Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Liberating East & North - why it is so painful to LTTE

Any military movement to bring about peace is characterized by a set of clearly defined strategic objectives. In the recent past, the Sri Lankan security forces conducted operations in the East to liberate the civilians from clutches of the world's most dangerous terrorist group, the Tamil Tigers (LTTE). The objective behind the whole operation was to let the people in the East enjoy the fruits of democracy while minimizing civilian and military casualties.

This week we saw how the people in the East enjoying that freedom by electing their democratic representatives who would replace terrorists and proxies of terrorists. The East is re-awakening with fast advancing new infrastructure projects sweeping the hearts and minds of the tired civilians with hopes for a better future for their young ones. Now they can rest without the fear of their children being abducted by the LTTE to be human bombs, enjoy seeing their children going to school, and experience the power of peace and harmony. On the other hand, the security forces are proud to watch this uprising that they brought forth with unprecedented low casual rates.

The security forces are now determined to rescue the civilians in the remaining spots in the North. In the documentary film titled "No more tears sister - an anatomy of hope and betrayal", the slain Prof. Rajini Thiranagama's sister Nirmala says that when she was with the LTTE, she had pleaded with the higher ranks to allow medical supplies to reach the Internally Displaced People (IDPs) to save the dying civilians. The blunt reply of the LTTE had been "we need more dead bodies to fuel our international campaign". This has been the barbarian motive of the senior ranks of the LTTE that gave rise to 1983 riots, and subsequent misery of a large number of productive civilians.

Therefore, the Government should not delay the rescue operation in the North. However, the Government is very confident of the fact that we are doing this operation to rescue civilians, but never to push them into greater misery. Since the distribution of the population in the North is different from East, the phase and pattern of advancement has to be planned to minimize civilian casualties. Therefore, the security forces have been very careful in planning their missions that have been very successful so far. The coordinated attacks of the three forces have crippled LTTE to a mere mob gang while minimizing damage to civilian property.

This is an unbearable heartache to the senior terrorists of the LTTE. This frustration was clearly marked in the speech given by B. Nadesan, the so-called political head of the LTTE, in a recent funeral, where he expressed his deep concern about the cautious approach taken by the security forces to liberate the civilians trapped in Wanni. He expressed excitement of a more rapid advancement leading to more civilian casualties. This reflects the blood thirst of many senior LTTE cadres.

Therefore, we wish to re-assure the Tamil civilians in the remaining spots of the North that they will soon be free, and that they will live to see that freedom. However, they are urged to be patient because the Government forces have to take all measures to minimize damage to their settlements.

(The writer is a Tamil Government Servant in Batticaloa, Eastern Province, Sri Lanka)

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