Sri Lanka's victory may offer lessons
Mark Magnier Reporting from New Delhi
May 22, 2009
Sri Lanka's victory this week after a 25-year battle against the Tamil Tiger rebels represents a rare success story for governments that are fighting insurgencies.
Even as leaders in Colombo declared a national holiday and citizens danced in the streets, military planners and analysts around the world have begun scrutinizing the war for lessons on how to fight Al Qaeda, the Taliban and other militant groups.
For more than two decades in the conflict in Sri Lanka, neither side was strong enough to overcome the other. That changed three years ago, when the army adopted more mobile tactics, overhauled its intelligence system, promoted young commanders and steadily hemmed in one of the world's most ruthless and innovative rebel movements.
At its peak, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, as the rebels are formally known, controlled one-third of the country, had their own army, a sizable navy and nascent air force, and served as a role model for insurgencies worldwide with their pioneering use of suicide vests and female suicide bombers. This week, the army displayed in triumph what it said was the portly, bullet-riddled body of Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran in his signature fatigues.
Mark Magnier however, forgot to comment on the forcibly conscripted LTTE child soldiers who were used as cannon fodder. Like teaching the world's terrorists the art of suicide bombing, Prabhakaran could also be marked as the first in this field too.
The LTTE though called rebels by Magnier, were never rebels. These was no rebellion in Sri Lanka. They were down and out terrorists who were recognized as a terrorist organization by over 30 countries and banned. They killed Tamils, Sinhalese, Muslim, Malays and anybody else who got in their way.
It is now time for the super powers and their "yes" countries to take a lesson from the Sri Lankan Forces to eliminate Al Quaida, Taliban and many for terrorist organizations in the world.