The fall of the Great Empires
The British Empire ruled two thirds of the world. So much so, that it
was said in the past that the sun never sets in the British Empire. The
new boy in the ‘empire classroom’ is The United States of America.
Sri Lanka or Ceylon, as it was then known was one of the most
precious possessions of the British Crown. Fortunately, we did not come
under the influence of the new rich, new world. However, these so called
great powers ruled the world and bent the rules for their benefit.
They set the standards and the so called Third World countries like
India and Sri Lanka obsequiously accepted the crumbs that fell from
their tables. There are no more crumbs to be collected. The tables are
empty-but the arrogance remains!
This country saw the spectacle of unadulterated interference on an
unprecedented level, by these big powers (sic) and the little satellites
like France and Germany. They could not come to terms with Sri Lanka’s
success in the military department and the Foreign relations arena.
America that bombed the daylights out of Vietnam with Napalm and more
bombs than Were used in the entire Second World War were trying to tell
us about the violation of human rights.
They, who insisted that we enter into a political dialogue with the
LTTE, pressurized Pakistan to abrogate the political arrangement with
the Taliban in the Swat Valley.
They who used the Hydrogen Bomb in Hiroshima and Nagasaki causing
untold misery and destruction in Japan on a mass scale are talking of
civilian casualties. They not only caused maximum destruction to human
lives but were also insisting on war reparations from the fallen foe. It
was we who defended Japan at the San Francisco conference!
Clemency for a fallen foe. The world was kept spellbound by J.R.
Jayewardene impassioned plea. I sometimes wonder if the Japanese have
forgotten the contribution made by Sri Lanka!
Today, there are over three million refugees in the Swat Valley.
Iraq , which was invaded ostensibly due to weapons of mass
destruction has over a million war refugees. There are no weapons of
mass destruction but the war and the violation of the rights of the
Iraqis continues with added vigour. The big (sic) powers are wading
through slaughter and misery to the oil fields of Iraq.
History is replete with the downfall of mighty empires.
The Roman Empire and the Persian Empire were such examples.
Alexander, Napoleon who waged relentless wars for world domination
eventually lost not only their Empires but also their lives.
Is it now the turn of the European and American Empires to decline
and fall into ruin?
Are coming events casting ominous shadows? Is that why they struggle
to maintain their supremacy by harassing and intimidating Sri Lanka?
How are these mighty Empires going to decline, one may ask. The
answer is quite simple- Terrorism. Terrorism coupled with unstable
economies resulting in combating terrorism the wrong way.
The 9/11 struck the very heart of America .Blustering statements were
made to hunt Osama Bin Laden to the ends of the Earth. The massive
deployment of American, British and European forces is simply draining
Western economies of their already depleted resources. None of them are
even close to victory.
Bin Laden is gaining more adherents. Pakistan is teetering on the
edge of disintegration. America will abandon Pakistan in the way that
they turned away from Pervez Mussharraf. It was an American General who
said “Never go to war.
Try to avoid war. If everything has failed and you have to go to war.
Give it everything you’ve got and finish it fast.”
The Americans, the British and the Europeans need to realize that the
West is no longer the centre of the Universe. How many wars the
Americans going to fight unsuccessfully? Who takes them seriously? The
North Koreans are thumbing their noses at them. So is the mighty Russian
Empire. Iran is against them.
Iraq despises them. Afghanistan will eventually end up like Pakistan
if they dance to the fickle drumbeat of the Americans.
Strong economic and Military Forces are emerging. China, India and
other parts of Asia have begun to realize that the key to success is
self reliance and strength.
A new alignment of Forces is slowly taking place. The Americans and
the British cannot Combat terrorism without the support of the world.
They cannot obtain the support of the world by trying to bludgeon the
world into submission.
The Western powers are soon going to find that they are the main
targets of terrorism. They have lost the stomach for the type of war
that has to be fought to eliminate terrorism. Gone are the days of the
Geneva Convention and the Rules of Combat.
This was when two uniformed armies faced each other on two distinct
lines, fighting stopped at night and resumed the next day after both
sides had a respite! Today, wars are fought in the shadows. Terror
agents don’t wear uniforms. It is the day of the land mine, the suicide
bomber, and the child soldier.
Destroying civilian targets is the first line of attack. Buddhist
monks, little children, women are the victims. The nature of the war has
changed. Good luck therefore to those who think that the terrorists can
be subdued by either talking to them or having a half hearted attempts
at fighting them.
Sri Lanka has won her war against terrorism. There is no elation but
only relief. The price that we had to pay for the victory was enormous.
Over 60,000 Tamils and Sinhalese have perished in this war. We gave
it everything we had and it is over. The Tamil people are our citizens
and we know what is best for them.
We do not need Hillary Clinton and David Miliband to tell us how to
treat our people.
The war may be over. Insidious Forces are, however, are at work.
Every attempt will be made to negate the gains that we made against the
LTTE. International lobbyists are working overtime.
Tamil operatives who were bleeding the People dry with demands for
money for an elusive Eelam, will make every attempt to keep the pot
boiling to consolidate their comfortable lifestyles in the West by false
propaganda. Our own paid hacks who built up the myth of an invincible
LTTE, will soon join the bandwagon.
May we, at this very late stage, tell the Western Powers that the
only way terrorism can be combated is by presenting an united front
against this scourge?
Sri Lanka is more than willing to play its part on the world stage.