The Marxist/Leninist uprisings of the 70s,80s and the 90s and the Tamil Tiger scourge running parallel to it have sought to destabilize a small country that is unlike any other in the world. This article attempts to outline the degeneration of Sri Lanka’s reputation, linked directly to the rise of Tamil insurgents.
How is Sri Lanka doing, even after all that war…
- Literacy Rate- Ranked 55th in the world (90.7%)(HDI)
- Per capita income- US$ 4,595. Highest in South Asia(HDI)
- Life expectancy at birth- 71.6 years (higher if not for the civil war(HDI)
- Free Health and Welfare (How Americans suffer without it? Watch ‘Sicko’)
In theory, a welfare state must provide cash welfare benefits like pensions and in-kind welfare services like healthcare. Despite rebellious uprisings destroying it from inside to out, Sri Lanka has been providing its citizens free healthcare and pensions for old-aged persons, including Prabhakaran’s father, a Retired District Land Officer.
The Institute of Policy Studies estimates that since 1949, the main source of funding for education has been government. By 2002, a total of 9,829 government schools functions in the island, cincluding Sithamparam Vidyalayam in Oorikkadu, Valvettithurai where young Velupillai Prabhakaran learnt to read and write. University education is also free in Sri Lanka at a number of government universities for all ethnic groups, including the University of Jaffna where Mathivathini studied.
Sri Lanka has maintained an annual growth of 5.5% GDP despite a war budget of over $3billion in some years. In 2003, as the hostilities ended, the Sri Lankan Stock-Market was the worlds highest performing.
What we are famous for now?
Traditionally Sri Lanka has been famous for tourism, tea, gems etc. Since the 80s, Sri Lanka and Sri Lankans have been drawing some dangerous attention to itself, thanks mainly to the LTTE.
- Suicide Bombers- Over 300 suicide attacks both nationally and internationally causing collateral damage, targeting of civilians, local and regional political leadership, using females and disabled suicide bombers, etc.
- Foreign Terrorist Organizations banned by the civilized world- The U.S. Department of State banned the LTTE as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (TRO) in October 1997, and in November 2001, named the LTTE a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) under Executive Order 13224.
- Supporting international terrorism- US Country Report on Terrorism 2006 Chapter-2 states “Many LTTE innovations, such as explosive belts, vests, and bras, using female suicide bombers, and waterborne suicide attacks against ships, have been copied by other terrorist groups.”
- Transnational Criminals- The Swiss estimated that Tamil refugees were responsible for some 20% of the narcotics entering their country. The Italian prison system had over 200 Tamil heroin smugglers and traffickers. (McKenzie Institute 2003)
- International Refugees-“Prabhakaran realized that, if these refugees could find new homes in the Western World, they could contribute much more on a regular basis.The resulting Diaspora has taken full advantage of Western immigration laws and social support systems, to move over 500,000 Sri Lankan Tamils in twenty years into Australia, Britain, Canada France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, and the United States.” (McKenzie Institute 2003)
- Diaspora criminal gangs extorting money in Western countries- The VVT gang, Toronto's Tamil gangs, London Tamil gangs etc. Video-1 BBC, Video-2
- Human Rights Violations-(Human Rights Watch report)
- Child recruitment (Human Rights Watch report) Video
In the Sinhala language there is a saying that best describes the quest for Eelam. That is ‘Atuwa Kada Putuwa Hedeema’ meaning, Making a Chair with Timber from a Demolished Attic! No sane man would attempt that considering the costs incurred, especially when there are much better alternatives to destroying what we already have in pursuit of a dream.
Submitted by defenceAnalyst