Keeping pace with the triumphal march of the Armed Forces

Book facts: The collapse of Eelam by Ranjith Ananda Jayasinghe. Reviewed by Kalakeerthi Edwin Ariyadasa

President Mahinda Rajapaksa made a solemn pledge that he would free the nation from the cruel and inhuman grip of terrorists. This had an electrifying impact on the whole nation - especially the Armed Forces and the Police. This inspired all those who value freedom to strive to overthrow the evil forces of terrorism.

The President’s unswerving determination persuaded yet another segment of Sri Lankan society to commit itself fully to this battle. This influential body was the media of our land.

The impressive outcome of this was the emergence of a massive body of reportage on the war against terrorism. The reporting was comprehensive and gripping. Both electronic and print media, provided graphic accounts of the action at the frontlines. This enabled the people to follow the progress of the Armed Forces.

Assiduously recording the evolution, the fluctuating fortunes and final downfall of the Eelam Movement, Ranjith Ananda Jayasinghe has released his book “Eelama binda-vatai” published by Dayawansa Jayakody and Company.

Jayasinghe’s work is not merely a piece of reportage, recording the total eradication of Eelam and the demolition of its death-dealing squads. The book has no chapter division and can be read through.
Objective critics will undoubtedly see this work as an impartial chronicle of the evolution of the Eelam Movement.

The writer begins with a narrative of Eelam history. The LTTE, resorted to a truce as a ruse to strengthen its military capability. The book states that the President rejected this policy outright. The writer views the President’s determination to demolish Eelam through his own power and potential, as the first policy step.

In his run-up to a well-planned policy and strategy to eradicate terrorism, the President went through the routine peace processes. These included the mandatory peace talks abroad. The book details these measures.

The “Mavil Aru incident”, made the President resolve firmly to launch a campaign to eradicate Eelam terrorism. This spelt the beginning of the fourth Eelam war on August 13, 2006.

The annulment on January 16, 2008 of the Ceasefire Agreement that had existed for about six years, indicated the resolute decision of the Government to put an end to terrorism. The LTTE attempted to react by unleashing killings and air-attacks.

The writer, describes graphically the inexorable march of the Sri Lankan Armed Forces, capturing such strategically important places as Paranthan, Kilinochchi and Elephant Pass. While the total eradication of the LTTE was clearly within sight, President Rajapakse demonstrated his compassion. He asked the LTTE to lay down their arms and surrender, in spite of the stark fact that the Armed Forces, were now poised for a final and decisive assault. The President’s compassion was determined by his clear awareness that the leaders of the terrorists would try to save their own lives by sacrificing innocent Tamils.

From this point on, Jayasinghe’s book too, marches forward in step with the relentless triumphal march of the Armed Forces.

The work recounts quite clearly the commitment of the leaders and the other personnel of the armed forces. Pudukkuduirippu is the township, that marked the final phase of Eelam. The LTTE leaders made a last attempt to save their lives by confining themselves in an area of about 50 km surrounding themselves with a human shield made up of about 200,000 innocent Tamils.

Those who escaped were cordially welcomed by the Armed Forces, who provided them with food, shelter and medicine. Perhaps, nowhere in the annals of military encounters would one find such a massive escape of war victims to “enemy territory”.

Jayasinghe’s story ends with the complex series of events that led to the downfall of the LTTE. The body of the Eelam leader was found in Nandikadal Lagoon.

The large number of lives, destroyed by the LTTE Movement cannot be revived. But, a record of the blood-stained story of these evil forces can thwart the re-emergence of such human disasters. This book can play a positive role in that process.

Jayasinghe writes with admirable objectivity. The book also has a series of illustrations that are quite rare. He could write a more detailed tome, using this work as a preamble. His work illuminates a crucial era in the country’s modern history.

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