Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Sri Lanka -- the right and the wrong

Hats off to the Sri Lankan government. A small country is showing the world how to correctly deal with terrorists. After years of dilly-dallying and endless (and fruitless) soft-touch intervention by the Norwegians, somebody has finally dared to catch the bull by its horns, just as our own Brinda and KPS Gill, the then Chief Minister and Police Chief of Punjab, once did to quell the rampaging insurgency in the state. To me, President Rajapakse is doing even better – he is taking care to keep the civilian losses to the minimum, and also he understands the importance of explaining to the Tamils that the war is not against them but against their real tormentors -- the LTTE. Now, even some Sri Lankan origin Tamil human rights activists are able to come to the fore and let the world know that the vast majority of Tamils of Sri Lanka have always been actually longing for a long time to come out of the clutches of the LTTE. These Tamil HR activists were earler scared to come to the open or their voices were simply not heard. I am sure we will soon come to hear more tales of horror of how the LTTE had been using the entrenched Tamils as shields once the rest of their area is liberated by the SL army.

Hope the SL Government brings the whole thing to its logical end and does not develop cold feet at the last moment, and by this I mean catching Prabhakaran and his cohorts and punishing them. It is always important to root out the leaders. Hope the government ignores all sorts of international pressure (from people who remain strangely silent at human rights violations by the terrorists) and also the numerous mass petitions that are being generated in India urging to stall the assault, and instead proceed determinedly to finish the agenda.

It is indeed shocking that the SL cricket team has been attacked in Pakistan today, and we can expect Pakistan to even try to put the blame for it, at least initially, on SL’s current domestic strife. (The next day's input: Pakistan has begun blaming India instead. . . should have occured to me that they were going to do this.) It also proves, albeit with the benefit of hindsight, that visiting Pakistan when other teams including that from India already refused to do so, was an extremely unwise decision . . . was probably done to show solidarity between small neighbours of a big brother . . . it also shows that one sometimes has to pay a heavy price for such political one-upmanship.