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Friday, January 26, 2007

Norway and the Sri Lankan terrorist group LTTE

I guess I am taking a little break from indie film news and reading up on world affairs. The latest find (or re-discovery, I've seen this site before): This website accuses Norway of supporting the Sri Lankan terrorist group LTTE. LTTE and the Sri Lankan government have been at war for close to 20 years. Recently, government forces have been achieving significant victories against the LTTE. Millions of people in Sri Lanka and around the world, myself included, eagerly await the return of peace to that island nation.

2 comments:

Samuel said...

The LTTE has agreed to a ceasefire, but the government refuses to stop fighting. The government constantly refer to LTTE as terrorists and not freedom fighters, which they are. The Sri Lankan government forces have been accused of genocide, torture, and cencorship of media, and child conscriptions. Who are the real terrorists in Sri Lanka? I say the Sri Lankan government.

The Sujewa said...

Well, Samuel, at one point in time the LTTE may have been freedom fighters; let's say right after Black July (when 1000s of Tamils were killed by Sri Lankan gov backed Sinhala mobs) or so, but, once they started killing Tamil politicians & anyone else that disagreed with them & their plan for "liberation", and they started using suicide bombers, I think they sort of left behind the positive image we associate with freedom fighters. Yes, various Sri Lankan governments over the years have done horrible things to Tamils and also to Sinhalese. And the LTTE has used ceasefires as breaks from fighting to re-arm & then resume fighting when ready. The government has, in recent years, been willing to discuss solutions that are short of creating two countires on the island, and the LTTE is of course adamant about separatism, creating Illam (sp?), a separate country. And, outside of the world's view, both sides are willing to use all manner of evil methods (death squads, attacks on easy targets/civilians, torture, rape, to try to destroy the other. Supporters of each side could argue that both are fighting for freedom (on the SL gov side - freedom from the military dictatorship of the LTTE). Ultimately the solution to Sri Lanka's troubles will not come from creating two states on the island; the permanent solution would be to grant full citizenship to everyone who lives on the island and to create a post-tribal nation; where what matters is being Sri lankan, not Tamil or Sinhala. But, sadly, before we get to that point, probably a whole lot of people will get killed in the current war. Sri Lanka must be the saddest island on Earth. Specially because the underlying ideas that animate the violence; Sinala-ness or Tamil-ness, are just concepts used for controling people - much like race theory in Western history - not natural things but intellectual devices, tools of war basically - and the so called Sinhalese and the so called Tamils are basically one people; immigrants from various parts of India for the most part - and closely related to each other no doubt; after hundreds of years living on a small island. So, since 1948, some Sri Lankans have gone to great lengths to harras & kill their close or distant brothers & sisters/cousins, whatever, in the name of a language/religion/race identity. A huge mistake, loss, tragedy. An idiotic & self-distructive thing, obviously. The way out for Sri Lanka is real law & order, ending corruption on all levels of society & government, and a united people/island/nation & rejection of race theory, caste like mindset. Sounds like a tall order, a lot of work, but it would only take a commited minority (relatively few people) from just one generation to turn the fortunes of the island around. Trying to figure out who the terrorist are just the start of the question; the bigger question is why are Sri Lankans so violent; why have they been violent since 1948 (either Sinhalese against Tamils, Tamils against Tamils (LTTE killing rivals), Sinhalese and Sinhalese (JVP violence)?, and what are the methods, tools, ideas, incentives, etc. that can be used to get the Sri lankans to end the violence? On the bright side I do see the violence ending.
Ultimately economic development & access to education, work, wealth building for many on the island is the key to lasting peace; all these small & large wars on the island, though they may be covered in the shape of race or ethnic pride/heritage, is about controling the ability to make money (a thing of limited supply for most of modern SL history).
In the end, once the soldiers get the violence under control, entrepenuers, economists, and a just legal system will save the island. At least I am hoping that's how things will go down.

- Sujewa

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