Operation Jim Corbett style Indian intervention inevitable
The Tigers from the beginning started living on flesh and blood and being so voracious with their appetite for power, they began to kill systematically whoever they considered was a threat to them especially the moderates and the intelligentsia. The history of the Tigers is now thirty years of utter brutality and ruthless extermination and that includes children and young people as well. The Tiger has a voracious appetite and it would rather die killing than being tamed. What Sri Lanka needs is India and not Norway that could not even catch a puny little bunny.
Durga Velautham in Delhi
@ The Independent / 21 June 2006
Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera arrives in Delhi tomorrow. He has already done a great deal of air miles shuttling here, there and everywhere and even spent a lot of time hanging around in Oslo hoping that the Norwegians will manage to catch a few bunnies for his government. It was wasted time. It is not that the Norwegians are inept at catching bunnies but their credentials in this particular hunt have been quite suspect.
Just a brief skip through how Norway related itself to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) will make even a novice at catching bunnies shudder at how their representatives, especially Erik Solheim have conducted themselves over the years in respect of Sri Lanka. They never understood and appreciated the fundamentals of the ethnic problem, the emergence of Prabhakaran as a self-acclaimed terror leader and the concept the LTTE was glued to as a liberation movement.
Prabhakaran, or rather his friend Chetty whom he killed chose the name Tigers and appear to have realized that this feline species is a carnivore that subsisted only on meat. The Tigers from the beginning started living on flesh and blood and being so voracious with their appetite for power, they began to kill systematically whoever they considered was a threat to them especially the moderates and the intelligentsia. The history of the Tigers is now thirty years of utter brutality and ruthless extermination and that includes children and young people as well.
Even India, the only country that came with a just proposal to resolve the ethnic dilemma, paid a terrible price when Rajiv Gandhi who should have been hailed as a hero and saviour by the Tamils, was brutally assassinated on Indian soil by a young suicide bomber trained expressly for that purpose by the Tigers.
In order to achieve a solution, Rajiv Gandhi had to twist the neck of the arch communalist, President Junius Jayawardene. In this effort one of his ministers, Gamini Dissanayake was helpful to the cause but not long afterwards the Tigers assassinated him. They saw him as a threat to their interests.
The LTTE considered President Jayawardene as a friend because he was totally opposed to the rights of the Tamils and at various times in Sri Lanka’s post independent history, demonstrated against granting of any rights to the Tamils. In fact he was the very man who in 1944 raised the Sinhala communal cry.
Again he was the man who had a constitution fashioned according to his likes almost appropriating for himself a power-hold on the country where no one could challenge him; he probably thought he was infallible, a kind of popery that prevailed during the Dark Ages.
Jayawardene certainly loved the Tigers. But for them, his nephew Ranil Wickremasinghe would never have become prime minister. The Tigers, by assassinating Ranjan Wijeratne, Gamini Dissanayake, Lalith Athulath Mudali and even Ranasinghe Premadasa ensured Ranil Wickremasinghe becoming the leader of the UNP. Perhaps there was indeed a conspiracy between Prabhakaran and Jayawardene directly or through some disreputable agents.
One has only to read the explosive chronicle “By way of deception” by Victor Ostrovsky and Claire Hoy to wonder why Israel was training personnel from both the Sri Lankan Armed Forces and the LTTE at the same time and the role Jayawardene played in this arrangement.
A strange part of this training was that the Sri Lankan naval personnel were taught how to man a fighting craft and operate its various guns and the Tigers learnt how to destroy it. This programme was paid for by funds obtained by deceit from the World Bank under the pretext of shortening the targeted period of the Hydroelectric Project launched under the Srimavo Bandaranaike Government from thirty to ten years without giving any thought to dire environmental consequences.
Strangely and perhaps by pure coincidence it was Ranil Wickremasinghe’s government that took the utterly foolish step of allowing the LTTE run an administration of their own in Wanni. But even here, it is the government that manages all the activities in this territory, pays the salaries and pensions of the people there, takes care of the schools and cooperatives, public highways, forests and the needs of the dominant farm population and the fisher communities along the coast. Claims of LTTE administration in Wanni is utterly groundless.
The only LTTE activity there is a kind of police force and sham courts. There are orphanages, which are in fact early centres for armed training for fighting cadres and suicide bombers. How can any government anywhere on the globe could have given such facilities to a terror movement? It is believed Norway was principally responsible for encouraging such an arrangement.
The Ceasefire Arrangement was sought by the Tigers to give them time to prepare for a major onslaught on the government and through that gain a hold on a territory which would be recognized by the international community and from there on to develop its mafia state.
In order to achieve this, the LTTE needed India to be out of the picture entirely and sharing such an interest with President Ranasinghe Premadasa, India was literally forced out of Sri Lanka.
Furthermore, the Sri Lankan mentality whether among the Sinhalese or among the Tamils, the white man is god and this slavish adoration has persisted long and people like Erik Solheim too thrived in such an adulation. Norway has already a bad record in Sri Lanka with an ill-fated development project in the north that was plagued with utter inefficiency, lack of understanding of the fundamentals of the community and corruption.
Sri Lanka should have persisted with India’s help and honoured the role she played in bringing about the 1987 Rajiv Gandhi-Junius Jayawardene Peace Accord, and that was almost twenty years ago. If Sri Lanka would have pursued with that, today the island nation would have become an economically stable country enjoying inter-communal amity and peace among the various communities. India would have become a very supportive force to the aspirations of the Sri Lankans. After all Indians and Sri Lankans share the same heritage which is very rich and goes back to centuries of time.
Tomorrow June 22, 2006 could be a momentous day in the history of Sri Lankan and Indian relationship. It is important for Minister Mangala Samaraweera to be frank with the Indian government and assure India that the first priority Sri Lanka has is a just solution to the ethnic problem. India needs that assurance because it is only on that, and on that alone, India would be able to give a hand to Sri Lanka.
It is also this problem that creates difficulties for India in the south. The LTTE is a potential danger to the southern states of Tamilnadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh. It is bound to encourage terrorist cells there and in Tamilnadu there are politicians, absolutely corrupt to the hilt, who could be bought over by the Tigers. The LTTE is capable of descending to any low level to achieve such a support.
Once India has the assurance that the ethnic question would be settled, then Minister Samaraweera can discuss with India ways and means of eradicating Tiger terror not only from Sri Lanka but from the South Asian region as well.
It would be an utter waste of time for Sri Lanka and even for India to hope for the Tigers to come to the conference table. They have not the capacity to discuss and debate, lack all the niceties of forum and conference and their only determined goal is a mafia state. They do not understand democratic traditions and the question of pluralism is far beyond their comprehension.
What is needed is an ultimatum to the LTTE to wind up, lay down their arms, dismantle all their operations, seek an amnesty and go their own ways at least most of them. Their leader has an appointment in an Indian court and he must honour it. If he cannot do that then he has the option to seek his way out. He has the answer hanging around his neck in the form of a capsule that he had ordered to be used by his fighting people, hundreds of them, if forced into certain circumstances. There are others who have to face various courts and if they have any respect for civilized conduct at this late hour, even an iota of it, they will honour that obligation. Otherwise the capsule should give them a merciful end.
India must help the Sri Lankan forces to liberate Wanni and free all the young ladies who have been trained to be suicide bombers and liberate the children and young people who have been readied to become gun fodder and trench fillers.
While it is being reported in Delhi that even though India was concerned at the situation in Sri Lanka and that government circles were of the view that the problem had to be tackled by Sri Lanka, this view will not help. The Sri Lankan Government frankly is at its wit’s end and worse, it will not be able to control its armed forces if the Tigers make a concerted attack on them. They are likely to turn on the civilians and that is exactly what the Tigers would want; they don’t care what happens to the Tamils. They want an ugly, ferocious backlash against the Tamils.
When that breaks out, it will be too late for India to do anything about it and thousands of innocent lives would be lost and hundreds of children in the grip of the Tigers would perish. They are our greatest worry and concern and they must be rescued, rescued even before Prabhakaran, Thamilselvan, Soosai, Pottu Amman, Pulidevan, Nadesan and those of their breed and sort turn their guns on them in sheer desperation.
Furthermore, Karunanidhi’s government should control troublemakers from Tamilnadu like Gopalaswamy and Nedumaran who have been fishing in troubled waters to take advantage of this state of affairs to promote their own interests. Already they have done enough damage and their relationship with the LTTE also could be disastrous to Tamilnadu. Since Karunanidhi would be considered a threat to the Tigers, he is bound to be on their hit list; after all they killed Rajiv Gandhi!
What other options India and Sri Lanka have with a deadly war imminent in Sri Lanka? If that breaks out, the country will suffer horrendously. It will have its repercussions in the entire region as well. This is really the last chance for Minister Mangala Samaraweera, for his country, for the Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims and indeed for India as well. The Tiger has a voracious appetite and it would rather die killing than being tamed.
What Sri Lanka needs is a Jim Corbett operations now. The famed hunter and conservationist, Corbett among other feats, was responsible for killing the fierce man-eater of Champawat. It was through such operations that the Indian tiger population was redeemed to humanity and preserved. The Jim Corbett Sri Lanka needs is India and not Norway that could not even catch a puny little bunny.