Sunday, March 15, 2009

Editorial in LAW ANIMATED WORLD, 28 February 2009 issue: FIGHT TO THE FINISH?

It is really sad that the UN Security Council also refused to actively intervene in Sri Lanka but, on the contrary, the SC members appealed to the LTTE to release the civilians virtually taken hostage by them and also to lay down their arms and abandon the use of violence to pursue their political aims. Of course, they have also appealed to the Sri Lankan Government to exercise maximum restraint but nobody questioned the declared Sri Lankan position of fighting the civil war to the finish and soon eliminating the LTTE. Actually none of the Security Council members was prepared even to propose a request for a ceasefire. Even the briefing by John Holmes, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, on the shocking humanitarian crisis in Sri Lanka was at first opposed by Russia, which was afraid that if she agrees to a sovereign State of the UN being questioned in its campaign to suppress an internal insurgency, then tomorrow she herself may be dragged to the international forum on the Chechnya problem, which is no less alarming. Unfortunately for Prabakaran and the LTTE, they have ‘overstretched’ themselves and earned a bad name in international circles, being branded as a terrorist organization even by the European Union, doubtless a very liberal democratic entity. However, Sri Lanka led by Mahinda Rajapaksa should also realize that the Bush doctrine of ‘fight to an end’ is not that easy, given the LTTE’s tenacity and daring to mount surprise suicidal attacks. Further, even if the lions win and tigers vanquished, the guerilla war may not stop. It seems there are saner elements in the LTTE circles also, some of them speaking highly of the now-opposition leader, former Premier, Ranil Wickremasinghe, and so we feel Sri Lankan Government should be magnanimous in victory and, instead of pushing for fight to the finish, declare immediate ceasefire and negotiate with the LTTE and other Tamil forces to work out a peaceful federal solution in Sri Lanka §§§

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