By S. V. Kirubaharan –
Presently the waves of the Presidential election in Sri Lanka are making everyone claim that they won the war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam – LTTE.
All the ardent supporters of the main opposition candidate Maithiripala Sirisena and former VVIPs – Chandrika Kumaratunga, Ranil Wickremwsinghe, Mangala Samaraweera, and Sarath Fonseka claim that they won the war against the LTTE. They give a “percentage” to their claim.
It is the same with Rajapaksa, who is contesting for the third term fraudulently. He claims that the war was won by him and his brother Gatobaya, the Defence Secretary. Pro-Rajapaksa columnists have consistently endorsed this too.
If any of the above-mentioned personalities were capable of winning the war against the LTTE, why did they wait so long, causing thousands of civilian deaths as well as serious damage to the social-economy! Consider the military factors – Sarath Fonseka was in the Army right from the beginning of the war. The Defence Secretary, Gotabaya Rajapaksa of course had got scared of the LTTE’s military activities and had run away from the war and settled in the USA.
Of course it was the innocent soldiers who sacrificed their lives. They did not know politics, but joined the forces to feed their families. In fact, there were ‘child soldiers’ in the Sri Lanka government forces, ‘legalised’ by producing fake birth certificates through officials.
Even though the Sri Lankan government says it is an internal conflict, this was the only war in the world where all the powerful countries were on one side.
To explain further – India had its reasons and it was waiting for a good opportunity to take revenge on the LTTE. So, even though India is not on good terms with either China or Pakistan, they all directly and indirectly cooperated in bringing this war to an end.
Also we should not forget the contribution of even some international human rights organisations and VIPs to the international community stepping in against the LTTE.
So today, the international community has concluded that, they have been cheated by the Rajapaksa government and very tough on them.
Facts and realities
Those who claim they won the war, along with those who endorse the war victory, do not consider the following facts, because of their racially biased thinking.
Firstly, LTTE diplomacy was weak compared to its fire-power. In other words they were not smart enough to out-match the Sri Lankan government propaganda which was executed by major public relations firms to the tune of millions and billions of dollars, pounds and euros. On the other hand, many political activists in foreign countries were aware neither of the wider politics nor of diplomacy. What they wanted were leadership roles. They wanted to be known among the diaspora as LTTE leaders. That was both their ambition and achievement.
Secondly, within a few months of the signing of the MoU between the LTTE and Sri Lanka government, the outbreak of internal problems or misunderstandings among LTTE cadres came to light. This created a very good opportunity for all the intelligence services to take advantage of the situation.
In the meantime, two top commanders of the LTTE started to work secretly with the Sri Lankan military intelligence and the government. Due to this, Sri Lanka managed to bomb many LTTE ships in international waters.
Meanwhile, some among the diaspora who helped the LTTE financially and with some political manoeuvring, were expecting Pirapaharan to invite them to the Vanni and give them a red-carpet welcome. As this never materialised, they were furious with the LTTE and jealous of those who went to the Vanni and met the leadership. This made them criticise the LTTE from top to bottom. Their criticisms were well noted by some foreign intelligence services and this also caused damage to the LTTE.
During the same period, the LTTE refusal to accept the “Oslo declaration” alerted the international community, especially the Co-chairs, to the fact that the LTTE was not ready for any solution other than a separate state. This signal a red card to the LTTE
Considering this a golden opportunity, Sri Lanka appealed for international help to fight against the LTTE. In other words, Sri Lanka informed the global community that it could no longer fight the LTTE alone.
To achieve the sympathy of the world community, they disseminated many lies and falsehoods about the ground realities. Through their luxurious wining and dining, gifts of diamonds and blue sapphires, they got the international community to accept their plea, on condition that once the war was brought to an end, they would deliver a viable political solution for the ethnic conflict.
As Rajapaksa promised this to the international community, they started their actions against the LTTE. Soon after, a ban was imposed on them in a few countries.
All the overseas branches of the LTTE were under severe surveillance and some activists were arrested and sentenced to jail.
Even at this juncture, the LTTE never realized that international scrutiny may bring an end to their existence.
All the big powers openly started to support Sri Lanka on the war front. In the mean-time, at the request of the international community, India started its round-the-clock patrol in the Indian Ocean, stopping arms supplies to the LTTE.
At the same time, Rajapaksa’s international propagandists worked very closely with countries like Iran and North Korea. These two powerful countries don’t have the support of many Western countries, especially USA, Canada and EU countries.
In fact, the UN Human Rights Council was the main venue for these horse-deals. I personally witnessed, one of Rajapaksa’s well-known propagandists dealing with the Ambassador of North Korea. As I don’t want to discredit this gentleman, I avoid naming him.
We cannot under-estimate the contribution of the paramilitary groups. They worked closely with the Sri Lankan government, carrying out all sorts of assassinations and sabotaging humanitarian supplies to the North and East.
For all the above reasons and many more, the war came to an end in May 2009.
It was the international community which fought and won the war against the LTTE. Not as these power hungry politicians say with their fake claim that they won the war; that they contributed 70% to the victory of the war, and that they paved the way for the war to be won, etc. These are all frustrated claims, with the intention of fooling the innocent voters in the South.
All those who proudly claim that they won the war should realise how many deaths they caused, especially at Mullivaighzhal and in the North and East. Also, whoever claims victory should realize how many lies and unrealistic notions they spread among the international community. Finally, they should realise the fact that today the International community regrets its blind support to Sri Lanka.