Thursday, February 7, 2008

Terrorism: At its worst in Sri Lanka

February 4th 2008 marked 60 years of independence from Britain. The government of Sri Lanka organized the usual military parades under very tight security as it was expected that LTTE would try to do something really bad.

Well, they marked the independence day too - with a series of bombings all over the country. The worst was a suicide bombing at the Colombo Fort railway station (the central station in Colombo). A female suicide bomber blew herself up killing 14 people and injuring more than 100 others. Amongst the dead: 7 school children from D. S. Senanayake M.V., a major boys school in Colombo. (My mother used to teach there many years ago.) The boys were all members of the school baseball team - they were returning home from a game in Kandy. Half the team had come back the day before- but these boys had stayed back to visit some of the historical sites in Kandy. Little did they know what was waiting for them in Colombo. Also dead is an old-boy of the school, one of the coaches of the team. Oh BTW, amongst the dead, an 18 year old Tamil boy. Yes, a member of the community that the bastard LTTE terrorists claim they're fighting for. TV in Sri Lanka had shown the 7 caskets lying in the school auditorium - I cannot imagine what that must have been like (I'm traveling right now and so wasn't there to see it). In addition to these 7 school boys, two more 12 year old school girls were also brutally murdered by that female suicide bomber.

As part of the independence day celebrations LTTE also blew up a bus at the Dambulla bus depot - a bus full of buddhist pilgrims going to a ceremony in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka's nearly 2000-year old first capital city.

They went on to attack another bus with a claymore mine in Weli-Oya.

Rumour is ripe in Sri Lanka that LTTE has committed to making a "1000 mothers weep" .. killing children of 1000 mothers. The government has closed all schools in the Colombo area for this entire week as a precaution - the threat is real. Why only Colombo schools? LTTE is doing this to get attention and to try to provoke the population .. best way to do that is in Colombo.

So this is what terrorism is about. I hope this helps all those people who think that the LTTE are "freedom fighters" understand what these maniacs are like. There's no place on this earth for LTTE's leadership; they belong six feet under it.

Would any other country allow a group of terrorists to hold territory, have a navy and have an airforce? Yes, LTTE has all that. However, Sri Lanka has always been dinged by various countries when we try to destroy the terrorist movement in Sri Lanka.

Example: The US invaded two countries to destroy terrorists that attacked them, but when we fight back and say "enough is enough; no more ceasefire bullshit- you are now dead" what do we get? They cut off aid to Sri Lanka. Yes, we were taken off the Millennium Challenge opportunity - of $11m. THANK YOU Senator Leahy. Rather, up yours, Senator Leahy. (And maybe I should ask- how much money did LTTE lobbyists give your PAC?) You want to talk about human rights? Come to Sri Lanka and talk to that Tamil mother who's son was killed by that suicidal maniac.

Ever heard the statement "those in glass houses should not throw stones" Mr. Leahy? Your country circumvented the Geneva Convention and you want to tell us about protecting human rights?

Tell me Mr. Lahey, how far would your country go if there was a group of maniacal terrorists holding a part of your country, having their own navy, their suicide squads, their own airforce and their own gun running ships? You think you guys would be showing "human rights" to them??

That's ok. You can keep your $11m and spend it in Iraq, where you really need about another $11000B to cleanse it of all "enemy combatants." We'll survive. We have elephants in Sri Lanka - and there's another saying you should keep in mind: "elephants never forget."

Oh yeah, its not only the US who's doing this- Japan is threatening us with cutting aid too if we don't stop fighting these maniacs and start talking to them. Japan- the very country that one of our leaders spoke loudly in support of at the San Francisco Conference in 1945 to help them get back on their feet. Come on Mr. Akashi, drink some saki and think again about what you're doing.

The last time we almost eliminated the LTTE was in 1987. Then Indian Air Force planes came and air dropped supplies to the LTTE (which they nurtured with financial and military support in the 80s) and basically threatened Sri Lanka with invasion if we didn't stop. Then the Indians came to Sri Lanka as peace keepers and after a while left licking their wounds - LTTE killed more than 1500 Indian troops in Sri Lanka. India is now a true friend - they now help us and, probably most importantly, are not getting in the way.

The Sri Lankan government has said unequivocally that the time for talking with the LTTE is over. We can start talking again after its maniacal leader Prabhakaran is dead. Its really sad that LTTE foot soldiers are being killed regularly in the process - they are really Sri Lankan citizens who have been mislead by this bastard. Unfortunately we haven't yet been lucky to get Prabhakaran - but sleep lightly bastard, your days are numbered. Maybe you should start counting in hours.

As I blogged earlier, killing off the LTTE does not solve the underlying problems in Sri Lanka which lead to terrorism raising its ugly head in Sri Lanka. However, we CANNOT solve those as long as there's one group that has appointed themselves the "sole representative of the Tamil people" and kills off all non-compliant Tamil leaders. Sorry; you guys just need to go away from the face of this earth- then let's talk and figure out a way forward.


Jaliya Ekanayake said...

Very True.

Carlos Marcello a person who supported killing John F Kennedy said,

" dog will continue to bite you if you cut off its tail. Whereas if you cut off the dog's head, it would cease to cause you trouble."

So far, all the governments in our country tried to beat the LTTE by killing its carders a strategy that did not succeed. Now the target is the "dog" and if we succeed(we will this time) then the peace will be just one block away.

Unknown said...

"The last time we almost eliminated the LTTE was in 1987. Then Indian Air Force planes came and air dropped supplies to the LTTE (which they nurtured with financial and military support in the 80s) and basically threatened Sri Lanka with invasion if we didn't stop."

And what did we get in return? Assassination of Rajiv Gandhi. Even inside Tamil Nadu (my homestate) there are some well known LTTE sympathizers like that moron V. Gopalaswamy of MDMK. I don't understand what those guys from Norway have been doing all these years acting as peace intermediaries. Everytime they try to contribute something the process almost always circles back to square one.

Anonymous said...

Indeed, these brutal attacks must be condemned. Not only Sinhalese, but even Tamil people should start condemning these barbarian acts. I stand with you, condemning these acts and conveying by deep condolences to the victims.

But Sanjiva, we often noticed about the biased and “selective amnesia” kind blogs from people like you. Where were you all when there was an ambush on school children in Mannar recently . Just because it was not claimed by GOSL, we can't be blind. This incident was even confirmed by the Bishop of Mannar. When Sinhalese speaking people start condemning those activities, then your above post can be welcome by most of the Tamil people I think.

Please do understand that I am not trying to justify LTTE's brutal murders. It has to be condemned. But equally we need to condemn the Sri Lankan forces' brutal activities. It has been proven that governments also do terrorist activities. It is named “State Terrorism”. Despite of who doing it, terrorism must be cleaned up !

So it is pretty obvious that you start feeling sad when it happens in your own backyard. These bomb blasts, brutal massacres have been happening in north and east for last three decades (FYI my cousin sister was raped by a military man in 1980s ). But you guys never cared. (Except keeping a line about power sharing in each such blogs). Have you ever cared about what Tamils are really expecting. Forcing an unacceptable solution is another discriminative act. If you really believe that Mr Devananda, Mr Sangari and Late Kadhigamar are the Tamils' most beloved leaders then better you ignore this comment by now).

What we really want is indiscrimination in every part. When a Tamil person is killed by government forces, you need to up against it and condemn. Then we will see the fairness on your above blog. But when you only worry about incidents caused by LTTE then as Tamil people we just have to look at whats done by government forces only.

This is about the "Problem of the other" quoted from Obama (I don't want to comment on what Clinton said as I know what is your opinion on her comments !)

Finally I just want to say this. You or I are not going to make any difference. (Again quoted from John Rambo ! ). But lets be fair enough.

I hope you understand my concerns. I am not just writing this for time passing. I really suffered from the ethnic conflict for last 3 decades and I am tired as you. We desperately need a solution for this. A good solution can remove the terrorism from the country. Thats the best way of cleaning up the terrorism. But what our government does is , it tries the long path. Because it simply doesn't have the courage to propose to good solution. The current proposed solution can be ignored by even you I think!
So how do we believe? I know who ever supports LTTE , they surely don't have any other options. Because Sri Lankan governments' activities are fair enough to realize that they are not going to offer anything. And when looking at the comments made by privileged people like you, we often wonder on whats going to happen here after. How are you going to answer these following questions.

1)LTTE barbarians group was formed as result of many many indiscriminate acts by Sinhalese from the day of independence. And Tamils are asking for power sharing from 1956. But was there any better solution proposed? Forget about LTTE. We will both clean them up. But what about the solution. Are you prepared for power devolution? I know you will, but how about your government?
2)LTTE LTTE LTTE, heard enough about it. But are you smart enough to blog about 56, 71, 77 83 rites where thousands of Tamils were killed only because there were Tamils.
3)Are you going to mention about Nagarkovil bombing on primary school children where 200+ primary school children were killed ? I was in Jaffna by that time nearly a decade ago.
4)Do you know anything about the air force bombing on a church where 300+ refugees were killed?. If I remember correctly, it was early 1995 I think. (Of course we didn't have blogs by that time! )
5)Leave it, do you still remember about the recent Sencholai incident and the irresponsible comment from the government media spokesman?

I am not a selective amnesia person. I just want to recall some of the incidents as if you just come and read this blog, you may wonder on any tiny little reason for Tamil people to fight. The answer is yes, there are enough reasons to fight. But the way LTTE is acting should not be the right way to respond such activities. So as Sanjiva told LTTE must be sent to hell. But keep the hell open, there are plenty to follow.

I will not be bothered if you don't publish this comment. Because I just wanted to write this. I know I am not going to change anything about your opinion. I just felt. I am a great fan of you as i could not bear the selective amnesia you have shown on your posts related to Sri Lankan ethnic conflict.

Sanjiva, Our ethnic problem is millions time complicated than SOAP. But like how SOAP stands for, our problem is often considered as "SIMPLE".

I am honest enough to say that I am not making my comments with my true name. The reason you know that , I am not wanting to be another "LTTE labeled " innocent Tamil person who will be murdered and buried.

Genesis said...

DS Senanayake college tragedy:

lahiru said...

Sir,Really Excellent Blog post.I'm really impressed by those words.I'm really suspicious on how should i give hand to my mother land on this occasion.I don't have any idea on how to help our troops who's fighting for my mom for my dad and brothers.

Gayath said...

I'm not gonna argue, who has selective amnesia (to be frank, there's been too many atrocities to remember), so anyone who forget needs to be forgiven, and trusted to be telling the truth. Without trust there's no solution to this ever!
All I can say is, if the government puts a solution that Tamils (and other minorities) can trust. Then this war will end sooner (may be the government can beat the LTTE without that!), but get majority of public away from the separatist mindset of the LTTE.
Otherwise even if the war is won, it wouldn't have solved the problem.

pramukha said...

Exactly, we need to understand at least here on ward, we must put a full stop to this barbarian works like suicidal attacks. One small thing we can do is to be care full on what’s going on around us, and be alert on and INFORM to the responsible person. They(LTTE) create more and more defense people by doing this kind of bull shits. That can lead to mass scale war like Malaysia’s “boomiputhra”. Every LTTE against personal will carry arms against them. That’s not so far.

Malinda Kaushalye Kapuruge said...

Dear Sithamparan,
I understand your point. There were, are and will continue to hear many stories like yous from north as well as south if are not akin to find a solution for this crisis. We were telling such stories and kept fighting for decades and finally have paid a heavy price as a nation.
I'm a Sinhalese living in south. But have many Tamil/Muslim friends. The very government that you accuse has given me the privilege of living with them. Listen to their stories and experience that they also have the same problems. This is something missed by a northern tamil guy in my age under the LTTE grip. All he has seen is war, soldiers, bombs, cries and rubles. If you just imagine of problems faced by us, as Sri Lankans, those are common for all of us. There are fathers/mothers who are worrying about their children's food, education and safety irrespective of their ethnicity. The problems like language,culture comes next. But for politicians the latter is more important as they are not competent to solve the former. So they brought them up, planted in our heads and let us fight. So we fought for decades. LTTE is not the root of the problem here. you and me may have different point of views about the root. But at the moment they are the group who are not willing to end this bloodshed. How many chances have been given to them? How many times they have violated the trust and taken us for a ride? Have they shown any sign of stopping this conflict and come to a reasonable solution? They are still not willing to stop the ethnic cleansing. What have they done to bring the broken nation together rather than still dreaming on the Peelam?
So as Sinhalese we've come to the conclusion that LTTE needed to be eradicated. If I can live with Tamils in the south, why the Sinhalese and Muslims cannot do the same in the north. Tamils in north as well as Sri Lankans in south are not safe today. Just because a lunatic is still living under a bunker dreaming of his peelam and few morons supporting them to keep refugee visa or to do their businesses? This is not fair.
Also, my personal belief is that LTTE has caused the biggest damage to the Tamils, than any other. So try to accept the truth and live with others. Finally hats off for condemning the brutal attack.

Blogger said...

1)LTTE barbarians group was formed as result of many many indiscriminate acts by Sinhalese from the day of independence. And Tamils are asking for power sharing from 1956. But was there any better solution proposed?

Was it after/before 1956 that Mr.Chelvanayakam founded “Thamil Arasu Kachchi” (Party for Tamil State - or the so called Federal Party)?
Explain how it started during 1940s with your discrimination story.

At least now we have to understand that it is not due to discrimination towards Tamils by Sinhalese that the blood thirsty terrorism came in to existence in this country but due to the racism created by the desires of a handful of so called political leaders.

Let's not discuss about your statistics regarding the numbers got killed thousands, 200+, 300+ unfortunately though your unbiased, non-LTTE mask is revealed through them.

patavi said...

Dr. Sanjeewa,
Great post- good to see Sri Lankan intellectuals speaking to the world about the true situation in Sri Lanka.

A war leaves scars- it is hard to forgive and forget.
But the ordinary Sinhalease are very forgiving, so are ordinary Tamils.

If the right choices are made in the next two years, in a decade we can build a prosperous and harmonious Sri Lanka.

Despite the original reasons of the LTTE’s birth as rebel fighters, today, they have mutated beyond their cause (the one supported by you and the Tamil diaspora) in to something hideous.

From your comment it appears that you are living in Colombo or suburbs; so let me ask you:
In the present, are you discriminated against by the Sinhalease?
If you think you are, can you please tell us what those discriminations are?

It might be difficult for you to truly realize that the LTTE is not your savior anymore.
But if you look through your bitterness of the events in the past, you will see that they, in fact, are the primary road block in the path to a prosperous Sri Lanka.

12345 said...

problem is still most of the tamils support LTTE. they dont realise Prabhakaran is just another power hungry bastered. Untill tamil realise they cant archive anything by supporting LTTE this will never end.

Unknown said...


Please check the two pictures of the following two article
links; One is in Iraq and the other is in Mannar. But the catch is the
second one; Tamil Editors copied the Iraq one and expressed that was in
Mannar. This is indisputable proof that the lengths the LTTE will go to decieve the world for its goals
now check this

Srilankan said...

The 13th amendment implementation for the North and East is currently creating much turmoil and controversy both, in Sri Lanka and in the diaspora. Tamils in the diaspora consider the 13th amendment a waste of time since it falls short of fulfilling aspirations for a completely separate Tamil state, by contrast, opponents tf the amendment consider it to be too much of a concession to Tamil separatism. What, however, are the views of ordinary Tamils in the North who are actually bearing the brunt of the on-going conflict?
Tamils in the homeland are having to face tragedies on an almost daily basis, dear ones killed, others abducted. The fit and able Tamils have fled the soil of their homeland. It is the poor, weak and vulnerable people that were left behind. Everywhere in Sri Lanka ordinary Sri Lankans want the war to stop. Ordinary Tamils in the North long for a normal life: to be able to send their children to school without fear of abduction, to have ordinary jobs and careers, to run businesses, go shopping and care for their families.
Ordinary Tamils in the North want food, shelter, security and the freedom to move about. We all want peace, it’s the lasting solution.
Every government promises something, but nothing ever happens. People have no trust in anyone.
Tamil diaspora keep beating the war drum. They’ve created this situation and are continuing to do so, leading to the complete destruction of our society and traditions. Ordinary Tamils in the homeland do not like violence, nor do they seek violence. Those who take the sword will one day die from the sword. Innocent people are dying in the name of freedom. Peace does not create an enemy. We all need peace!.
The implementation of the 13th amendment is a vital issue as it offers Tamils the chance to govern their region with a considerable degree of autonomy. The 13th amendment is born out of the Indian Accord with the UNP government in 1987, when the Indian Peace Keeping Force came to Sri Lanka to resolve the national conflict. It is roughly based on the Indian model regarding regional governance.

In fact, the details of the 13th amendments are actually more favourable towards Tamils, than the Indian system would have been. For example, the official language in Mumbay is Marathi and the Tamils there are required to learn the Marathi language in Mumbay schools, whereas in Sri Lanka there are Tamil school for Tamil children everywhere in the country. Equal prominence is assured for the Tamil language alongside Sinhala, with English designated as the link language as is again the case in India.
The opponents for the implementation of the 13th amendment argue that it doesn’t offer the Tamils enough. The 13th amendment is already in the constitution, chopping and changing it, is not appropriate. Also, there is no provision for a North and East merger in the present 13th Amendment. The government should govern the country based on the constitution and should do so without delay. The implementation process raised some questions too: why the need for an election or for an interim government?
It is important to point out, that there is in fact a clause, which states that, if one or two provinces wanted to join they could do so with the presidential recommendations. So, why would one want to reject the proposal before having it tested and before seeing how it worked out in practice? Rome was not built in one day! Start with one step and make progress with time.
13th amendment offers a framework for the future. The proposal is for a temporary merger between the North and East, with a referendum to be held in a year’s time to get the mandate from the people of the North and the East. The document includes plans for the development of the systems of health, education, agriculture, transport, rehabilitation,re- settlement, as well as the setting up of new industries. People opposing the plan, tend to ignore the fact that th 13th Amendment is already successfully implemented in eight out of nine provincial administrations in Sri Lanka. Most recently, as a result of the recent elections in the East, democratic processes and systems are being established there. The right of having a civil administration, is only denied to the Tamils in the North, because the LTTE is trying hopelessly to hold out for a completely separate state, their old dream of a Tamil Eelam.
The JVP’s fear that giving provincial autonomy and power to the Tamils may open the path to separatism and Indian influence is also unfounded. The election in the East shows that there is no separatism developing and the provincial administration is fully accepted by the local population. The JVP is supposed to campaign for the poor and underprivileged. and yet it seems to be playing the tune sung by the arm dealers, who want to continue making a huge profit.
For the Tamil people in North, assisting the government to implement the 13th amendment is the chance to be free from the autocratic control of LTTE, a chance to set up a democratic civil system, and to rebuild the Tamil community, the area’s infra-structure, the land, its towns and the country as a whole.
LTTE depends on the financial and political support from the Tamil diaspora, people who hold British, American, Canadian, Australian, French, German, Swiss etc. passports guaranteeing them safety and freedom. It appears that some like to gain moments of fame and recognition through their vocal and financial support to the Tigers from a safe distance. Meanwhile, in Sri Lanka, the LTTE is on the run by all accounts. They are on the way out, their forces exhausted as there are no more Tamil teenagers left to be rounded up and abducted into the battle fields.
We are spending more and more money on the war every year, which is delaying the development of our country. As elsewhere in the world, it would not be surprising to discover that the continuing chaos in our country is partly fuelled by those who gain most from it, i.e. the arm dealers and the opportunists. Foreign Arms dealers are getting rich, whilst the young people of our country are dying like flies in the heat of the battle fields. Some have escaped to foreign countries working as cleaners and other menial jobs, whereas youngsters in other South Asian countries, such as India, are working in IT, in businesses, administration, schools, etc..
Our country is a small country and has surely had more than its share of being battered, bruised, tormented, during so many years of war and conflict The majority of Tamils in the diaspora community are peace loving and refuse to get involved with or support such separatist campaigns. Yet, it seems that the dream of a Tamil Eelam will remain alive among some members in the Tamil diaspora. Campaigning for separatism has become an integral part of their exiled life. Whether as part of peace, human rights or community organisations, they themselves of course, are able to live a comfortable life and send their children to colleges and universities. They do not have to live a life of constant fear and deprivation in Sri Lanka’s war zones.
What moral right do people, who are free, safe and doing fairly well have to support a situation which means thousands of people in their homeland are killing and getting killed, maimed, tortured, and women and young girls getting raped. Would the diaspora community allow their own kids into the war zone? If not, why is it alright to ask others to suffer and sacrifice their lives?
Why support the LTTE? The LTTE’s ideology and ‘working’ methods does not resemble anything found within other liberation movements and struggles in the world. How can threatening and killing your own people who are suspected of not towing the line be progressive or liberating? How can the expulsion of people purely because of their different beliefs be progressive? Is it not ironical, that the diaspora communities are enjoying the benefits of a diverse and multi-cultural society in their adopted countries, whilst accepting an organization that expelled around 100.000 Muslims from Jaffna and that continuously pours out hatred against Sinhalese Moreover, do those holding out for a Tamil Eelam really think it can practically be achieved? How does one draw a map separating the Muslim, Tamil and Sinhala communities in the East? Do those who campaign in the diaspora ever think about the Tamil people living in the south? They continue to live there peacefully among the Sinhalese community.
How would a border fence be put up from Mannar to Pottuvil?
Do they really think it is realistic for Tamils to claim for itself 35% of the island’s land and 65 % of its coastal area as shown in the Tamil Eelam map? How likely is it, that Regional Super Power India will support Eelam and the LTTE ?
The dream for a Tamil Eelam for the Tamils will never happen. This dream began to evaporate when they killed Rajiv Gandhi in India, it dissipated when the LTTE wiped out the other Tamil organizations and went on a manhunt, it disappeared out of the window, when the conspirators split the East from the North and this dream of an independent state finally ended when the Eastern commanders walked out from the LTTE’s jungle.
This amendment will be the catalyst for many changes to come for the nation as a whole. The country has the culture and is capable of building things even without importing many goods. Sri Lankans have a holistic approach to life. There are already towns and villages where Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims and others are living side by side and are helping each other. It seems the poor know better the value of living together, than do the rich and privileged.
Tamils should be entitled to their democratic and human right to rebuild their lives, their homes and their society. Whoever opposes the implementation of the 13th amendment, betray the hopes of the people who want to rebuild their future.
Tamils and all ordinary Sri Lankans long for peace and an end to the armed conflict which has been raging for twenty five years or more.
Being united will bring hope and prosperity to all communities. To fail to grasp this opportunity will certainly bring more wealth for the arm dealers and profiteers, but it will cause continued suffering among all Sri Lankans, especially the Tamils.