In happier times, KP on the left
Word from the Daily Mirror is that the LTTE’s new leader KP (Selvarasa Pathmanathan) was arrested in Thailand. He’s been arrested before and released by corrupt Thai officials, so I’ll wait and see. However, if so this is a very good thing. He is a major financier of terrorism wanted by Sri Lanka, India and Interpol, most notably for involvement in the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi. The weapons and funds he’s procured have funded more suicide bombings than Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Al Qaeda combined, along with other violence. Seemingly moderate blogging aside, this is not a good guy.
However, I don’t agree with his blogging either. Just yesterday he wrote
Sri Lanka is the identity of the Sinhala people. It does not represent Tamil Nation. We are Eelam Tamil People. We are not Sri Lankans. This is the sense of identity every Eelam Tamil has in their consciousness.
Which is just nonsense. My friends are Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim, Burgher, half-German, half-Austrian, one-quarter Chinese, Malay, etc and we’re all proud Sri Lankans. More to the point, I don’t think it’s productive to say ‘you’re racist, let us be racist too’. The problem isn’t that with one race or another, the problem is racism. That is something we can only fix through unity.
There is racism in Sri Lanka and being a minority is disproportionately hard. There are constitutional rights which aren’t practically extended to minorities, Tamils the most. However, the solution to this isn’t geographical separation based on race, but rather a broad civil rights movement for all the people on this island, regardless of class or creed.
But I digress. KP’s biggest crime isn’t being a Tamil nationalist. It’s being a terrorist, and I use that word in the literal not the political sense. The weapons and funds he procured have blown up buses, assassinated leaders, killed thousands of innocents and ruined millions of lives. The international smuggling networks he’s set up have contributed to global corruption, drug dealing and arms smuggling.
Thailand has caught and let him go before, mostly likely due to KP’s phones calls to well connected corrupt officials. KP is, however, now isolated internationally and within the LTTE (pitched against the hardliners and barely acknowledged by TamilNet). So let’s hope the SMS alert is for real. The only question is who gets to try him first.
KP has been arrested and is now in Colombo. He was apparently arrested in Malaysia and transported through Thailand. As usual, DBS Jeyaraj has the best report.