Sri Lanka to Train Pakistan Army in Counter Insurgency Operations

Colombo, Sri Lanka- The government of Sri Lanka has stated that it has accepted the request of the Pakistani army to assist its personnel in training for counter insurgency operations against militants after the success of the Sri Lankan army in defeating the Tamil Tigers.

In May of this year, the Sri Lankan government announced victory over the rebel Tamil Tigers of Sri Lanka who had waged a civil war in the northern and eastern Sri Lanka against the government forces. The Tamil rebels wanted a separate country for the minority Tamil population of Sri Lanka from the majority Sinhalese population. The conflict between the rebels which lasted over 25 years and killed over 80,000 people was one of the longest and most brutal insurgency in all of Asia.

After mounting impressive ground offensives against the rebels earlier this year, the Sri Lankan army captured and killed Velupillai Prabhakaran, the leader of the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) who had founded the rebel group in 1976.

The LTTE was instrumental in developing child soldiers, women bombers and inventors of the suicide belt and were notoriously effective in their activities and very well organized, hence the lasting of the conflict for almost three decades. Due to the success of the Sri Lankan army in winning the civil war against the Tamil Tigers earlier this year, many nations including the United States, India, Bangladesh, Philippines, and now Pakistan have sought the assistance of the Sri Lankan army in fighting insurgents.

It should be noted that earlier this year the Sri Lankan cricket team came under attack while in Pakistan to play a cricket match by Pakistani militants in a highly embarrassing incident for the Pakistani government in providing security to visiting sporting teams from other countries. Both countries have historically enjoyed warm relations and the attacks on the Sri Lankan cricket team was wholly unexpected by the authorities and only the heroics of the Pakistani bus driver avoided mass casualties.

It is commendable that Sri Lanka has offered to help Pakistan in strategies to fight militants in its own country and also a positive sign that the government of Pakistan is willing to ask for assistance of other countries that have had both experience in fighting militants and also demonstrable success over the militias and terrorists in their own countries. Pakistan can use all the help it can get in its fight against both the Taliban as well as many other militant and terrorist groups within its borders who appear to attack at whim.

Reporting by Manzer Munir for www.PakistanisforPeace.com

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