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Government Gazette

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!

David Miliband

Hillary Clinton

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.


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