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War and U-turns

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War and U-turns
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It may be easier to trace Prabhakaran than to find a politician opposed to the on-going successful war. Everybody has jumped the bandwagon! Time was when a person who had the courage to advocate military action against terrorism was as rare as an honest politician. The pro-LTTE propaganda campaign was so powerful that only a few dared utter a word against terrorism. They were immediately branded as chauvinists or racists or extremists. The NGO fraternity and the various LTTE fronts had effectively drilled into people's heads that Prabhakaran was invincible and the only way to deal with him was to appease him. So, everybody was talking of peace, though nobody knew how to achieve it.

Even UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe is full of praise for the armed forces and the police today. The recapture of Mullaitivu has prompted him to send a congratulatory message to, of all people, the Chief of Defence Staff Air Vice Marshal Donald Perera. Why he did not think it proper to congratulate Army Commander Lt. General Sarath Fonseka personally on that historic victory is the question.

If the UNP leader, when he was Prime Minister from 2001 to 2004, had realised that the Sri Lankan armed forces had the potential to achieve such heroic feats as capturing Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu, and acted accordingly, the LTTE would have been defeated a few years ago and the military would have suffered much less damage. For, it was during the Norwegian crafted CFA that the LTTE made grand preparations for the so-called Eelam War IV, which is being brought to a decisive end at present. Prabhakaran abused the truce to recruit thousands of combatants, to raise funds by way of illegal taxes on A-9 etc to the tune of millions of rupees a day and to smuggle in shiploads of arms and ammunition, while the UNF government did nothing for the military unlike the previous UNP regimes under which the security forces had graduated from ceremonial outfits to fully-fledged combat forces.

Had the LTTE been kept under constant military pressure, it would not have been able to construct so well fortified defences such as massive earth bunds, motes and bunkers. True, by the time the UNF formed a government, the LTTE had smashed the army's defences and reached the outskirts of Jaffna after capturing Elephant Pass in 2000 but it could not proceed beyond that point and its gains could have been reversed if a determined effort had been made by the UNF.


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