by Lt Col. (Retd) Anil Amarasekera
(The views expressed by the author are his own)

(June 11, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) After nearly three decades people in this country took to the streets to see the Vesak decorations sans any fear of possible terrorist attacks in crowded places. The people were at last free to move about as they pleased and the enjoyment of such freedom of movement was made possible thanks to the dedicated joint efforts of the Security Forces, the Police and the Civil Defence Force in eradicating LTTE terrorism from this country.Many had to sacrifice their life and limb to usher in a better tomorrow for all of us. It is only the people who were living in this country that are aware of the traumatic years that they went through in the past, not knowing where the next suicide bomb would be detonated by the LTTE. Foreigners such as Ban Ki-moon, Louise Arbour, Chris Patten, Gareth Evans, Brad Adams, David Miliband, Bernard Kouchner, Navi Pillay etc were living safely in foreign countries. Had they by chance visited our country, they were always given the highest level of security. They are therefore completely unaware of the suffering people in Sri Lanka have gone through because of LTTE terrorism.

The resolve of the President , the Security Forces, the Police, the Civil Defence Force and all patriotic citizen of our country to defeat LTTE terrorism convincingly and to have successfully carried it out despite pressure from vested interests needs to be highly commended and not found fault with. Therefore those who are trying to find fault with the methods adapted by Sri Lanka to defeat the most ruthless terrorist organization in the world must not be surprised if majority of the people in Sri Lanka come to the conclusion that such people were surreptitiously trying to destabilize Sri Lanka by accusing its heroic Security Forces of possible war crimes.

In the name of ending the Second World War the Americans dropped atom bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. These two atom bombs resulted in the largest destruction to life and property of innocent people ever seen in the world. The Korean, Vietnamese and Iraqi wars followed with the destruction to life and property of many innocent people. The Afghan war is still in progress and life and property of many innocent people are being destroyed on a daily basis. Yet there is only perhaps just a voice in the wilderness in protest of what the western nations call collateral damage. They are designated as just wars by the western world. One such war in Iraq was called the war against weapons of mass destruction. However no weapons of mass destruction were ever found. The present war in Afghanistan is called the war against terror. America is spear heading this war against terror to eliminate Bin Laden and to destroy the Taliban or Al-Qaeda. Ironically Bin Laden himself was an agent of the CIA, trained by the Americans at one point of time to defeat the Russians in Afghanistan. Most wars fought by the western nations on one pretext or other have never been in their own countries but in foreign lands.

Little Sri Lanka on the other hand did not fight its war on terror in some other land but in its own land. The Security Forces in Sri Lanka took whatever precautions that was necessary to prevent the destruction to life and property. This was because the civilians were their own brethren and the property was part of their national wealth. However as opposed to such action by the Security Forces, the LTTE used the Tamil civilians as human shields or as forced labour if they could not be recruited as fighting carders. They destroyed bridges, building, water towers and even reservoirs whenever they withdrew, so as to make it impossible for the Security Forces to make use of such facilities.

The LTTE shot and killed many Tamil civilian who tried to escape to government controlled areas. The Security Forces in Sri Lanka on the other hand received Tamil civilians who came to the government controlled area with loving kindness and provided them with food, medical attention and shelter within the resources that were available to them. The LTTE forcibly recruited under age children as child soldiers. The Security Forces on the other hand rehabilitated 294 child soldiers that surrendered and they have already been handed back to their parents. The LTTE Eastern Commander Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan alias Karuna denounced terrorism and joined the government to fight against the LTTE and was appointed as a Minister in the central government. Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillaiyan who joined the LTTE as a child soldier and later became a LTTE leader in the East too denounced terrorism and subsequently contested the provincial council elections on the side of the government and was appointed as the Chief Minister in the Eastern Province. Would there be even a remote possibility of implementing such humanitarian acts of forgiveness in any of the western countries that are trying to sling mud at Sri Lanka?

Whatever collateral damage if any to hospitals and places of religious worship were caused during the fight against terror in Sri Lanka due to the fact that LTTE used such facilities as launching pads for attacks against the Security Forces. The death caused to innocent civilians in Sri Lanka if any was as a result of the LTTE holding these civilians as hostages or as human shields. Therefore if any international organization is hunting for war crimes they should inquire into what the LTTE did and not the actions of the Sri Lanka Security Forces that conducted the most humanitarian war in the history of warfare. However several individuals in International Non Governmental Organizations (INGOS) and a few politicians in western countries that falsely identify themselves as the international community are trying to dig up dirt that does not exist with the intention of discrediting Sri Lanka because most of them are funded by vested interests or may be even by the Tamil Diaspora.

The United Nations has a membership of 192 countries and it cannot or should not be controlled by just a few western nations. To protect human rights in the world the United Nations has established a Human Rights Commission in Geneva. It met and debated the issue of human rights violation and war crimes in Sri Lanka for three days last year. At the end of this debate when a vote was taken, representatives from twenty nine countries were of the opinion that there was no reason to take any action against Sri Lanka for human right violations and war crimes, while only representatives from eleven countries thought otherwise. Representatives from six countries abstained from voting. This then was the true voice of the international community. Therefore INGOS such as The International Crisis Group, the Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International etc and people involved in such organizations like Louise Arbour, Chris Patten, Gareth Evans, Brad Adams etc and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the head of the United Nations Human Rights Council Navaneethami Pillai and politicians such as David Miliband, Bernard Kouchner and a few others who still keep talking of human rights violations and war crimes in Sri Lanka, should stop digging for dirt where none exist and spend their energy in the larger interest of the world, to expose the countries and the people who were responsible for committing human rights violations and war crimes from the days that the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atom bombs were exploded up until today, without dancing to the tune of western countries with vested interests in strategically situated island of Sri Lanka.

The western countries using their grand old neo colonist strategy of divide and rule tried to use the LTTE to destabilize Sri Lanka. This strategy failed with the defeat of the LTTE by the Security Forces of Sri Lanka. By using double standards in their war against terror they also exposed this game plan to the world. When the western countries began to act as enemies of little Sri Lanka by surreptitiously helping the LTTE, the Eurasian countries began to openly help Sri Lanka as friends to defeat the LTTE in this game of present day geopolitics. When the western countries tried to save the LTTE leadership during the last stages of the war by applying pressure on Sri Lanka, the Eurasian countries stood firmly behind Sri Lanka to dampen that pressure. Unless the western countries understand this scenario and mend their ways to extend a hand of friendship to Sri Lanka, their influence in the Indian sub continent will be greatly reduced in the near future as Sri Lanka further improves her friendship with Eurasian countries.

India has been sometimes the best friend and at other times the worst enemy that Sri Lanka has ever had. It was Emperor Dharma Asoka that sent his own son Arahat Mahinda to Sri Lanka to establish Buddhism in this country. He also sent his own daughter Therani Sangamitta with the sapling of the sacred Sri Maha Boodhi, which is highly venerated in Sri Lanka and is the oldest living tree in recorded history. The tooth relic of the Buddha, which too is highly venerated in Sri Lanka was another gift received from India. While these were some of the acts that perpetuated friendship between Sri Lanka and India, there were also many acts that perpetuated animosity between Sri Lanka and India recorded in the annals of history. They include many invasions that resulted in much destruction being caused to Sri Lanka. In contemporary history acts that perpetuated animosity were the violation of our air space and the subsequent Indo Sri Lanka Accord with its 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which was forced down the throat of our people by the J.R Jayawardena government under Indian pressure. India also acted as an enemy by training and equipping separatist terrorists including the LTTE to destabilize Sri Lanka. It was therefore ‘Ditthadhammavedaniya Kamma’ (Immediately Effective Kamma) that resulted in Mr. Rajiv Gandhi being assassinated by the very LTTE, which he and his mother had trained and equipped to cause so much destruction to life and property of innocent people in Sri Lanka.

India may have learned a good lesson never to help terrorists ever again with their LTTE experience. India helped Sri Lanka to eradicate LTTE terrorism not for the love of Sri Lanka but partly to avenge the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi and partly because the separatist ideology of the LTTE was having a bad influence in Tamil Nadu and also because LTTE had links with other separatist movements in India that they were training and equipping. Therefore despite pressure from Tamil Nadu, India never tried to support or help the LTTE in the last stages of the war, unlike the western nations. Ironically India that was the creator of LTTE terrorism later became a partner of Sri Lanka to defeat this menace. Therefore though Sri Lanka should be thankful for the support it received from India to defeat LTTE terrorism, it is not under any obligation to listen to dictates from India regarding constitutional or political reforms after the defeat of the LTTE. The people of this country voted for President Mahinda Rajapakse because he defeated LTTE terrorism and preserved a unitary state for posterity, as he had promised. They gave his party an overwhelming majority at the general election because he promised to evolve a home grown solution to problems facing the country constitutionally and politically. The people of this country did not vote his government into power once more to expand on the 13th Amendment that was forced down their throat by the J.R Jayawardena government under Indian pressure.

The people of this country were indeed proud to have a President who was able to withstand pressure brought by western nations for a negotiated settlement with the LTTE during the last stages of the war. They would now like their President to tell India that Sri Lanka is an independent and sovereign nation that will formulate its constitutional and political reforms based on the will of the people and not based on dictates from India or any other country.

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