Friday, August 28, 2009


By Ian

For many of us we have won the war. But for me we have won a crucial battle of the war and the end of the war is yet to come. The ‘war’ for separation that started in the 1920’s created division amongst its people and destabilized a country that had highest per capita GDP in Asia. This war is still not over and unless defeated is likely to be there until one day the Ealam is created in Sri Lanka. Defeating the separatist war will take diplomatic, constitutional, communication and other ‘warfare’ efforts used consistently, effectively and intelligently.

Winning LTTE war will not guarantee that there will not be separatism
With regard to the war with LTTE, since 1980’s to 2002 we were only fighting isolated battles. At that time we failed to strategize and have a sustained and all out effort. That changed in 2006. In the last 3 years, thanks to outstanding and unprecedented leadership and execution Sri Lanka won the war against the LTTE. If this didn’t happen we wouldn’t be in the position of confidence that Sri Lanka’s territorial integrity would be somewhat safe. But is it now safe? Is the Real war to divide Sri Lanka over?

It is my belief we are now repeating a strategizing error in the remaining part of this ‘war’. The war is still fought with the same ferocity to divide Sri Lanka. The difference is now most parts of the war is and will be fought in other parts of the world. Defense establishments are busy putting final nails on LTTE pursuing the new leaders of the outfit. Is this the only direction we should be looking at? Would putting an end to LTTE ensure that there won’t be an international sustained efforts by the behind the scene separatists to somehow someday achieve their dream land?
I will not be surprised if some separatists consider that defeat of LTTE is a victory in the path of reaching Ealam. This I say because I believe that separatism started long before Prabakaran. Prabakaran hijacked that to build an empire centered on him as the Sun God. The last stages of the war managed to create empathy of the western governments towards separatists while removing Prabakaran from the equation. For many who are behind the scene separatists this is an ideal opportunity. We must realize with certain things we do and certain thing we don’t do we are playing in to the hands of the separatists that are still active. We need to stop for a moment and try to comprehend the new directions of the separatism. What is happening in international political, communication, and other fronts? What are they attempting to do? Then we need to re-strategize our focus on to fighting the next stage of the separatist war.

International support

Many new countries created in the recent history such as Israel, Kosovo, East Timor was done with the support and the backing of the US led western world. Tamil separatists have now succeeded in winning the sympathy of the west. There is no doubt that for GOSL’s the anti-west stance was crucial to win the latest battle (War against LTTE). But we need to realize that to negate a separation threat in the future GOSL has to be on the good side of the west. Whilst the anti-west stance played it part there is no point continuing to ridicule the US led west. Comparing IDP issue to Hurricane Katrina delays may elicit applause in political meetings but would not do much to diffuse the agendas of the west. More we try to portray as an ‘arrogant enemy’ of the west, it is better for the separatists who want to be darlings of them. Explaining and updating the west through diplomatic channels and diplomatic language and politely refusing the pressure should be the name of the game. Building bridges to clear the misinformation that has reached the western policy tables such as ‘discriminations by Sinhalese’ etc. needs to done with a high powered teams, and sustained and well strategized diplomatic efforts. We may even have to emulate the separatists in hiring lobbyist, spokespersons, and supporters from the international elite and also perhaps cultivate congressmen and the likes to be on our side.

Curtail the funding to separatists

Banning LTTE in US, Canada and some parts of Europe also helped in the war against LTTE. Recently an unsuccessful attempt was made to get the ban lifted in the US. This should be clear evidence that the separatists have not given up. If we simplify the issue to say that it is only some people want to continue to collect the money we may be missing the issue. It could be that the funds are required to keep on financing the political lobbyists, senators, congressmen, MPs, TV and news channels such as BBC, Channel 4 etc. to built the international sympathy and support for the next stage of the separatist agenda. If the ban is lifted not only they can raise money legally but also do the canvassing legally. The recent clip on Channel 4 is also an indication that the separatist war is still on. The way we handled that particular issue is a good example of fire fighting. Exact same way we fought the LTTE war from 1980’s to 2002. We have to see the bigger picture. What have we done to curtail the funding of the separatists? Everything that curtailed the funding that was done in the past was done by the western governments and not by GOSL. Foreign ministry and Defense Ministry can easily open dialogues with the western governments and law enforcement agencies to publish telephone numbers in the media to inform of unauthorized collections and collectors. This will be a service we do some of the Sri Lankan Tamil expatriates who do not want to give money to separatists. They do it due to fear. If the ban on LTTE and TRO is lifted they will continue to do this legally. GOSL and her diplomatic arm should be mobilized to do this work guided by the defense ministry. Establishing intelligence arms in all our embassies with clear targets and work plans with the responsibility of cultivating relationships with the local anti-terrorist agencies could be a starting point. This needs to be done especially in the countries that collections are the highest such as USA, Canada, Australia and Norway etc.

Constitutional support

If President Rajapakse and Defense Secretary Rajapakse are going to hold their positions for ever we can be sure that separatism will not happen in Sri Lanka. But a suicide bomb, natural death, plane crash or an election can change this in one week or in one or two decades. Where is the protection against separatism after that? Prabakaran and his stooges thought he was immortal and paid the price for that. The Rajapakses should realize that they are not immortal and bring forward strong amendments to the constitution that would make separatism, promoting separatism, entering in to agreements like infamous CFA, excessive devolution that could lead to separatism, ethnic based politics (this is underway) and ethnic based devolutions illegal and requiring a 2/3 majority in a referendum. Apart from this there could be many other constitutional safeguards pundits can think about to ensure that maximum possible protection against separatism is provided in the constitution.

To a lesser extent, as many writers had opined equal opportunities acts or bill of rights would also be much useful to silence the west and mis-informers of the west on ‘discrimination’ allegations. In my view we are only using the popularity of the ending of war to get political gains by way of Provincial council elections etc. and not using the popular support for things that is crucial for future territorial integrity. At least why can’t we do both?

Communicating the IDP issue

The current situation with the IDP camps are used and abused by the separatist Diaspora to garner further international support and solidify the new found ‘empathy’ of the west towards their agendas. GOSL has totally failed in the communication issue. Separatists wants IDP’s 'settled' soon so that sleeping LTTE cadres among IDPs can be activated to emulate Iraq style resistance in the north and recommence atrocities in the south. If this happens naturally the innocent Tamils in the north will be again be subjected to hardships due to security operations. This is exactly what the separatists want. By eliminating and reducing this threat by the screening the GOSL is trying to make the life of the IDPs in the future a peaceful one. The civilians will be the main beneficiaries if there is no fighting or terrorism in that area. GOSL needs to communicate the benefits to IDPs by doing what they are doing with the camps. If not properly and adequately communicated this alone can be a major issue that separatists Diaspora would be capitalizing on for some years to come. It will also continue to be a thorny issue with GOSL relationship with the west.

Web Communication

In the past there was Tamilnet that was responsible for spreading misinformation to the world on the ‘Tamil issue’ and LTTE. In the recent past managed to counter the misinformation by the Tamilnet. Some patriots launched to show the hierocracy of tamilnet in a hilarious but in a very effective manner. Now the communication has gone to the next step. Today there are several more focused and well coordinated sites in various languages. Listed below are few of these. (this is available in Dutch, Italian, English, French & Tamil),,

If separatism is not the agenda of the people behind the scenes what is the objective of the above sites? Anti separatist propaganda by the state and patriots, in Sri Lanka and aboard are still in anti LTTE mode. The war against LTTE is over, but separatism is not. All patriots and GOSL should now examine and comprehend and strategize their future activities for the continuing threat and not the bygone threat.

Other communications

Separatists have created a fake history of Sri Lanka including the mythical ‘Tamil Kingdom’ and Sinhalese discrimination etc. and have managed to brainwash many recent generation Tamils and also the world community. According to Goebbels theory in another 30-40 years this fake history will be the one that will be taken as the truth. I have read in many sites the true Sri Lankan history and also how separatists transferred the ‘Ealam’ dream to Sri Lanka when their master plans of a Tamil country failed during Indian independence in 1948 and later in 1960’s. There are isolated literature about the Chelvanayagam, LTTE’s creation and abuse of July 1983, discrimination by Tamils against other communities, ethnic cleansing of the north etc. But if one talks to a Sri Lankan in their 20’s they don’t know what really happened as what they have seen is a war from their birth. This is true for many Sri Lankans. Don’t we need to get this literature in many parts of the net to book form and publish them in many languages? If a foreigner talks to a misguided Tamil youth in the west they can passionately repeat what the mis-information campaigns have fed them. How many young Sri Lankans if asked of the history of war and separatism can explain the truth? Don’t we need a simple book on the true history of the issue in all possible languages that can be made available to every young Sri Lankan in all parts of the world so they could keep the fire burning against separatism? This is one example of a gap in communication but not the only one.

Anti-separatist Diaspora coordination

Much work was done by the Sri Lankan Diaspora to counter the propaganda activities of LTTE agents in the western capitals. Sri Lankan Diaspora would continue to spent their time and energy to support GOSL in their efforts free of charge. The defense ministry should establish a Diaspora coordination unit so that interested parties could send information, their ideas and also tips on activities of separatist agents in their own localities to the minister of defense. This may result in more coordinated efforts of the anti-separatist Sri Lankan Diaspora rather than the uncoordinated efforts they had carried out this far.


Many in the past said Prabakaran was the ‘savior’ of the Tamil people. After May 2009 some including columnist Mr. DBS Jeyeraj said Prabakaran is a traitor to Tamils as he destroyed or wasted the best chances Tamils had by not capitalizing on strengths (probably refereeing to not accepting federal and other strong devolution proposals during LTTE’s hay days). The same could happen to HE Mahinda Rajapakse. If they do not use this extraordinary opportunity and make very strong irrevocable changes including constitutional, defense, diplomatic fronts, international relations and communications etc. that ensures that separatism does not ever happen in Sri Lanka, in few years some may look down on Maharajano as the person who didn’t capitalize on the best opportunity to put a permanent end to separatism.

The purpose is not at all to demean the victory in May 2009. It is to point out ways of making the victory durable and if possible permanent. Hence my attempt is to convince all patriots that only the war against LTTE came to an end in May 2009 and the WAR against separatism is NOT over. As the famous Sinhalese song says “Duka sepa deka peralai, riya saka lesa loke”. If we don’t do the right things when we are up on the issue we might live to regret later when things are not so good. If we don’t act wisely now we may end up unknowingly aiding and abetting the creation of the Ealam in a future date due to our actions and omissions. Hence it is time to curtail celebrations and shift from sole anti LTTE focus and attempt to comprehend and strategize for the hidden and future threat against territorial integrity of Sri Lanka. There could be many other things we need to do.

Some actions suggested above are few samples to get to my point through of need of re-strategizing. The re-strategizing has to be done at GOSL level, Defense establishments’ level, and also in the local and overseas patriots’ level. If this is done many would come up with many other ideas on how to put an end to this menace permanently. If we don’t do this it will take another 30-40 years to realize that we have lost ground. I know that Sri Lankans will rise again and save the country. But many passionate patriots who are in the front line today will not be living then. Therefore let’s make sure that we put the final nails against separatism in every sphere so that the job for our children and grand children in the future to safeguard the motherland is easier.

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