| 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
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