When Sri Lanka took on the LTTE, many a western nation went all out to scuttle her war effort. Some of them even sought to dislodge the present government by supporting the Opposition at elections. We reported that a powerful ambassador had once taken a tuk-tuk ride to an Opposition politician's residence, where a plot was being hatched to engineer defections from the government on the eve of a budget vote. Several western governments stepped up their anti-Sri Lankan operations as the war reached its final stages by sending special envoys to force a ceasefire on the government and rescue Prabhakaran and other criminals.
Today, the West is getting dividends of Sri Lanka's successful war on terror and stands exposed for having backed a well established drug syndicate in Asia. Most of LTTE funds came from gun running, narcotics, extortion and money laundering, as evident from, inter alia, the US State Department reports on the outfit. The Indian media has quoted a senior officer of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) as having said that the LTTE had a 'well-oiled drug syndicate in Southeast Asia, but there is nobody to run it after Prabhakaran's death'. "Therefore, several other gangs are trying to take over the syndicate which has corporate like operations," he has said. According to press reports, narcotics experts are of the view that other terrorist groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba are likely to move in to fill the void created by the elimination of the LTTE’s military power.
President of the Strategic Foresight Group Sundeep Waslekar has told a recent seminar on global terrorism, "Their [the LTTE's] ships were the best in the business and it was a well oiled-syndicate; after Prabhakaran's death, this network is likely to be taken over by other cartels."
Thus, it may be seen that it is not only Sri Lanka that has benefited from the elimination of LTTE war machine. The entire world has stood to gain. Hadn't Prabhakaran and his dark empire been wiped out, drugs the LTTE distributed would have taken a heavy toll on children and youth the world over, especially in Europe and America. A senior Indian police officer has, according to a news dispatch from Mumbai, said, "LTTE has always been in the drugs-for-arms business and they also supplied arms to the underworld for drugs that were then sold to the drug mafia in Europe and America."
Sri Lanka has made a tremendous, if not the biggest, contribution to the democratic world's campaign against narcotics, illegal arms and terrorism. Ironically, the European Union (EU) and America are on a witch-hunt against Sri Lanka on a flimsy pretext in spite of being beneficiaries of the elimination of the LTTE's drug and gun running network.
The EU has been granting trade concessions under a special scheme of GSP incentives to eleven countries such as Bolivia and Venezuela for combating the production and distribution of narcotics and since 2006 they have been beneficiaries of GSP Plus. Why should the EU blow hot and cold on the question of renewing GSP Plus for Sri Lanka, which has shown impressive results in battling the twin evils of narcotics and proliferation of illegal arms––her performance has been quite disproportionate to her size and military strength?
Among the objectives Sri Lanka has achieved through her successful war on terror are liberating tens of thousands of civilians from the clutches of terrorists to restore democracy; ensuring the safety of vital sea routes around Sri Lanka by destroying a terrorist naval wing equipped with submersibles, fast attack craft and human torpedoes; decimating the first ever crude air capability acquired by a terrorist group which even posed a threat to nuclear power plants in South India, as could be seen from extra security measures India had to adopt to protect those facilities; eliminating an international gun running and drug trafficking network and, most of all, demonstrating to terrorists in all parts of the planet that the civilised world is capable of militarily neutralising terrorism effectively.
These, the West should grant, are no mean achievements for a small country and they must be appreciated appropriately.
The US must be ashamed of having delayed an IMF loan to Sri Lanka and the EU must not make the mistake of scrapping the GSP Plus concession for this country, which richly deserves tangible support in the postwar period from the Western Knights in shining armour on a crusade to protect global democracy!