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 §§§

Editorial in LAW ANIMATED WORLD, 15 February 2009 issue: TAMILS IN TURMOIL

now all over the world, but especially in Sri Lanka and also in Tamil Nadu, over the gory plight of the Tamils there bearing the brunt of the military offensive launched by the Sri Lankan Army to totally decimate the dreaded Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, fighting for a separate homeland for Tamils. Sri Lankan forces seem to have gained a clear upper hand and captured all the important LTTE bases including their bastion Mullaittivu and are now poised for the final strike against their last stronghold Puthukkuduyiruppu. From November 2006 onwards the SL military operations with terrific airstrikes and intensive shelling have not only devastated the LTTE ranks but also resulted in thousands of civilian casualties; even school children and hospital patients were and are not spared and the Tamils all over the world are furious that it is but a campaign of genocide and ethnic cleansing. Large protest demonstrations have taken place and are being held worldwide by the Tamil diaspora but especially Tamil Nadu is in intense agitation. At least three fanatic admirers of LTTE, and votaries of Tamil Eelam, beginning with Muthukumar, immolated themselves castigating not only SL chauvinists but also ‘Indian Imperialism’ and now LTTE flags and portraits of the iconic leader Prabakaran are being displayed openly in defiance of all anti-terrorist law. One can understand the intense anguish behind such protests since there have been and are close relations between Tamils across the sea, and Tamil Nadu has seen the origin of an ‘independent Dravid Nadu’ campaign as far back as in the 1950s even before any Eelam agitation was conceived in Sri Lanka. Truly the human tragedy in Sri Lanka is of staggering proportions and there is urgent need for the international community to immediately cause a cease fire and also restart of peaceful negotiations to solve the Sri Lankan ethnic problem. India should also actively intervene in the matter lest in not distant future our own South starts burning too §§§