Photo from the New York Times. For the record, Somini Sengupta’s reporting kinda sucks and whitewashes the LTTE
What I hear from the Red Cross and UN people is that the situation is dire. About 250,000 civilians and LTTE are being herded into a ‘safety zone’ and sorted out with the bombs. The real asshole in this drama, however, is certainly the LTTE. They are preventing people going out and using human shields as policy. Don’t get me wrong, they are a terrible stain on this nation and the world and the greatest threat to the Tamil people. If only because the language now becomes about fighting terrorism, and that justifies any amount of collateral damage. The LTTE must be eliminated, but the sad effect is that this is being done by killing and oppressing the shit out of the Tamil people. Collateral damage.
What’s really sick is that the LTTE held up a convoy of critically wounded people for about 3 days. If you don’t know the LTTE, this is what they do. They do not give a fuck, and they suck. What also sucks is that the government isn’t that cooperative either, if only because it can’t sort out the LTTE cadres from the civilians. This government also does not give a fuck and is ruthlessly trying to win this war on all fronts, including violently controlling the media perception of it.
And perhaps, so be it. The LTTE got to a negotiating position but then proved that their only agenda was destruction. The great shame is that is average Tamil people being destroyed. By who matters little as it’s happening. The government is prosecuting this war and Tamil people are collateral damage. Given the existential threat of the LTTE, however, I think most Sri Lankans would say this is justified.
I think there is a better way, but I can’t articulate it and neither can the opposition. So be it. My thoughts and metta go out to everyone suffering in this conflict, from the innocent civilians to our soldiers and even to the LTTE cadres. May all beings be peaceful and happy. If not in this life.