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No country or state should ever negotiate with terrorists by Satchi Sithananthan

Thirty-one years ago, a 20-year old Valvettiturai smuggler apprentice executed Mayor Alfred Duryappah on the grounds of the historic Varatharajah Perumal Temple, Ponnalai on the western seaboard of the Jaffna peninsula. He was a peoples-friendly, down to earth man who had helped to modernize the City of Jaffna and improve its amenities as never ever before. He was, however, hated by the two Tamil political parties, the Federal and the Tamil Congress especially the former. The popularity of Mayor Duryappah and his election as Member of Parliament from the prestigious Jaffna City electorate were major contributory factors. As for the Tamil and Muslim people, his assassination was a major loss, a cruel reality that kept repeating through the years and the killers came from the same group of smuggler bandits who called themselves freedom fighters. The shot that was fired at Ponnalai’s sacred precincts now reverberates continuously with deadly consequences throughout the country and there seems no end to it.On that dreadful day with this tragic and meaningless killing of a good man, the Valvettiturai smuggler gang seeded terrorism in Sri Lanka. Unbelievably, this atrocious act was even hailed by some Tamil politicians particularly from the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF). The killer, to them became a hero and the victim, a traitor; such was the insanity that had developed from the roots of terrorism. The two principal constituents of the TULF were the Federal Party and the Tamil Congress. Neither party jointly or severally had the vision or wisdom to understand, recognize or foresee the possible consequence of relating themselves with a group that soon went on a spree of bank robberies and wanton killings. While the robberies were considered worthy of anti-government demonstrations, killings were accepted as the means to get rid of traitors, the traitors being those who disagreed with the policies of the TULF. This was the beginning of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the emergence of a criminal in the garb of a leader of a freedom movement.Such an implausible and far-fetched outcome was caused quite spontaneously by the successive measures indiscriminately taken by the Colombo government to reduce the Tamils to a state of second-class citizenship. Sinhala-Buddhist bigotry paired into steeds of rampant racist chauvinism and the demands of the Tamils to equal citizenship were treated with scant insensitiveness and indifference. The apathy towards the Tamils was so cold and unresponsive, the LTTE seized the chance to be the voice of the Tamils making it very clear that theirs would be an armed campaign to restore their rights and privileges. Savouring this new role and recognizing the potential to eventually set up a mafia state Sicilian-style, the LTTE not only ejected itself from the orbit of the TULF but also went ahead mercilessly ridding all possible opposition to it, and that included killing the TULF leader Amirthalingam and some of his fellow parliamentarians as well Today, the Tiger cancer, thanks to the country’s infrastructural network of corruption, has spread throughout Sri Lanka. Unless the country has the support of the Tamils and its well-placed and influential Diaspora, which is possible only if the ethnic problem is amicably sorted out, the menace of the LTTE will become endemic in the country. Today, the LTTE is a murderous band of killers and assassins with the determination to set up a separate state in Sri Lanka. Supported by the hate-filled time-warped Tamil Diaspora determined to avenge the 1983 racial riots, the LTTE has become an enormous monster for a small country like Sri Lanka and a beast that cannot be easily neutralized. The LTTE, for this, has to be grateful to successive Sri Lankan governments that neither had the guts nor the moral steel to recognize and ensure that the fundamental rights of the Tamils and the Muslims were enshrined in law. Politicians of the Sinhala-Buddhist fundamentalists have largely been the blight and bother of the Tamils and Muslims little realizing that their refusal to support their cause was slowly but surely eating up the innards of the country’s body politic. LTTE has now become a major threat to Sri Lanka. The two factors that have helped this terror outfit to attain such a decisive status are the failure of the country to address itself adequately to the ethnic issue and secondly, corruption that has honeycombed into the political and bureaucratic machinery. No country in the world has such a ruthless terror movement firmly ingrained within a small extent of territory, had killed so many of its political leaders, intelligentsia and moderates, and despite its rank terrorism and the lack of authenticity to represent the Tamils but still has the government willing to negotiate with it to seek a political solution. The leader and his deputy of the LTTE are also wanted for the murder of an Indian Prime Minister. Apart from a number of Sri Lankan ministers of state, the LTTE has assassinated two heads of state and made an attempt on another as well. As for the killings of others including police officials, civilians opposed to the LTTE and others the numbers would be mind-boggling, rather mind-chilling. Despite these stark facts and what really sustains Tiger terrorism, Sri Lanka continues to be insensitive to the rights of the minorities and this worries the International Community a great deal. The country’s leaders have a penchant for the western whites and to them, people of our region especially of India are lower beings. Sri Lankans are yet to realize that India is a powerful neighbour, a fast developing country and Sri Lanka enjoys a common heritage with the Indians. If there was ever a breakthrough in Sri Lanka’s ethnic problem, it was due to India but the Sri Lankan people do not want to acknowledge it. They would rather hang on to the game of hocus pocus Norway is playing under the guise of brokering a peaceful resolution. Norway has its hidden agenda obviously as a proxy to the US and the Norwegians have certainly come to believe that with Sri Lanka, they can always call the shots. As long as these penchants, predilections and prejudices persist Sri Lanka will never see its future beyond its nose. A nation without vision will perish.Sri Lanka has to take instant stock of the current circumstances and recognize the crucial factors that continue to be neglected. Unless and until the government applies solutions with dedicated determination upholding the reality that Sri Lanka is a multi-cultural nation and every community enjoys equal rights, the Tiger cancer will overwhelm it; it’s only a matter of time.


August 11, 2006 - Posted by | Media Journalism, South Asia, World News

1 Comment »

  1. This is a very informational news site.

    Comment by Mafia Game | July 7, 2007 | Reply

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