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Sri Lankan Model for Fighting Terrorism – GroundReport

[MISC, Wednesday, 20 October 2010 09:42 One Comment]

Developing countries with the problem of terrorism can learn several lessons from the recent military victory in Sri Lanka. The three decades of conflict in Sri Lanka ended with the defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE) by Sri Lankan military. Sri Lanka applied a new strategy to fight terrorism, leading to the military success. Other Developing countries with the problem of terrorism can follow Sri Lankan model to fight terrorism.

LTTE Terrorism

Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE) started an armed struggle against Sri Lankan government demanding a separate state for Tamil speaking people in North and East of Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan government rejected the concept of separate state for Tamil, and the fighting continued for almost three decades. The conflict ended with the elimination of LTTE top leadership, including LTTE leader Mr Prabhakaran.

LTTE was one of the most ruthless terrorist organizations in the world. It had an effective international network, financial strength, and highly committed carders. They have the capacity to conduct sea, land and air battle. They maintained a de-facto government in one third of Sri Lanka. They also received the support of international communities. Many analysts believed that LTTE could not be defeated.

There were several factors that contribute to the government victory over LTTE terrorism. One of the Major contributory factors was the political leadership of President Rajapaksha. Unlike previous presidents, who did not believe in military victory, President Rajapaksha had the confidence to defeat LTTE militarily. He came to power with the promise of peace with dignity as oppose to the peace at any cost. Political leadership spearheaded the military success.

Military Victory

Military too changed their military strategy under the leadership of Gotabay Rajapaksha, Secretary to Ministry of Defense. Military used small groups to penetrate deep into the rebel held territory and conducted operations. In addition, Armed forces conducted operation in several fronts simultaneously to prevent LTTE’s ability from concentrating force. It also brought modern technology to battle field and doubled the military strength. The new military strategy immensely contributed to battle field success.

The military also used media effectively as ever before. They used media to inform battle progress to public. Several journalists from media went to the battle front to report unfolding of battle; they provided a complete coverage of the battle to public. The media campaign boosted public support for the military operations.

Government also successfully handled the international and the diplomatic relations. The pro LTTE media and organization attempted to stop military operations through international pressure. But the government successfully managed to defeat international pressure by maintaining a friendly diplomatic relations with the international community. Sri Lankan government managed to find new international friends who supported military effort. It also maintained a good relation with Indian government, whose support was vital for military success.

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One Comment »

  • Jay Pathbey said:

    A well written but precise analysis of the correct way to fight modern terrorism. What the government of Sri Lanka should have also done was to search thoroughly all Sinhalese, Tamil, Moors and Burgher travellers out of Sri Lanka by sea. air or by fishing vessels as to their true identity. Would have helped Canada, Australia, UK, US and New Zealand to prevent all these economic refugees and ex-LTTE cadres running away and asking for asylem. Also to ask these countries for a complete list of asylem seekers and tag them when they enter Sri Lanka and stop them from entering Sri Lanka. After all if anyone leaves Sri Lanka because of fabricated or otherwise stories of brutality let them stay out of this Island Paradise. Those who love Sri Lanka should be allowed to return to in Sri Lanka. After all one should not be allowed to have the best of both worlds. JP/USA