The LTTE was pursuing an almost moderate strategy, suicide attacks/assassination attempts on the Foriegn Minister, Army Commander, Defense Minister, dissidents, military targets, etc. Those acts were all cease-fire violations, killing more bystanders than actual targets, but they were not the raw, civilian flesh-rending terrorism of yore. However, the LTTE has now begun what they started a bonafide and terrifyingly random campaign of terror against average citizens in the South. Suicide bombers have blown up civilian buses in Meetiyagoda and Nittambuwa, killing at least 22 very normal people and wounding over 110. These are attacks on buses, which is not the mode of transport for military or VIPs. This is terrorism, plain and simple. These are planned attacks on innocent civilians by the LTTE.
Right now the bombs are attributed to the LTTE. They typically deny all attacks, even when ruled guilty by international organizations (SLMM, EU). The only alternative would be a nationalist group trying to blame the LTTE, but they’re simply not as trained at bombing, nor do I think they would adopt those tactics. The timing is also pointed, the attacks coming after the LTTE warned of retaliation for air raids. It’s not to stretchy to say that this is an LTTE bombing, but people will debate.
This was an attack on civilians. My friend is in Hikkaduwa (without a phone) and I’m honestly kinda scared. Average people take the bus. I take the bus to Kandy and (If I remember correctly) it costs like Rs 150, or $1.50. The people on the bus are going home, or going to work, or doing mundane business. They are average people, even poor, and elites with jobs and petrol allowances don’t take the bus. Not that anyone is less deserving of life, but what the fuck.
In the Meetiyagoda/Peraliya bombing they report to have found parts of a female suicide bomber. The Nittambuwa reports don’t say (to my reading). Tamil Net reports a time bomb. These were murderous and maiming attacks on innocent civilians. The attack on Peraliya is just cruel, that being the site where almost 1000 died in that eerie tsunami train. Tamil grievances or not, killing average people on the bus is wrong. Nothing makes it right.
I dunno, but the LTTE has been attacking the South, especially Galle. They staged a purely symbolic raid on the Naval base, and now two remote attacks on the Matara-Colombo road and Nittambuwa. These are bumblefuck places with no strategic value, so pure terror is the only value. The LTTE is trying to scare average people and possibly provoke an ethnic backlash, spiralling into deeper bloodshed. So far Sri Lankans have not given the intended reaction, which is commendable (and telling). Like, perhaps Tamils can live here if the LTTE just lets the tensions go down. Of course, less tension and discrimination means less tyrannical LTTE with war powers, so they’re not exactly motivated towards peace, or a better life for anyone.
Terrorism is a much abused word and I try not to bandy it, but this is pretty clear. The LTTE is attacking innocent civilians on buses. That is terrorism and it is wrong. No other events justify killing a father on his way to work, or a daughter on the way to school. It is simply not right. I’m so sorry for their families, and I’m so worried. One for my friend, and two because the LTTE seems to be clamoring for escalation so bloody and so loud.