Hear no LTTE, see no LTTE and speak no LTTE?

The Island Editoria
Courtesy: The Island 9th July 2004

The LTTE bomber who blew herself up on Wednesday together with four policemen has exploded a powerful myth; the LTTE is for a peaceful settlement of the conflict. The bomber missed her target, Minister Douglas Devananda, but she accomplished her mission by conveying Prabhakran's message wrapped in plastic explosives: The LTTE doesn't care a damn about world opinion.

The blast came as no surprise. It has been clear from the very beginning that Prabhakaran is no respecter of the fragile truce, which he has violated with gay abandon over 2,000 times. The LTTE has, during the truce, killed scores of its opponents, beaten Scandinavian monitors, abducted soldiers, forcibly recruited Tamil children, massacred Muslim civilians and smuggled in shiploads of arms. A blast, as seasoned observers knew, was only a matter of time. And it came on Wednesday.

If anyone believes that Prabhakaran has blundered by sending a 'child of fire' to Colombo as he will have to face the opprobrium of the world for that, he or she is sadly mistaken. Prabhakaran has correctly read the thinking both here and abroad. Take for example, the reaction of the government. It has condemned the attack without naming the LTTE. (Canada appears to have already borrowed a leaf from the government's book as could be seen from its statement in this paper today.) What a shame! But the same government that baulks at uttering a word about the LTTE for fear of ruffling Prabhakaran's feathers, does not hesitate at all to subject opposition politicians to media trials!

As for the reaction of the patrons of the peace process, there may be a paper Tomahawk fired from Washington expressing grave concern. Britain is likely to follow suit. The rest of the international community will emulate the proverbial monkeys refusing to see evil, hear evil and speak evil and sing their favourite refrain, 'Resume negotiations'. And so singing, they will tighten the noose of aid around Sri Lanka's neck.

In a few days the blast will be forgotten and foreign diplomats will queue up at the entrance to Prabhakaran's bunker in the Wanni to pay pooja to him.

The knee jerk reaction of the UNP has been to ask President Kumaratunga to kick-start (or thallu start) the talks. A statement by the UNP spokesman we published yesterday has nary a word condemning the dastardly blast which took five lives including the bomber's. What should the president do to resume talks? The LTTE says: 'ISGA or no talks!' Is it the position of the UNP that the basis of the talks should be the ISGA, which is being opposed tooth and nail by the Muslims and the Sinhalese of the Eastern Province as well as Karuna in whom Prabhakaran has met his match at long last? Why couldn't the UNP itself break the deadlock, as it was during its term of office that the LTTE walked away from talks?

Human rights groups are a dime a dozen in this country. And they at the drop of a hat take up cudgels for the rights of women and children. They want husbands of battered women hanged-quite rightly. But they are mum when Prabhakaran brainwashes girls and makes them blow themselves up so as to boost his ego and increase his bargaining power.

Fear is being expressed in political circles that the blast may jeopardise the peace process. But it is doubtful that the LTTE may want to torpedo the peace process at this juncture, as it has hitherto been a milch cow for the outfit.

On the other hand, the harder the LTTE strikes the more the government and the Opposition want to lick Prabhakaran's jackboot. So, he is likely to repeat what he did on Wednesday, without putting an end to the peace process officially, to make the government and the Opposition more amenable to his ISGA.

The rise of the LTTE as an outfit capable of exporting terrorism has been possible thanks to the failure of successive governments (as well as Opposition parties) and the so-called international community to unequivocally condemn the outfit and to deal with it the way they deal with other terror outfits in the world, so as to coerce it to renounce violence.

Wednesday's blast provides them with yet another opportunity to do so if they are genuinely desirous of helping Sri Lanka protect democracy.

Cpourtesy: The Island 9th July 2004



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