India must help Sri Lanka in Crushing Fangs of Terrorism

By: Parmanand Pandey, Advocate, Supreme Court (Secretary General IPC)

The horrific terrorist attacks in many Hotels and Churches of the small but beautiful island country of Sri Lanka have left almost every Indian dazed and shell-shocked. Our country has seen innumerable serial blasts in temples, educational institutions, bazars and other public places. Not long ago, every Indian used to avoid going even to Railway, Bus stations or other crowded places, unless it was very necessary, for fear of bomb blasts. Thanks to the present Central Government of Modi that terrorists have largely been cornered. One can find the watchful eyes of the security forces that deter the terrorists from hitting their targets. The public has now become more awakened, the use of modern technology like CCTV cameras has also helped in tackling terrorism.

But as they say, no amount of security, howsoever and vigilant and strict, can prevent the determined terrorist attacks. And that is what has exactly happened in Sri Lanka, where one terrorist in a hotel was found to be a suicide bomber.

Therefore, unless and until the genesis of terrorism is eradicated, it will be difficult to fully root it out.

Terrorism is not a law and order problem; it is an ideological toxic. So, it must be detoxified on the one hand, and the terror of the security forces must be struck in the hearts of terrorists or budding terrorists. They must be made mortally afraid that if they hit, then they will be hit with more force and will not go unpunished. In Sanskrit, it is called ‘shathe shathyam samacharet’ (a rogue should be dealt with roguery).

The Northern and Eastern part of Sri Lanka, which was practically cut off from the rest of the country due to terrorism could be brought back to mainstream mainly due to the ‘tit for tat tactics’ adopted by her.

However, there is a difference between the previous terrorist attacks and the present one. The previous Tamil terrorists were getting support from a very tiny section of Tamils in India and their replenishment was totally strangulated by the tough policies of India. But this one is a part of Islamic terrorism, which has made the lives of the people across the world a virtual hell. Therefore, it has to be dealt with an iron hand with the support of the international communities.

In the last two and half decades, radical Islam has spread very fast, mainly in eastern Sri Lanka. These Islamic clergies and forces have taken full advantage of the unrest of many years in Sri Lanka. Some 28 years ago, when I visited Sri Lanka for the first time, I had found not many mosques and Islamic seminaries or madrasas but now their number has increased beyond all proportions. Only two years back I had met a large number of Urdu speaking Muslims in eastern Sri Lanka. I asked them out of curiosity as to where they learnt Urdu, they told me in the Gulf countries, they learnt it from Indians and Pakistanis. The Gulf money is being poured to build mosques and madrassas, which is also responsible for the radicalization of Islamic boys.

Sri Lankans are peaceful by nature and the influence of Buddhism has made most of the Singhalese very docile and unobtrusive. Most of them are profiles in courtesy.

It is in the interest of India that Peace must prevail in Sri Lanka so that she develops much faster. While the whole country is solidly behind the people of Sri Lanka, the Government of India must ensure that all help is extended to her in effectively and stringently dealing with the menace of terrorism, which is again raising its fangs in a different but dangerous manifestation.

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