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A welcome rebuff

A welcome rebuff

Author: Editorial
Publication: The Pioneer
Date: May 2, 2009
URL: http://www.dailypioneer.com/173355/A-welcome-rebuff.html

Colombo snubs meddlesome Miliband

The Sri Lankan Government deserves to be commended for remaining resolute in its decision to destroy the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam root and branch by taking its war on terror to its logical conclusion in the face of uncalled for criticism. This is best exemplified by the Rajapaksa Government's rejection of the entirely misplaced 'appeal' by British Foreign Secretary David Miliband and other European delegates for a ceasefire in the military operations against the LTTE. Mr Miliband and his French counterpart, Mr Bernard Kouchner, were in Sri Lanka for a one-day visit to try and press President Mahinda Rajapaksa to cease the military operations in the north-east of the country where LTTE chief Velupillai Prabhakaran and the remnants of the LTTE's leadership are still holding out in the fast shrinking 'No Fire Zone'. They cited the 'humanitarian crisis' created due to the war as a reason why the offensive should be stopped immediately. To his credit, Mr Rajapaksa has rightly said that a pause in the military action at this stage when the Tigers are on their last legs would be meaningless. Instead, Colombo has pledged not to rest till it captures Prabhakaran dead or alive and rids the country once and for all of the scourge that has plagued Sri Lanka for quarter of a century. There is no doubt that this war was brought on by the LTTE. The Sri Lankan Government cannot be blamed for not offering dialogue to work out a political solution. In fact, over the past two decades several rounds of talks were initiated, all of which failed due to the LTTE's intransigence and refusal to give up its violent ways. Exercising the military option - which has yielded amazing results - was the last resort; taking it to a meaningful conclusion is the only course.

Those shedding tears need to be reminded that the LTTE is a terrorist organisation that has used the banner of Tamil grievances to indulge Prabhakaran's macabre fantasies. Far from fighting for the rights of Sri Lankan Tamils, it has committed unspeakable atrocities against those that have stood in its path or disagreed with its murderous ideology. The Tigers have mauled Tamils and Sinhalese alike. Even now, in a desperate attempt to impede the advance of the Sri Lankan Army, the LTTE is using civilians in the 'No Fire Zone' as a human shield. This has been confirmed by two senior LTTE leaders - Velayutham Dayanithi and VK Pancharatnam - who recently surrendered to the Sri Lankan troops. They have also admitted that the LTTE has been killing civilians trying to escape the war zone. Therefore, the democratically elected Government of Sri Lanka has every right to defend its citizens against Prabhakaran and his thugs. And it is nobody's business to try and stop Colombo from doing so. It is equally inadvisable for the Congress-led UPA Government, under pressure from its allies in Tamil Nadu, to hector Sri Lanka.

Meanwhile, it is surprising that the US has threatened to block a $1.9 billion emergency loan to Sri Lanka from the IMF for Colombo's refusal to agree to a ceasefire. For, one would have thought that the US would understand the problems of fighting terrorism and praise Colombo for taking every possible measure to minimise collateral damage which is inevitable. Sri Lanka today is on the verge of a great victory. Instead of criticising that country, the international community should stand by it. Let us not forget that Sri Lanka is all set to become the first nation to defeat terror without striking a deal with terrorists.


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