Sunday, December 6, 2009

What if ?????

by Lucky(Sydney)

Due to the recent political upheaval in the land of Sri Lanka (SL), several people have come out and claimed the victory of the war. So we frequently hear/read the statements like “I am responsible for the victory over the LTTE”.

So I thought of compiling a list of critical events related to Sri Lanka which happened during the last 3 – 4 years and analysed to see what if we failed in any of these missions, what would have been the possible outcome scenario?

1.Mavil-Aru conflict 2006

This was the beginning of the war with LTTE and at that time General Fonseka was in the hospital after the suicide attack.

Mavil Aru was a bloody confrontation. LTTE closed the sluice gates of the Mavil Aru to block the supply of water to about 30,000 acres of ripe paddy affecting about 60,000 farmers. Started as a humanitarian operation, the Govt needed to restore the water supply from Mavil Aru to the innocent farmers.

On August 8, 2006 when the LTTE announced it was restoring the water supply, everyone expected the SL govt to call off the operation and come to a settlement. If it was Ranil or Chandrika at the helm, it would have been the end of the story. Even the LTTE expected the same from Mahinda, but the Govt went ahead with the operation “Watershed” until it gained the full control of the sluice gates controlling the water flow.

During the operation “Watershed” and immediately after, there was pressure from the International agencies and diplomatic missions to stop the operation and come to a ceasefire. Even the ex US president Bill Clinton intervened at one stage. In this instance President and the Govt selected the Military approach over the political solution to resolve the issue and which was never expected by the LTTE. The most important aspect of this operation was to re-establish the credibility of the security forces and totally sideline the SLMM (Monitoring mission).

If the operation had failed – what would have been the outcome? LTTE would have taken the total control of the whole eastern province including Trincomalee. – Mahinda’s head would have been on the chopping block.

2. SL Budget 2007

You may remember the tense situation that prevailed just before the voting for the SL Budget 2007. Mangala Samaraweera expected several MP’s to cross over from the Government side to the opposition; even the JVP expected the same. Wimal Weerawansa and his supporters saved the government on that occasion. When the defectors knew that Govt will not lose, their whole operation was deflated. Even the current JVP did not vote against the govt and abstained from the vote. Poor Anura Bandarnayake did not have a clue of the situation and got seated with the opposition.

If the Govt lost the budget on that day, would you like to imagine the situation of the country now? Most probably Prabhakaran & LTTE would have captured part of the country by now.

3.Destruction of large LTTE ships in 2007

In 2007, SL Navy destroyed the several large LTTE ships which were carrying arms and ammunition, in the high seas. It dealt a severe blow to the LTTE’s international arms shipment network and drastically reduced its fire power. This was a major turning point of the war. This was the first time our small Navy went out of our water and completed a major operation successfully.

What would have happened if that operation failed? Who would get the blame? .Of course President, Defense Secretary and Navy Commander would be the prime targets for the blame & ridicule. The opposition along with LTTE would have started a campaign and toppled the Government. Most probably, Prabhakaran would be running his Eelam by now. General Fonseka was not in the scene at the all.

4.UN Security Council in 2009

Even though the physical war was going on within SL, there was another battle that continued on outside SL. Most of the Western nations (US, UK, France, Norway, Sweden, etc) were using all their diplomatic fronts to stop the war and come to a political settlement. Several times LTTE Diaspora with the help of the West tried to include SL conflict into the Security Council agenda, but failed because of China, Russia & Vietnam. Here again credit lies with the Rajapaksa regime for backing the correct horse. Right from the beginning, Mahinda and the Govt had a very good relationship with China, Russia & India and that paved the way for their support.

If the LTTE Diaspora & West won at the UN Security Council, most probably UN would have sent a Peace Keeping Force and that would have been the birth of Eelam.

5.Bloody war in 2008 & 2009

By 2007, SL Security Forces have taken the total control of the Eastern province and started to dismantle LTTE from the north. According to the media reports, General Fonseka was in total control of this operation and he appointed commanders like Major General Jagath Dias and Brigadier Shavendra Silva, etc to lead the army from several fronts.

As we all know, they succeeded in their operations in spite of the stiff resistance from LTTE. Even though LTTE was weak at this time because of lack of supplies, credit should go to General Fonseka for appointing the right people at the right time and for the operational tactics. But recent report says that General was not in the country when the war was won. Most probably he was not needed during that phase of the war. Our Security forces without the General, Diplomats, Administrators and Politicians completed the job in style with the public support.

During this phase LTTE had the indirect support of the NGO & INGO as well as the SL opposition (UNP, Mangala Samaraweera, Mano Ganeshan, etc). Finally SLSF won the war.

What if – the SLSF forces lost this war, what would be the situation now? Whose head would go to the chopping block first? Of course, as Commander and Chief, Mahinda’s head would go first followed by Gotabhaya, General Fonseka, etc and not the other way around. This is where the “Responsibility & Accountability comes into the picture”.

6. War at the UN Human rights in 2009

While the physical war was happening in north of SL, two other wars were going on in UN Human rights council and in Colombo.

When the west failed in UN Security Council, they tried again in UN human rights council where there are no veto powers to anyone.

Fortunately, SL had people like Dayan Jayatilake, Rajiva Wijesinghe and Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe to stand up in this council and counteract their arguments and brought new resolutions to safeguard the independence and the human rights of Sri Lanka. This victory is as equal as the military victory in the north of Sri Lanka.

If SL lost this battle at the UN Human Rights Council, UN would have sent a Peace Keeping Force to SL and that would have been the end of war and thus created the birth of Eelam. Mahinda Rajapaksa, Mahinda Samarasinghe, etc would be blamed for the failure.

7. Battle in Colombo. In 2009

As far as I am concerned, this is the most satisfying victory of the whole war. During the near end of the war, the West and LTTE Diaspora tried their last trump card by sending British Foreign Minister and French Foreign Minister to SL, to give a life line to the LTTE and to rescue Prabakaran and LTTE leaders. Swedish Foreign Minister was not given the visa to join British and French. It was a very tensed situation.

This was the first time in history (after Keppetipola ) that a SL politician stood up to our previous colonial masters and asked them “Please do not interfere with our internal affairs”. It was the first time foreign ministers of two powerful countries came together to Sri Lanka and left empty handed.

What if – SL govt gave in at that moment? Prabhakaran and the LTTE would have survived and the fight would have continued for few more generations. Ranil, Mangala & Chandrika would have taken the upper hand in local politics and SL would go back to colonial days. Mahinda and the current govt would have lost the power.

8. Capture of KP & War Crimes

If one thinks that the war with LTTE is over, they are sadly mistaken. LTTE Diaspora with plenty of money and resources will keep on obstructing/harassing Sri Lanka in every possible sphere. Fortunately we have capable people like Defense Secretary Gotabhaya who understood what was happening outside the Sri Lankan borders, initiated and coordinated the action to arrest the current leader of LTTE KP and brought him to SL which took everybody by surprise. From the LTTE war perspective, this is a remarkable achievement. Only the Israelis used this type of operation before. Please note that SL does not have resources like Israel.

The West and LTTE Diaspora know the abilities of our defense establishment and that is why they are all out to stop this type of operations and try to accuse Defense Secretary and the other commanders (except the General who was in China during the final phase of the war) on war crimes.

I have a feeling that if General wins the election with the help of West, Ranil, Chandrika, etc, he will have to obey his masters and he might handover our key defense personnel to trial at the International Court of Justice on “war crimes”. You may also remember what happened to the personnel who used to work for the Millennium City project.

If that happens, it will be a very very sad day for Sri Lanka, we may not only lose whatever we have gained during the last four years, but also SL will go back at least 60 years – back to Colonial era.

9. Conclusions

From the above, one could easily see who was taking the biggest risk in conducting the above war and due credit should go to the correct deserving persons and not to anyone who is just claiming it.

Recently, I read another report saying that President and Defense Secretary prevented General Fonseka in speaking to the press. No wonder anyone allowing General to speak with the following experiences.

At the height of the war, when the Govt and expatriates were trying their best to gather support from everyone, the Army Commander makes utterances such as “Sri Lanka belongs to Sinhalese”. This statement alone gave a lot of ammunition to the LTTE and to its Diaspora. The expatriates who loved the country had a very difficult time in encountering the above statement and defending the General. I am sure it must have been the same for the SL government.

Dear General – a politically correct statement is “Sri Lanka belongs to Sri Lankans (Sinhalese, Tamil, Muslims, etc)” and not the other way.
When we needed the support of India, the General makes another blunder by uttering “Tamil Nadu politicians are jokers”. These are politically incorrect statements. I am sure some one in the government would have apologized to India with regards to the above statement.

10. Now , Who is the winner

What if – Major General Jagath Dias (57 Division) and Brigadier Shavendra Silva (58 Division) – the most competent commanders of the army, claim that they are responsible for the victory of the war because they went to the battle front and took the risks more than anyone else?

Then the General Fonseka will say – No, I gave the opportunity and command to the commanders and therefore I am totally responsible for the victory.

Then Gotabhaya might say – No, I took the risk and appointed the General as the Army Commander and therefore he too should get the credit of the victory.

Then President Mahinda might say – No, I appointed Gotabhaya as the Defense Secretary and therefore I should get the credit of the victory.

Then the people in SL (SLFP, JVP, JHU, etc) will say we appointed Mahinda as the President and the credit and the victory should come to us.
Finally credit of the victory belongs to all Sri Lankans except the ones like Ranil, Mangala, Chandrika and their supporters who tried to betray the country at each and every opportunity.