I’m not sure if they get it, but the headlines are often absurd. Yesterday’s Sunday Observer was ‘Beware of invisible forces’ and ‘Parliament supreme in taxation’. Now, I’m assuming this comes straight from the government (being a state-owned paper) but it’s still a bit absurd. Our official bodycounts actually give the LTTE negative troop strength, have they assembled an unholy army of the undead? Are they under my bed right now? I suppose the onus is on Mahinda for actually saying something as vague as ‘be aware and cautious of the invisible and unseen forces which may act in diverse modes, to the detriment of our motherland’. Aside from encouraging mass paranoid schizophrenia, I don’t see any actionable information in this statement. It’s vague enough that people can interpret it whatever way they want, which is especially chilling when the President says ‘they could even be disguised in the garb of human rights activists… These parties too, should be recognised and dealth [sic] with accordingly.’ Eh what? And what is ‘accordingly’? As a citizen can I take the machete to the usual suspects or is this more of a polla scene?
The danger in these statements is that they’re a vague injunction to pretty concrete action against other human beings. These statements are also backed by a shitload of guns and people above the law, so humans actually do get abducted and killed. As, since they’re a threat to the ‘motherland’ they probably should be. However, pointing out human rights abuses isn’t actually a crime, whereas abusing humans is.
The only invisible force here is the terror invoked by the LTTE, and cynically manipulated by Mahinda. Rather than leading in the direction of rationality and compassion he’s just riling up and riding this terror to both war and personal gain. Terror, as in fear itself, is what we have to be wary of, not each other. The unspoken fear which has nearly destroyed the American empire through various allergic responses is no less dangerous here.
In the name of this terror we’re willing to divide ourselves, abandon our Constitution, and especially the rights of our Tamil citizens. We’re willing to rain down bombs on our own villages and cut off humanitarian aid during the floods. And, perhaps worst of all, this bloody flag is used to cover the naked spectre of corruption and abuse by our politicians who are turning our democracy into a feudal preserve. Shame on our President for encouraging this bullshit, and shame on the UNP for not offering an alternative. Because there is one. We can actually defeat the LTTE without losing our own soul in the process, or at least without the head-splitting stupid I see in the government papers.