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Vikas Kamat
 Vikas Kamat is a programmer- entrepreneur living in Birmingham AL. This blog is a complex mix of Indian culture, life in southern USA, computer sciences, and sports. Opinions are his own.
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A Tear for Tamil Cause Durable Link to this BLOG
The Fall of LTTE

The twenty-five year civil war in Sri Lanka has ended. They said V. Prabhakaran is dead, and a humanitarian catastrophe is taking place.

Having deeply thought about both sides of the conflict, this is how I summarized the conflict to my wife:

The ethnic Tamilians were discriminated in Sri Lanka, and Prabhakaran gave them a voice. Encouraged by Tamilians spread all over the world -- most notably in Tamilnadu and in the U.S.A. -- the LTTE waged a armed resistance against the Srilankan Government. Their early success led some Tamilians to dream of a Tamil Nation --encompassing parts of India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia -- and this separatism may have been their undoing. While the separatist spirit provided the passion, money, and support among the like-minded population, what LTTE demanding was illogical and impossible. They took to violence, and the hardships brought in by blockades and bombings only made LTTE resilient.

My mother prompted an angle that I had not thought about -- the moral responsibility of supplying arms and profiting in a civil war. For any organization  to carry out an armed conflict for twenty five years against a country, is no joke.

It is a sad day for humanity -- even if you consider the Tamil Tigers as terrorists -- they had a legitimate cause and they suffered unbelievable indignation and atrocities in the hands of the Srilankan military. As Gandhi would have said  - unfortunately, they didn't believe in civil disobedience and non-violence -- and at the end, their choice of violence made their cause unpopular. Just like what's happening in Palestine.

I supported LTTE when they emerged; I was sympathetic to the ethnic Indians of Jaffna. They were young and willing to die for a cause greater than themselves -- like the freedom fighters of India that we worshiped. More importantly, the LTTE did represent the spirit and aspirations of Tamil community in North-western Sri Lanka. We used to affectionately call my Tamilian friends in college as "Tigers".   I was torn when India sent army to fight LTTE, but looking back, that was the best chance for peace on the island. I personally stopped arguing for LTTE after they killed Rajiv Gandhi.  And when Karunanidhi performed his crocodile fasting (he fasted between breakfast and lunch in support of LTTE), I thought it was disgusting. So you can see from my own feelings how a cause got polluted, corrupted and ended without a solution.

We say "chalti-kaa-naam-gaadi". What changes is life. This is a sad reality of our times.

I look forward to the day when an ethnic Tamil person from Jaffna becomes the president of Sri Lanka.

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Thursday, May 21, 2009
Last Modified: 5/21/2009 5:15:09 PM

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