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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 109

Sri Lanka: Of success and credibility

By Geoffrey Evarts

The deteriorating human rights situation or the enhanced abuse of power/bribery & corruption situation notwithstanding, President Percy Mahinda Rajapakse’s “war on terror” is achieving results.

The most public of these results are -

• The capture and securing of the East.

• The detection of several caches of explosives (including a lorry load recently) which were meant to be used on targets in the South.

• The Navy has achieved relative success in curbing Sea Tiger movements – including the detection and destruction of several arms shipments, and also successful head-on clashes with Sea Tiger flotillas.

• The regular discovery and diffusing of Claymores and other Improvised Explosive Devices countrywide.

• The arrest of several prominent LTTE’ers in foreign countries, as well as the successful efforts to disrupt the Tigers International Propaganda apparatus. (This also means that the governments’ efforts to curb the LTTE’s international operations and fundraising are actually working, even though the International community is also attacking the Government on the other hand, revealing a two pronged/faced agenda).

What is also not widely known is that the Security forces have reactivated deep penetration units (DPU’s) which infiltrate Tiger controlled areas and carry out assassinations and disruptions to LTTE operations and movements in Tiger areas very successfully. Sources also indicate that groups of Special Forces of the Army and STF are carrying out raids behind LTTE lines on “search and destroy” missions which are – reportedly - highly successful. Pro LTTE website “Tamilnet” also gives some credibility to these accomplishments by actually publicizing the raids and deep penetrations that are NOT successful. The STF, which is arguably one of the most successful and professional arms in Sri Lanka’s military, are also teaching its men to speak Tamil so that they can retain control of their areas more effectively. (This - in my humble opinion - should be implemented by all the other arms of the Security Forces as well)

The greatest pity of all of this is that the media don’t give these successes as much publicity as they give the governments negatives. However, being fair on the profit-controlled private media, the governments’ negatives are headline-making blunders that sell papers in record numbers! And the record number of newspaper sales means that more people are absorbing these negatives.

Take the deteriorating Human Rights Situation. What President Rajapakse probably does not realize is that his public explanation that ‘these abductions and killings are carried out to discredit his administration” are not sitting well with the people. The government has still not shown solid results by arresting or prosecuting any responsible parties to these abductions, killings and human rights violations.

Who are these armed men in white vans carrying out abductions? Who killed the 17 ACF workers in Muttur?

These questions are the focal point where the governments’ credibility is eroding locally and internationally. The government made a miserable effort to reverse their eroding credibility by recently arresting former Air Force Wing Commander Nishantha Gajanayake. But looking at Gajanayake’s arrest in retrospect, he was arrested After a UNP parliamentarian threw allegations against him in parliament.

Actually, this erodes the credibility of the police and does not say much about the competence of the cops. The police showed that they only investigated and arrested Gajanayake After

The erosion of credibility is a very dangerous factor. (Especially when you are running an elected, legal government) When one’s credibility is lessened or lost completely, people (including the international community) tend to disbelieve you at face value. Hence, whatever you say - be it a fact or the gospel truth – will be dismissed as lies. Hopefully President Percy Mahinda Rajapakse will understand this before his credibility erodes to such an extent that he is placed in the same category as Velupillai Prabhakaran.

- Asian Tribune -

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