Having considered, from a common sense point of view, what the likelihood would be of the LTTE targeting the various persons on whom the government is currently spending vast amounts on security, it strikes us that those who decide upon the level of protection required in each case should, perhaps, have a fresh look at the whole matter. Whilst there is no question that there are several key figures, political and administrative, on whom the LTTE would consider it worthwhile to expend the resources required (including suicide bombers), most of the others who are currently being provided security are actually assisting the LTTE, albeit unwittingly, by bringing the government and the State into such disrepute that it would be counterproductive for the LTTE to harm them in any way.
The more extreme elements of those who are being protected serve grea
tly to help the LTTE by creating widespread adverse international condemnation of Sri Lanka’s perceived unwillingness to settle the ethnic conflict peacefully. One is inclined to think that the LTTE would not want to harm such persons in any way. Then there are those who indulge in or encourage open corruption. Their behaviour causes progressively increasing disaffection among the public against the powers that be and, hence, might well be considered by the LTTE to be most useful allies in weakening the state. Moreover, judging by the numerous letters to the newspapers on this subject, one is forced to conclude that the arrogant and inconsiderate manner in which most security personnel look after and escort their charges on the public highways is causing a great deal of anti-establishment feeling. Here again, the damage caused to the government far exceeds any benefit that accrues from the security provided. It is obvious, to us at least, that a decrease in the total number of security personnel deployed overall would significantly reduce friction with the public.
As for the misuse of state security to protect the incorrigible offspring of those who do nothing for the country, it is time that President Rajapakse gives his mind to the matter.
On the other hand, the study of security requirements should look into the safety of two particularly valuable groups – whistle-blowers and media personnel. These two highly endangered groups, particularly in those sectors which have been subject to threats, physical attacks and even death in recent years, require urgent and special protection.