|Raman and the LTTE – A Response (from A serving security forces officer)|
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.
I have doubts about the defence expertise of Mr. Raman. Even though I’m not an expert on defence matters, I know the basic factors taken into consideration in judging whether a military operation (conducted by the military or LTTE) is successful or not. He goes on to say that as the "Air Force tried to project the LTTE’s Anuradhapura raid as a fiasco, which failed in objective". The LTTE would have been successful if all the cadres and air craft returned following the attack. But it’s not so, troops managed to effectively counter the LTTE’s main motive i.e. destroying the radar. One should commend the efforts put up by the Security Forces to counter this attack. It seems that Mr. Raman does not want to give that credit to the troops but keeps on insisting that the LTTE achieved its mission.
I generally go through all the websites that report defence matters. It shows how contradictory certain websites are and how biased they are towards the LTTE. Interestingly, Mr. Raman says that the Sri Lanka Navy website gave a different version of the incident and of the radar which is very much an Air Force business. I searched the Navy’s website but could not find such a comment made by the Navy. Then in the following sentence he went on to say that a naval intelligence web blog has indicated this fact. I think any one can create any number of blogs on the worldwide web and assign any name to it. May be those who want to discred the navy have created such a blog or it can be a made up story by Mr. Raman. I hope the navy will take necessary steps to deal with this allegation made by Mr. Raman. (External Link)
For Mr Raman, it has been always the military who has been giving false details, exaggerating successes, and so on. For Mr. Raman, the LTTE has given a factual account of all those incidents that take place in the battle field. Not stopping at that, Mr. Raman went on to say that "it (LTTE) does not cover up its failures ". He states this as the reason why the Tamil population and Diaspora believe LTTE statements. But I think it should be the other way around. I strongly believe it is because of articles written by people like Mr. Raman and a few others, that the LTTE is still surviving.
Its high time that people like Mr. Raman realize that by simply picking few points from someone or from somewhere, the Sri Lankan public cannot be fooled. Here in Sri Lanka people are very concerned about all that happen on the battle front. No matter how hard some people try to stop the march towards Kilinochchi, they will not stop. Those who read Mr. Raman’s article will understand who has actually given the wrong version to the public.