Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Sri Lanka: Dancing, flag waving, fire-crackers - the joy of victory

V for Victory-D for Defeat, By Gomin Dayasri

Source: Ministry of Defence, Public Security, Law & Order - Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

Republished for information and discussion only. This report does not necessarily reflect the views of Mike Hitchen Consulting

Snap shots ....Dancing on the streets. Sounds of blasting crackers. Waving Lion flags. Banners on display. Joy Unlimited. Ecstatic and Elated. Military Parade with Pride... Nation has not devoured a moment of this nature in living memory.

Not now, on behalf of those in white flannels or colorful pyjama kits, as in the past, but in glee for the men in battle fatigue. A nation that needed a win at cricket to cheer turns with unbounded joy to jubilate with the Security Forces, a shinning model ready for export to teach the world the ways of winning wars without causing extensive collateral damage. No war is realistic with zero damage. Unlike the cricketers girdling the globe earning filthy lucre while declining to represent the country, these servicemen are at home prepared to sacrifice their life not merely for rupees and cents but for the sake of the people; the nation can now be proud of its present and look forward to the future instead of having to live permanently on the glories of its ancient past. We have come of age, rather late.

The exercise of trouncing the worlds most feared terrorist outfit should give confidence to the extent of cockiness in the belief of our inherent latent inner strengths and look outwards on the gallantry ability and talent displayed which was once tagged a ragtag army in the face of terrorists - achievers when pushed against the wall. Inspirational and stimulating-the country now awakes to a new beginning realizing achievements need not be limited to the military front and could reach still dizzier heights if there is determination, application, courage and discipline -the gospel of the motivator, as we cannot not live on our laurels alone.

Sri Lanka, conceived the most dreaded terrorists but also brought forth a still mightier force that can overcome such cannibals. No other country holds the dubious distinction of such contrasting characteristics of good and evil and being eminent in both spheres. While the overwhelming majority in the land admires and appreciates the side of law and order, strangely and sadly the so called humanitarian local and foreign elements, section of the misguided media and the self seeking elite still prefer the side of sinister, revealing their priorities and value structure. The contributors in this epic struggle came from the village rather than the city and had their priorities in improper order. This is struggle that we fought and overcame with our hands and feet. Germany was incapable of defeating the Nazis until the Allied Forces arrived. Sri Lanka did it alone amidst the barriers placed. `

The new export product is the humane skills of our servicemen whose expertise, insights and experiences will give added value and be ornamental to famed military academies and defense almanacs. The Commander who devised bunker-to-bunker warfare to overcome the most dreaded terrorist group, within a time frame minimizing civilian casualties while feeding the terrorists, attending to their sick and injured and providing infrastructural basic necessities to the population under its control will go down in military annals comparable to General Giap -the Viet Cong commander whose perfection of guerrilla and conventional strategy overwhelmed the forces of France and United States. It is time that a niche is created to record the strategies and stratum, movements and motivations that led to the eviction of the terrorists from their bases in the North and East with a humane approach. It would be a bestseller more in the West than in Sri Lanka where they are yet to learn the art of winning a popular war. So many Presidents in the United States left office in shame for taking the country on the warpath that the Sri Lankan handbook should be a bedside companion in the master bedroom of the White House.

The message is loud and clear-terrorism cannot be defeated except by force. It was brutal force used against the terrorists alone and not the civilians. No civilians were harmed intentionally until the terrorists used civilians as a human shield to make a safe sanctuary for them to shelter. In desperation, Tigers become civilians to escape annihilation and used the civilians as a cover for their own safety. Their escape route is to be presentable in civilian dress.

The final ritual of terrorists' voodoo culture is to seek a bloodbath. They would rather ensure harm to those held hostage in the last few spaces of a shrinking homeland than watch them escape to spread stories on the horrific final days. To an element that killed more of their own tribe a few more is of little concern. History will never be kind to Pabhakaran but the worst edition will appear in Tamil if written by those whom he is holding captive. The looser that made his people loose, most that they loved and possessed, will soon let loose their venom to display what they lost. How many, for how long, can he hold especially if he has vanished to save his skin?

His final days will be to keep in business those merchants of the peace industry spinning strings of yarn more to rouse the foreign market to keep the LTTE alive from perishing. They will try to extract an advantage from the jaws of defeat by raising humanitarian appeals by placing innocent people in peril and jeopardy. Ask them three questions? Who is denying the people the freedom of movement? Who positioned the guns close to the captive people? Who is cowardly taking cover amongst the innocent people?

If those who are being lauded for exterminating the Tigers become bloated with the flush of victory and run berserk on the assumption that the law morals and ethics are beyond the reach of war heroes it will be a case of substituting one set of terrorists for another. Heroes of today can become villains of tomorrow. Victory will soon turn to defeat and momentum provided by the success of the war will fade into oblivion. Gratitude is short though it will dock a place in history for sure, but will not provide permanency in office or be held in high esteem in public mind for long.

Many blemishes were overlooked many infirmities tolerated because the riddance of terrorism, was a priority. The kudos of victory is short lived and the period of the honeymoon is still shorter. Victory has no permanency and an extension requires results with an electorate that has suffered patiently and waited impatiently for a change with high expectations. If a change is not forthcoming they will make the change. A new chapter will open with youth fresh from the war at the helm. It was the youth who won the war for us. They sacrificed their lives and limbs for the sake of the next generation. For the moment they are firmly entrenched in the winner's column but soon disenchantment can set in. A victory on the military front will yield momentary satisfaction. Are we ready to provide responses for the new challenges, before righteous indignation arises? Safeguarding the rights of the majority and providing relief to the legitimate grievances of the minorities is the fast forward track to integrate a divided nation after 30 years of war.
Published by Mike Hitchen, Mike Hitchen Consulting
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