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Raman and the LTTE – A Response (from A serving security forces officer)

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Raman and the LTTE – A Response (from A serving security forces officer)
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I have been a reader of Mr. B. Raman’s articles which appear on your Journal for quite some time. My attention went to the article which appeared on your Journal on the 10th September with the title "Vavuniya Raid: Conflicting Versions". There are certain facts which I felt should be highlighted at this stage about this article.
I strongly believe, that like most of the foreign journalists who report on defence matters, Mr. Raman is also not happy to see the LTTE losing this war. This is quite evident in his article. Mr. Raman still believes that the morale of the LTTE’s senior cadres is very high. He even goes to the extent of categorizing these terror cadres as ‘officers’ and cadres as in a conventional army.

I simply can’t understand why the Indian Government had him as an Additional Secretary in the Cabinet Secretariat given his partial, vague and erroneous thinking. This is quite evident in most of his previous articles including this. Appointing him as an Additional Secretary is not my issue here, but what I’m trying to say is that if his analysis is so partial, his performance as an Additional Secretary can be imagined.

Mr. Raman always has an issue with the military in reporting various incidents. I think it would be wise to look back at India’s own experiences in Kashmir. How many times does your military spokesman say all that happens without deleting a single fact? There are certain things in the military that need not to be divulged due to tactical and operational reasons. But when something happens in Sri Lanka, people like Mr. Raman want to dig into the unwanted. If these are not obtained officially, they will use all their tricks to get the details, images and other information from various sources. I agree that it is ethically incorrect to provide false information or to issue denials concerning incident when it has occurred. But I strongly believe, that the military has so far, provided the details that they can divulge, and they have the right to decide what to say and what not to say.

I see Mr. Raman as a great fan of the LTTE air wing. He has used the term ‘ruthless’ to describe LTTE air strikes. But I simply don’t see why he used the term ruthless. It would have been ruthless if it had killed a large number of military personnel. Because Mr. Raman is so excited about LTTE air strikes, I think he wants that extra media coverage given to the LTTE on this account. What will happen if Mr. Raman says that the Al Qaeda attack on the twin towers was a "Spectacular and audacious attack"? We all know the reaction. But for Mr. Raman, a one time Additional Secretary in the Indian cabinet, the air attacks on Anuradhapura and Vavuniya were spectacular.

I can’t understand why a defence analyst like Mr. Raman has failed to highlight the significant role played by the Air Force in the present context. He has never made an analysis of the impact of Air Force strikes on LTTE ground and sea targets, but he seems to be happy to follow LTTE air strikes whether successful or not. I think Mr. Raman still does not believe that the Air Force shot down an LTTE light air craft. Now he wants it to be proved with videos. The Air Force said that they do not have video footage. But if Mr. Raman has doubts about this, He can contact his links in Kilinochchi and get to know the true facts.


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