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An Analysis of the Military Situation

by Col. R. Hariharan (Retd.)

Years back when I was a young officer in the Regiment of Artillery, our regiment moved from New Mal in Eastern India to Deolali in Western India. On the day of our departure we trooped into the railway station with our trucks, baggage, stores and all the men at 6 am in the morning. Our special train was scheduled to leave at 11 am. We sweated in the heat in the roofless station but the train earmarked for us was nowhere in sight. The hapless station master could do nothing. Around one pm we were informed the train would be placed by 5 pm.  It came at 7 pm and we were kept busy loading it for next three hours because we were told the train would leave by 10 pm. But it did not even when the clock struck twelve.

  

I was the train duty officer and ran around trying to find the railway staff that had vanished. Around 12 am I collared the station master in his house. 'The train is ready for a long time to leave, sir,' he said. I was furious; 'then why doesn't it leave,? I thundered brimming with military efficiency. He walked over to the station and told me, 'sir, train is there, but power has not come.' My uni-polar military brain could not understand the term 'power'. 'What power do you mean?' I asked. He said 'sir, you call it the engine, we call it power - the one that pulls the coaches, that has not arrived.' By the time 'power' came, a new dawn was on the horizon and we reached our destination two days late. 

That small real life experience comes to mind when we look at the current military situation in the Eelam War-4.  The military developments are in some order, just as political developments are in disorder. 

Sri Lanka security forces made the strategic link up in the north between 57 and 58 divisions, capturing a large chunk of  the territory between A32 Mannar-Pooneryn highway  fromt and the A9 Kandy-Jaffna highway. It is no mean achievement for any army, considering that this was achieved in three weeks time, after a few bloody battles and loss of quite a few human lives. For the Sri Lankan army it is a creditable achievement showing how a learning army can overcome its own past shortcomings and reach new levels of operational efficiency.  The strategic link up, if held, could block the free transportation of LTTE supplies smuggled from India arriving at the Mannar coast either eastwards or northwards movement along the A32 highway. It also provides launching pads for Sri Lankan offensives to wrest Vidathaltivu and later Pooneryn.

And the army should be able to hold on to the gains, considering that two divisions plus the newly raised 61 Division are there to defend. It is doubtful whether the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) still retain the capability to launch a sizeable conventional strike to dislodge the army form their gains. The arithmetic of force levels is against the LTTE and probably it would rather reinforce its Wanni defences and safeguard the line Pooneryn-Elephant Pass-Kilinochchi- Puthukudiyiruppu than deplete its forces in launching a counterattack. 

Sri Lanka Army Commander Lt Gen Sarath Fonseka vocalised the recent achievements of the security forces while speaking to foreign correspondents recently. 'The LTTE has lost the capability of fighting as a conventional army. Although they are (still) fighting us, they (are) not in the same manner as was in the past. That type of resistance is not there anymore.' 

Does that mean the 'final military victory' over the LTTE is around the corner? The Army Commander was more realistic. He said that though the LTTE's fighting capabilities was badly weakened, it would take another one year or so 'to completely defeat them militarily.' He summed up the assessment saying, 'I am sure the LTTE will totally lose even their present capability in less than one year. Then they will resort to a totally different type of tactic' So what the LTTE has lost is its proactive conventional operational capability. And that is undoubtedly a plus point for the security forces because they have the military initiative in the war from now onwards.

To the man fighting the insurgents, the only difference between the two kinds of warfare is that firepower is concentrated in conventional war, while it comes in penny packets in unconventional war. But bullets remain equally deadly in both kinds of warfare. This was dramatically illustrated yesterday when some extremist element shot at the Bell 412 helicopter while it was returning after flying in the President in Amparai. The LTTE in that area was driven away more than a year ago. Fortunately, the helicopter managed to land safely though its fuel tank was punctured by bullet fire.  

But what the General said in the course of the interview on the on the 'overall plan' of his forces was a little disturbing. 'We do not just go for terrains, but we go for the kill. This is the difference between the military operations in the past and the present,' he said. The laudable military achievements need to be put in the overall perspective. Was the LTTE's military capability the only issue that had dragged the nation into war with its own population for the last three decades?

Far from it; as long as there is Tamil population outside the fold of good governance in Kilinochchi,  Mullaitivu and parts of Vavuniya and Jaffna districts, even if the LTTE loses its conventional capability, every year it should be able to muster 1000 to 2000 recruits by coercion or otherwise. The LTTE's conventional capability is an acquired skill egged on and abetted by skewed Sri Lankan political priorities and decisions. Unlike that the LTTE's unconventional war capability is rooted in the grievance of the Tamil population. It does not matter whether others feel these grievances exist or not. And definitely it is not due to international conspiracy as dubbed by some Sri Lankans.

How does the LTTE sustain the ability to wage unconventional war? It is because the government has not given the Tamil population a feeling of security and trust in the present dispensation. The slogan 'Freeing the Tamils from the LTTE yoke' (as the government media proclaims) alone will not gain their trust if the they feel that they are being saddled with another yoke!  This lack of trust and feeling of insecurity among them cannot vanish as long as white van operations continue, media is muzzled, inquiries into illegal killings become political soap operas, and indefinite incarcerations without trials go on as before. These actions are not done by international NGOs or friendly foreign powers as it is made out for political convenience. Most of such actions are taken such loose cannons operating within the system to score political brownie points rather than solve problems.  

Many Tamils feel that every action to empower them with all the good intentions is undone by backroom operations. Two glaring examples of lack of political sincerity are the half hearted implementation of the 13th amendment and the 'non working' of the APRC, the all party committee - constituted for evolving an acceptable formulation of devolution. The 13th amendment has a lot of lacunae for the elected provincial government to exercise its powers; the government agents do not come under it, it has little powers to collect any form of revenue, and it has policing as a subject but has no control over the police force (the DIG Northeast works under Colombo). It cannot even organize and control water supply for the people.  Added to this is a general reluctance to implement even its limited articulation of power. So merely installing a Tamil chief minister in the east is not going to make the problem vanish. It requires hard decisions to empower the population. And there is no sign of anyone in authority seriously considering this. 

As regards the APRC, there is nothing much to show. After a lengthy and very eloquent dialogue process, with all the inputs of wise men, its only practical achievement is its recommendation for the implementation of the existing 13th amendment of the constitution. And beyond that, there appears to be nothing on its cards except the travel bills accumulated on tours of the committee members to study how the devolution process has been achieved in other countries. Is this status going to change?  Sadly, there is no sign of any other initiative.

Mahatma Gandhi's description of Sir Stafford Cripp's Mission in 1942 as the 'post-dated cheque on a failing bank,' appears apt for the current situation in Sri Lanka.  The government in Sri Lanka regardless of its composition or ideology has to create a sense of security and trust among the minorities. And this is not going to come on its own by military victory over the LTTE alone. The security forces can only do so much. The government has to act to make use of the opportunities provided by military victories. The Tamils have to feel the 'power' to take them to new places, like my own military experience taught me when we moved our regiment by train. [saag]

(Col. R Hariharan, a retired Military Intelligence specialist on South Asia, served as the head of intelligence of the Indian Peace Keeping Force in Sri Lanka 1987-90. E-mail: colhari@yahoo.com)

16 Comments

Dear Col Hariharan

Only if you could MAKE TO UNDERSTAND the contents of this excellent paper to the 'man who goes for the kill', Sri Lanka would be a livable place and you would have done a great service to the mankind.

Please keep up your good work.

Posted by: Dr KC | July 2, 2008 04:57 PM

If the learned Col genuinely believes (because of his inadequate understanding of the Sinhalese psyche) that the Tamils will be made to feel the 'power' by the Sinhala majority, then, he can be excused. Otherwise, he is none other than a misleading co-conspirator with the Sinhala chauvinists seeking to enslave the Tamils by oppression and genocide.

Posted by: 2ndClassTamil | July 2, 2008 06:29 PM

Col. Hariharan,

You seem to write quite often in Tamil-Week. Which is good and I wish Mr. B. Raman does the same thing.Interestingly, this article is quite unique from your prvious ones.
Are you fed-up with rooting for the racist S.L Government? or trying to gain support among us, the S.L. Tamils?.

We witnessed numerous opportunities have been and being wasted due to India's involvement and non-involvement in S.L.'s ethnic war. Has India learned from it's past mistakes and ready to contrbute positively to the Island's peace effort or want to prolong the suffering of Tamils by continuing to provide the S.L. gov't with military equipment?. We had numerous leaders like Late Kadirgamar, Fernandopulle etc. who could have used their clout to bring an amicable solution to the ethnic issue. but, were too busy tooting the horns of their masters. Have they done anything constructively to the Tamils? nothing!, same as your India.

India has a moral responsibility to protect and safeguard the Indian Tamils in Sri-Lanka, This was stipulated when Late P.M. Shastri signed the "Srimao-Shastri" accord with Bandaranaike. Has it honored it ever? never!

I wish India find a way to get involve and solve the island's ethnic issue once and for all so everyone can live in harmony rather than dwell on Rajiv Gandhi's assasination.

I'm longing for lasting peace in my country. We have shed enough blood for so long and enough is enough!


Posted by: Nalan, Trincomalee | July 2, 2008 11:47 PM

I agree with the article that is with the analysis of the officer. Military success must be supported by political process. That is what the international community should be pushing the government to achieve. International community should not have a problem of how the government is dealing with the LTTE as it’s is an internal issue. Therefore weather it is Tamil Nadu or any other interested party cannot tell how we should suppress a group that is demanding a separate state from our county. However they could push the government to create conditions for the Tamils to live as any other citizen in the country.

If not for the intervention in 1987 by India this issue would have been sorted and all the lives that we are loosing now would have been preserved. When the JVP issue was there more people were killed than what it is today and there was no international pressure as it was the Sinhalese killing the Sinhalese in IC’s prospective. Result! the rebellion was crushed any many lives were preserved that would have been sacrificed had the rebellion continued. Therefore LTTE that is not agreeing to a peaceful negotiation needed to defeat to stop the killings.
In the process of the present war we may have to scarifies about another 5000 lives but in the long run it would be better. That is why it is important for India and other counties to support the military effort and press the government for a proper devolution. However if any government put pressure on the government to stop the war we would go back to square one. LTTE will regroup and start from the beginning, resulting more live losses. Therefore supporting the war effort and pressing the government for more devolution would be the best approach for the IC to sort out the problem.

Posted by: shaan fernando | July 3, 2008 07:51 AM

Col Hariharan's vacillation in his writing captures the uncertainty which the policymakers in Delhi feel towards Sri Lanka. On the one hand, Hariharan is pro-GOSL to the extent that he despises the LTTE, which among other things murdered his Prime Minister. He like many other Indians (except for the ex-RAW pseudo-Kautilyan fossil-types) wants Mahinda to win.

On the other hand, Hariharan is uncomfortable with the GOSL's heavy-handed tactics both on the battlefield and off. These tactics are quite alien to the Indian counterinsurgency doctrine which emphasizes "hearts-and-minds" and political engagement (note his emphasis on the use of firepower in penny-packets for unconventional war). He does not resonate with Gen. Fonseka "going for the kill" because he feels there is more to the story than the LTTE's military capability.

Hariharan's understanding of textbook insurgency is sound, but he does not understand that the LTTE is not a textbook insurgency. The LTTE has relied not on mobilizing the Sri Lankan Tamil masses and creating a general uprising, but rather on building a small but cohesive and efficient military organization to defeat the Sri Lankan armed forces. Hariharan would be correct to argue that an unconventional strategy focused on winning the Tamils' hearts and minds would be hitting the LTTE's vulnerability, because the LTTE is not as popular among Tamils in Sri Lanka as some believe.

The problem with this textbook strategy is its implementation, namely the fact that it does not take the LTTE's own strategy and strengths into account. The LTTE can recruit 1000-2000 per year not because the people are afraid of the GOSL, but because they will be killed by the LTTE if they do not join. To prove my point, I would ask how many eastern Tamils is the LTTE currently recruiting?? According to Hariharan's textbook logic, the eastern Tamils who are suffering under GOSL yoke should be approaching the LTTE in droves to enlist. At the very least, we would see Tamil opposition to the GOSL in the form of support for LTTE guerrilla activity, or at the very least elections boycotts. This has not occurred. Hariharan's thesis falls flat when we look at actual outcomes.

Hariharan is totally correct to argue that the GOSL must fix its poor governance and human rights record. No government has a moral right to rule if it mistreats its citizens. But he should take note that good governance and ambiguously-conceived "political solutions" will not make the LTTE disappear. Mahinda will not be able to prevent LTTE forceful conscription of children in the Wanni by waving around the APRC report.

Hariharan's perspective as an outsider is welcome, but he has to gain the ability to see things taking place outside India from outside an Indian lens. If India hopes to become an Asian power and compete with China, its leaders and intellectuals will have to learn how to think outside of the box.

Posted by: wijayapala | July 3, 2008 09:01 AM

Col. Hariharan,

You'll be writing the 'same' thing next year, year after and year after.

The Srilankan problem will be solved (Sinhalese power thinking) once the Tamil population in Srilanka is less than 5% of the population. In order to do achieve this,

plan 1 - force tamils to leave the island
plan 2 - kill as much tamils as possible
plan 3 - force tamils to become sinhalese

Sinhalese power is moving towards their target, and one day there will be peace in my country, but no tamils.

Posted by: aratai | July 3, 2008 10:38 AM

Dear Col.Hariharan

I am a regualr reader of your articles.The basic reasons are

1.to understand theIndian army personnels(especially who influences policy decisions) inside atttitude and

2.how they perceive the struggle of tamil people.
And more over your articles throw some ray of light on the current Indian foreign policy on Sri Lanka and tamil liberation struggle.

I request my tamil bretheren also to read his articles for the above said reasons only.
So Col.Hari sir please carry on your work.

regds
S.K.Sundaram

Posted by: S.K.Sundaram | July 3, 2008 01:12 PM

*** Are you fed-up with rooting for the racist S.L Government? or trying to gain support among us, the S.L. Tamils?. ***

I'm fed up with the LTTE and their Terrorism, I'm also fed up with crybaby Tamils like you who ignore the actions of the LTTE and only condemn the GoSL's attempted fixes to the solution. Grow up.

*** Have they done anything constructively to the Tamils? nothing!, same as your India.***

Tamils need to stop their duplicity and pick a side. If you want an end to this you must fully denounce the LTTE and support Sri lanka. After Terrorism is removed from our shores then we can all go back to rebuilding the nation, and promote equal rights for all Sri Lankans. If however this attitude of Crying and whining about past injustices continues while simultaneously looking the other way when the LTTE unleashes Terrorism on the Sri lankan population then no one will give a Hoot about trying to Win over the Tamils... you can all go fly a kite... or move elsewhere... you have to be for Sri lanka or For Eelam... don't fence sit and expect sympathy from the rest of us.

Posted by: Devinda Fernando | July 3, 2008 02:57 PM

Nalan, Trincomalee

Your argument is irrational.

Justice must prevail in the case of Rajiv Gandhi and struggle for freedom by SL Tamils.

SL Tamils should not be seen as obstructing the course of justice in the case of RG.

SL Tamils cannot and should not ask the GOI to forget about RG's case but get back to SL to sort out our, in a way, self-inflicted mess.

The so-called leaders who brought us to this dead-end must take the responsibility and resolve the case of RG to the satisfaction of the GOI and the family of RG. This is the only way the SL Tamils can ever win the hearts and minds of the people of India – only when this happens a viable political solution is feasible to the Tamil national struggle. Alternative is endless fireworks by our so-called leaders that will bring only carnage and destruction to our homeland.

Posted by: Dr KC | July 3, 2008 03:52 PM

At present it appears the Sri Lanka Security Forces have shown their might. But this is a war between the visible and the invisible given the facts that the LTTE still resort to guerilla tactics. When Sri Lanka hosts the delegates of SAARC countries, it is its prime duty to give adequate security. But it appears that India could not rely on the capabilities of the Sri Lankan Forces. Though India has the capability of monitoring the movements of the LTTE (especially its air power) from an altitude of about five miles, sending of 3000 Indian soldiers to provide protection to the Indian delegates, disapproves the boasting of the Sri Lanka Army Commander Lt Gen Sarath Fonseka about their fire power,. Neverthless, the writer points out that the Sri Lanka or its Army failed to win the hearts of the Tamils which fact is vital to victories over enemies. History has taught many lessons that it is not the might of the Army that can win the hearts of the people but depends on how their grievances are addressed in a meaningful manner.

The rulers should always studt the minds of its people. Both the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE failed to study the minds of the people. In war nothing is certain. Defeat can come at any time with some turn of events. It is an accepted fact that people are always tired of war and sick of hearing the beatings of the war drums. For instance, in 1580 the defeat of the mighty Armada (Spanish Naval Force) by Britain marked the downfall of Spain. One of the reasons was that the Spanish were tired of war and eventually a section of them went in search of green pastures in the countries they discovered in the New Continent. There are some more instances in history.

Similarly, when the Sri Lanka government and the LTTE are not concerned of the Sinhalese and Tamils, it is evident today that both these races have already begun to migrate to foreign countries in search of green pastures. Further, Sri Lanka has not obtained its independence through a bloody war like India or USA. Still the Sri Lankan President keeps on dragging on this burning issue. What has the President lost in pronouncing that federalism is the only solution to this burning problem instead of resorting to the military solution. This being the situation, in my view the achievement by the Sri Lanka Forces will be a short lived one.

- A.Rajasingam

Posted by: A.Rajasingam | July 3, 2008 09:28 PM

My dear Hariharanji,

Please do not undervalue the L.T.T.E.They still retain considerable fighting capacity.Can the Srilankan forces hold on to the newly captured territory?So peace is nowhere in site.As mentioned by you the government nor the president is yet to announce what is their political solution.Any thing that is announced in the Political Package, say by force of circumstances is sure to be shot down by the pro.Sinhala Buddhists elements.
So the President can find an excuse.Further any Political package has to go before a referundum. Convincing the Sinhalese is not going to be easy,because the L.T.T.E.'S track record is such.

So even if the Srilankan forces are successfull in overrunning Mullaitivu which I doubt very much,the outcome to the Thamil people in general is very little.
India is ruled by the North Indians.We cannot expect
them to understand the sentiments of the people of Thamilnadu.Further the Jaffna Thamils consider the Indian Thamils unreliable.Srilankan Thamil affair will remain as a popular slogan for the mushroomed Thamilnadu Politicians,and nothing further. For example in Srilanka the Jaffna Thamils are always in a dominent position
and treat other Thamils very cheaply. The outcome of the Peace Package if ever,the Jaffna Thamils will have a Lions share.Other Thamils will get only the crums.
As mentioned by some gentlemen Writing to the Tamilweek is a pastime for you.You will be writing the same thing over and over again so long you are in good health.

Like the Spanish people the bulk of the Jaffna Thamils have left for greener pastures.It is the Thamils who are not from the good caste,mostly fisherman and manual labourers,and those who are unable to get out, the elderly are living in present Jaffna.The situation in Jaffna at present need no mention.The position will be same in the Vanni if it is brough under militry control.They the Miltry will try to their very limit to Sinhalise those areas.
The remaining Thamils will gradually become Sinhalised Thamils.

This is the aim of the Sinhala Politicians.What has happened to Tibet will happen to the North and East.
So long things are not hostile to India,India will keep mum!


Posted by: Sudalaimaadan. | July 4, 2008 07:41 AM

Wijayapala is perhaps right about LTTE building a cohesive efficient military organisation. But that may have been necessitated by many factors.

For example

1.the need primarily to be a lean & mean guerrilla organisation that can also fight a conventional war.
2.To keep the logistics from becoming unwieldy.
3.To spend more money on weapons than on manpower.
4.Not to unduly disturb the local economy
etc. etc. (I am no military man but a mere PhD)

As for mobilisation, he may be wrong. He may be aware as per southern media and army reports that civilians in LTTE controlled areas, including the old, are given weapons training. A big problem for the Govt these days has been the mobilization of Tamil Diaspora by the LTTE :-) say media reports.

On the LTTE recruitment front he is totally wrong to base his thinking on Sinhala propaganda that LTTE has to force people to join. Fighting for freedom is irresistible I am told. It is time he comes to realise the difference between a SL soldier and a Tiger cadre who has more conviction towards the cause.

Take away the veil of proscription and terror labels and of course the occupying army from the North & East to see the groundswell of Tiger support for Tamil self-determination not only in SL but also throughout the world.

Posted by: 2ndClassTamil | July 4, 2008 09:17 AM

Mr. Devinda Fernando

I've read all of the comments and your response to one of the reader was totally wacky.

Take it easy.

The comment made by the reader was very clear that, he/she desires an end to the misery and wanted India's involvement to solve the Island's turmoil. What's wrong with that. This is what majority of us prefer. There was no mention of his/her loyalty to the LTTE. Please do not associate anyone sympatheize with the Tamils as a LTTE supporter.

You wanted the Tamils to denounce the LTTE and support the GOSL. You got to be kidding or you must be an ignorant reader who have no idea of the ground situation. Look at the plight of the liberated eastern people, they are being made homeless in their own villages and living in squalid refugee camps while their villages are beig designated as a no go HSZ. Until the GOSL comes up with a decent proposal to solve the ethnic issue, please hold on to your request.


In Sri-Lanka's dirty war all of the participants got blood in their hands and this includes your mentor, Colonel Hariharan!


Posted by: Ramesh Sinniah | July 5, 2008 12:31 AM

Col ret'd Hariharan speaks as an army/artillery officer, speaking in terms of land battles, and has omitted the seas and the air.

LTTE has a credible sea wing to match the GOSL Navy.

If the LTTE were build up their air wing, perhaps by producing on their own, the German World War II aircraft such as the Fieseler Fi 103 or better known as V-1, which takes only 50 manhours to build and uses a simple pulsejet, then GOSL will have a real fight on their hands.

Posted by: Jack Daniels | July 8, 2008 04:21 AM

Dear Colonel,
Did you read MR.Sinniah's comments?He is perfectly correct.Unfortunately you seem to see everything from a mility perspective.You do not seem to know the Srilankan Thamils and their composition fully.It is obvious.Because the Srilankan Thamil question is seen from the Jaffna Thamil perspective only.That is because they are highly influential.
Basically there are four kinds of Thamils living in Srilanka.They greatly differ in traditions and customs among them.
It is even beyond imagination to bring all of them under a collective leadership!Any facilitator or negotiater should grasp this basic fact beforehand.
Even in Thamilnadu much is not known about the Srilankan Thamils,other than the ongoing conflict.In my personal view other than the Jaffna Thamils the other three Thamils are agreeable to a reasonable settlement with the Srilankan government.
The trouble is all the other three Thamil community are dominated by the Jaffna Thamils.
I think you should get yourself conversant with the Srilankan Thamils,you will be able to understand the complexity of the conflict .Though Thamilnadu is the closest neighbour to Srilanka,there are lot of differences.The bitter truth is the Srilankan Thamils like the Sinhalese are averse to India expecially to Thamilnadu.Though we talk about Thamil brotherhood,on Thamilnadu Soil all Srilankan Thamils other than those Indian origin Business community Thamils who possess dual citizenship, are considered as foreigners under Indian law.But nepalese do not requare any visas to visit India?
If India is geniunely interested for a settlement of the ongoing conflict in Srilanka,which most of us here doubt...even then, the Indians should first approach the Sinhala intelligencia.
Why not try...A team drawnout from the diverse of the Thamilnadu intellingencia...(other than the Brahmins) should make a visit to the Deep south of Srilanka.
Meet the various people ranging from the University dons,the Buddhist priests,the public servants,the Proffesionals,the ordinary masses.
This will be a interesting experience.You will be able to read their mindset reasons for their animosty against India etc.Why I have mentioned only about Thamilnadu.Because the relationship with India is only through Thamilnadu for the Srilankans.
If ever a negotiated settlement is to be reached it must be approved the Sinhala people.If not it is worthless.So convincing the Sinhalese is equally important like convincing the L.T.T.E.
As I mentioned earlier,what India wants is the Tigers should be tamed and not anything further.India wants the conflict in Srilanka to continue but at a"managable level" by the Srilankan forces.Am I right Colonel?Because then Srilanka will have to be dependent on India.
Finally I wish to point out,the L.T.T.E.'s fighting capabilities cannot be undervalued.The Srilankan forces are yet to enter into their inner territory.The real war is yet to begin.

Posted by: Malayaga Thamilan. | July 8, 2008 04:29 AM

Col Hariharan said:

" ..... This lack of trust and feeling of insecurity among them cannot vanish as long as white van operations continue, media is muzzled, inquiries into illegal killings become political soap operas, and indefinite incarcerations without trials go on as before. ..."

Most of these are results of continued war on terrorism. Most of these problems didn't exist prior to LTTE starting there violent campaign. Media freedom in SL under Mrs. B at that time was probably similar to what was in India under Indira Gandhi??. JRJ gave lot of media freedom, but the media misused it to create more trouble and violence just because they didn't like JRJs reforms. But today everyone has accepted his economic and political reforms. Has anything changed?

I agree that there should be meaningful and practical devolution of power. But terrorism has to be dealt separately. It is very very clear that LTTE doesn't like democracy. - Aruna Ranaweera

Posted by: Aruna Ranaweera | August 1, 2008 11:33 AM

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