Sri Lanka celebrated the second anniversary of its victory in the humanitarian operation which rescued over half a million people from the jaws of LTTE terror and eradicated terrorism.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who was the chief guest at Friday`s Victory Day celebrations, emblazoned that we, as a nation, could solve our internal problems and that Sri Lanka has demonstrated this in no uncertain terms to the entire world.
The manner in which Sri Lanka showed the world that terrorism could be eradicated was an eye-opener and moreover, a classic example to one and all. Sri Lanka had several friendly countries which sincerely supported its battle against terrorism and this indeed was a tower of strength for President Rajapaksa`s indomitable political leadership.
Had it not been for President Rajapaksa`s far-sighted vision and the right military strategies of Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Sri Lanka would never have achieved this magnificent victory. Though some countries and a handful of international organisations attempted to project a dismal picture by labelling it as a victory against a specific ethnic group, the stark fact is that the singular victory of the Security Forces proved their might in accomplishing the world`s largest human rescue mission against the most ruthless terrorist outfit in the world.
This is precisely why Sri Lanka`s success in eradicating terrorism takes added significance in modern world history. Nobody could deny that credit to the country`s valiant Security Forces and the illustrious leader who gave the right political leadership to accomplish that task in three-and-a-half years.
The world, at large, should view this victory in a broader perspective and emulate Sri Lanka`s expertise in its battle against global terrorism. If those who pontificate to us ad nauseam on the importance of crushing global terrorism, are really sincere, they should grab Sri Lanka`s offer with open arms to share its battlefield experience against the LTTE, a merciless terror outfit which cared a damn for human lives.
The time is now opportune for the so-called godfathers of human rights and ardent campaigners against global terrorism to demonstrate their sincerity. They cannot adopt two yardsticks when it comes to terrorism in the West and in this part of the globe. A terrorist in the West by no means could be baptised as a freedom fighter when he comes to the East. These double standards must cease forthwith.
President Rajapaksa told the United Nations General Assembly a few years ago, that there are no good terrorists and bad terrorists. Terrorism in any part of the world is the same as it inflicts only misery on human lives. Hence, terrorism, irrespective from which corner of the world it comes from, should be eradicated at any cost.
Against this backdrop, Sri Lanka has the best credentials to take leadership in the global battle against terrorism. Sri Lanka has a proven track record as its Security Forces had first-hand experience in dealing with the deadliest terror outfit in the world. Hence, their unique experience could be used effectively in combatting terrorism in any part of the world.
Those who shout themselves hoarse over human rights infringements and shed buckets of crocodile tears, alleging human rights violations in Sri Lanka during the final phase of the battle against terrorism, should realise that it was the Government and the Security Forces who restored the human rights of over 300,000 people living in the North.
At that time, there was barely anybody to talk about the human rights of those hapless civilians who had been subjected to untold privations in Tiger-held areas. These civilians were also forcibly held as a human shield. It surpasses one`s comprehension that these so-called human rights champions never uttered a word on behalf of these innocent civilians who were trapped by LTTE terrorists.
The Security Forces rescued these civilians amidst supreme sacrifices. Today more human rights champions have emerged to exhort Sri Lanka. Some countries, which openly profess to be the godfathers in the international arena against terror, made a subtle attempt to resurrect the LTTE when the world`s most ruthless terrorist organisation was on the verge of being vanquished.
To cap it all, when the Security Forces were about to rout the LTTE leadership in the final battle at the Nandikadal lagoon two years ago, some countries, even at the eleventh hour attempted to pump in the last drop of oxygen to the moribund terrorist organisation notwithstanding the fact that it had killed a countless number of innocent people and imposed untold hardships on millions of people of all ethnic groups in Sri Lanka.
Although these self-same countries and organisations, including some INGOs, could not directly support a terror outfit as it was tantamount to violating all accepted norms and international conventions, they surreptitiously buttressed support for the LTTE and spared no pains to discredit the country`s Security Forces which rendered a magnanimous and invaluable service.
To add insult to injury, a few countries and several international organisations conspired against Sri Lanka and turned a Nelsonian eye on gross human rights violations in countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq. Having failed miserably in their attempt for a regime change by using a traitor who was only too willing to favour war crimes allegations against Sri Lanka, they are now resorting to anything and everything in an attempt to intimidate the leadership - which had never been a Western puppet.
People across the length and breadth of the country should identify who their real enemy is. It is our bounden duty to stand together as one nation, irrespective of political and ethnic affiliations. These tendentious international elements could fulfil their objectives only if we are divided. Nobody could touch Sri Lanka if people of all strata unite in peace and harmony and show the world that we could resolve whatever minor differences among ourselves.
It goes without saying that if we are divided, extraneous forces could get the better of us and meddle in Sri Lanka`s internal affairs. History has proved this and it could happen again. Hence, unity and ethnic harmony are the need of the hour and if this could be achieved, it would be impossible for international elements to concoct war crimes allegations to suit their personal agendas.