Tuesday, November 08, 2005

time for ltte and tamils to decide whether they want peace or war.

with prime minister mahinda rajapakse appealing almost exclusively to the sinhala buddhists and probably expected to get around 50% to 60% of that vote, (sinhala buddhists comprise compromise around 70% of the total electorate) this election's result will depend on how the minorities vote. while there is no doubt that a big majority of christians, muslims, and upcountry tamils will vote for opposition leader ranil wickremasinghe the main deciding factor in this election could very well be the tamils in northeast.

most observers including myself expect tamils to vote for ranil ,and with some reason too. a victory for mahinda would mean going back, to war maybe, or more likely to more of present stalemate and low intensity war. result will be bad for sri lanka but especially for the northeast tamils. so if they think about their own well being they do not have much choice.


as for the ltte, things get more complicated. to some people in the ltte leadership, war in itself or the present stalemate may not seem bad at all. contrary to what most people in the south believe ceasefire has in fact weakened the ltte. it's discipline is going overboard, cadres are getting increasingly corrupt and recruitment is falling, in this relatively peaceful atmosphere. this is to be expected. all authoritarian organizations need a high intensity struggle to remain cohesive. of course ltte can over time evolve in to a more democratic political party but that would entail the present leadership giving up some of its powers and dictatorial ambitions. this is still possible, south asian political history is filled with almost dictators getting their way without being homicidal maniacs. mr velupillai prabhakaran has to decide whether he chooses to follow that path in the future or not. problem is he may be incapable of doing this. now is the time to decide.

that doesn't mean ltte has to endorse ranil. given that tough negotiations will have to take place in the future they will probably be better off and ranil will also be better off if they stay neutral. but they should definitely not endorse a election boycott or in any way hinder the ordinary tamils from voting in the election.

conflicting signals

so what does all those conflicting signals that seem to be coming from the ltte during the last few days mean. are they deliberately willing a mahinda victory by starting a boycott? what do they hope to achieve by that? if they think they will be able to occupy moral high ground and get international sympathy in the event mahinda wins and starts a war, they are sadly mistaken. reality will be the opposite and ltte will once again be considered terrorists in a world that abhors terrorists.


a ltte backed boycott at this stage can mean only one thing: ltte leadership has decided against peace and is for war. period.


if things come to that we should all support the government (whoever is elected) and the resulting war effort (in the same way if there is no boycott we should all make sure that the government make every effort to achieve peace.)

war would mean suffering all around. that is why ltte and all those who can influence it should not let it come to that.


time to decide.

10 comments:

Dulan said...

(sinhala buddhists compromise around 70% of the total electorate)

I'd say that's a rather strong allegation, unless you meant comprise around 70% of the electorate.

:)

ivap said...

A few things:

I can't see how the ltte will democratise as long as prabhakaran and pottu head are alive. Surely if pb comes out india(raw) will get him if they can beat any of the disgruntled locals to it.

The average lifetime of a terrorist struggle is supposed to be about 20 years, so the possibility of war is real.

If the UTHR(J) are correct and the intelligence wing is on the rise at the expense of the political wing isn't this is a bad sign for their long term survival? I remember reading (can't recall where) that this signals start of the demise for militaristic organizations.

Oh, and all this noise overseas about the coming struggle for the final confrontation, just rhetoric ?

sittingnut said...

dulan thanks! actually my posts are full of such spelling mistakes and i won't even mention the grammar. i am generally too lazy and too busy to edit them. my apologies to everyone. :-)

ivap:
i think we should not apply generalized average rules to terrorist struggles.

yes ltte has to choose soon, prabhakaran has to decide whether he wants to die in some bunker as a terrorist leader with almost unlimited power within a increasingly marginalized organization or as a very powerful regional politician who is capable of tolerating some dissent.

btw i am very skeptical of india's military and intelligence abilities if pb can escape sl forces he can escape indian ones.

Keshi said...

LTTE isnt looking for peace...just power through bloodshed, as any terrorist would do..

People have to realise that there can never be peace through bloodshed...only then will we march forward for peace...

Keshi.

ivap said...

i think we should not apply generalized average rules to terrorist struggles.

I have more faith in the human condition affecting terror groups too. So far it's not showing up anything unexpected. I'll reserve my judgment on that for the future.

Naren said...

Where is the evidence that the ceasefire has weakened the LTTE, could you please point me towards some news items that corroborate this?

From what I've read it appears the LTTE has managed to infiltrate Colombo, assassinate its rivals and opponents with impunity, strengthen its parallel administration AND acquire an air wing, not exactly signs of weakness.

Prabha is unlikely to choose a negotiated settlement simply because that would mean his end as a leader and the absolute power he enjoys now. In the last 20 years of the conflict, our leaders have come and gone, but Prabha has remained constant, and he is unlikely to give that up.

What would probably work is continuing to marginalize the LTTE by capturing the hearts and minds of the Tamil population of the N/E. Whether that is possible with the quality of governance either of the two presidential candidates offers is another question. This is also made more difficult by the Diaspora and those in Sri Lanka who think to sing the praises of the LTTE is the ‘in thing’ to do now.

In the end it would probably take a military solution to finish Prabha and his cohorts off simply because as Chamberlain discovered it is impossible to negotiate with evil. Hopefully by the time that becomes necessary the LTTE would have become such a marginalized outfit, the common Tamil, Sinhala and Muslim people in the N/E would not have to suffer.

sittingnut said...

naren:
Where is the evidence that the ceasefire has weakened the LTTE - what is the karuna group? can ltte operate at all in some areas they controlled earlier in the east? has not there been tamil civilian protests against ltte? if you search sri lankan news sites for these things you will find the news items you want. other than that they seems to have lost the ability to take on high profile targets on their own (run out of suicide bombers?) and have started to outsource the assassination business.

it appears the LTTE has managed to infiltrate Colombo, assassinate its rivals and opponents with impunity, strengthen its parallel administration AND acquire an air wing, not exactly signs of weakness - they did all that before cfa too.

as for prabha's present mindset that can only be read from his actions. if there is a boycott we will know.

i think cfa itself did more than any thing else in 'capturing the hearts and minds of the Tamil population'. so we need to go in that direction.

This is also made more difficult by the Diaspora and those in Sri Lanka who think to sing the praises of the LTTE is the ‘in thing’ to do now.- actually large sections of diasporas of both sides are more extreme than most people in sl. i have stated why elsewhere. btw are you living outside of sl?

Hopefully by the time that becomes necessary the LTTE would have become such a marginalized outfit,- so you admit ltte is becoming increasingly marginalized in the present relatively peaceful atmosphere?

as for military solutions are you in the army? if not why?

sittingnut said...

keshi:
People have to realise that there can never be peace through bloodshed - yes but how to make them realize that?

ashanthi said...

there will be no peace in Sri Lanka so long as the right to protect yourself & your family from being down trodden, murdered, raped and bashed on an almost hourly, daily basis is not accepted just because you are Tamil.

It is unfortunate but true that for all eternity every Sri Lankan Tamil will carry the stigma of suicide bombings and an associating from birth with the Tigers.

So long as the average Sinhala person cannot see past these 2 harsh facts, one true & the other implied - we are stuffed.

The average Sinhala person also needs to open their eyes and come to terms re the attrocities and horror that has been committed against all people in Sri Lanka by it's elected representatives. Ranil's new peace aspirations will have no meaning unless we have truth, justice & compensation to those that have suffered.

It is time for the average Sinhala voter to open their eyes and look around them. Their is plenty of "bloodshed" in every little village right across the country. It is perpetuated on the people of Sri Lanka by all people in power & authority & now as a result of the war, thanks to the abandunce of guns in the south.

Mahinda is backed by thugs, religous fanatics & a bunch of naive revolutionaries. Ranil is backed by an increasingly isolated & out of touch elite, a party who's former ruler stayed in power by introducing one of the most ruthless, brutal & murderous secret police which gave rise to 2 groups - the JVP & the LTTE. He's hoping that he's a like a duck with no dirt sticking to his feathers.

My suggestion would be that we let the lesser of 2 evils in & then we make him answerable to us. He needs a strong response for this at the polls. Otherwise he will be a lame duck just like that other bird in politics - a goose in this case, Chandrika, she lost her ability to lay golden eggs a long time ago thanks to the legacy of her family!

If you are Sinhalese, you have a moral responsibility to correct to wrongs of the past. Not just to Tamils but to those that the JVP jump up and down about & say support them. I don't want anyone to forget how many young people were killed in the put down of the communist insurgencies. They were innocents who were brainwashed & used as human fodder by the manipulators in the JVP - some of whom are now being given a chance to again ruin this country.

sittingnut said...

ashathi:
you are right as always.