poster commemorating the assassination of Foriegn Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar
I have forgotten LTTE Terrorism in order to enjoy the benefits of peace. Millions of Sri Lankans live under unelected terrorist rule, but we let it go cause the economy needs stability. I still let it go because – like the PLO or IRA – terrorists are the only ones left to negotiate with. I support P-TOMS (sharing tsunami aid with the LTTE) because there is no other way to reach the affected in the Northeast. However, there must be more pressure on the LTTE to renounce terrorism. They cannot shoot the Foriegn Minister in his home. They cannot torture and kill the unarmed Charles Wijewardena in Jaffna. They cannot do all of these things and call themselves the sole representatives of the Tamil people. Otherwise the responsibilities for all these crimes fall fairly and squarely on the shoulders of all Tamils (AsianTrib). It is time for the LTTE to join the democratic mainstream, or to remain in the same category as those who killed in New York, Madrid, and London. Terrorists, elected by no one.
As a preface, the Sinhalese have done terrible things to Tamil people over the years. I’ll repeat that the Army has disappeared people, citizens have murdered in the streets, and Tamil culture and language have been disrespected. Slowly, however, things have gotten better. The Tamil language is gaining the respect and place it deserves, and Tamil people have a place in a democratic Sri Lanka. A crappy democracy, but it kinda creaks along. There is still no shortage of Sinhala Chauvanists – the JVP and JHU notably – but more often than not they get shouted down. There are certainly minority abuses all over the country – to both Tamils and Muslims. There is no denying Sri Lanka’s sins, but Sri Lanka has one redeeming quality. It is democracy. We have the tools to make things better. All the LTTE has is Prabhakaran, torture, and death.
This is a response to assertations from Morquendi (honestly, welcome back), and his Nittewa bloggers. Everyone is very careful to avoid even blaming the LTTE for anything, so as not to rock the boat. People are really wetting themselves to avoid looking like Sinhala Racists. Morquendi has floated some weird theory that the the Head of the UN Peace Secretariat is responsible. That’s up there with his earlier theory that the CIA was funding the Sinhala Chauvanist JVP. People are so quick to treat the LTTE with kid gloves, as if they are now statesmen instead of terrorists and extortionists. But they are still terrorists. Sri Lanka just has to negotiate with them until they calm down and become an annoying political party like the JVP. If, however, they shoot the Sri Lankan Foriegn Minister we should speak out.
All in all, the Sri Lankan reaction has been as diplomatic enough to befit Lakshman Kadirgamar. In 1983 the death of 13 soldiers struck off absolutely inhuman rioting – but today I went about Colombo quite normally. There were soldiers on every corner, but no one harrassed my dark and confused looking ass as I fumbled with my LT map on Flower Road. We are actually, so far, reacting OK and I think that Nittewa is speaking for the fringe. All the papers, the President, and police chief have concurred that this is an LTTE act, so I’ll go from there. As to what good we can pull out of this loss, I agree with the comment Nilesh left on Mahangu’s blog.
This is clearly the most serious violation yet and certainly the most potent to the international community (he was, afterall, a diplomat).
War, after all, is clearly not our strongpoint so I think it is imperative that we use this event and (with regard to CBKâ€™s recent thoughts) our intelligently pacifist reaction to garner international support to tighten the economic noose on the Tigers. And given our pusillanimous state, I think this is a perfect time to bolster our intelligence, increase our border protection and most importantly talk tough to the Tigers and make a real move to disarm them.
This should all be an attempt to leave the Tigers with no option but to become a legitimate and civil political body. After all, we inflicted the most visceral blow (i.e. Karuna split) to the Tigers not through our disastrous military campaigns, but by allowing them to realize a future beyond terrorism. Clearly, if we want to successfully settle this conflict it can only come from â€˜liberatingâ€™ the LTTE from its primitive methods of inciting myopic Sinhalese opprobrium and aggression.
We must win the â€˜hearts and mindsâ€™ of the Tamil people who depend on the LTTE. We must show them that their political demands can only be met by getting rid of the megalomaniacal and despotic elements in the LTTE. For people genuinely interested in peace Iâ€™m sure the concessions will be easier to come by and the compromises more meaningful and frequent.
I think it is time for people to see the LTTE for what they are – dictatorial, facist, inefficient, and corrupt. Extortionists, child abusers, and terrorists. The Point Pedro Institute has just released a detailed and brave working paper detailing LTTE tsunami corruption, and corruption in general. It is another Tamil voice speaking for the Tamil people above the LTTE, and I pray that it remains safe. It talks about the institutionalized corruption and oppression of the LTTE regime and there’s enough there to give me a few good posts. It’s not time to return to war, but it is time for the LTTE’s halo of efficiency and righteousness to come down a notch.