What the LTTE does. Photo from AFP internal servers
It’s around two and I’m pretty focused on getting a sandwich. Then the bomb blast ripples through the phone lines and vibrates insistently in my pocket. Put down the menu disconsolately and ask service to switch to BBC. They don’t have much more info than SRI LANKA BOMB BLAST but it’s not like tombstones need much content anyways. They’re just there for confirmation. BBC drives me crazy cause they play the same 5 minute airport loop over and over, but the local stations don’t cover at all. The rest of the news comes in via text message, phone calls, and general foreboding. Carry on with the day as usual, but there’s a lead veil that hangs over Colombo now. Its deadly quiet at night as I take a trishaw home. I found some photos on a press server, but I dunno what to say.
One thing that’s important to note is that life really does go on in Colombo. I still ate my meal, still went to visit that client, still talked about the future, still went to that press conference and still got home too tired to write anything. In the morning I woke up and I still had shit to do and it’s only now at noon the next day that I can steal a few moments to spit something out. All the usual business contacts express their fears and whatever, but life goes on. I don’t know if that’s good or bad, but it’s weird how numb people have got. Like, the Sri Lankan populace blew up when 13 solidiers were killed in ’83, but there were 80 people killed last month and we didn’t notice. Either we’ve reached some Buddhist equanimity, or else we’re fucking dead and the LTTE is kicking a corpse. Regardless I think the Sri Lankan restraint is commendable and that we truly have the higher ground in this case. I mean, come on. Sri Lanka has held elections, participated in peace talks, and drives and flies the damn LTTE around. On its side, the LTTE has
1. Assassinated the (Tamil) Foreign Minister in his home
2. Prevented anyone in the North and East from voting
3. Detonated countless Claymore Mines
4. Hacked six Sinhala villagers to death in their homes
5. Attack the army commander and kill more in Colombo via suicide bomb
The worst thing the Sri Lankan side has done was the rioting in Trinco, which was very bad. What’s great about Sri Lanka, though, is that the civil society can complain about it (as published on Moju) without fear, and our democratic society can make mistakes, learn, and become better. That is a very valid document and it shows how high the ground is that we now occupy. Discussion of that event focuses on proper compensation and strengthening of existing police-backed Peace Committees. With the LTTE we have to simply ask them to stop behaving like barbarians. We’re just like, ‘err, stop using suicide bombers, stop recruiting children, and stop extorting your own citizens. Oh, and if that’s your severed head in the Araliya tree, do you mind cleaning it up. Please?’
The LTTE violates the Cease Fire brutally and indiscriminately and then I’m reading Tamil Net and they bitch about GoSL not disarming Karuna. If you don’t know, the LTTE splintered into a Northern and Eastern faction, with Karuna being Eastern. Now the LTTE wants GoSL to clean up their miss. Honestly, how the shit is the government of Sri Lanka going to disarm half of the LTTE? Don’t you think we thought of that? Argghhh. However, no matter how petulant and blatantly the LTTE shows its terrorist stripes, it just takes one bad move from GoSL for the BBC to start calling them ‘Freedom Fighters’. As it is the LTTE acting like international dicks and it’s great that Canada has finally decided to ban them. Sri Lanka, looks incredibly patient and moderate in comparison, but that can only go on so long. Not because the country doesn’t want peace, but simply because you can only negotiate for so long with terrorists who prevent people from voting, assassinate Foreign Ministers and Commanders, hack villagers to death and leave limbs strewn around Colombo.
Strewn Limb, downtown Colombo. Photo from AFP
The only problem is that there is no next move on our side. The LTTE is a terrorist organization, so no matter how many camps the Army attacks, they will still kill innocent people and attack targets in Colombo. They will still attack and ethnically cleanse villages, murder dissidents and carry out assassinations. Even as an unelected group they can continue to spread violence and push and prod the country into extremism. Right now the military is bombing targets in Trinco and the North, but real war is very messy because it’s like living next door to Al Qaeda. Actually, we live next door to terrorists that make Al Qaeda look amateur since they basically invented modern suicide bombing. It fucking sucks. There is no next move. We can sit here and accept letters of support from the international community, or go out and fight an enemy that will kill innocents without hesitation. I don’t know, but I do have to get this proposal across before Money goes for lunch so I guess that’s all for now. That’s Colombo, I guess.
Front of the Car. Photo from AFP
Side of the Car. Photo from AFP