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Geneva Talks & After
> Inevitable Outcome - EU ban ‘will radically transform’ Sri Lanka’s conflict
Editorial, Tamil Guardian
Press Release together with Comment by tamilnation.org]
Even Norway’s veteran peacemaker, Erik Solheim, was in an
uncharacteristically pessimistic mood during his visit to Colombo last week. The
situation, he said, was grave. People are dying everyday. If the cycle of
violence continues, it could trigger a full-blown war. This Tuesday, the
Co-Chairs of Sri Lanka’s donors - the United States, the European Union, Japan
and Norway - met again to discuss Sri Lanka, almost exactly three years since
they last met and pledged $4.5bn in exchange for ‘progress towards peace.’ We
are unlikely to see those halcyon days again.
Coming precisely when the Tamils are again facing
state-sponsored violence - by the armed forces, paramilitaries and racist mobs,
the EU’s move has thoroughly discredited internationally-backed ‘peace and
reconciliation’ efforts as nothing but an strategy to contain and crush the
LTTE. This in itself is not a surprise - many Tamils have long viewed
international involvement in making peace in Sri Lanka with skepticism and some
have openly denounced it as a trap. As an emboldened Sri Lanka continues its
present course of action, these voices will grown in number and vehemence.
The EU ban sends an unambiguous message to all Sri Lankans that, when all is said and done, President Rajapakse is being backed by the international community against the LTTE. The logic that casts the LTTE, rather than the Sri Lankan state, as the primary aggressor is based partly on a statist disdain for armed non-state actors, partly on a failure to recall the full sequence of events that led Sri Lanka out of war and into peace - and back towards war - and, most importantly, a profound lack of understanding of the dynamics that have denied Sri Lanka a single year since independence free of ethnic tension.
Mr. Solheim has given voice to international frustration with
both sides. But it is the state which is stoking the shadow war. And it is the
state which is receiving international support. That is why there will, sooner
or later, be a return to open war.