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Thursday, October 03, 2013 - 05.35 GMT
Learning lessons from Sri Lankan victory over LTTE -The News International


While Pakistan continues to be hit on a regular basis by terrorism after 9/11, it needs to gain some inspiration from Sri Lanka, which is literally rising from ashes after having fought with the LTTE for nearly 27 long years and ultimately defeating the insurgents on May 29, 2009, states The News International of Pakistan.

Sri Lanka was left with a daunting post-war task to ensure the welfare of nearly 300,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), who were held as a human shield and a bargaining chip by the LTTE, Sabir Shah wrote to the newspaper.

Under its well-planned reconstruction, resettlement, rehabilitation, reintegration and reconciliation programmes after the war, the Sri Lankan government had helped the Tamil civilians to restart their lives, the writer said.

Research tells us that the Sri Lankan Government had declared “No Fire Zones” for the safety of the civilians who were used as “battlefields” by the terrorists. Equipped with heavy artillery and mortars, the raging Tamil Tigers had disregarded humanity by killing the fleeing civilians and also by carrying out suicide attacks on those who would attempt to escape from their camps during the war.

These suicide attacks on civilians were in addition to the ones that had regularly targeted the country’s Army personnel and sensitive installations.

What is more enviable is the fact that Sri Lanka had only spent $5.5 billion between 2006 and 2009 to banish the Tamil Tigers. This figure was made public in June 2011 by the then Sri Lankan Central Bank Governor, Dr Ajith Nivard Cabraal.

This amount of $5.5 billion is far less than what the powerful countries normally spend on training their military personnel every year. Remember, the United States spends in excess of $40 billion every year to train its Army.

The 2010 Sri Lankan “Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission” had estimated that from August 2006 to May 2009, 5,556 Sri Lankan soldiers were killed, 28,414 were wounded and 169 were missing in action.

During the same period, the Tamil Tigers had lost 22,247 men, of which 11,812 had been identified by name.

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Last modified: October 03, 2013.

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