the Tamil area, where the West was debarred from entering.

It cannot be ignored that the NGOs and Aid workers had done no significant welfare work in the areas under terrorists control, to which they had access, but instead they had provided technical know how to construct airstrips, planes, submersible boats, suicide boats, bombs, bunkers, modern communication methodology, underwater passage ways etc. There would have been large numbers of Western technicians perhaps sent by Companies in the West who had earned large sums of money from the terrorists for the different projects they had undertaken for them.

Where did the terrorists get the Cement, Printing Presses, Steel plates, Earth moving machinery if not from the West ? And many of those material may have come with technicians to set them, and train the terrorist for such work.

Raman speaks of demands in the West for an enquiry into the civilian casualties in order to determine accountability.

If so how about an inquiry to determine how the terrorists were provided all that machinery and know how for different constructions, and transfer of technology. West has to explain much for making a small group of terrorists a “formidable military machine” and showing so much of sympathy to them.

Again in the conclusion of his question and answers Raman refers to World War II, and likelihood of the diaspora launching a Jewish style inquiry into the suffering of the Civilians. Raman knows very well that the military operation of a democratically elected government against terrorism that had committed ruthless murders and assassinations in the length and breadth of the country and created such a mayhem cannot be compared to the World War II and the suffering of the Jews in the concentration camps.

Sri Lanka had done what any country would have done in a similar situation of terrorism that had grown into its system like a cancer and lasted over a quarter of a century. The suffering of the Tamil civilians were not caused by the army, but by the inhuman brutality of the terrorists who cannot differentiate between what is good and what is bad.

The President Barack Obama of USA says in his book Dreams from my Father , “ And then, on September 11, 2001, the world fractured.” For him the world fractured just one day , but for Sri Lanka, its world had fractured hundreds of times.

Of course the world that fractured on the 11, September 2001, made the world aware of the horror of terrorism, but yet America fails to see that horror of terrorism when it happens outside its territory. That means the world has still not learnt lessons from the past terrorism when it fractured the world on the September 11,2001..

Fighting terrorism and fighting a world war are two different things. In the World war two millions died, and Hiroshima was razed to ground

In fighting terrorism in Sri Lanka the Government Forces have taken all precautions possible to avoid deaths and injury to the Tamil Civilians. But the West is attempting to white wash the terrorists and blame the Government Forces, for unknown reasons. But the fact remains that in fighting ruthless terrorists deaths to civilians are inevitable, with all the precautions in the world.

But the fault lies in the attempt to accuse a democratic government doing its duty to protect its territory and its people.

If we try to understand terrorism not as my terrorism and your terrorism, but simply as terrorism we will stop terrorism raising its head again in Sri Lanka, and any where else

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