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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 104

LTTE, Norway and natives

By Mohn Senaratne.

My ole school friend Shesha Samarajiwa appears to have shredded the US ambassador in his piece titled "Ambassador Blake lectures the natives" ! Robert Blake is not bad a fellow. His recent "lecture to the natives" and a similar harangue from the British (UK?) High Commissioner could be considered from a much wider perspective. i.e. events during the last century.

Here are a few random examples.

Picking up on bits and pieces of indigenous folklore, Colonial's invent anthropological labels to shower enhanced privileges on a group they referred to as a 'minority' among the natives. Thus inculcating an artificial sense of superiority among this select group over the others -classical divide & rule policy deployed by the Colonials.

Among other things, natives inherited from the departing Colonials a 'Westminster' style of statecraft - governance by the will of the majority. Small group of natives who had it made during colonial regime resent ensuing loss of privilege - begins to agitate. Current incarnation of this long drawn agitation is the self styled Liberation Tigers of Thamil Eelam - LTTE, where ' Eelam ' happens to be the ‘Thamil’ expression for Lanka used by ancient South Indian scholars.

Universal free education churn out large number of educated youths, vying for limited employment opportunities in the state organs. Wide spread inequality in employment opportunities, skewed distribution of national resources etc. trigger an armed rebellion of the youth, primarily in southern area's. This is quelled mercilessly by the state, deploying Sandhurst trained defense personnel. Neither INGO's, NGO's nor enlightened foreign envoys appeared to lecture the natives about human rights or about collateral casualties due to military action at that time.

Red Barna (Norway) secured official approval from Mrs. Srimavo Bandaranaike’s government to set up among other things, communal farms in uninhabited areas in the North. Unknown to the government (Nelsonian eye?) Red Barna surrepetiously shunt Indian plantation workers being repatriated to India under Srima - Shasthri pact, to resettle them in these farms.

Mrs. Bandaranaike nationalizes petroleum and other assets run by British and American interests, earning the wrath of these two countries. In response, IMF tightens the screws creating a crisis in national foreign currency reserves required to import food, leading to wide spread food shortages among the natives. Natives severely punish Mrs. B during election time, electing JR regime in a landslide victory. JR campaigned together with advice from handlers on a pro western election platform, promoting so called open economic policies during the run up for this election.

Reacting to own geo political realities, India recruited groups of rebellious youths in the North and in the East of Lanka, provided training, funding to operate as para-military units.

Turf war ensues among these groups and LTTE emerged as the predominant rebel group. Terrorist activity becomes the prime modus operand for the LTTE who among other things, slaughterer prominent ‘Thamil’ speaking politicians, intellectuals, academics etc. Late President J.R. Jayewardene deployed SLDF to quell terrorist activity of the LTTE. However unlike the southern rebellion, Sri Lanka Defence Force (SLDF) finds the northern opponent to be a more formidable and a resourceful enemy. As a result, response from SLDF escalate to a higher intensity causing wide spread collateral damage. Citing collateral damages caused by SLDF activities as the excuse, India violated Lankan air space supposedly to air drop Lentils - 'parrippu' to beleaguered natives caught in the battle zone.

Israeli defense advisors arrives simultaneously train both SLDF and LTTE - though the government at time appeared to have been unaware about the LTTE angle until much later. SLDF personnel continue to receive training at British, US and Indian training center's while LTTE receives military advise, military training , munitions, funding etc. from the Norwegians.

Handlers continue massaging both parties namely the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) and the LTTE, on the one hand arranging necessary export licenses to acquire high tech weaponry, munitions, training etc., for GoSL. while on the other hand allowing the LTTE to fleece the expatriate Tamil speaking diaspora for funds, engaged in narcotic trade, gun running, procure necessary military counter measures and train in war theaters in other countries. Handlers succeeded even arranging parity of status to the LTTE on par with the democratically elected GoSL at peace carnivals at various exotic locations, without even a peep of a protest from the legally elected administration at that time! Hostilities between the GoSL and the LTTE escalated to facilitate a regime change at the legislature of the natives. Thus paving the way for a formal 'ceasefire' specifically weighted in favor of the LTTE.

Duly elected queen of the natives at that time, publicly pout complaining her childhood playmate had secretly signed a Cease Fire Agreement - CFA without her knowledge, to intentionally bamboozle the natives. And she did just that for quite some time! The CFA, among other things created an exclusive fiefdom for fun & frolics of a group of terrorists. Presumably, human rights or the aspirations of the natives living in the area given to the terrorists were non issues for either the handlers or to those who sang hosannas about the CFA. Transformation of the Liberation Tigers of Thamil Eelam, to LTTE International Inc. occurred during this period. Handlers appointed Norwegians as the official mediator between GoSL and the LTTE and also as official monitors of the CFA. In simple language, the Norwegian 'monitors' were deployed to ensure that the LTTE would securely entrench it self in the land granted to it.

Project carefully crafted by the handlers for over 30 years gutted by the Boxing Day tsunami of ‘2004. One could compare response times for foreign naval assets which rushed to 'assist' during this tragedy to similar response during the carnage caused by hurricane Katrina to inhabitants of New Orleans in the US. Fact that, there were a few covert missions initiated by foreign naval/intelligence operators who made a bee-line to engage in post tsunami humanitarian missions in the Tsunami ravaged land of the natives is not well known. Presumably, handlers needed verification about some important fact, in the aftermath of the Boxing Day Tsunami.

Late Laxman Kadirgamer grasped this reality to deploy well honed diplomatic skills of this illustrious native to good use. A slew of proscriptions follows in many nations, shutting down entrenched operations of LTTE International Inc. whose nefarious activity were tacitly ignored by respective security agencies for decades. No doubt many could recall the spectacle of Richard Armitage and others descending here to literally shake their fists issuing dire threats to the LTTE in front of media! Utter frustration no doubt!!

Second tsunami for the handlers arrived during Nov '2005. One and a half years later, morphed from a largely ceremonial organization a few decades ago, current incarnation of SLDF convincingly demonstrated, determined professional capability that far exceeded operational templates cooked up for them by the handlers. However, it is quite evident that handlers have not given up yet on their decades old project.

Even though lofty ideals such as respect & honor to elders, sensitivity & respect to nature, proper livelihood, respect to each other etc. have been deeply inculcated in the psyche of the natives from very ancient times, some visitors from materialistic western hemisphere appear to think otherwise. One such example is the Mossad agent who worked with SLDF who appear to have spoken his mind, characterizing the natives as “...those who have recently come down from the trees...” in a book he had written. The good gentlemen referred to at the beginning of this essay appear to have uttered similar sentiment but of course greased with a lot of diplomatic finesse! Such derisive holier that thou comments aside, these two gentlemen are trying to say something to the natives. Now, what could that be ?

- Asian Tribune -

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