Problems have to be identified, named and eliminated
VIOLATION OF CFA: A person calling himself S. Elilan and who
is supposedly the LTTE's head of operations in Trincomalee, is reported
to have asked the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) to clarify whether
the Sri Lanka Army has launched a full-scale war violating the Ceasefire
The person is reported to have whined, 'We did not fire a single shot
against the Sri Lankan troops Tuesday. Hence the air strike by the SLAF,
artillery attack by SLA has to be considered a serious blatant violation
of the Ceasefire Agreement.'
Now I don't know whether this Elilan fired any shots at the security
forces on Tuesday from wherever he is holed up in, but I do know, as the
whole world knows and as Elilan knows too, that his pals have been
firing more than a few random bullets over the past few weeks.
Since April 7, 2006, Prabhakaran has killed 56 members of the
security forces and 32 civilians. Over 150 people have suffered injuries
in these attacks. Needless to say, all figures with respect to LTTE
atrocities necessarily carry the tag 'and counting'.
No, I don't know whether this Elilan fired any shots at the security
forces on Tuesday, but he can't be ignorant of the fact that Prabhakaran
ordered one of his suicide bombers to assassinate the Army Commander on
I can't bring myself to believe that this Elilan does not understand
the terms of the Ceasefire Agreement and the Joint Statement signed by
the Government and the LTTE in February this year.
But Elilan knows, as does everyone (even the likes of Kumar
Rupesinghe and Pakaiasothy Saravanamuttu, not to mention Eric Solheim)
that the LTTE is in no position to whine about CFA violations. Elilan
does not have the right to ask questions.
He has the right to make a statement and the statement/confession
that is most appropriate at this point is: 'We, the LTTE, under the
leadership of Velupillai Prabhakaran, never gave two hoots about the
CFA, we continued to recruit children, assassinate political opponents,
rob helpless peoples in Sri Lanka and elsewhere, benefit from the
largesse of the Norwegians, and just the other day upgraded the
low-intensity war against the security forces to a full-scale war.'
He could also add, 'we took the patience of the Government and the
largely peaceful population of Sri Lanka for granted'.
To tell the truth, what Elilan or any other terrorist says won't make
me lose any sleep. Terrorists engage in terrorism.
It is their lifeblood. Convoluted arguments about being liberators
and crocodile tears shed over the hardships of civilians don't move me
when such are uttered by people who have no notion of democracy and have
scant respect for human rights (IF they understand the meaning of such
things). I am not here to educate Elilan or offer comfort in any other
kind of way.
For me, the LTTE was always at war and there is no reason whatsoever
to believe that they will change their ways.
They wanted war, want war and will continue to want war until they
are wiped out. If anyone thinks otherwise, they are either in
Prabhakaran's pocket or are too naive to warrant a hearing. What remains
is to figure out ways of wiping them out.
This war has many fronts. I shall not comment about the military
aspects because I am not competent, except to observe that an
unconventional war as such the LTTE is engaged sometimes requires that
conventional methods be complemented by unconventional ones.
In this, a low-intensity war is to be preferred, I would think and
the pursuit of specific targets a priority. In all matters intelligence
has to be the bed rock of all action. Intelligence, intelligence and
intelligence, there is no way this can be disregarded if you want to
triumph over an enemy like Prabhakaran.
There are other things that are no less important, however. One of
the most important things to consider at this point is the question of
who the enemy is. We have to understand that the enemy does not always
wear the tiger's stripes, so to speak.
The enemy comes in many forms and the government, security personnel
as well as the general public cannot afford to be less than fully
informed about these.
First of all those who whitewash terrorism, those who attempt
obfuscation by glossing over or ignoring the terrorist character of the
LTTE, those who confuse Tamil 'aspirations' with Tiger terrorism.
These are people who draw huge salaries courtesy donor agencies with
dubious agendas. They are paid to utter 'expert opinion' in favour of
For example, Pakaiasothy Saravanamutt, commenting on the recent
escalation of violence, offered that Prabhakaran is probably frustrated
due to the perception that the 'peace' process has got bogged down.
He is very careful in maintaining an absolute silence about who is
engaged in 'stalling' here.
It was the LTTE that walked out of talks. It is the LTTE that has
been the main obstacle to the implementation of the CFA, flawed document
though it is.
It is the LTTE that has no regard for human rights and therefore the
chief culprit in the inability to obtain 'normality' for civilian life
in the North and East. Saravanamuttu can't be dumb, but he does wear a
good disguise to that effect, I must say.
Then there is this organization called Asian Human Rights Commission
which spoils all the good work it probably does and subverts its own
potential by being absolutely blind to LTTE atrocities.
Their brief, like those which people like Saravanamuttu, Kumar
Rupesinghe and others have subscribed to seems to go like this: 'bad
mouth the government, sanitize terrorism'.
There are others. For example, 'journalists' who take the word of
terrorists like Daya Master, Thamilselvan and others like this Elilan as
biblical authority. 'Thousands have fled into refugee camps' they
Have they been there? Have they done a head count? I know that
civilians suffer terrible depravations during times of conflict. Who is
responsible? Prabhakaran. That is not mentioned by these people.
Norway. Let me put it in a nutshell. 'Failed to deliver'. There is
one way for Norway. Out. I don't blame them, I blame those who placed
their trust in them.
Whether they will do the needful one way or another, I can't say, but
the thing about the needful is that it be done. I am waiting.
And others. Briefly, each and every member of the security forces who
is not disciplined, who cannot distinguish or does not make the effort
to distinguish Tamil from terrorist, civilian from fighter, who subverts
the effort to wipe out terrorism by making fast bucks on arms deals or
in procurement procedures or even by leaking out information to the
enemy. That is also a front, that is also a challenge.
Finally there are those who incite communal disharmony/violence.
Dayan Jayatillake's piece in the Sunday Observer of April 23, 'Prabhakaran's
war of attrition', should be translated into Sinhala (if it hasn't been
done already) because he makes a cogent argument for classing the
perpetrators of such action as enemies of the Sri Lankan state, even
though I disagree with his brash characterization of the JHU as 'Sinhala
ultras'; both the JVP and the JHU have reacted to the attack on the Army
General with a maturity and a sense of responsibility that was found
utterly lacking in the UNP government in July 1983. Dayan is right in
that we should do everything possible to prevent a backlash on Tamils
living in areas not held by the LTTE.
The JVP could do a house-to-house campaign to keep the people
informed of the consequences of such action. The JHU could call upon its
resources to do so too via the temples. This is something that the
'peace' NGO cartel will not and cannot do.
Having said this, if the government does not take seriously the
necessity to defeat Prabhakaran militarily then Mahinda Rajapaksa can
count on one thing: the overwhelmingly anti-LTTE sentiments in the
country will transform into an anti-government state of mind which will
pull the rug from under the feet of what people would then perceive to
be political complacency on his part.
Even here, Dayan's article offers pragmatic guidelines. Mahinda's
advisors would do well to study it.
This country is facing a threat. It is a threat that is faced not
just by Mahinda Rajapaksa, his government and the security forces. It is
a threat you face and I face.
We will probably have to suffer much for the negligence of our
leaders, but that is a price we will have to pay if we want a country
for our children, if we want democracy and freedom.
All of us who have faith in the democratic and civilized way of doing
things, have a role to pay. Democracy or terrorism, it is a choice,
ladies and gentlemen.
We didn't want this war, Prabhakaran did. We can't talk him out of
it. He has trained his guns on our children. He must be disarmed, at
whatever cost. He leaves us no other choice.