Mr Neville - Heres some food for you also to think over.
Let me get to the point direct. The Srilankan military was not defeated by the LTTE, as you tired to imply. What happened was a selfish, highly corrupt and inexperienced government led by a women who will do anything for power, stabbed the Srilankan military in the back.
In a war you can’t win every battle. The Srilankan military did suffer
a string of defeats during the period of 1996 - 2001. This, however,
in no way reflects the average Srilankan soldier. The problem was with
the leadership. That much I give you and I will not try to argue with
you regarding the obvious. The Srilanakan military was led by a clown
who was appointed by an even bigger clown on feudalistic grounds. If
you have proper leadership, the Srilankan military would have performed
much better and would have been in a position of strength today. Let
me give you a few examples.
In 1991 when the LTTE attacked the Elephant pass camp, there were only about 700 soldiers in the camp. Over 2500 LTTE fighters attacked the camp. Even the commanding officer of the camp was not in the camp, having gone home on leave. The camp led by a young major by the name of Sarath Karunanayaka defended the camp for over 30 days without food or water, till the siege was broken.
The similar instance happened at Kiran when about 50 soldiers defended the camp against a LTTE force of over 300.
The same Army went on to clear the entire eastern province by 1994. Your dreaded Karuna had to leave the east because of the risk.
This is clear proof that the Srilankan soldiers were no cowards and had the guts to fight anything VP threw at them.
In 1994, the people of Srilanka made a huge blunder (myself included)
and elected a women whose only qualifications were having a feudalistic
last name and knew how to cry in public about how her father and husband
were assassinated. We (all Srilankans, except for the LTTE) paid a huge
price for this mistake when every aspect of Srilanka - Economy, Society
and the fight against the LTTE, was mismanaged and finally wrecked and
the country brought to its knees. The desperation of the country was
reflected in the elections results of 2001 general elections when, despite
all the thuggary, rigging and murder, the PA lost every district (including
Gampaha) except for Monaragala.
There are two ways to solve this problem - one militarily defeating
the LTTE and the other through political dialog with the LTTE. Despite
my huge dislike of Balasingham, I agree with him when he said “weather
war or peace, you have to deal with the LTTE”.
So if you are against peace then you are for war. There is no gray
area. When you play with gray areas, you don’t get anywhere. So I do
agree with you: if people are against peace then they should be willing
to go out and fight and take the same risks those brave soldiers take.
Unfortunately however, many srilankans like to shout from the sidelines,
just to make themselves feel important. Any Moran can shout from LA,
or London or Melbourne. However, that is not going to solve anything.
If we are to fight this war then we need soldiers on the ground.
Letter to the Editor
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