A Thai farmer who was highly worried for his two young boys who always quarreled with each other, called them one day and narrated the story of two little kittens who like them were constantly at each other’s throat like them. “One day both of them had a severe fight but the fight did not produce a winner or a loser, it only exhausted the fighters. An eagle who was flying sky found that the little kittens not running away to hide. The eagle approached closer and though the kittens now realized the danger, they could not move as they were too fatigued. The result was,that the eagle carried them both away.”
comment by by tamilnation.org: See also the words of Sardar K.M.Pannikar, Indian Ambassador to China from 1948 to 1952, and later Vice Chancellor, Mysore University in Principles and Practice of Diplomacy, 1956 which help underline some age old constants - "Foreign Ministers and diplomats presumably understand the permanent interests of their country.. But no one can foresee clearly the effects of even very simple facts as they pertain to the future. The Rajah of Cochin who in his resentment against the Zamorin permitted the Portuguese to establish a trading station in his territories could not foresee that thereby he had introduced into India something which was to alter the course of history... "
Geneva talks was a process to
push start the car that was stalled in the
garage for over eight months. The engine rotated
but the car did not move out of the garage,
because the A9 high way had not yet been opened,
it was still closed. Of course none expected
this car to win a grand prix. But,many believed
it would run at least few miles on the road,
unfortunately itwas not able to move.
The Sri Lankan government’s argument that the LTTE would financially benefit from the opening of the A9 highway is not wrong. But the proverbial quote is, that when it rains , it does not rain for the sake of a few good people, but for, all including the bad guys.
The Hindu in its editorial wrote “The Government would have done well to resolve the crisis triggered by the A9 shutdown before going to Geneva”. An alternative route was talked about for weeks but never realized. Any way the Government cannot keep closed A9 highway for ever, and it is better to open it sooner than later.
More than that, Sri Lanka failed to understand that it had pushed a sector of its own citizens to starvation, possibly, expecting their suffering would turn them against the Tigers. But on the other hand it could justify and strengthen the Tiger’s call for separation as a way out from Sinhala attitude. For example, if Tamils fail to possess the identity cards issued by our own Department of Registration, they are taken into custody, and their position is that, they are guilty until proven innocent.
It means we have rules governing them. If so we have a responsibility over them too. But if we refuse to address humanitarian issues and human rights concerning their day to day life, we will have no right, no power over those human beings. “You can have power over people as long as you don't take everything away from them. But when you’ve robbed a man of everything, he’s no longer in your power.” - Aleksandr I Solzhenitsyn.
When Sri Lanka repeatedly said that there were no shortage of goods in Jaffna, the whole world carried the pathetic news that people of Jaffna have to eat bread as staple food, and that many things are in short supply. When Jaffna was burning with hunger and anger, how can you expect the LTTE to sit and talk about other matters in the cozy Swiss atmosphere? The Government should learn to differentiate the plight of Tamil masses from that of the militants.
One wonders whether the ruling elites in Colombo, who gives lip service, really understand the gravity of the Northern situation or do they have an ostrich type attitude guided by the anti LTTE Tamil groups who are more keen to save their own ‘nine lives’ than that of others’ ?. People do not seem to care very much and the TNA’s shouting go unheard due to state propaganda.
It looks as if Colombo depends too much on the so called ‘former terrorists turned, and turning, democrats’. A terrorist is a terrorist. People who fought against us have become ‘Saints’ over night, due to change of situation.
Further on the subject of food supply to Jaffna by ship, the Sri Lankan government is suspected to have a hidden agenda. It is alleged that the ships have a chance to carry other things for the armed forces. The way SL blocked the LTTE’s suspected motive for opening A9 high way, the LTTE has blocked the government’s unexplained interest on the shipping route. Diamond cuts diamond is the attitude.
We talk about so many legalities. But by asking the LTTE, to guarantee the safety of our ships, do we not , unconsciously, expose to the world that we have no authority in a certain part of our country.
A presidential candidate lamented that he could go all over the world as prime minister but not to a part of his own country, the Madhu shrine. He is yet to go there even after a year. So far he has not gone beyond Anuradhapura. The present prime minister complains frequently that not an inch of the country belongs to anybody, except to the sovereign state. Legally it is true, practically it is not. This is the reality. But we switch positions according to the situation.
The pity is that over 1,000 people in Vavuniya and few thousands in Jaffna are stranded, unable to travel across to their places of residence. Undoubtedly it was the prime duty of Sri Lanka government, with the assistance of UN / NGOs, to have found some way, a temporary truce at least for a week, to send these men, women and children in the early days itself.
If Sri Lanka had considered that part of the land as belonging to it and the people living there as their brethren, regardless of the group that wages war then it would have taken a different course of action .
Creating hardship to the Northern masses in the name of LTTE would not win any support . Instead it would alienate them further and push them into the militants’ net. The calamity of Jaffna where 600,000 of Sri Lankan citizens face, evere hardship , could even be termed as a crime against humanity.
Though the Tamils of the East are sympathetic towards the LTTE’s call for separation, there is no civil movement as such demanding freedom . But in a time of crisis people would be virtually forced to think about the extremes to try and make possible the impossible. Read President Pervez Musharraff’s quotes in his book’ In The Line Of Fire’ in page 52, how former East Pakistan turned out to become Bangladesh.
“ In 1970, before elections could be held, there was a devastating cyclone in East Pakistan, with winds of 120 miles an hour. It was accompanied by huge tidal wave, or tsunami, the worst of the 20th century and left 200,000 people dead.
The response of President Yahya Khan and his government was callous in the extreme. It took him quite some time to react. He did not even visit the devastated province for many days, and then only under pressure.
The people of East Pakistan felt angry, alienated, and badly let down as if they were a colony instead of part of the country. I am convinced that the government’s attitude during this disaster reinforced the impression among the East Pakistanis that the western wing did not care for them, and that this brought many more voters behind Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Awami Leaque”.
We neither want a Yahya Khan in Colombo or another Bangladesh in our territory. But the President seems to have less men of wisdom round him . Now the present agenda of the GoSL and the LTTE seems to be to fight to a finish, where the former carries a political aim in the war, having given too much of credence to the defense forces, which if unchecked, in the long run will repeat the scenario enacted in Thailand on the 19th September.
Sri Lanka is the one and only Buddhist country in the world with an unmarred democratic rule. Let us keep it up without becoming another Burma. Further Sri Lanka should realize this is not a conventional war where all the troops are lined up, face to face, and start shooting at the shout “Fire”. The opponents are guerillas. As long as even two cadres are left behind, the King cannot have a sound sleep.! And the militants also should understand, with limited resources and material, no terrorists have ever fought a state for ever, and won.
comment by by tamilnation.org: There appears to be some confusion here. On the one hand "The opponents are guerillas. As long as even two cadres are left behind, the King cannot have a sound sleep.". And on the other hand "no terrorists have ever fought a state for ever, and won." Terrorists may not have won, but guerrillas have won. Ho Chi Minh and Fidel Castro are a couple of examples. And yet again the words of Aurobindo on the strength of an idea come to mind -
"The mistake which despots, benevolent or malevolent, have been making ever since organised states came into existence and which, it seems, they will go on making to the end of the chapter, is that they overestimate their coercive power, which is physical and material and therefore palpable, and underestimate the power and vitality of ideas and sentiments. A feeling or a thought, the aspiration towards liberty, cannot be estimated in the terms of concrete power, in so many fighting men, so many armed police, so many guns, so many prisons, such and such laws, ukases, and executive powers. But such feelings and thoughts are more powerful than fighting men and guns and prisons and laws and ukases. Their beginnings are feeble, their end is mighty. But of despotic repression the beginnings are mighty, the end is feeble... But the despot will not recognise this superiority, the teachings of history have no meaning for him. ..He is deceived also by the temporary triumph of his repressive measures.. and thinks, “Oh, the circumstances in my case are quite different, I am a different thing from any yet recorded in history, stronger, more virtuous and moral, better organised. I am God’s favourite and can never come to harm.” And so the old drama is staged again and acted till it reaches the old catastrophe..."
The suffering of the people,
for whose benefit these fighters say they fight,
should not go uncompensated. The euphoric masses
whether from the South or Northeast will soon
get disillusioned react against it like the
Americans now feel over Iraq.
Therefore there is no other way. Never say, never again, for talks. Otherwise as was related in the story, the eagle will land in Dhammadeepa to take away the fatigued kittens .Is that what we want finally ?