by Mohammed NAALIR
Displacement has severely affected the livelihood and proper education of Muslims. Greatest attention should be paid to improve the education standards of the displaced Muslim children, a survey conducted by All Ceylon Muslim Education Conference revealed.
It said, the education standards of the Muslims which was at a peak was brought to zero due to refugee life and the insufficient economy.
Even-though they represented only five per cent in the North compared to the Tamils they were part and parcel in the education and other sectors.
Unfortunately, the Muslims in the North were ordered by the LTTE to evacuate their homes and villages in two hours in some areas in Jaffna and most of other places the deadline to evacuate their villages was 48 hours.
Those who left with empty hands sought refuge in public buildings and IDP camps depending on the dry rations given by the Government. Due to this tragic situation the well established education system of Northern Muslims collapsed.
As there is no more terrorism in this prevailing peaceful situation the forcibly evicted Muslim community of North got a chance to go back to their original lands after nearly 20 years.
Before the displacement, the Muslims in the North had their own educational institutions. Most of the Muslim settlements had formal and secular educational institutions such as Government and private schools. Classes were available in those education bodies at various levels from primary level to GCE (A/L). The Muslim Children of the North received education in Non-Muslim schools. Muslims of the North benefitted through formal educational institutions of their own and were able-to upgrade their standards.
Apart from formal education system there were several informal educational institutions belonging to Muslims including Islamic education and Arabic learning institutions.
Displacement caused many negative impacts on the Muslims of the North including a declining level of education. There were a number of reasons for the drop of displaced Muslims’ education.
The change of the living environment after the displacement, housing the displaced people in refugee camps in a small area without enough fundamental facilities and poverty caused due to unemployment among displaced families were other factors.
At the very outset the displaced persons were housed in public buildings with the facilities available in the common places. This situation lasted for several months. The camps were located in isolated places they were far from the public facilities of schools, hospitals and other important facilities. As the camps were overcrowded the students unfortunately missed the chance for education as they were compelled to obtain education in the nearby schools located close to their refugee camps.
As the displaced people were depending on Government’s dry rations to feed the family it was insufficient to cater to the entire family. So the displaced Muslim children were compelled to indulge in labour on a daily wage basis to meet their daily expenditure. The parents were also financially weak to meet the cost of their children’s education.
The vicious poverty cycle caused due to the displacement exerted an immense impact on the education of the displaced Muslim children. The majority of displaced Muslims are from Puttalam where they have lived for 17 years. These children received education in schools closer to their dwellings located in Kalpitiya Divisional Secretariat Division.
The survey reveals that nearly 60 per cent of the displaced Muslims are living in the Puttalam District. Thirty per cent of the displaced Muslim children are getting education in the schools located in Puttalam Divisional Secretariat Division.
The Government with a view of catering to the education needs of the displaced Muslim children constructed three schools where a majority of the displaced Muslims live.
Meanwhile, Resettlement and Disaster Relief Services Minister Rishad Badiudeen also opened five schools up to grade five in places where the majority of displaced Muslims live.
The displaced Muslim Children in Anuradhapura, Kurunegala and other districts are in a disadvantageous position as they live away from towns.
According to the survey 240 displaced Muslim children have stopped education in Alankuda area in Kalpitiya.Vacancies prevail for 500 teachers, according to the student-teacher ratio only 240 teacher appointments have been made in Puttalam District where most of the teacher vacancies are found in primary classes.
Newly built shops in the Eravur Main Street market owned by the Eravur Pradeshiya Sabha, has been illegally occupied by some Sinhala businessmen without any formal regulations. Sources reveal that this has been carried out with the help of the Eravur Police. The Eravur Pradeshya Sabha (PS) has filed a case in the court against this since the police have failed and neglected to entertain the complaint of the PS. This market remained abandoned due to failure of several attempts at rebuilding it after it was damaged during the war.
A request has been made recently by the Eravur Pradeshya Sabha to the Chief Minister to take steps to renovate the market and resume business activities in it. At this time 10-15 Sinhalese businessmen have repaired some of the shops in the market and occupied it without permission from the Pradeshiya Sabha.
Before the 1987 Tamils, Muslims and Sinhalese were doing their business in this market for many years. It had registered 72 businessmen (72 shops). In 1987, Sinhalese were expelled by the terrorism. Therefore Tamils and Muslims resumed their business in the market. But in 1990, the market was destroyed due to the terrorism and business activities were also totally abandoned.
Several attempts made thereafter for re-opening the market failed due to the volatile security situation and even an attempts made during the 2002 Ceasefire period also failed due to lack of funds. This illegal and unlawful occupation of the shops by scotters with the conivance of the police have shocked the people of the area.
It is noted that there is another market which is situated in Punnakkuda Road, Eravur has been functioning from 1990 till today. This market belongs to Eravur Jummah mosque and it was rented by the Eravur town Pradeshya sabha.
Eravur PS has promissed to allocate few shops to Sinhala people considering the past history. Nevertheless, the said illegal occupation has taken place on the day of the 28th November early morning, on Hadj festival day.
The Sri Lankan Campus of the Nizhny Novgorod State Medical Academy have received over 100 applications for 100 vacancies in its second intake, Dr. Neville Fernando who facilitated the establishment of the new private medical college in Malabe in collaboration with the Nizhny Novgorod University of Russia said yesterday. “We have over 100 applications for 100 vacancies and we will select the best, Dr. Neville Fernando said. Interviews will commence today. Dr. Fernando, however, said they would continue to accept applications for the second intake till January 10 as they wanted to select the best.
“The first batch is extremely good and intelligent. Most of them have As and Bs in the London exams. One girl has come first in the island. I am proud of the students, and I am thankful to the international schools that produced them,” said Dr. Fernando when referring to the academic achievements of the first batch. When asked whether the University has a scholarship scheme to help those poor but bright students, Fernando said that they don’t offer 100% scholarships.
The degree is a five-year course. It is an MD offered by Nizhny Novgorod University of Russia. At the very beginning of the course, students must learn Russian and Latin, even though the course is conducted in English at Malabe and at Nizhny Novgorod. This is necessary since students have to interact with others in Russia and understand the medical terminology.
“I am very happy that I have the support of the medical profession and the Medical Faculty teachers. I have no complaints or regrets,” said Dr. Fernando. He also confirmed that when it comes to facilities there is nothing lacking. “Pre-clinicals will commence in September 2010,” added Dr. Fernando
Students are selected on the criteria fixed by the University Grants Commission. The entry requirements for being admitted are three passes in physics, biology and chemistry at the local A/levels or three passes in physics, biology and chemistry at the London Oxford A/levels.
The Malabe Medical college has an academic staff of 30 lecturers and professors and is a BOI registered company. Nearly 70% of the lecturers at Malabe are locals while the balance 30% are foreigners. The degree is recognised both in Sri Lanka and abroad. And the degree which is a MD is higher than a MBBS. Dr. Fernando said that the third intake will be from September 2010. The Sri Lankan Campus of the Nizhny Novgorod State Medical Academy is situated at the South Asian Institute of Technology and Management (SAITM), Millennium Drive, Malabe.“The Sri Lanka Medical Council cannot monitor the progress of our faculty till the gazetted legislation on minimum standards is passed by Parliament. However, we maintain our standards according to the gazette notification,” concluded Dr. Fernando.
A Marxist group of Tamil militants with connections to the Palestinian Liberation Organisation and Cuba is preparing to mount a new insurgency in Sri Lanka six months after the government declared an end to the 26-year-old war. The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) was founded in eastern Sri Lanka four months ago and has vowed to launch attacks against government and military targets unless its demands for a separate Tamil homeland are met.
“This war isn’t over yet,” Commander Kones, head of the PLA’s Eastern District military command, said during a night meeting in a safe house in the east of the country last week.
“There has been no solution for Tamils since the destruction of the LTTE [Tamil Tigers] in May. So we have built and organised the PLA and are ready to act soon. Our aim is a democratic socialist liberation of the northeast for a Tamil Eelam [the desired Tamil state].”
Kones, a nom de guerre, claimed that the PLA had 300 active members and expected to recruit 5,000 volunteers from the 280,000 Tamil civilians recently freed from detention camps.
He said that the PLA, commanded by a ten-man committee, was an entirely separate organisation from the LTTE, but said that former LTTE cadres would be able to join the organisation provided that they swore their allegiance to the PLA’s political aims.
“There are former LTTE members in the PLA now,” he said. “But the LTTE was an extremist organisation that fought only for itself rather than the people’s needs.
“It is totally destroyed now and I don’t worry about it. We are socialist ideologues and we are trying to draw different Tamil groups together for a people’s struggle, a people’s war.”
Although the PLA’s capabilities remain unclear, it includes in its ranks several experienced insurgents who fought against the government forces in Sri Lanka in the 1980s before falling foul of the LTTE and either leaving the country or becoming dormant.
Commander Kones, now in his forties, had himself been given guerrilla training at a camp in Uttar Pradesh, India, in 1983, where his trainers included fighters from the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO).“We still have a relationship with the PLO, as well as Cuba and Indian Maoist groups,” he said.
“They fight for their rights just as we do.”
During later action against government forces in eastern Sri Lanka he was imprisoned and tortured, before escaping from the country to live in Europe.
The threat of an aspiring new Tamil insurgent group comes at a complicated time for the Sri Lankan authorities.The unified image that accompanied their decisive victory over the Tamil Tigers in May has been eroded. The architect of that victory, General Sarath Fonseka, has become embroiled in a political scrap with the incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa as both men vie for a presidential election victory next month.
Their rivalry could split the vote of the Sinhalese majority, offering the swing vote to the country’s Tamil minority, who have yet to declare their political allegiance.
A new round of violence during this period could have a dramatic reversal on efforts to stabilise the country.
“We are much more politically skilled than the LTTE ever were and know how to avoid the ‘terrorist’ label that they acquired,” Kones said.
“Our enemy is simply the government here, and we fight just for Tamil rights. We are not against the international community,” he said. “Indeed, we want them to support us in pressurising the Sri Lankan Government.”
Kones said that he had no intention of trying to emulate the Tigers’ style of warfare, but suggested a more asymmetric strategy involving attacks by widely dispersed PLA cells. However, he added that his targets would include economic and administrative centres, as well as military forces.
Other PLA insiders said that one of their likely first fights would be with groups of former LTTE cadres led by the infamous Colonel Karuna. Karuna split from the LTTE ranks in 2004 and later joined the Government, but still holds influence in eastern Sri Lanka.
“We are getting stronger by the day, much stronger than any other group,” Kones said. “The day of action is close.”
A few nights after meeting Commander Kones, deep in a rural area, The Times encountered three young PLA recruits waiting for a guide to take them to one of the organisation’s jungle training camps.
Two were 15 years old, one was 16. “The PLA sound very interesting to us,” they said. “They are the only ones now doing something for the Tamil people.”
Theirs was not, however, a pervading sentiment. Shattered by their experiences in the war zones this year, depressed by their subsequent incarceration in detention camps, few Tamils expressed any great enthusiasm for a return to war.
“I’m not interested in Eelam,” Raja Muragaswaran, 31, who was released from a camp last month, said.
“I lost everything that I had ever worked for in the name of Eelam. How many died for Eelam, and all for what? We just want peace.”
Times on line
by M.Shamil mohamed
20 years back Muslims in Jaffna lived a satisfactory life in terms of peace of mind ,wealth, they were well-off in running business and were self sufficient , they were 10 % in Jaffna city limits dominating MC -municipal council sometime as mayor and sometime deputy mayor of Jaffna municipality , According to department of Muslim religious and cultural affairs there were 17 mosques in Jaffna but according to prominent Muslim scholar there were 21 mosques, Muslims were 5% in the Northern Province. They were engaged in trade, teaching and skilled trades like tailoring, etc. The Jaffna Muslims were lived four densely populated wards of the Jaffna Municipality. Moor streets, and New moor streets (Bommaively) ,Town mosque street ( here streets are not justa a street but name of densely populated wards) and bhora place were their areas.
Former civil servant and Zahira Principal AMA Azeez, Supreme Court Judge Andul Cader, Appeal Court Judge MM Jameel. Education Director Munsoor etc being some leading lights of the Jaffna Muslims. There were deputy – mayor , Municipal Councillors and Abusalai hajiyar, MMC Basheer , sulthan ,and were mayor , deputy – mayor and acting mayor of Jaffna. after Ethnic Cleansing of Jaffna Muslims in October 1990 They were reduced to begging Total population of Jaffna Muslims were evicted out of northern Sri Lanka when the LTTE widely started ethnic cleansing of Muslims in north and east of Sri Lanka in 1990, killing scores of Muslims, looting their homes, taking over their farmlands and attacking places of worship.
According to Wikipedia The first eviction was in Chavakacheri, of 1,500 Muslims After this, Muslims in Kilinochchi and Mannar were forced to leave their homeland. The turn of Jaffna came on October 30, 1990.
One hundred thousands of Muslims forced to leave their homes, has been living in camps for nearly two decades. Some 18000 thousand Muslims are living in the Puttalam camps among them 30000 thousand are Jaffna Muslims .
“Jaffna Muslims were left with no option when the LTTE came and asked them to leave within two hours at gunpoint. or face death, all of them were evicted They were later branded as informers, traitor , conspirators by LTTE and LTTE supports. before the eviction of Jaffna Muslims, the LTTE was busy to create a plot against Muslims more than 50 were put in LTTE jail which was called “no escape no return” , many Muslim youth were put to death, in Jaffna. there were some Muslim LTTE members they too were disarmed before the eviction ,among them were second lieutenant Rafi, and Hazaal, Imthiyas, all of them were put in LTTE jail later killed , when LTTE ordered Muslims to exit there were less than 1500 Muslim only in Jaffna , all of them were old men and women , Childers and disabled, The rest of Jaffna Muslim population already left Jaffna because of LTTE bombardment on Muslim areas, LTTE started launching shells on Muslim area from 07.10.1990 and kidnapping Muslim youth all those started to happening before LTTE started the brutal eviction, Then the well planed eviction -Ethnic cleansing was on October 30, 1990 when all remaining Muslims in Jaffna were ordered to assemble to Osmania college’s play ground and well known LTTE leader Anjaneyar or elamparuthy ordered all of them to leave the city within two hours. They were only allowed to carry 50 rupees each , and take with them only the clothes and slippers they were wearing on. The LTTE looted almost all possessions in the Muslim houses. Many houses were stripped off tiles, wooden frames, doors, windows, etc.
Muslim’s Lands Forcibly Occupied by the LTTE after Ethnic Cleansing of Jaffna Muslims in October 1990 are 1256 lands, Muslim Residential Houses Destroyed by the LTTE are 1,391 Houses, valued Rs.497,859,750.00, according to the People’s Secretariat report in 1990 , Muslims Properties Robbed by LTTE were 2,430 robberies, valued Rs. 694,607,633.00 according to the People’s Secretariat report in 1990 ,total Muslim population in Jaffna municipal area was more than 15 thousands in 4800 families now they are doubled in number , According to the People’s Secretariat 7200 jaffna muslim families are living in 28 camps in puttlam
This was the most notorious act, ever memorable and never forgettable painful memory of Jaffna Muslims.
years 2006 rehabilitation ministry had initiated a project to rehabilitate 18,240 northern Muslim families living under inhuman conditions in these camps, six hundred houses under the project have been handed over to manner families and another 600 are getting ready.. As the LTTE intimidation is over, most of these Muslims want to return to their native towns evicted by the LTTE, resettlement process already started for Tamil IDPs, the resettlement process is in slow progress for muslims in mannar , vavuniya but Jaffna and kilinochi Muslims feel abandoned as blindfolded in a desert , Forcibly evicted Jaffna and kilinochi muslim since 1990 that they have been abandoned in camps who are still living in an uncertain life in inhuman, The negligence and the inattention in handling Muslim IDPs problems is caused by the non-existence of special political decision as law that can be used as guidelines in handling Muslim IDPs. Jaffna Muslim IDPs who they are still living in an uncertain life with uncertainty, and disappointment,
Muslim Diaspora should take care of this matter of Muslim IDPs in common and particularly Jaffna and Kilinochi Muslims IDPs they feel their voice was muted , their eyes were blindfolded , and they abandoned in a desert .
كُنتُمْ خَيْرَ أُمَّةٍ أُخْرِجَتْ لِلنَّاسِ تَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَتَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَتُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللّهِ وَلَوْ آمَنَ أَهْلُ الْكِتَابِ لَكَانَ خَيْرًا لَّهُم مِّنْهُمُ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ وَأَكْثَرُهُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ
Ye are the best of peoples, evolved for mankind, enjoining what is right, forbidding what is wrong, and believing in Allah. If only the People of the Book had faith, it were best for them: among them are some who have faith, but most of them are perverted transgressors.-3:110
By Noor Nizam
The announcement made by Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa that there is no room for a re-merger of the North and East provinces as a political geographical land mass entity and human settlement in Sri Lanka is a reality of contemporary politics in Sri Lanka . The president said this to editors N Vithiyatharan of Sudar Oli and Devaraj of Virakesari at a breakfast meeting with the heads of media institutions on the 25th., of November, in Colombo this week.
Rajapaksa ruled out north-east re-merger and said the merger of the two provinces had been a demand of the LTTE and there was no question of entertaining it now.
The President Rajapaksa was echoing the same political stand he took while attending the special cabinet meeting at Temple Trees on September 1997 that was called by then president Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunghe to discuss the devolution of power proposals.
Rajapaksa said to the editors that he had to keep in mind the interest of the Muslims, who, he said, were in a majority in the Eastern Province , and who, as such, would not be happy to be merged with the Tamil-majority.
The Muslims of Sri Lanka and especially of the Eastern Province thank Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa for ruling out the North-East re-merger and declaring his decision publicly through the media representative with whom the President had a cordial breakfast meeting.
The two provinces, which were united following the India-Sri Lankan Accord of 1987, were de-merged by a Supreme Court decision based on technical grounds in 2006.
Political analysts and Muslim academics have more than once highlighted the perils of the Muslims of the Eastern province. Muslim politicians have stressed the situation of the Muslim majority in the East, with no avail for any consideration, both during the presidency of late JR. Jayawardene and Madam Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunghe.
Colombo’s elite Muslim politicians who have treated the Eastern Muslims in a step-motherly manner, have argued the point that in the entire Eastern Province the Muslim population was around 30 per cent, but only 12 per cent of them lived in the Eastern Province. In the runner-up to the “Devolution of Power proposals (many forms were on the table), the late Hon. Ashraff’s called for a separate South-Eastern Council which was challenged by Cabinet colleague A. H. M. Fowzie at that time.
The de-merger by a degree of the laws courts of Sri Lanka in 2006 enabled the government of Mr.Mahinda Rajapaksa to call for provincial elections. The Rajapakse regime has multi-lateral objectives towards the Eastern province. With the popularity of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, the Colombo Muslim elites reached out to the Eastern Muslims as their brethren in a very honorable manner. Understanding and UNITY is now strength for advocacy of the “Muslim Factor”.
The Eastern Province is now a separate Province for all administrative and political over view. Secondly, there was a need for an intensive military campaign to be waged to drive away the LTTE from the territory it controlled in the East. The East was the shore of the setting of the sun “Paduvaankarai” as referred to by Tamil writers who believed in the theory of a Tamil Eelam. For the government, making this “Paduvaankarai” free from the clutches of the LTTE was important.
But the East has vast natural resources like ilmenite (used for nuclear energy), silicon dioxide (used for making glass), sea weeds (for use in pharmaceutical products), fishery resources and the development of tourism which are a few to name. A comprehensive plan to develop and exploit these resources would be of great political and socio-economic stability to the government and to the upliftment of the Eastern province population who had been pushed to extreme poverty since independence. Added to this was the dominating attitude of the Northern Tamils, who considered the Eastern Tamils as second class citizens, a norm that was seen by the infiltration and dominance of all public service positions and the control of the business and private sector segment of the East by Northern Tamils. The Eastern Muslims were also battered by this unethical practice of the Northerners. This was also a reason for Karuna Amman to break away in March 2004 from Prabaharan and helped the government forces to clear the East from the LTTE presence. The government as a result the demerger, called for an Eastern provincial council election which took place on May 10, 2008 to elect members to the new Council.
Thanks to the peculiarities of the proportionate representation voting system more Muslims than Tamils were elected as Eastern provincial councilors. 18 of the 35 elected councilors were Muslims. Of these eight were in government ranks. Only ten of the
elected councilors were Tamils. Of these only six were from the TMVP. But the biggest loss was for the Muslims when they lost “lock stock and barrel’ the possibility of having a Muslims Chief Minister of the Eastern Provincial Council. Was this due to petty selfish regional politics or political selfishness and greed for positions by neglecting the overall benefits to the Muslims in the East or due to the failure of political “CUEMANSHIP” by a certain Muslim political leader? Failed political strategy could be a better analysis of this disaster that the Muslims of the Eastern Province will have to live with until the next Provincial Council elections, to get our legitimate rightful “Representative brokerage political leadership Chief Minister of the Eastern Province”.
So what is all this about the re-merger of the North East a time when the citizens are deeply contemplating about the presidential elections that has been announced?
Political analysis clearly indicate that the forces that they be, still supporting an unreasonable political resolution to the realities of the Sri Lankan ethnic conflict, even in the defeat of the LTTE on May the 17t., are still manipulating their visions for consideration in the political play ground at this Presidential Elections too. The so-called minority Tamil speaking political parties/representatives gathering in Zurich, the International West against the GSP+, the UN cry for HR and concerns about the IDP’s in the Wanni and the instigations of the Tamil diasporas in the West to come down to the streets in protest and now pitching the best General against the President, are some of the methods that has been adopted to bring pressure on Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa to bow down to the forces that are detrimental to the wellbeing and prosperity of a Nation so small, but ever determined to move forward, what may come, to be another developed Nation. It is sad that Sri Lankans of the caliber of the leader of the opposition and a group of unpatriotic politicians have joined to covertly support these enemies of Sri Lanka .
Talking to the President Mahinda Rajapaksa in a covert manner, even through journalistic questions at a breakfast meeting is a strategy adopted by the UNF to deprive the legitimate Muslim Chief Minister of the Muslims in the future, by trying to influence the Government to make a promise of a re-merger, suggesting that it will bring the Tamil votes from the UNF to President Rajapaksa and to pitch the Muslims of the Eastern Province against the President.
The Muslims of Sri Lanka and especially of the Eastern Province thank the President Mahinda Rajapaksa for ruling out the North-East re-merger and declaring his decision publicly through the media representative with whom the President had a cordial breakfast meeting.
The writer was a former SLFP District Organizer for Trincomalee District for a long time and later SLMC, Deputy District Organizer Trincomalee.
By Noor Nizam
Now that there is a presidential election declared, who will win is the question in the minds of the electorate of Sri Lanka , be it the Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims and or all others who have the right of franchise in Sri Lanka , the right to vote. Respecting the political trend and analysing the build-up of all political/governance issues facing the Nation since the presidential elections of 2005, what ever may come, Mahinda Rajapaksa will win again. Mahinda Rajapaksa has proven himself as a statesman who can withstand and overcome any challenges both nationally and internationally, even in adverse situation and polarize the trust of the people and the Nation. The pity of Sri Lankan politics in the present scenario is just petty selfishness and greed of some of the national politicians, to be dreaming to sit in the chair of President, PM or Executive PM who have now grouped themselves to lead an opposition. They are not the least bothered about the progress and prosperity of the nation at large and the people in general, be they Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, Burgers or others.
Why this political presidential election question has arisen today in the history of Sri Lankan, when peace and prosperity has begun to blossom in the little island of Serendipity since may 17th., 2009, where the terrorist have been eradicated and the war against terrorism won. Sri Lanka winning he war against terrorism was never even in the thoughts of the mighty USA , the UK , France , Israel , Germany , and Russia that Sri Lanka would ever win this war. Even the Irish, the Norwegians, the Swedes and South Africa , believing in the potential of the might of the LTTE, now only proven as the paper tiger it was, believed that little Sri Lankan had no way other than coming to books with the international community and the INGO and NGO brokers to share the land of Serendipity under ceasefire and peace accords for devolved governance in the future. Nevertheless, countries like India, Pakistan, Iran and the Maldives did believe, that if the government of Mahinda Rajapaksa was given the help needed, in whatever way possible, the war against terrorism can and will be defeated in Sri Lanka.
For the so-called international community’s security forces that has challenged the Cheneyan rebels in Russia, the Maoists in Nepal, Hamas and Hizballah fighters in Palestine, Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias in Colombia, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine in Gaza, Lashkar-e-Tayyiba in Kashmir, Krudistan Workers Party in Kurdistan, Al Qaida in Iraq, Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia and the Bhabbar Kalsa (Sikhs movement) in India, what the Sri Lankan security forces achieved in defeating the LTTE over a period of three and a half years, since Mahinda Rajapaksa assumed office, as the President in 2005, was unbelievable. This was an arms conflict that was going on for 3 decades where even the Indians lost around 1000 peace keeping forces fighting the LTTE.
Then what was the miracle that made the Sri Lankan security forces to make such a victory over the world’s most ruthless and well-armed terrorist organization in the world?
The LTTE was a terror organization in operation since 1983. They had thousands of military trained cadres and ran their own military training camps both in the jungles of the East and Northern regions of Sri Lanka . They were privy to the most lethal sophisticated military hardware, workshops to manufacture indigenous explosive devices and bombs not second to the ones built in ammunition factories of the west and operated a fleet of rouge merchant vessels that brought in all required supplies, whatever the maritime barricades the nation’s legitimate navy employed.
News items, video clippings, photographs, digital images released both by the local news media and international news correspondents covering the conflict zones have recorded the vast amounts of arsenal and military hardware the LTTE had at its disposal, hidden in the jungles to fight the conventional Sri Lankan security forces who faced so much resistance that many thousand soldiers had to pay a supreme sacrifice to save the nation from the ruthless terror group. The Army media unit confirmed the presence of these arsenal in the hands of the LTTE and the international media published photographs of many of the arsenal captured by the security forces from the LTTE or left behind in the Wanni when they were fleeing during the last stages of the battles in March, April and May 2009.
Among the many things President Mahinda Rajapaksa mentioned during the elections campaign in 2005, was that the government will fight against the LTTE terrorism and free the Sri Lankan citizens, specially the Tamils from the claws of the LTTE tiger. On winning, he revamped the Army with the induction of his brother younger brother Lt. Colonel Gotabhaya Rajapaksa as the Secretary Defence. The President ensured the necessary funds to update the war machinery with new and modern military hardware and resources. The international diplomacy that was put in place to enable countries like Pakistan, Iran, China, USA, UK, Israel and India supply required military items and materials to support Sri Lanka in its war against terrorism as planned and implemented by the Ministry of Defence, was an approach of accomodative diplomacy, but also realistic in it’s approach, giving priority for the nation to find an indigenous resolution to the issue.This approach enabled Sri Lankan security forces to obtain even the best radar system to track down low flying objects and high speed watercrafts from Canada, a nation that was more biased towards the LTTE, due to the presence of the largest Tamil population living outside Sri Lanka. In addition, the human resource capacity of fighting soldiers were increased with more recruitment and training. But the biggest strength President Mahinda Rajapaksa gave this national cause was harnessing the fullest backing and the support of the people, be they Sinhalese, moderate Tamils, Muslims or Burghers, free of political party loyalties, behind the forces.
Yet, the man of the hour was Lt. Colonel Gotabhaya Rajapaksa who played the pivotal role by coordinating the matters with Army, Navy, Air Force, Police and Civil Defence Forces and giving vision to the political thoughts of the President by striking a balance between patriotism and nationalism. This enabled Army, Navy, Air Force, Police and Civil Defence Forces to contribute the very best towards making the victory of the fight against the LTTE a success and victory for the Nation of Sri Lanka on May the 17th., 2009.
It was the partnership and the well coordinated efforts of this endeavour that was indeed the miracle that made the Sri Lankan security forces to make such a victory over the world’s most ruthless and well-armed terrorist organization in the world.
If that be so, then again the principles of this victory will definitely be radiated in the forth coming presidential elections. There is no doubt that, as a result, what ever may come, Mahinda Rajapaksa will win again.
Let me stress at this point that there are definitely many issues that concern the Sri Lankan Muslim Community, both in the North, North Eastern and South of Sri Lanka and in general that of the Muslim Community. The issues of the IDP’s in Puttlam specially and in general in the East and the land issues in the Eastern Province , specially in the Ampara District are of priority. It is my opinion that the Sri Lankan Muslim Community should support MR, who is a strong candidate and a good political leader to WIN in this election. We should NOT be subjected to deception again by the UNP or UNF, as we were taken for a ride on the Peace Process by Ranil and the Norwegians which is one of the many good examples to remember. I was one of those who strived hard since 1977 and then worked closely with the Chandrika government and Mangala Samaraweera’s “SUDU NELUM” movement since 1995 to bring about PEACE in Sri Lanka . The Devolution of Power proposals were sabotaged by certain selfish politicians and academics, including, and as a result of the “deceptive politics” of Mr. Mangala Samaraweera.
History should not repeat to the minorities.