14 Years after the End of LTTE: Sri Lanka’s Tragic Saga of Manipulation and Power

Unveiling Sri Lanka's dark underbelly on the 14th anniversary of the LTTE leader's death, this editorial exposes a nation ensnared in a web of lies. From the highest echelons of power to everyday interactions, deceit permeates every corner of society. Brace yourself for a stark exploration of the consequences as truth becomes a casualty in the pursuit of power.

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The body of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) leader Vellupillai Prabhakaran is carried on a stretcher through a group of Sri Lankan soldiers at Nanthikadal lagoon in northern Sri Lanka on May 19, 2009 | Photo Credit: Sri Lanka Army

Editorial

In the shadows of Sri Lanka’s history, a tale of manipulation, betrayal, and societal decay unfolds. From the depths of a brutal civil war to the aftermath of its conclusion, the wounds inflicted upon the nation run deep. Today, as we reflect upon the past, we dare to uncover the hidden truths that lie buried beneath a facade of false triumph. Brace yourself for a journey into the heart of a society plagued by lies, where the pursuit of power and the erosion of moral values have left an indelible mark on the destiny of a nation.

Man, burdened by deep-rooted hatred and victimized by systematic discrimination, not only faced by Tamils but also by many underprivileged communities in Sri Lanka, turned into a symbol of violence and terror in South Asia. Velupillai Prabhakaran, the leader of the Tamil Tigers (LTTE), was killed on May 18, fourteen years ago. Elimination of his terror factory was celebrated by the country, with hopes that it would mark the beginning of a new era where social justice and human rights would prevail.

Prabhakaran was a nihilistic pawn, initially used by so-called high caste Tamil politicians who continued to dominate Tamil politics, and later exploited by those who sought fortune in Western countries. Unfortunately, their fortune was built upon the blood of Sri Lankans. Their ulterior motive was to create social turmoil in Sri Lanka, ensuring their own well-being. This manipulation of conflicts is not unique to Sri Lanka but has been witnessed in many countries. This is the result when wisdom is replaced by blindfolded terror.

Amidst this, there is an untold story that needs to be shared. For years, we have kept it hidden, but today we believe it is time to reveal the truth. During the final stages of the civil war, the parents of LTTE leaders were taken into custody by the security forces, and highly trained intelligence officers took care of them.

Meanwhile, Prabhakaran’s sister, who was living in a Western country, requested to bring her parents along through one of the neighbouring countries. However, the Western country, known for their constant talk about human rights and their blame on Sri Lanka for not taking care of those who surrendered, as well as the neighbouring country vehemently denied the request. Unfortunately, Prabhakaran’s father passed away due to severe illness, while his mother remained under their care for some time. At one point, the security forces offered Prabhakaran’s mother the option to return to her hometown and resume her life, as the situation had normalized. However, her response was shocking. She adamantly said, ‘No, don’t send me there; I am far better off and more secure here, with you my sons (military intelligence officers).’

Simultaneously, in Sri Lanka, many celebrated the defeat of the Tamil Tigers. However, only a few individuals possessed the moral and ethical principles to express gratitude to those who truly fought on the ground. The term ‘Ranaviruwa’ (War Hero) which was shamelessly exploited for political gain, exposed the putrid behaviour of those who wielded power and authority.

We are a poor nation, and our poverty extends beyond the economic sphere. We are impoverished in terms of moral and ethical practices. We lack a sense of social responsibility and collective action. Instead, we excel at pointing fingers and justifying ourselves. Betrayal and backstabbing are our riches. This epitomizes the pitiful state to which our nation has descended, the worst kind of terror one could imagine. As Kurt Vonnegut, a man who lived ahead of his time, said, ‘True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country.’

Fourteen long years have passed, and Sri Lanka faces social, economic, and political crises greater than ever before. Our politicians continue to fight like the Kilkenny cats. Some resort to any means necessary to seize power, while others operate under the motto of sabotage if they cannot attain it. In these 14 years, some have come into power, and their associates have lived as if this country belongs solely to them. The social disparity has widened, and for the first time in history, Sri Lanka has declared bankruptcy. Instead of working toward a common goal, those in power offer a series of daydreams for us and urge us to stay alert and work hard. Meanwhile, they continue to plunder. According to reliable sources, some ministers even demand a 30 per cent commission from foreign investors.

A young foreign journalist who spent over two years in Colombo recently witnessed this shameful reality. During a casual conversation, he remarked, ‘You know, Sri Lanka is full of liars.’ Is he wrong? No. From the highest echelons of leadership to the lowliest tuk-tuk drivers, a pervasive culture of deceit poisons every interaction. Our society is infested with a web of lies, weaving a tapestry of falsehoods that have brought our nation to the depths of despair. The rot of dishonesty runs deep, corroding the very fabric of our collective existence, leaving no room for trust or integrity. It is no surprise that our country languishes in this abyss of moral bankruptcy. So, no matter what reality is telling us. It is time to celebrate our victorious triumph over that long-departed soul of the deceitful butcher! Let us name it ‘victory’, and continue the usual game of deception.

Sri Lanka Guardian

The Sri Lanka Guardian is an online web portal founded in August 2007 by a group of concerned Sri Lankan citizens including journalists, activists, academics and retired civil servants. We are independent and non-profit. Email: editor@slguardian.org

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