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Adjusting to the aftermath

It was a famous victory, perhaps the finest combined land-sea-air anti-terrorist operation ever fought, culminating not only in the extermination of the LTTE leadership but the largest hostage rescue ever.

Victory Manipulated

There were no plaudits from the western warriors against terror, only a belated grudging half-hearted acknowledgment, immediately counterbalanced by sermons about a political solution. The rescue operation was instantly transformed from the epic that it was into a target for the human rights industry. Sensation-hungry western media pounced on the barbed wire perimeter of refugee camps to term them concentration camps, and created the false impression in the west that the GOSL had seized hapless Tamil civilians and imprisoned them in camps. This was western manipulation at its diabolical worst.

Perverse Reaction

Western skulduggery had been signalled earlier by the impudent Miliband-Kouchner visit, the stream of UN and western wiseacres giving us gratuitous advice, and the orchestrated chorus of cries to stop the war to "save the civilians", an obvious code phrase for "save the LTTE." Humanitarian haloes hovered grotesquely over the heads of these emissaries from countries which were committing atrocities even as their messenger boys were preaching to us. Their absurd demand was that the GOSL should declare a ceasefire to "save the civilians". If concern for civilians was their concern, they should instead have read the riot act to the LTTE to release the civilians. Fortunately the GOSL withstood the western humbugs and returned them to sender empty-handed..

West Goes Bananas

Despite these portents, the general assumption was that with the LTTE defeated and its top leadership wiped out, the west would lick is wounds and return to respectability; also that the diaspora, shattered by the military defeat, would get on with their lives free of the extortion that had fuelled the LTTE war-chest.

Instead, we saw an unbelievably vicious campaign to discredit Sri Lanka and totally ignore its achievement in wiping out the most dangerous terrorists in the world. Boy Wonder Miliband, and the USA’s greenhorn Foreign Secretary, played notable roles in manoeuvrings which included a Human Rights Council meeting on Sri Lanka and a despicable attempt to sabotage an IMF loan to Sri Lanka. They failed spectacularly. The most recent gaffe by the lady, perhaps intoxicated by her temporary elevation to Chairperson of a session of the Security Council, insulted the entire country and especially the army. Her "misspoken" ramblings were "clarified" by the US bureaucracy, but the "clarifications" introduced fresh slurs on Sri Lanka.

No Apologies, Ever

The USA, let it be noted, never apologises. It was George Bush senior, (then Vice President) who, reacting to international revulsion against the shooting down in 1988 of an Iranian passenger flight by a missile from a US cruiser, killing all 290 on board, said arrogantly: "I will never apologize for the United States of America, ever. I don’t care what the facts are." [Newsweek, August 15, 1988]. No US leader dare defy at unholy writ.

Reinvigorated Diaspora

The diaspora became even more vociferous than before, with hard core LTTE fans even setting up a disembodied Transnational Eelam! Considering the sudden western emergence from the cupboard, the upsurge of diaspora activity may we’ll be promoted and funded by the western warriors against terror. Certainly the diaspora were allowed to disrupt traffic and normal life in London and Toronto for days.

Mind Boggling Scenario

So we have a mind-boggling scenario. The LTTE has been militarily defeated, but the Eelam baton has been passed to its diaspora and its powerful foreign backers. The links between the diaspora and its foreign patrons (led by the USA, UK and Norway) are so intimate that it sometimes seems as though the LTTE is running Blake and Miliband, who in turn run Clinton, who hopefully will not be able to run Obama. Who would have imagined that the State Department of the country leading the War on Terror would harbour a dedicated supporter of what the FBI termed the most dangerous terrorists in the world? In this Ripley-like situation, any fissure in the ranks of the diaspora may even leave Blake as de facto provisional leader of the provisional transnational Eelam! Stranger things have happened in this imbroglio.

At War Again

So, we find ourselves embroiled in another war, this time against an LTTE minus Prabakaran but plus Blake, Miliband, Clinton and Solheim. It will be a war of dirty tricks that will threaten our survival by infiltration, installation of puppets instead of men, and a massive effort to bully us and trick us into yielding politically what our forces preserved so gallantly. Let us never forget that the name of their game is still Eelam.

Taking Them On

We can draw inspiration from the thought that the country which defeated the most dangerous terrorists in history, in the teeth of foreign and domestic sabotage, can cope with the aftershocks. By excellent work, we have already foiled an attempt to have the Human Rights Council censure us, and another to sabotage our IMF loan. The basic principle that led to the military victory continues to apply - find the best people for the job. There is much work to be done, because while we have the human resources to deliver, they must be utilised to the full. Currently, there are too many square pegs in round holes.

The Indian Factor

A word on the Indian factor. We had an unhappy relationship with India in the 1980s, but recent links have been cordial, with continuous communication between the countries. India has shown more understanding of our situation than the west, and does not seem to be part of the western/ "Get Sri Lanka" cabal. However, it pressurise us on devolution and IDPs; Tamil Nadu routinely falsely accuses the Navy of harassing Indian fishermen; and there are occasional calls for India to capture Katchathivu. This suggests that India is keeping its options open. Since the Indian factor is complex, it is not dealt within this paper, which concentrates on western intrigues.

Coping With Psy-Ops

To revert to our main theme, we can expect continual harassment from the LTTE (inc.) and its cohorts. Whatever we do will be seen through the west’s "Get Sri Lanka" lens. We will be inundated with innumerable "expressions of concern" about everything that the west and the diaspora can dream up, and we will be urged, in the name of human rights or whatever, to embark on suicidal action. We have to be street-smart and realise that the more strident the foreign voices, the more dangerous the demands are likely to be; that the western proponents of human rights couldn’t care less about them, having a grisly record of atrocities themselves; that none of our accusers could either have won this war or handled a sudden influx Of 300,000 refugees; and that we know much more about our own situation than the assorted knaves and airheads who inflict their "concerns" upon us. And we have to respond effectively when accused of crimes we do not commit- hence the importance of harnessing our expertise.

We conclude with three examples of ill-intentioned western demands.

IDPs

The IDPs must be released forthwith, howl the west, ignoring the imperatives of demining and screening for LTTE cadres. If we succumb to this pressure and release IDPs prematurely, and IDPs are killed by landmines, the very same people who howl for their release will be the first to lead a fresh uproar condemning us for leaving the IDPs to their own devices. And if unscreened LTTE cadres are released and resume atrocities, the west will scoff at the military victory and start preaching about political solutions.

Reducing Military Strength

Now that the war is over, say the critics here and abroad, cut down on military strength and checkpoints. On the contrary, the bellicose noises from the diaspora call for strengthening our army, navy and air force in order to deter any LTTE or foreign misadventures. And checkpoints are a negligible price to pay for more security for all.

Devolution

Deadliest of all is the persistent call for more devolution based on the Thirteenth Amendment. With the formation of the transnational Eelam, obviously with western blessings, a strong central unitary government becomes vital than ever. The vesting of considerable legal powers in the north and east (even with ostensible safeguards) would render them an irresistible prize for LTTE and foreign predators.

Even otherwise, the wisdom of the entire Provincial Council system is debatable. Recent experience suggests that the vesting of more powers in PCs might lead to a proliferation of provincial warlords who would be a law unto themselves, and render the country ungovernable.

Fresh Thinking

We have painted ourselves into a comer by staying with the 13A remedy. We need to escape by getting back to basics. The objective - a land which Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, and Burghers would be proud to call their own. The Means- get together, identify and define the problems, and then devise our own solution, which may be neither 13A nor a new Constitution, but pragmatic remedial measures.

The forces defeated the LTTE on the battlefield. It is now up to the statesmen to preserve and strengthen that victory, and win the new war...//

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