REPORTS ON ARMED CONFLICT IN TAMIL EELAM
Kilinochchi: The Kiss Of Death
Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi,
and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai
18 December 2008
within kissing distance'. So said the disinformation warriors of
Lt.Gen.Sarath Fonseka, the Sri Lankan Army Commander, more than a week ago.
It has been a long and fatal kiss - more for the Sri Lankan Army than for
the LTTE.. " together with
SLA death toll hits 170
in Vanni, hundreds wounded, 36 bodies recovered - LTTE;
Sachi Sri Kantha on
Manifesto of a ‘Goody Two Shoes’ Sinhalese General
costing more lives than ever in Lanka's history - Ranjith
Jayasundera in Sinhala owned Sri Lanka Sunday Leader, 14 December 2008
"Kilinochchi within kissing distance". So said the
disinformation warriors of Lt.Gen.Sarath Fonseka, the Sri Lankan Army
Commander, more than a week ago..
It has been a long and fatal kiss--more for the Army than for the Liberation
Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). It has been a long kiss of death for the young
hastily-trained Sinhalese recruits to the Sri Lankan Army who were rushed to the
battle front by the General in his keenness to keep his promise of "In
Kilinochchi before the New Year".
Similar to the promise which Gen.Douglas McArthur, commanding the allied troops
in South Korea during the Korean war, repeatedly made to the US troops fighting
against the North Korean and Chinese Armies.
"To home before Christmas", he used to promise. Christmas came and Christmas
went, but the North Koreans and the Chinese fought fiercely. McArthur's promises
were repeatedly belied.'Which Christmas?" people started asking sarcastically.
Ultimately, there were neither victors nor losers in the war. It ended in a
stalemate after the loss of thousands of lives on both sides.
In bitter fighting on the outskirts of Kilinochchi since the beginning of this
week, the SL Army and the LTTE have sustained heavy casualties. As normally
happens in military conflicts, both sides are playing down their own casualties
and exaggerating those of the adversary. However, the claims of the LTTE seem to
be nearer the truth than those of the Army.
The LTTE claims to have killed 170 soldiers of the SL Army, but the Army insists
that only 25 of its soldiers have been killed. However, the LTTE has been able
to release the photographs of at least 36 soldiers killed, thereby proving that
the fatalities sustained by the Army are many more than the 25 admitted by it.
Reliable accounts show that both sides have been fighting fiercely and losing
many young people. The Army has lost many more arms and ammunition and other
equipment than the LTTE. The fighting has been a bonanza for the LTTE, which has
been able to replenish its dwindling stocks of arms and ammunition.
The odds are still against the LTTE. It has well-trained and well-motivated
cadres, who have been fighting with great determination, but it is running short
of arms and ammunition despite the seizures from the Army. It has no air cover
against the repeated air strikes by the Sri Lankan Air Force.
The SL Army has the advantage of numbers and arms and ammunition procured with
funds from China and Iran, but its soldiers are not as well-motivated and as
well-trained as those of the LTTE.
The LTTE had shifted its offices from Kilinochchi many weeks ago in anticipation
of the battle. Kilinochchi has now nothing but the death traps for the SL Army
laid by the LTTE. The LTTE knows where those death-traps are, but not the Army.
This gives an advantage to the LTTE.
The battle being fought for Kilinochchi is a combined miniature version of the
battles of Stalingrad in the erstwhile USSR and El Alamein in North Africa. At
Stalingrad, the Soviet Army beat back the Nazis after inflicting repeated heavy
casualties on them. At El Alamein, the allied troops commanded by Gen. Bernard
Montgomery (later a Field Marshal) beat back the advancing Nazi Army commanded
by Gen.Rommel with heavy casualties. These two battles marked the turning points
in the Second World War.
Making a statement on the defeat of Rommel's army at El Alamein, Sir Winston
Churchill, the then British Prime Minister, told the House of Commons: " There
was no victory before Al Alamein.There will be no defeat after El Alamein." He
was proved right.
Will Kilinochchi prove a similar turning point in the battle being fought
between the SL Army and the LTTE? If the LTTE loses the battle, it could mark
the beginning of its end as an insurgent force, but not as a terrorist
organisation. If the SL Army wins, it will be a Pyrrhic victory.
Understandably perhaps, B.Raman,
Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat,
Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical
Studies, Chennai chooses to ignore the elephant in the room, something which
Indian Foreign Minister did not do when he spoke in the Indian Parliament in
October 2008 -
“We have a very comprehensive relationship with Sri
Lanka. In our anxiety to protect the civilians, we should not forget the
strategic importance of this island to India's interests,... especially
in view of attempts by countries like Pakistan and China to gain a
strategic foothold in the island nation...Colombo had been told that
India would "look after your security requirements, provided you do not
look around. We cannot have a playground of international players in our
Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee
'We cannot have a playground of international players in our
backyard'. Yes indeed. That will not do, would it? Mr.Raman will
understand when we say that his comments (taken in totality) appear directed
to advance New Delhi's strategic interest of securing that Sinhala Sri Lanka
moves away from the China-Iran-Pakistan
axis. New Delhi (and Mr.Raman) know full well that if President
Rajapakse is permitted to continue unchecked with his onslaught
on Tamil Eelam and progress it to its genocidal end, New Delhi would
have lost its window of opportunity to prevent the embedding of
Chinese/Pakistan presence in what Mr.Mukherjee
regards as India's 'backyard'. Mr.Raman (and New Delhi) appear
willing to look on with equanimity whilst Sinhala Sri Lanka continues to
murder thousands of Tamils struggling for freedom from alien Sinhala rule -
so long as Tamil resistance is not entirely annihilated before
New Delhi has securely embedded its own presence in the Island.
President Rajapakse does play ball and distances himself from
China/Pakistan/Iran to the extent that New Delhi desires, then something
1988 comic opera Provincial Councils Act
(and that too, with a divided North and Eastern Province)
sweetened with 'humanitarian aid' for the suffering Eelam Tamils will be
presented by New Delhi to the Tamil people, including the people of Tamil
Nadu, as a panacea, and marketed as a great boon by the likes of Mr.Raman.
Mr.Raman is wrong if he believes the Tamil people are
not aware that New Delhi's foreign policy is not directed serve the
interests of the people of Tamil Eelam or for that matter the
interests of the Sinhala Sri Lanka nation but directed simply to serve that
which New Delhi perceives to be its strategic interests in the
Indian Ocean region. In the felicitous phraseology of Mr.Pranab
Mukherjee - 'We cannot have a playground of international players in
will not take it amiss if we recommend to him (as we had recommended
to Mr.Pranab Mukherjee a couple of months ago in October) to
words of Arundhati Roy in 2007
on the extensive and deep rooted nature of India's true 'backyard'-
don’t have to be a genius to read the signs. We have (in India) a
growing middle class, reared on a diet of radical consumerism and
aggressive greed. Unlike industrialising Western countries, which had
colonies from which to plunder resources and generate slave labour to
feed this process, we have to colonise ourselves, our own nether parts.
We’ve begun to eat our own limbs. ..While our economists
number-crunch and boast about the growth rate, a million people —
human scavengers — earn their living carrying several kilos of other
people’s shit on their heads every day. And if they didn’t carry shit on
their heads they would starve to death. Some f***ing superpower this....
What we’re witnessing is the most successful secessionist struggle ever
waged in independent India — the secession of the middle and upper
classes from the rest of the country. It’s a vertical secession, not a
lateral one. They’re fighting for the right to merge with the world’s
elite somewhere up there in the stratosphere... There is
a civil war in Chhattisgarh sponsored, created by the Chhattisgarh
government, which is publicly pursuing the Bush doctrine: if you’re not
with us, you are with the terrorists. The lynchpin of this war, apart
from the formal security forces, is the
- a government-backed militia of ordinary people forced to become
spos (special police officers). The Indian State has tried this in
Nagaland. Tens of thousands have been killed ..... thousands
tortured, and thousands have disappeared. Any banana republic would
be proud of this record... to equate a resistance movement fighting
against enormous injustice with the government which enforces that
injustice is absurd. The government has slammed the door in the face of
every attempt at non-violent resistance. When people take to arms, there
is going to be all kinds of violence — revolutionary, lumpen and
outright criminal. The government is responsible for the monstrous
situations it creates...does this mean that people whose dignity is
being assaulted should give up the fight because they can’t find saints
to lead them into battle?.
ant to ask whether a people whose dignity is being assaulted will give up
the fight because they can’t find saints to lead them into battle?
Disinformation warriors of Lt.Gen.Sarath Fonseka
Quotes Compiled by Sinhala Opposition Paper Sunday Leader, 14 December 2008
|May 28, 2007
||Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka
||"The LTTE has 4,000 cadres in the
north. They are not its best cadres. If they lose
2,000 cadres, they are finished."
||Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka
||"LTTE has 3,000 cadres remaining.
Military plans to kill them within six months. Our
daily target is to kill at least 10 LTTE
|January 11, 2008
||Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka
|| "My term of office is coming to an
end this year and I will not leave this war to the
succeeding army commander."
Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka
"They are an organised force with a lot of
experience. They have thousands of fighters. I do
not conduct the war looking at deadlines and
timeframes. The LTTE has around 5,000 fighters. This
time when we take Kilinochchi, we will not leave it
after a while. But we must realise that the
offensive is going to take time."
||"We would have cleared them out of
the remaining areas long ago but we also had to
ensure no civilians were killed. I would say, in a
year and a half, we might be able to do it."
||Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara
||"But we have never said that we
will finish them off. We have never set deadlines.
We are fighting a terrorist organisation, not a
conventional war." "The more we weaken them, then
the more they will come into negotiations. It is not
possible to wipe them out."
||Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka
||"4,000 - 5000 Tigers remain." "They
have lost that capability, although they are
fighting with us, not in the same manner like
earlier. They had the defensive lines, we couldn't
move even one kilometre for two or three months.
That kind of resistance is not there any more."
||"May be a maximum of one year from
now onwards the LTTE should lose large areas." "They
should not be able to maintain their present control
over the population, to be able to resist the army
in the way they are resisting now. They would have
to lose all that capability."
||"Even if we finish the war, capture
the whole of the north, still the LTTE might have
some members joining them."
||"There are people who believe in
Tamil nationalism. The LTTE might survive another
even two decades with about 1,000 cadres. But we
will not be fighting in the same manner. It might
continue as an insurgency forever."
||Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka
||11,000 Tigers killed since July
2006. Only 4,000 Tigers remain.