My intention was to keep this blog free of political issues; this is still so and I will post minimally on such issues. However, the recent incidents in Sri Lanka where the government is on the verge of finishing of the LTTE has set me thinking. The humanitarian toll has risen to alarming proportions, alarming enough to evoke comments from the international community. Some countries are calling the Sri Lankan government to stop their operations, just when will deliver the deathblow to the leaders. Apparently hundreds of thousands of civilians are caught in the crossfire between the LTTE and the Sri Lankan army.
I generally do not have much of an opinion on foreign issues, India itself having number of them. Two or three days back, an entire train was hijacked by Maoists/Naxalites, definitely Chinese funded, as a warning to people in that region not to vote in the elections. Naturally, considering the Indian mentality, flatulence of cricketers are heard more ludly than bombs exploded by the terrorists, unless foreigners, especially white men are killed. Then of course, it is time for candle lit marches. Repeated bomb blasts in Mumbai, UP, attack on Akshadham, bombings in other places of India have not bothered the candlewallahs, who in those times use it for other purposes. Attacks on the Taj and some pubs brought out these candles from the holes where they are usually shoved and lit. However, the point is that in view of such troubles in our own nation, it is difficult to comment on others’ problems. I did feel bitter over the inaction of the Indian government in this issue, anytime a Palestinian dies or a person tortured in Guantanamo, the Indian government is anguished and promptly passes resolutions and condemnations. Besides, the Indian government had been to psyched out as to involve itself in a war with Bangladesh in 1971. It could also take some stand in the issue of Lankan Tamils. It is of course another issue that when any army enters the civilian area, there is bound to be chaos. Is the Indian government sympathy reserved for only certain sections of people, I wondered.
I was recently asked by a friend on my opinions on the setbacks LTTE was facing in Lanka. I am of the opinion that Sri Lankan Tamils, a majority of them being Hindus would have faced trouble from majority Sinhalese, both on ethnic and religious lines. It is human nature that majority and minority always are uneasy, wary and suspicious about each other. So, it was there. However, the LTTE had shown its strength and the whole nation was ravaged. They could have launched a political wing and contested the elections. If their principles and ideology had such support so as to inspire such loyalty, surely their party would win hands down and Prabhakaran, their leader would be an important political man. However, LTTE did no such thing; it demanded a separate homeland. Now, no country will tolerate this; the fact that the SL government was willing to negotiate indicated that it had understood the grievances of the Tamil people. A violent uprising followed by political participation is generally the way to coexistence, if not complete inermingling. The fact that Prabhakarn did not do this was a major tactical blunder, in my humble opinion. He personally lost the change to win power and also the Tamil people and indirectly the Sinhalese were also losers, all because of his ego or whatever one calls it.
I had also occasionally wondered the origin of arms to the LTTE. Also, I had assumed that the LTTE cadres were primarily Hindus, natural because the animosity was between majority Sinhalese Budhhists and minority Hindu Tamils. I was surprised at the many Christian names of the LTTE leaders, Anton Balasingham is or rather was perhaps the most famous. Similarly, I recall reading about the death of the intelligence chief of the LTTE in a bombing raid by the Sri Lankan airforce, he too was a Christian.However, I was of the opinion that this was a conflict more on ethnic lines rather than religious beliefs. NEver had the LTTE claimed that they wanted to establish a Hindu state. Similarly, the nutters from India were also not claiming the LTTE as their brethren; this would have given the candlewallahs and chaddikissers their opportunity to flay Hindus and heap guilt on them. A few moments back, on an idle curiosity, I typed “ltte christian” on Google. A reader can try it himself or herself. It turns out that Prabhakaran is converted to Christianity and the LTTE is actively supported by one kind of Church there in SL. There are think and fast allegations of donor money being used to fund the LTTE, donations coming from the Christian West.
Now, I thought one should not attach any significance to the religion of the cadres, to me it was an ethnic clash primarily. Not that one kind of fight is “nobler” over the other. However, such active interference by the Church or its representatives clarified one mystery at least. This explained to me why a certain sworn anti-Hindu leader from Tamil Nadu calls Prabhakaran his bosom pal. Also, I must mention here that no Hindu organisation supported LTTE in its earlier days whereas Christian support says something clearly about the Hindu mentality. Let me state it clearly that I am not comparing religions, I am not interested in that. However, those in the Western world who worry about Hindu terrorism should clearly note the troublemakers are hardly ever Hindus.
Coming back from the digression, I hope that somehow this issue is resolved and peace returns to that land. India wants strong neighbours, not puppets who give away whole districts to religious fundamentalists, like Pakistan has handed over Swat to the Taliban. I must commend the SL government and people on their tenacity. The sooner the Tamil people realise that LTTE wants unbridled power, the better is it for them. I now fear that Prabhakaran will now be hailed as a martyr and the links with the Churches will not be uncovered or publicised. India has apparently sent some envoys to SL, lets hope that Indian diplomacy extricates the genuine civilians without irritating the Lankans in their internal affairs.