The New York Times is basically calling for economic sanctions on Sri Lanka in order to force a cease-fire. This includes the $1.9 billion emergency IMF loan which is basically to prevent the economy from cratering. I know that the Times doesn’t advocate terrorism, it’s my favorite paper. However, I can’t think of a greater weapon than if Prabhakaran wrote it himself. The LTTE wants the ‘international community’ to bail them out. The New York Times wants to do it.
The proper thing to call for is the LTTE to lay down their arms and let go of their human shields. The proper thing is to choke their international funding and support.
Instead the Times wants to point an economic gun at Sri Lanka in order to preserve the LTTE for ‘negotiations’. The LTTE doesn’t want a ceasefire to negotiate, they just want a ceasefire to not lose. I don’t even understand where the Times gets off.
Sanctions generally don’t work in any of these situations. All they do is entrench local despotic tendencies and drive countries into the arms of China, Russia, Iran, etc. How are the sanctions going in Burma, for example? Cuba?
The Times says there are no ‘good guys’ in this fight, but there actually are. I’m no big supporter of the government, but in the fight against the LTTE they are the good guys. My government is running the camps and hospitals that feed and clothe these people while the LTTE is keeping them as human shields. My government has elections while the LTTE has boycotts and murders moderate Tamils. We can fix our government. We cannot fix the LTTE.
God knows this war has a terrible cost, I have seen it. But for the New York Times to step in now and ask for the West to basically attack Sri Lanka economically is unconscionable. The IMF loan isn’t for war, it’s to keep our financial markets from tanking. I’m not one to defend handouts normally, but this is a messed up time internationally and there is huge instability across the system.
How would impoverishing Sri Lanka help? How do we care for the refugees then? How do we rebuild the land that the LTTE occupied and left fallow? How do we rehabilitate their child soldiers? How do we repair their human shields?
Seriously, you want to step in and punish Sri Lanka and save the LTTE now? What the fuck are you thinking? Thankfully the UN Security Council has blocked any moves so far. Now is the time to help Sri Lanka. Not bail out the LTTE.
And yes, I understand the hyperbole involved in that statement. I know the Times doesn’t support the LTTE. The consequence of their ideas, however, would be to bail out the LTTE.