Thursday, March 20, 2008

Bring home the mistress, but shoot your mother first

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’)

Social welfare

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

What next?

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


NOLTTE=Peace said...

Bravo! Bravo!

Such a great article! What a great work!

This Article should be published in too.

Great job Defence Analyst.. Please expand this more if possible.

Thank you for doing this great piece of work!

E.T. Bailey said...

...You're linking to the movie Sicko? All other things considered, I liked the article, even if I am an America who doesn't want socialized medicine. Politics aside though, if you support your arguments with that movie, then only the people who were already totally in agreement with you will be impressed. For those of different views, and even fence sitters, the man behind that film is a professional propagandist, who is totally biased and one sided. At least use the relevant facts without referencing that movie. Michael Moore films should not be used to back up anything, in the same way that no one should rely on Tamilnet for fair, accurate, and unbiased news about the war.

CASC said...

very nice collection of facts and figures

Keep up the good work !

Moshe Dyan said...


Thanks; good work.

But few "facts" are wrong.

"life expectancy of spite of the war...."

these two are unrelated; besides the war was NEVER a major cause of death in SL. For a year about 120,000 die due to all causes. war kills only a fraction of it. on the total population, war has killed only about 0.4% on average!!! Too low to have any impact whatsoever.

the stock market in 2003 was highest but that was due to heavy manipulations by a few LOCALS. a few shares of a company (bukitdarah??)sold at around 10,000 rupees for once and the way mkt. capitalisation is calculated (on all shares) it even beat JKH and SLT!!!!

SLT is also a manipulation. only 35% (or is it 15%???) shares are in the CSE but mkt. cap is calculated on the total.

strangely no corresponding increase in foreign buying occured during this time. apart from the two above and some others it was dhammika perera who was behind the bubble and foreigners weren't fooled. world's big investors didn't even consider CSE at all. however the empty record stands.

also the war is labour intensive and approximately two thirds of the war expenditure comes back to the society. also NGOs, etc. have brought possibly a few billion dollars over the years (some for wrong reasons). hundreds of thousands of tamils could seek refuge abroad and their economy grew massively and part of it went to their old parents, poor relatives in SL. SL could NEVER have afforded them a better lifestyle anyway.

but terror attacks caused alot of damage and the N-E economy underperforms costing billions of dollars for the country.

the war/peace P/L is a big loss anyway for the country and ITS PEOPLE. for some it is a big money spinner (including refugees over the years).

LKDOOD said...

Nine Lankan refugees arrive


ICRC accuses Sri Lanka of manipulating rights data


LKDOOD said...

Wild elephants fall victim to Sri Lanka war strategy


LKDOOD said...

Ex-Army General takes over SLRC’s admin

A recently retired Army Major General has been appointed to take charge of the administration of the state controlled television channel, Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation.

Chaminda said...

Dear DefenceWire,

This is a wonderful analysis. You have to only look around the world to see how countries have collapsed elsewhere under much less pressure. It truly is amazing how Sri Lanka, through leftwing insurgencies, through a brutal separatist movement and under great duress from powerful neighbors has managed to preserve a functioning society with a semblance of rule of law and continuing government services.

This is the scenario that I try to impress upon my non Sri Lankan colleagues. The international community with a lack of foresight can’t tell the forest for the trees and attempts to lump Sri Lank together with countries such as Darfur. This is a typical western view to consider people of color as more or less the same. Their lack of understanding of the scale and context (historical and current) when it comes to the war in Sri Lanka is astounding. I believe it is just easier for them to put us in the “those brown folk killing each other” box and deal with us in one sweep.

Unknown said...

Defencewire I have to disgree with your article. The fudemental problem of Sri Lanka has and will always be useless politicians and the failure of the people to kick them out. The JVP uprisngs and the LTTE are symptons of this.

You take away all the ill thought and idiotic policies, none of this would have happen.

Unknown said...

I give an example. Malaysia had at independence at population of 55% native malays and eastern malaysians, 35% Chinese, 12% Indians and 3% of Euraisians or Burghers.

Like Sri Lanka there have been many riots between the ethnic groups due to idiotic politicians. The chinese controlled the commerce and were in direct conflict with the malays. Most indians like in Sri Lankan upcountry tamils were neglected.

After 1969 worst riots (again due to politicans and after an electoral beating), a policy was adopted to help the Malays by giving them shares and preferential treatment. The minorities particulary the chinese went along with it. However continous admendments and abuses by the elite saw the national wealth becomming a monopoly of few.

The people who the policies were meant to help were not really benifiting. Furthermore they were given priveleges like free land which they sublet to the chinese for money. In the end the Indians who were pushed to the endge due to deplorable living conditions and prospects, took to the street.

The government was badly beaten, though its still in power. Its results today is worst than in 1969. However today Malaysians look forward to a better future with lesser corruption and a more fair system.

Unknown said...

The biggest benifacary to Malaysia discrimitaroy policies was Singapore. Most of the educated chinese were forced to move to Singapore to find a better future for themselves and their children. Certain quaters of the Malays were happy that the chinese were leaving. However they did not realise that they talent pool was being used by another country to develop their resources.

Singapore prospered. It was worst then Sri Lanka till the late 70s. Today its way ahead. Singapore also benifited from the emigration of Sri Lankans (both tamil and sinhalese intelecutals). The Sri Lankans who were already there did not want to come back. Hence they also contributed to Singapore's development.

9 out of 46 judges who have served Singapore since independence have been Sri Lankans. Thats about 20% from a community of less than 1% of the population.

Chaminda said...

I agree that we could do much better. But my point (and I think DefenceWire's point) is that it could be MUCH MUCH worse. Many of us in Sri Lanka believe we live in the most undeveloped state in the world. But I travel for a living and I work in the development sector and I see how resilient us Sri Lankans are. Look at this Blog and our debate you don’t get this type of passionate discourse in many other developing countries.

But I do agree with you Navindran that a series of misguided and selfish policies by both the Sinhala and Tamil greatly retarded our potential. When I think about the amazing talent of Sri Lankan birth living and working around the world I just wonder how it could have been. Think of the amazing minds in the Wanni brainwashed to blow themselves up?

Chaminda said...

BBC Article today

"Sri Lanka is becoming one of the most dangerous places in the world for journalists..."

BBC Article ALSO today

"Iraq has become the most dangerous place in the world for journalists. "

NOLTTE=Peace said...


This is the last minute attempt of EU trying to rescue LTTE from defeat on the invitation of Norway.

"A visiting high level EU delegation has insisted that the government allow the Co-chairs and the Norwegian facilitators to travel to the Wanni to meet the LTTE to deliver key messages -- including a request to resume the peace process, to observe humanitarian access and to respect human rights."

This is a time that all peace-loving Sri Lankans to be united not allowing the clock to be turned back to 1987 and beyond, where LTTE was saved from elimination by various external parties .

Now EU has come to LTTE's rescue on the pretext of Human Rights - the cheapest weapon now.

Guys, read the following The Island article too

Peace-loving people in Europe, please write to the respective EU representatives.

Take action!

This is the time you can contribute most to Sri Lanka and it's future.

Defencewire said...

dA is not available to answer the issues raised, but I will explain the idea behind this.

The article poses two fundamental questions.

1. If the political/socio-socioeconomic conditions in Sri Lanka are imperfect and problematic, should we as a nation destroy what we already have OR build on what we have, using what is available to us as a base?

2. What has happened to the Sri Lankan identity? Who is responsible for it? This question ties in directly with the previous question.

We must focus on these two aspects of this article.

LKDOOD said...

UN: Civilians at risk in Sri Lanka


China denies supplying heavy weapons to Sri Lanka


LKDOOD said...

South Africa Joins Sri Lanka Conflict Resolution Conference


LKDOOD said...

25 rebels killed in Lankan clashes


Unknown said...

"Atuwa Kada Putuwa Hedeema"

how about...

Mottaiyannuku engada masiru?

Anonymous said...

40 STF camps to be removed from east immidiately.

DW, any comments?

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