bloody "venerable" island

Today I started thinking about the bloody big island sitting at the southern tip of India. It's called Sri Lanka now, Ceilão [Ceylon] in years past, Taprobane or Serendib before that, and probably other names as well.

Bloody? Yes, since 1983 there has been on-and-off civil war, an ethnic war, a bloody war. Very bl**dy bloody.

Big? Sure it's not the biggest, but yes ... it is certainly big enough that everyone could live on their little bit of it peacefully if they decided to do so, sipping tea together or something, anything rather than treating each other as a bl**dy enemy and trying to defeat each other.

But the fact is they have been doing that a bloody long time, even before the bloody Black July pogroms of 1983 which are generally seen as the starting point of full-scale bloody armed conflict between Tamil separatists and the Sinhalese-dominated government of Sri Lanka.

Back in that bloody Black July at least 2,500 Tamil people were killed. Tens of thousands of Tamil houses destroyed in riots that followed a deadly bloody ambush by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) killed thirteen Sinhalese Sri Lanka Army soldiers.

Naturally, the LTTE was not just murdering Sinhalese soldiers for sport or some kind of sick entertainment. These militant Tamils, followers of Vēluppillai Pirapākaran, had cast themselves the role of 'freedom-fighters' and they attacked (at first military) targets in an attempt to carve out in the north and east of the island a "Tamil homeland, Tamil nationality and Tamil right to self-determination."

The drive to create what they'd call Tamil Eelam didn't arise when two Tamils sat down to bl**dy tea or some such. It is rooted in the way the (bl**dy) British 'divided to rule' Ceylon. (No)Thanks to the (bl**dy) Brits, there ensued a long running dispute over power sharing between the peoples on this bloody island.

The Tamil minority at first used Ghandi-like satyagraha (non-violent means) to get a fair share of the power in post-colonial Ceylon. Things turned bloody when the Tamil peoples' sit downs in protest to the Sinhala Only Act were broken up by Sinhalese gangs. Then came the bloody pograms of 1958. The (bl**dy) Brits played a key part in that too. The (bl**dy) British navy closed its base in Trincomalee (good), laid off 400 Tamil labourers (not so good) and the government proposed to resettle them in the Polonnaruwa district where the Sinhalese population began forming gangs and threatening vigilante attacks on any Tamil migrants (bad, very bloody bad). As usually happens, violence escalated and the path to bloody civil war was set.

Yet most punters noticing the *news* these days would probably not know this long and bloody path to the current bloody situation. At least since the Black Tigers started strapping bomb belts on and blowing themselves up amongst perceived enemies we've been told, and told, and told again that the Tamils are bloody terrorists.

Recently I've learned from Antony Lowenstein that the government of Sri Lanka and its military, like the government of Israel and its military, is causing massive carnage fighting a WOT, i.e. wiping out a militia formed out of some desperate people who'd turned in frustration to violent means to achieve reasonable (but forever denied to them) ends. Also like (bl**dy) Israel, the (bl**dy) Sri Lankans engage in (heavy) lobbying in an effort to guard their 'venerable' image.

Ant highlights what Ken Silverstein said via Harpers:
Washington lobbyists are making out quite well from the war. In January, the firm of Patton Boggs was retained by the Embassy of Sri Lanka, with “a fixed fee of $35,000 per month, payable quarterly in advance,” according to the contract. Democratic lobbyist Tommy Boggs is helping run the account, which calls on Patton Boggs to “provide guidance and counsel to the Embassy of Sri Lanka regarding its relations with the Executive and Legislative Branches of the U.S. Government.” In other words, to sanitize the government’s conduct of the war and make it look good with the Obama administration.

Ken Silverstein provides a handy link to Bruce Fein's op-ed in the Boston Globe: Genocide in Sri Lanka:
The barrage of media reporting of the grim conflict in Sri Lanka has captured popular imagination, but has overlooked the grisly Sinhalese Buddhist genocide of innocent Hindu or Christian Tamil civilians by a US dual citizen and US green card holder. The two should be investigated and prosecuted in the United States.

Acting on behalf of Tamils Against Genocide, I recently delivered to US Attorney General Eric H. Holder a three-volume, 1,000 page model 12-count genocide indictment against Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Sarath Fonseka charging violations of the Genocide Accountability Act of 2007. Derived from affidavits, court documents, and contemporaneous media reporting, the indictment chronicles a grisly 61-year tale of Sinhalese Buddhists attempting to make Sri Lanka "Tamil free."

Now, as we know, Bruce Fein is a Conservative, who was associate deputy attorney general under the "freedom-fighter" fan President Ronald Reagan, and that makes him suss in my view ... though he was later critical of W Bush ... and called for his and Cheney's impeachment`... and that's somewhat redeeming in my humble opinion ... but anyways, no matter, whatever we think of Bruce Fien, if 'venerable' generals are so much as suspected of engaging in genocide, then investigated and then prosecuted they should be.

Let them face scrutiny and stand accountable for their actions. If guilty, then we've got them, we penalise them, and justice is served. If innocent, then they walk free ... but importantly, we've sent a message to military men worldwide that you'll have to fight bl**dy fair (if you have to bloody fight at all) and be able to prove you've done so at every bloody step (one, two ... left, right, one, two ...). It might just dent their bl**dy enthusiams for bloody solutions to bl**dy problems, such as bl**dy pig-headed ethnic rivalries over an island that's big enough to share.

1 comment:

  1. From:
    April 27, 2009
    "Smash the Mirror"
    Pinter's Message to Obama

    Here's Pinter again:
      «"The crimes of the United States have been systematic, constant, vicious, remorseless, but very few people have actually talked about them. You have to hand it to America. It has exercised a quite clinical manipulation of power worldwide while masquerading as a force for universal good. It's a brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis... It's a scintillating stratagem."» 
    Sooo, what's the US White Knight doing about this Tamil-genocide? Where do the 'freedom-fighters' stand? Exactly why can't the Tamils get their independence - like in Kosovo, say?