Present a gift-wrapped KP to India

The problem with creating monsters is that the creator becomes the creature's prey. The US created Al Qaeda as a force against Russians and became a victim of its violent protégé. But for India's blunder of supporting separatist terrorists in Sri Lanka as part of her gunboat diplomacy, Prabhakaran and his confederates including KP would have become a bunch of nondescript smugglers in the northern parts of Sri Lanka. Rajiv Gandhi carried forward his mother's ill-conceived policy of sponsoring terrorism in Sri Lanka and nurtured the monster only to be devoured by it in 1991.

Now we hear the India's Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is expected to seek Sri Lanka's permission to interrogate the new LTTE chief KP in custody in Colombo. There is incriminating evidence against KP, who is said to be the supplier of explosives and shrapnel for the bomb that killed Rajiv. Prabhakaran and other military leaders of the LTTE have already been made to pay for their sins including the Rajiv assassination. And KP must be tried for his involvement in that heinous crime. But, why on earth didn't India make an attempt to nab any of the LTTE leaders responsible for the Rajiv killling?

Prabhakaran and other terrorists had been at large for 18 long years just on the other side of the Palk Strait with KP operating from Malaysia and Thailand. The IPKF may have been forced to make an unceremonious exit from Sri Lanka but Indo-Lanka relations improved greatly after President Ranasinghe Premadasa's demise and under President Chandrika Kumaratunga. Fences were mended and India could have made an effort with the help of Sri Lanka to apprehend the killers of Rajiv a long time ago.

If India had stopped dilly-dallying and helped Sri Lanka battle the LTTE at that time, perhaps it would have had the pleasure of interrogating not just KP but Prabhakaran himself and, above all, many precious lives could have been saved. Regrettably, no tangible help came from India, even when the LTTE marched right up to the outskirts of Jaffna, having decimated many an army camp on the way in 1999. Tens of thousands of troops were trapped in Jaffna and a desperate Kumaratunga government even considered a mass evacuation as an option. India agreed to supply ships for that purpose! Luckily, Prabhakaran could not see the back of the army because of the then Deputy Defence Minister Anuruddha Ratwatte's fierce resistance to the planned evacuation and prompt help from countries like Pakistan, which rushed here the much needed big guns to be trained on the marauding terrorists. Had the army run or swum away at that time, Prabhakaran would have captured Jaffna with ease and resorted to UDI. Going by the frantic efforts some western countries made to rescue Prabhakaran during the final battle and their hostility towards Sri Lanka, it may not be far-fetched that they may have recognised Eelam in spite of their anti-terror pronouncements.

However, India finally realised the need to act against the LTTE and stood by Sri Lanka. Without India's backing this country could not have achieved the feat of crushing the so-called most ruthless terrorist outfit in the world; the West would have put paid to the Vanni offensive even before it reached Kilinochchi. Therefore, if New Delhi asks for KP, let him be gift-wrapped and sent there as a token of appreciation.

Sri Lanka's successful war on terror has demonstrated that the world is capable of eliminating the scourge of terrorism and that democratic States have nothing to lose but everything to gain from joining forces for that noble cause.

A resounding victory any country scores over terrorism is like finding a cure for a killer disease afflicting mankind; its benefits accrue to the entire world.

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