After a very long sojourn, politics seems to have returned to the local blogosphere. What is more interesting is that it has sparked some reasonable debate, something that has been missing for a long time.
Cerno was rather irritated by the fact that some lucky people seem to have enormous amounts of time to spend on web, so apologies for starting yet another post on the topic.
Reading the Drummers post, I cam across an interesting comment from David Blacker, on the role of the LTTE in dragging the country back to war.
I think the conduct of the Tigers since 2005 has been despicable and their actions have worsened the plight of the Tamils immeasurably.
To start with, the Tigers organised the boycott of the election that ensured that Ranil Wickremesinghe, architect of the CFA would be defeated. Many speculated that the boycott was organised in concert with the opposition candidate, DBS Jeyaraj certainly seems to think so. RW lost the election by a shade over 180,000 votes, the Jaffna vote alone could have carried him to victory.
The Tigers thus ditched the man responsible for the CFA and elected someone who campaigned on a platform discrediting it. They next went a step further and provoked a conflict by deliberately cutting off the water supply to farmers. It is true that MR campaigned on an anti-CFA platform, but that was just a ploy to get elected, no one seriously contemplated abandoning the CFA. They even had a round or two of talks with the LTTE, after being elected.
It seems rather strange, given the amount of mud that has been thrown on the CFA to recall that the regime actually held talks with the Tigers and to find that the leader of the government delegation "reiterated the government's commitment to peace talks".
In this context it is worth noting that it took the Government a full three years before they finally decided to abrogate the CFA in 2008, so clearly it was far from useless or harmful. If it was, they certainly took their time about deciding on it.
Having restarted the war, the Tigers then turned it into a personal conflict by the bomb attack on the Defence Secretary and a key lieutenant, Sarath Fonseka. Until then it was just another battle, once these two people were attacked there would be no turning back.
The last great blunder of the LTTE was in creating the human shield. When they started losing territory in the west of the country they retreated, but took the civilians with them, who they intended to use as a shield. Had they left them behind they would have been able to look after what little they had. In abandoning their property they were to be left far worse off.
To begin with they could not take everything, they took as much as they could, but whatever was left behind was likely to fall prey to thieves. In abandoning crops, the fields would fall fallow and would be need to be reworked to bring them back to production.
Worse, in the constant moving necessitated by the ever retreating Tigers the people lost what little they carried. One survivor claimed he left with two tractor loads of goods but had only two shopping bags left by the end. They lost their tools and equipment, meaning there was no way to work the land, even if they were to return to it, they lost their personal belongings,their savings, their self respect. In fact, everything.
They were exposed to severe hardship and were traumatised by the fighting and god knows what else. The bulk of the displaced were created by the LTTE, holding them in camps after the fighting ended was only the final insult.
The actions of the LTTE have done the worst damage to the Tamil people and especially so since 2005 when they condemned the entire nation to the most brutal war it has seen its history.
The Tamils and the LTTE are intertwined but the Tamil diaspora need to see the LTTE for what it was - the most damaging thing to the Tamils. There are serious and legitimate questions that need to be posed to the Sri Lankan Government, but there needs to be a clean break from the LTTE.
The Tigers, their flag, emblem and ideology have no place in any discussion on humanitarian concerns, except to be condemned utterly and completely.