I have been glued to internet media channels and Twitter since yesterday morning to hear the end of LTTE and Prabhakaran. As the media was regugitating the same story over and over combining it with propaganda from pro-LTTE websites and old information from the UN and others, my frustration continued to grow. I came to the conclusion that the only way to get to the bottom of this story is to actually speak to the Sri Lankan Army.
Around 12:30 hrs UK time on Sunday the 17th May 2009, I telephoned one of my school friends from Sri Lanka, an Army Commanding Officer. He spoke to me about 2kms from the current battle zone. We spoke about the on-going battle and I shared with him how it is viewed by the British poiliticians and the media.
Fighting has not stopped as reported by the media. Yes, the coast line has been liberated as reported. He reckon that there are still about 1000 hardcore fighters left. The cornered group has fought fiercedly yesterday resulting in breaking the group to two, one headed by Prabhakaran’s son, Charles Anthony closer to the coast line and the other near to the lagoon.
He was not able to confirm whether Prabhakaran has been captured or killed. He reported about the diffcult terrain they are facing and seems to have great respect for LTTE’s ability to continue fighting against a well trained and supplied armed force. Just finding way around seems to be difficult due to the land full of shrubs, marshi lands and trees.
Whilst there was so much to speak, I did not really want to take too much of his time, as he has a battle to win. He could not also understand why the media and British politicians are so against eradicating terrorism from Sri Lanka. The only conclusion I can draw is that Labour MPs are scared of loosing votes due to the large Tamil population in the UK.
So what is next? The belief is that the remaining land will be liberated over the next couple of days, as almost all civilians have now been rescued by the Armed forces. I asked about the Channel 4 allegations about the rapes and killings. And this is what he had to say:
Sri Lankan army is a professional army. We are all Sri Lankans. The devastation caused by LTTE over the years is very hard to take in. The Army genuinely been active in saving everyone they could. People rescued by the Army include women and children and the sick and some of them walking with very severe wounds with infestations. Soldiers just want to help them.
Whilst my thoughts were similar, he was the first to say that the real battle starts after defeating the LTTE. Everything has to be rebuilt requiring a mammoth investment. Whilst Tamils, Sinhalease and Muslims live peacefully in the rest of the country, first the land has to be de-mined, infrastructre and houses built, before civilians can be allowed to return to their towns and villages.
The sooner we finish with Prabhakaran and his LTTE, the better for Sri Lankans and the humanity.