We’re having lunch when Tha gets a phone call. Somebody says there’s been a suicide bomber in Colombo. Shit.
For background, Lions and Tigers are killing each other. My great-great-great-great-grandaddy was a lion (Sinha) – so my race is the Sinhalese. Lion People. The ancient Tamil Chola empire spread from India to Sri Lanka and their emblem was the tiger. The rebels now call themselves the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). So, Lions and Tigers.
Anyways, you can ignore the complicated history and demographics and pretend that it’s a game between the Lions and Tigers. Except the score is a body count. There are 65,000 people dead, abouts. Most of the dead are villagers and poor kids who join the Army. Some spectacular Tiger kills are a President, the opposition leader and husband of President Chandrika Kumaratunga, and India’s Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi. The Army ‘disappeared’ a fair amount of people, but the Tiger leader/God Prabhakaran is harder to find that bin Laden . Prabhakaran invented modern suicide bombing about 20 years ago. Sorry about that.
The body count, however, is from before the cease-fire. The cease-fire gave us peace for about 2.5 years. Now it’s looking creeaky and the dead number something like 65,005.
COLOMBO (Reuters) – At least five people were killed and 11 wounded when a suspected Tamil Tiger suicide bomber blew herself up inside a police station in the Sri Lankan capital on Wednesday, shattering more than two years of relative peace.
Police said the woman detonated the bomb as she was being frisked, but that the target was government minister Douglas Devananda, a Tamil who is a vocal opponent of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
“A female has gone into the ministry of Douglas Devananda and wanted to meet him… Permission was not granted. People from ministerial security followed her and these officials took her into the police station. While they (police) tried to search her she exploded herself,” said police spokesman Rienzie Perera.
One time some jailed Tigers went on a hunger-strike and Devananda went in to negotiate. Somehow security broke down and the prisoners cracked Dave’s skull wide open. Tha says it’s a miracle that he survived. Tigers are pretty well equal-opportunity assholes. There used to be other Tamil political movements until the Tigers dragged their leaders thru Jaffna tied behind trucks.
It’s later now and my sister Anu is back from work. She drove by the police station and said she couldn’t see much besides shattered glass. If any of my friends are worried, don’t worry. Here’s how this nice page of links describes the conflict:
While fashionably dressed teens learn to drive their new Alfa Romeos in Colombo, and the smartly dressed young women are sitting around, sipping wine, giggling and watching male dance-strippers in swanky bungalows in posh parts of Colombo , the burden of war sacrifice falls on the poor, uneducated villagers of southern Sri Lanka, who have provided most of the estimated 18,000 troops killed so far.
… I do like to shop at Odel’s, but me, drive? Anyways, to sum up, everything’s OK, and the cease-fire still holds.
This is a hot-map of the bomb scene. The blast is a blue triangle. Devananda works next to Temple Trees – which is the center of power in Colombo. Daddyji had a meeting there at 10 today but it was cancelled. The bomb was at 12. My family’s gym is near Temple Trees. I was just at is this coffee-shop Barista’s down the street. I bought a donut there and they microwaved it. It tasted like sponge. Anyways, I was getting a donut cause me and Anu ducked out of Subu’s Prize-Giving at the Galle Face Hotel next-door. She got prizes for French, English, and History. I guess I know the area personally, but everybody does. The British and American Embassies are like 10 meters from the bomb scene, as is the Prime Minister’s Office. So, it’s a big deal. If this is part of a pattern, then it is not so good:
1) In April Colonel Karuna defected from the Tiger leader/God Prabhakaran. This is fucking crazy cause Prabhakaran will kill you. The Tigers chased Karuna out of the East Coast and now he’s hiding somewhere in Colombo. A guest of … the Sinhala Army. Nobody would ever, ever say this – but the Army could use Karuna to attack the Tigers without technically violating the cease-fire.
2) Two weeks ago a suicide vest was found on the street in north Colombo. It’s not exactly like losing your keys. A warning from the Tigers perhaps.
3) A few days ago the government released a few of Karuna’s men who presumably went East to cause trouble. We’re not generally in the habit of releasing terrorists, except our terrorists.
4) Today there is a suicide bombing in the heart of Colombo – albeit with plausible deniability for both sides (just Tamils killing Tamils). It is, however, right in front of the embassies and the PM’s Office.
ad nauseum) Next step would probably be the killing of a political leader (One of the monk MPs?)- and then war in Trinco. Actually, if they killed one of the admitedly racist monks we’d have riots like ’83 … but I don’t think the Tigers are that crazy. So, I guess Trinco would be likely. Tracy, do you remember that home video where I was on a tour of a naval base? Where we were on that boat with all the guns? That’s Trinco. Anyways, to my friends again, I’m fine. It’s election time in the Etats and I worry about you too.
… here’s a video from before the cease-fire from PBS, kinda informative.