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How the LTTE was military defeated: A Soldier’s view - Part Three


Let Us Now See Here How Others ‘Collectively’ or as a ‘Team’ Won the War!

What factors contributed? Who was instrumental?
The Contribution of Instruments of National Power: Diplomatic, Informational, Military and Economic (DiMe), all of the means available to the government in its pursuit of national objectives.

DIPLOMATIC: With 9/11 attacks the attitude of western nations towards terrorism changed completely. The western nations had to come to term with ‘new normalcy’ and they were forced to live with it. The new normalcy was here to stay and was reinforced later by Spain train bombings and London subway attacks. This created a very good ‘environment’ (we in the military check ‘atmospherics’ i.e. political, military, economic, social, school and infrastructure situation on ground) for the GOSL to go ahead and mount humanitarian operations. To save Tamil people suffering in Wanni in LTTE bondage, without being able to ‘lead a life’, though they were just ‘living’ day to day. In this case ‘global atmospherics’ created a very conducive environment to mount operations against LTTE to wipe out the scourge of terrorism in Sri Lanka; simply put the very favourable international opinion or the pulse of the international community was subtly felt by GOSL. Before 9/11 the western nations or powers thought they were ten feet tall and could kick a** anywhere in the world with impunity until some terrorists with a different ‘background’ and a ‘cause’ decided, literally, to slap them in style in their capitals and cities. The result was that the rubric of Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) had to be established. The GITMO (Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp) had to be stood up quick, fast and in a hurry.

Here is a LA time headline on Google as I write this; ‘U.S. to use profiling checks for incoming flights’. Let me break this down for you; next time Vany K, the famous British medic (oops an LTTE Foreign Legion masseuse) comes to US to put a dressing on a simple cut on Rudrakumaran’s hand (or to give a deep tissue Swedish (Norwegian or British) body massage with oil or powder) she will be ‘questioned’, screened and vetted. Now you tell me, please, why it is not good for Sri Lankan police to stop, search and questions Tamils in Colombo or elsewhere? Why is it a human rights violation when Tamils are dislodged from the lodges in Colombo? Why it is good for US and bad for Sri Lanka. We live in a ‘new normalcy’. Prevention is better than cure! Profiling is everywhere and come in different ways, shapes and forms.

Preponderantly, MAMs (military age males) in Iraq and Afghanistan are screened and vetted very closely. Pakistani looking males in US and UK are stopped on the streets and asked: “Where are you from?” “You eat pork?” In western countries police stop blacks at traffic stops; Sri Lankan Police and SLA question and check the identity cards of Tamils at roadblocks in Sri Lanka. There is a ‘valid’ reason for it; more often than not they were the ones law enforcement agencies were looking for to prevent an impending attack; they were the ones who were active participants in the past attacks in the city. Or else they had, at least, provided the material or moral support to Tamil terrorists or were the material witnesses to the tiger atrocities committed against a lawful government or its citizens.

It was just bad luck for Tamils. You Tamils (DBS, Vany and the birds of a feather to include the cloak and dagger clergy in the Wanni) had the chance to prevent the difficulties your brethren encounter(ed) in freedom of movement or privacy ‘officially’ encroached now or then if you had nipped it in the bud or helped Sri Lanka Security Forces to do it for you when ‘podians’ were getting out of control or getting emboldened by the day and trying to overawe the military machinery of a nation and create a Drealam.

When the civilians were killed due to the LTTE attacks at the Pettha Central Bus Stand or on the devotees at the most sacred place of worship in Anuradhapura, the young novice monks in Aranthalawa, the Muslims in the Kathankudii mosque, the fishermen in Kokilai and Nayaru, the innocents in Dollar and Kent farms, and the hundreds of surrendered policemen, 600 in all, in Rufaskulam to name a few, there was mere, superficial condemnation. A standard statement of ‘vehement condemnation’ was issued from some western embassies in Colombo, from their governments or forward offices of the so-called international human rights organizations. The tiger was ‘crooking’ its ‘finger’ rather claw at Sri Lanka and having a field day in bombing and massacring the innocent.

This sort of routine and ineffective condemnation was tantamount to a contrite issued by a celebrity (once disgraced) after calling a press conference and on camera. The envelopes in which the letters of condemnation came were affixed with the ‘crocodile tears’ shamelessly shed by the officials of western governments or their institutions with vested interests or hidden agendas.

I would like also to mention here that there were retaliations by Security Forces. The innocent Tamils died in those emotional reactions by military personnel. So unfortunate but those were ‘very’ preventable deaths. When the boys were gathering to plan attacks, conspiring to kill soldiers, government officials and innocent civilians, setting off explosive charges and land mines by using command wire or remote control Tamils in and around the plan or attack sites, I am positive, at least one knew about it or smelt it. By the way ask a visa officer in a western embassy or high commission in Colombo how many ‘petitions or scurrilous papers’ he gets by mail when one applies for a visa to go abroad. It is the same sneaking when one applies for a job in a good firm or a company, or the neighbors bad mouth to the prospective groom’s family about a ‘girl’ (bride-to- be if lucky) they are inquiring about. Then why Tamils did NOT turn in the podiyans when they were up to no good? The Tamils then need to blame themselves for getting caught up in crossfire, though all Sri Lankans are sorry for those preventable deaths!

Let me tell you this, in the neighborhoods of western capitals and cities where these political asylum seekers aka ‘economic refugees’ from Wanni live, there are signs at every stop sign at an intersection that say ‘Neighborhood Watch Is In Effect’. Simply put, each and every household keeps an eye on who comes in and goes; who loiters or loafs around. The neighbors exchange the vital information of unusual ‘sightings’ among each other, the local Sheriff or police. They know for sure if something serious do happen, their peace will be disturbed, their home ‘value’ plummet and their neighborhoods become high crime areas or ‘projects’. Can you put the total blame on Sri Lankan military for going ‘berserk’? Do not tell me about discipline here. When a soldier sees his buddy blown to smithereens he does not think about ‘cause’-Tamils around the site simply, coldly and coolly decided to be ‘apathetic bystanders’ when LTTE were burying the landmine in front of their homes and eyes-but leaves an ‘effect’ (a message in blood and destruction) with the next landmine blast the trail of destruction would be much longer and the ‘human cost’ higher if you decide to continuing to be an apathetic bystander!

The Tamils living around could have easily tipped off or ‘snitched’ to the authorities about the impending attacks. It was a civic duty the Wanni or Colombo Tamils collectively failed to do or perform. Each and every Tamil owed it to whatever Government in power for free food (rice and Thriposha), medicine and schooling provided to them without stop and under very trying circumstances.

That is why, even today, a lot of Sinhalese would not feel sorry for the sorry state of Tamils in the IDP (Internally Displaced People) camps as Tamils in Sri Lanka and Sri Lankan Tamils living overseas collectively have been very ungrateful. They keep their mouth shut and get or amass free of charge as much as they could until they could land in Toronto, Canberra or Oslo then wave the LTTE flag, instead of waving the Lion Flag or white peace flag. You Tamils do not ever forget at least the ‘Free Education and Medicine for life’ you have received or continue to be receiving. You would love Sri Lanka when they ask you for the Blue Shield or Blue Cross insurance card at your doctor’s office or when you draw the student loan from Fannie-Mae or a bank to send your tiger cub to college or university in a western country.

The western nations themselves started to feel the pain, anxiety, misery, the material and monetary damages and the lives lost suffered by Sri Lanka. The myth that the LTTE was fighting for a ‘cause’ on some language issue came to light. Sri Lankans all along had been telling the westerners that LTTE was drawing a red herring, crying ‘blue murder’ and telling cock and bull or sob stories to facilitate an exodus for the economic asylum seekers to Canada and greener pastures elsewhere.

Can anyone, including DBS, Vany, MIA or Adele, tell me in which part of Canada, UK or Australia respectively Tamil is used in the official letterheads in their government offices, on road signs or signboards on the buildings or spoken by their government officials to include policemen on the beat? I have been to the western capitals and cities where there are Tamil enclaves. I have not seen Tamil is used as a national language. Then, why the f*** you Tamils blame GOSL for not having Tamil speaking officials in the north and east government institutions but happily put up with the French and English language used in day to day activities or daily life in Canada? The LTTE supported by the very sympathetic Tamil population purged Sinhalese from the Northern and Eastern provinces preventing inter-racial marriages and homogeneity to continue.

One word in plural to describe the majority of Tamils: Hypocrites!

a. Kadir or K-Factor in Diplomacy-Some sense of diplomacy existed under the leadership of western educated, able-bodied, intellectual, learned, professional Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadiragamar. It died with the assassination of FM Kadir by an alleged LTTE sniper. He was so instrumental or the live-wire in getting LTTE banned in USA, Canada, some countries of the European Union and Australia as a terrorist organization. He was a national asset and hero in his life time. He was for all the communities in Sri Lanka to live in concord, not in ethnic enclaves (in the north, east, central, north western, and what have you) in discord and with forces arrayed against each other! LTTE and their handlers and sympathizers did not desire FM Kadar’s vision.

The most important or deciding or decisive factor those countries would have considered or given credence to in their determination to ban the LTTE as the most ruthless, lethal and fanatical terrorist organization in the world would have been, without a vestige of doubt in my mind, that the plea or the request to ban came from none other than an ethnic Tamil of stature and standing and a western educated lawyer, above all, the country’s Foreign Minister!
I would give you a part of the interview he gave to BBC’s ‘HARDTALK’ that would show you how he approached it to get the LTTE banned overseas and how the LTTE viewed him in his own and very candid words. You also would have also read the slanderous write ups in the media and watched the video clips in YouTube to ridicule, slander and discredit Kadir.

“By your own admission, you are at the top of the Tamil Tiger hit list. How do you feel as an ethnic Tamil, yourself to be reviled by the group?”


“Well, see it is like this; at birth I was given a label. If having been given that label the LTTE, nobody else, wants me to accept and approve everything that they do, the suicide bombers, the child soldiers, the political assassination, the extortion of ordinary people, if being opposed to all that makes me traitor which is what they call me sometimes, I am absolutely delighted to accept that appellation. I do it with pleasure.”

b. The Appointment of Four Good and Capable Diplomats: Dr. Dayan Jayathilaka and Mr. Pallihakara as UN ambassadors, Dr. Palitha Kohona as Permanent Secretary to Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Prof. Wijesinghe as Secretary General for the Secretariat for Co-ordination of the Peace Process(SCOPP) to handle diplomatic side of the house during the humanitarian operations and in the final war.

Dr. Dayan Jayathilaka: The bad cop or the diplomat with a megaphone. The one of the few good things GOSL ever did to SL Foreign Service was to appoint Dr. Dayan Jayathilaka as a diplomat. He does not belong to the career-diplomat pool. He is very fluent in English and well-read. Therefore he can debate with any other nations’ diplomat and so impress him. If any other nation tries to lecture GOSL for its conduct of the humanitarian, anti-terrorism or anti-insurgency operations he has examples up in his sleeves how other nations, especially the western nations handled the ‘business or situations’, from the Stammheim trial of the Baader-Meinhof gang to the Bloody Sunday trials.

He can speak or argue with such confidence the diplomats of other countries show grudging respect. He can ‘network’ from Cuba to Venezuela, Venezuela to Russia to get important votes at the UN for GOSL to counter some nations’ machinations. He does so openly, so loudly, so emotionally or, shall I say, passionately. Therefore he is known as the Diplomat with a Megaphone. His modus operandi is irrelevant if it works! It does work! Sometimes he becomes a ‘talking point’ or diplomatic embarrassment to the friendly governments of GOSL because he speaks his mind. We can easily fix it. A good Foreign Minister, not a wasteful, nepotistic and junketing one named RB (Triple Gem! As I edit this, I am getting wires saying Sri Lanka’s new FM is the Law Professor!), can pull him to the side and set up time for a beer or lunch and have a heart to heart conversation, then allude as to why a little bit of toning down is required for ‘the time being’. That way you do not hurt the pride of a man, chastise him in public, and insult him by recalling in capricious manner. How do you forget so quick that, after all, Dr. Dayan Jayathileka was the firewall of Sri Lanka!

Mr. H.M.G.S. Palihakkara: Then Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations-New York was the good cop or the silent diplomat. He did the magic behind the closed doors to thwart the attempts at UN to discredit GOSL. He achieved a lot for Sri Lanka. He is a thorough gentleman; he does not like to blow his own trumpet! His very important previous assignments at the United Nations in Geneva and New York helped him immensely to do a wonderful job silently.

He is a career diplomat. So in a place where it is who you know than what you know that matters he had the charm and knowledge to ‘make it happen’. He is not corrupt, and not corruptible according to the information I have read. It was/is a big plus, plus! He is another unsung hero gone without felicitations in the defeat of LTTE.

Dr. Palitha Kohona: He is both a citizen of Sri Lanka and Australia. One might wonder, what’s the ‘big deal’? It is a very big deal! First, the Western nations or other governments look after their citizens very well when they need help or are implicated or embroiled in any situation. Second, if she or he has worked in the state department or Foreign Service of a country she or he has friends or ‘contacts’ (right connection at the right place) all over the world playing important and powerful roles. Third and most important in this case is his ‘English accent’. You might not understand it if you do not live in an English speaking country. You may have noticed this, in a casual conversation with officials or listening to a speaker in an auditorium or on TV, the first thing which ‘automatically shuts down’ a listener in an English speaking country is the speaker’s ‘English accent’. Believe it or not, there are well qualified Indian cardiologists, IT professionals and engineers in US who are underpaid, I say again, underpaid solely because of his or her heavy accent. Not to ridicule but to state a fact, you and I have listened to cricket commentary “Sunny Govaskarrr scorres anotherr fourrrr morrre Rrrruns forrr motherrr India!” I think you get my point.

During the humanitarian operations Sri Lankans had to talk to a lot of MPs, senators, diplomats, power players and brokers to counter effective propaganda and lies of LTTE and their paid supporters and sympathizers, in that situation, to be very effective, Sri Lanka needed people who could articulate with a western accent.

The most notable thing that Dr. Kohona did was to respond to MIA (Mathangi "Maya" Arulpragasam) in a video interview. In that video he very effectively and eloquently articulated why the rap artist on a Tiger Air Force ‘paper plane’ should do what she was best at and leave politics and wiping out terrorism to governments and military respectively. His English accent more than anything else did play the biggest part in communicating that message to the wider world.

MIA, the talkative and ambitious celebrity mouthpiece of LTTE almost became a ‘show stopper’ (stopping the humanitarian operations and the final war) because this daughter of a terrorist who married a non-Tamil (because he is rich and popular or famous) to ‘procreate a child’ with him to ‘preserve’ the ‘Tamil culture’ used her celebrity status as a world famous rap artist to ‘network’ her way up to President Obama through personalities in music industry and the talk show host, Oprah. Lucky for President Obama she could not get near him, otherwise it might have resulted in a Dhanu ‘garlanding’ Rajiv situation.

First, normally you are not going check a pregnant woman (MIA was pregnant at that time) that much and you think she is actually pregnant with baby, in actuality she has a lump of ball bearings embedded in C4 (plastic explosive) around her tummy. You could not also be sure that the Secret Service would do a thorough job given the Tareq and Michaele Salahi embarrassment (the White House state dinner gate-crashers).

Professor Rajiv Wijesinghe: Then Secretary General of the Secretariat for Coordinating the Peace Process (SCOPP) in Sri Lanka, he was another good selection by GOSL. It was so much better or the right thing to do,( than appointing a crossover joker, a so-called professor of law as a Minister of Enterprise Development, Industrial Policy Investment Promotion or Cabinet Minister of Export Development & International Trade of Sri Lanka, and my goodness, as I edit this, the law Prof is just appointed as FM of Sri Lanka. These law professors should look into why a simple land dispute is in Sri Lankan courts unresolved for so long until the plaintiff and defendant both live their full lives and die a natural death, and these professors need to propose laws or suggestions to alleviate it Shame on Sri Lankan professors of law!).

Prof Wijesinghe’s ‘plus’ in the job was that he is an ‘English’ professor. So he has read a lot of English literature. You needed a very good command of English to take on some nations’ officials and the LTTE bankrolled professors and lawyers before, during and after the humanitarian operation and the final war. Take a look at some of the countries that gave a headache to GOSL during anti-terrorism operations; US, UK, Canada, Australia. What is their main language? English! So Prof Wijesinghe did not have to fight, argue or counter a Professor Kandaia from Madras oops Chennai or a lawyer Gopal from Singapore but had to pick up the cudgel with Boyles (the blood’boyles’ or my blood is boiling) and Steins (the blood ‘steined’-the Sinhalese blood on his hands as a tiger supporter) and win on the international stage! He was always ready to counter or anticipatory. You could see he was Eye for Eye, Blood for Blood in his diligent rebuttals and astute comments.

He had just praised ‘Selvy’ (N. Selvy, the LTTE spokesperson on Human Rights) once as to how good Selvy was in her human rights class; very good, bright and smart. I think she quickly realized the LTTE’s folly (and even the Sinhala ‘enemy’ could recognize her talents!) would have left the LTTE like famous spokesman ‘Rahim’ from Trinity College and a friend of ex-Major Sarath Kotalawala of Singhe Regiment’. I have not heard of or seen ‘Selvy’ in the media or anywhere else thereafter. ‘Dear Selvy’, if you are still living and married I wish you a happily married life and many a well-adjusted child! Also If you happen to see ‘Lavanya K.’ by chance, the news anchor in LTTE’s Sinhala news program, please say ‘Hi’ for me, as she was technically more proficient (maybe trilingual or more) than some of the ones the government mouthpiece, SLRC, has!
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