Friday, February 09, 2007

Battle to 'clear' the East

The official position is that the Sri Lankan Government is still committed to the MoU (ceasefire agreement). But the Government seems to have no problems in undertaking 'clearing activities' such as in Vaharai despite the ceasefire being in place. Why this hypocrisy? Tearing up the Ceasefire MoU will not be easy like tearing up the MoU with the UNP I suppose. Having a ceasefire agreement 'officially' in place and uttering the verbal mantra now and then that 'the Government is committed to a peaceful solution to the ethnic conflict'; that 'the Government renews its call for peace talks' is enough to appease the donor and international community. Plus if you say that the war that you are waging is 'a war against terrorism' then countries like the USA and its ambassador cannot say anything much after that. This is what happened in the Galle development Forum.

I do not here any more about the SLMM in the news. About their opinion on whether a particular incident has violated the MoU or not and the rest! The best that Norway can do i suppose at this moment, to save its reputation (if there's anything left of it), is to pull out from the 'Peace' process and to pull out the SLMM as well. Any logical person/entity would do that. Without doing this the SLMM has forced itself to listen to the hate speech from the Government and its peace secretariat that it is not properly doing its job, that it is not working in the North East and so on. I'm sure the LTTE is also blowing hot and cold on the SLMM.

The East is being 'cleared' and people are being 'liberated' from the hands of terrorists using a former terrorist - 'Karuna', now a 'democrat' of reputation who has joined 'mainstream democracy' with a political office even in the capital city. There was no pre-condition that he had to 'lay down arms' before joining mainstream democracy. The Government has taken it as practice to defend Karuna where and when possible as was seen in its response to the Rock report and the Human Rights Watch report. If my memory serves me right i remember seeing a posting of the Karuna group's press release denying involvement in child conscription on the Government peace secretariat website sometime recently.

The concern about politics in the East has traditionally been with regard to accommodating Muslim and Sinhala Minorities living in this province, especially the fear of excessive Tamil domination in the case of a merged North and East province. But now nobody seems to be bothered about this. The talk is about giving Karuna control in the East to neutralise Prabah in the North. The fate of the Muslims and Sinhalese is not much talked about. (Afterall the Muslim MPs are busy organising hartals in Amparai complaining that they have not been offered a ministerial post*). Such are the dictates of so called 'military reality' on the politics of this country. I have painfully in the recent past read articles written by Dayan Jayatilleke suggesting that its time that Karuna be fully be used to confront Prabah and that the conflict in the country be shifted to be one between the Eastren Tamils and the Northern Tamils so as to take way the focus on the conflict between the Sinhala and Tamil communities.

Let the 'liberation' and 'clearing' continue!!

*(My referrence is to MP Nijamudheen. Following the hartal H.E. has promised him a ministerial portfolio as well. One more Nation Building Ministry it can be. That will make it 5!)


Just Mal said...

Hey matchang you sound a tad bitter today. Cheer up bro.

The government has found a desperate ally in Karuna. But you'd be silly to think they'd give away the East to him. The political arm of the TMVP is unarmed, as is TNA, and the question of laying down arms doesn't arise. In any case, the government would prefer to fight alongside Karuna rather than having to fight against him as well as the mainstream LTTE.

a.y. said...

Guru, you seem to have embarked on desperate rambling. However, while I can't say I truly understand where you come from, I can honestly say I do identify with the sense of frustration that is evident in your writing. It's time for including "constructive criticism" once again in your posts.

Also, I seriously doubt the Muslims would take a back seat while the East is written off to Karuna. All in all, what I have read in the newspapers (although I mainly distrust the media and despise the "fourth estate") has left me with the distinct impression that Karuna would be more accommodative to multi-ethnic politics and power sharing than would the LTTE. What is your opinion on that? If it is true, I would much prefer to go down the Karuna route myself, however opportunistic the rat bastard may be.

In the end, it's just sad that speaking of "the common Sri Lankan Identity" in the context of seeking a solution for the East, leave alone the country as whole, would be mere wishful thinking relegated to naive idealism.

Aachcharya said...

Hi a.y.,(had no difficulty in guessing who this might be!!)

I agree the post is one born out of frustration. The frustration is not because LTTE is losing territory but as a result of the hypocrisy in politics which we have learnt to ignore if the end results satisfy our opinion and our way of looking at things. The frustration comes to me when for example Rambukkuwela says “the conflict will be resolved if the LTTE tactically withdraws from Mullaitivu and Killinochchi as well”; when i see that ‘people’ have become tools to be used for political blame game, when i witness Mahinda’s dual policy of war and peace devastate the country. (The sort of ‘liberating’ language that the Sinhala leaders have used consistently when they capture LTTE held territory is very similar to the ‘spreading freedom and democracy around the world’ language that Bush uses for his foreign excursions). The frustration also comes to me when the LTTE says that they are working towards the liberation of the Tamil people whereas practically they are doing the right opposite. To top it all the frustration is exhibited in a frustrated manner in this blog because I have no where else to exhibit it – I am told that I will be shot at if I do.

With regard to Karuna being more accommodative to multi-ethnic politics and power sharing than the LTTE I do not know how you gather this and from which media. What I have heard about Karuna suggests to me that he is no better than his former boss, if not worse than him. He's ready to do anything that will bring suffering to his former boss. Just ABOUT ANYTHING.. If his capacity to be more accommodative will be judged by the support he is extending to the Government I’m sorry but that is not the best of indicators. In fact, a paramilitary group (Karuna) can prove to be nastier than a non state actor (LTTE). I think we are seeing this in Vavuniya, Jaffna, Batticaloa and of course even in Colombo.

MaXXa said...

Well when talking about Karuna, what I believe is that he got plainly trapped in Ranil’s snare (All my respect to this dude though he is also a clean incompetent asshole). The biggest mistake done by the LTTE in their course for liberation is sending Karuna to Bangkok to take part in Peace Negotiations. He got his life exposed to the happening side of the world only after he had a little night walk in Bangkok. What he thought a fantasy when he was in the east jungles became a reality after a hang around in Bangkok streets and realized the difference between mini skirts in Bangkok and in the East (Anyways I am not blaming Tamil hotties for this :p)

Now Karuna has been left over with no options. Karuna has to concede to every shit of the Government in order to stop him being killed by the LTTE. All his power devolution ideas touched his mind after coming in to Colombo. So the Step to utilize Karuna to shape a solution for east by the Government is wise, because now Karuna is easy to manipulate. It is also a factor to keep Karuna in the mainstream politics. Government also can prevent Karuna from doing naughty acts by showing a Praba’s picture. And it’s highly unlikely that Karuna will go against the state when he enters in to the mainstream politics because the solution on hand to prevent Karuna from moving out is to provide him a Montero or a Prado.

Well you say the Non State Actors are more reliable than the Paramilitary Groups? I would like to remind you that this Non state Actor is committed to an objective and its inflexibility is the major obstacle to reach a political solution, whereas the paramilitary Groups are weak in their substance and structure, thus easy to control.

I would justify the present of the SLMM on the basis that their role should not be confined only to observe the violations of the CFA. It is an accepted fact that the LTTE propaganda is far better than the Government’s. Hence to reveal the truth to the world can be entrusted in the hands of the SLMM and there should be an effective check placed on an independent fourth party in order to stop the SLMM being biased like they do now.

Chinthaka Perera said...

Have a million doubts to clarify and this seem like the place to do it. I beg dear readers, pardon my ignorance and guide me in understanding a savage political destruction of a philosophy.
Are we facing an ethnic conflict in
Sri Lanka that has turned out to be an; ideology vs language war? Well I don’t want to try to trace the history of conflicts most of you great ones might throw years at me and tell me the conflict started at various times. However as I see there is a huge misunderstanding as to when this conflict started which eventually ends up turning into a misunderstanding of why the conflict. I mean all these taking sides and choosing one over the other is born from this confusion. Do you actually think Prabhakaran or Karuna for that matter were born terrorist? NO, it was circumstance that led to their creation………..

If you think the point I have made is totally irrelevant to the discussion I can bluntly tell you its not. Today some na├»ve and politically immature novices tend to claim that if Prbhakaran is killed then this war will be over. I think that’s were Rabukwella is coming from, that’s why he says there is a resolution in militarily defeating the LTTE. Now my ignorance however lies in a slightly different field, it is in the field of Buddhism.

When the LTTE kills a civilian it is obviously wrong, aint it ? but then when the government kills a civilian, that is not wrong is it ? its not wrong obviously because the government is fighting to protect the country is it not ? the irony for some is clear for some others its not. This war has transformed into an ideological battle. The once, the racists the blind Buddhist who created a conducive environment for the start of the war is today escalating it. I have read a few deeply saddening blogs over the past few days, mainly its many youth, claiming to be Sinhalese Buddhist expressing their happiness on the way the war is conducted. Guru draws a comparison between the US and the Mahinda regime, I think the more accurate one would be to draw a parallel between the Hamas and the Mahinda regime. Are we in the middle of a Sinhalese majoritarian Jihad ?

As a human I have always apposed war, if its fought by the LTTE or Govnt hasn’t made much of a difference to me. And increasingly this war seems to be supported and loved by the majority Buddhist population, is there something I missed in the Buddhist philosophy? Does it approve killing and even more enjoying and celebrating the killing? I was talking to a leading “dayakaya” from my temple last December and was shocked by what he had to say. He whom I know very well personally is a strong Buddhist. He told me the most shocking thing I never expected from him. He said “those terrorist they should just bomb off Jaffna”, this guy is so dedicated to Buddhism that he lectures every Sunday at Sunday school. May his sole be blessed I don’t know what he teaches, but what he believes is what struck me. Is this what Lord Buddha meant, when he said Metha, Muditha, Upeksha, Karunna ? I don’t know….how can a Buddhist claim to be a Buddhist if this is what you believe? or are you so strongly affiliated with you religion you are willing to kill for it? In other words you are willing to form a Jihad ? You might try to bring out the point about me being an utopianist and you might say the government has no choice. Well there is a limit as to how much you can lie to your self. When taking such a socially protracted conflict, you must know every bullet fires just makes sure that the conflict is deeper rooted in the society every bullet by the government makes Tamil Eelam more possible and more required for the minority who is getting shot.

One last think about Karuna, I don’t know how its ok when Karuna (obviously aided by the GOSL) recruits children and its wrong when LTTE does it. All you people who are supporting any form of war do you not see the destruction your bringing on our country. Ill leave you with one last devastating possibility. When in 1989 the US funded the Afghan war, they created a fraction army, a Jihad, and took Osama and others into the US and trained them. When the war was over there was no use of them, but in the blood of the Mujahideens was victory, and so called liberation. They broke away again, and they are the worlds number one terrorist organization today. This I pray will not happen to us with Karuna, “if you continue to contaminate your own bed, one night you will suffocate in our own waste”, we will soon see a day that Karuna fights back and that day you, who praise the Karuna will see what comes of your naivety. See what’s going on, Mahinda is ruining the country’s last chance to peace. Thanks to people who support the war we are looking at a Asian Israel-Palestine. That is the Mahinda Chinthanya…..


MaXXa said...

Machan Chinthaka, I am referring to your first para. You are forwarding the general argument which defends the origination of terrorism, i.e. there is a cause for terrorism. That is just like whenever we try to implement the death penalty, those fellows in NGO cool rooms shouting out “oh remember people, these high profile criminals have a cause to commit crimes, so protect these little fellows”. So even our underworld buddies on killing sprees, they have a cause to continue their slaughtering. Well absolute Bullshit.

And oh well, your Dayakaya experience. Machan I’m not defending this Daayaka guy. If he is so attached to Buddhism, he shouldn’t make a statement like that at all, because he should practice and increase his level or tolerance. But just like you say that Praba and Karuna have a cause to initiate the ethnic conflict to seek liberty for the Tamil community, he also has a cause to make such statement. Didn’t you think about it? If you just look in to his history and personal life, most probably you will find that one of his family members or his close relatives has been killed by the LTTE directly or indirectly. Well this is what I’m talking about. The LTTE changed the mindset of the majority of Sri Lankan in to a position that they will never receive acceptance from Sinhalese/Muslim to their freedom struggle; perhaps a majority of the Tamil community will also disapprove this. The LTTE worsened the situation prevailed before by their Arms Struggle. Why all these discriminations, unfairnesses faced by the Tamil people live in South by the GOSL? Isn’t the LTTE’s arm struggle has made a substantial contribution to that? Why all these abductions happening now? I would also like to recall the situation prevailed before the LTTE’s arms struggle. Was that era bad like this for the Tamil Community? Did they have a fear like this in pre 1980s? Please answer that question. So will you be voting for status quo or pre-1980s?

Well absolutely true, killing Prabakaran is not a solution. Even if you kill praba, I won’t see much of a difference between Baghdad and Killinochchi. This is per se evident in the east because now we hear everyday a claymore or two goes off even though the areas are under the control of the Government. Hence what will be practical is that a political solution which will address the grievances of the Tamil community should expeditiously come out if you want to arrest the situation. Irrespective of the fact that prabakaran dead or alive, even then the bombings continuing after an acceptable political solution, then it is pure terrorism. (But then the inevitable question is what the acceptable solution is)

I would also like to ask all the Tamils including this blogger, what will be your response if the LTTE kidnaps you, forcibly gives arm training and send you to war front? Would you still love and admire the LTTE, or justify their arms struggle for liberation put forwarding their cause for origination? I was told by one of my closest Tamil friend that most of the people who justify this struggle are the people who have not affected by the LTTE.

And also finally I want to say that, the cunning but very strategic move made by the LTTE is that they made the Tamil community to hate Sri Lankan Government by their Arms Struggle. There are many Tamils who are affected by the Government forces as a consequence of the war activities occurred in the North and East. Indian Peace Keeping Force made the Tamil people to develop absolute hatred and abhorrence against the Sri Lankan Government forever. These are the mistakes done by the GOSL. But again the question arises as to why did it happen? Why did the IPKF come to Sri Lanka?

Chinthaka and Aachara, I know, I may be sounding like an absolute racist for you two, but then I can say that you two are in the other extreme end. I know, there are many grievances and issues for the Tamil community when it comes to administration etc. But these issues will remain unanswered until the LTTE change their attitude. Cheers Machan la

YE said...

Dear Chinthaka Perera,
It shows you arent really in to the roots of the conflict, as u have correclty calimed to be, the way you have identified Israel-Palestine issue and trying to relate it to an asian scenario with the GoSL and LTTE conflict.
Maybe you should spend a few more time in studying the different geo-political backgrounds of the two conflicts.

Anonymous said...

YE said... or whoever you are.......

try to understand before you mumble on, i didnt compare the geopolitical realities of the two situations. I just said it will be like Israel and Palestine. and by that i meant the odd bomb here and there and permanant chaos and disorder.

You might want to wake out of your stupidity, no one is trying to relate any geopolitics here....

Ayeshea said...

I dont know if you even remember me.. amal's friend? george's friend? Ringing a bell? please help!
Please treat this as an extremely apologetic intrusion. I’m the one who has been plaguing everyone on Kottu with my thesis – My final chapter is a case study on Kottu and its success as a Sri Lankan blog community. I’ve been reading your blog on a regular basis (its all a part of the research  ) and I found your posts very interesting. I was wondering if you could please participate in my questionnaire to tell me YOUR opinions on Kottu and how it functions. Its available on the following link:
If not please let me know your mail address and I can mail it to you.
I WILL credit all bloggers whose opinions I use in the body of my thesis and identities will be protected if required. I can also link back to your blog from my academic blog as one of the Kottu bloggers whose opinions were used in the writing of the thesis.
This may come across as awfully presumptuous but I am now on my last leg and these opinions are really important to my final grade.
Thanks so much
Ayeshea –