Towards a crippled Lankan army
- Towards a crippled Lankan army
Tuesday, 1 November 2005 - 2:45 AM SL Time
"It is only the enlightened and wise general who will use the
highest intelligence of the army for purposes of spying and thereby
they achieve great results. Spies are the most important asset,
because on them depends an army's ability to march."
-- from The Art of War
Sun Tzu, in the oldest military treatise in the world, had this to
say about the intelligence personnel operating in a conflict
situation. It is they who enable an army to see and hear the enemy.
All what anyone who intends to debilitate an army has to do, is to
destroy its intelligence, without which troops will be reduced to a
group of cripples groping in the dark. The LTTE has obviously drawn
many lessons from Sun Tzu, while the pampered generals of the Sri
Lankan Army and their political bosses have been busy reading the
wrong books in air-conditioned comfort.
The LTTE is, as is obvious, making the most of the CFA to destroy
the 'army`s ability to march.' On Saturday, the country lost another
efficient senior intelligence officer, Lt. Col. T. Rizvi Meedin, who
was found inside his car with gunshot injuries, to which he later
succumbed in hospital. The army has blamed it on the LTTE and the
police believe that his assassination could have been carried out by
the underworld at the behest of the LTTE.
The on-going truce may have prevented a full-blown war but it has so
far cost the state intelligence dearly, though the CFA precludes any
covert operations by both sides. With the LTTE accounting for key
intelligence personnel at the present rate, a war situation arguably
couldn't have been worse for the army. What the LTTE is doing to the
army short of taking it on direct could be likened to plucking out a
person's eyes and splitting his ear drums without killing him. The
end result is going to be a lame duck army and an impotent and
obsequious state not capable of standing up to the enemy. The signs
of the state moving in that direction are becoming visible. How
advantageous such a situation would be to the LTTE goes without
The blame for the raid on army Long Rangers' safe house at
Athurugiriya has rightly been placed at the doorstep of the UNP.
That was probably the biggest ever military betrayal in this country
and it helped the LTTE trace the intelligence operatives whose
identities were exposed and kill them. A well established
intelligence network that the army had painstakingly built for years
crumpled overnight. Daring operations of this unit had created a
situation in the LTTE-held areas in the North and the East, where
top Tiger leaders were wary of moving out of their bunkers for fear
of an unseen enemy. How frightening a proposition it had become to
the LTTE was evident in the specific reference to deep penetration
operations in the CFA drafted by the Norwegians.
Those, who are in power today, were then in the Opposition and they
made a hue and cry about the raid. But, what have they done by way
of protecting intelligence personnel placed high on the LTTE hit
list' Lt. Colonel Muthalif, who had rendered an invaluable service
to the country, was done to death in broad daylight on a busy
highway in full view of the public. He was without defence. Lt. Col.
Meedin died the same way.
Brave men and officers, on whom depends the army`s ability to march,
are being killed thus, while politicians move about with armed
escorts, shoving the people off roads. Some `politically decorated`
generals responsible for mammoth military debacles, which cost the
army hundreds, if not thousands, of men and equipment worth billions
of rupees, are living abroad in clover''some at state expense.
Worst of all, the government is airlifting LTTE cadres for brain
surgery, while the Tigers are blowing off the brains of the state
security personnel. Would any other country have tolerated such
dastardly crimes, especially at a time when a truce is on, and
grovelled before the enemy so shamelessly' It behoves the government
to stop granting concessions to the LTTE forthwith.
Let the government trot out no lame excuses to cover up its failure
to protect the intelligence personnel. They deserve maximum
protection at any cost.