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Home > Struggle for Tamil Eelam > International Frame & the Tamil Eelam Struggle for Freedom > Exit the Tiger, Enter the Dragon
Exit the Tiger, Enter the Dragon
Dushy Ranetunge in London
The West wants a “humanitarian pause.”
Whenever anyone uses the word “humanitarian”, its like politicians kissing babies, its time to get worried. The word “humanitarian” is another word for “weapons of Mass destruction”. It smacks of an agenda, certainly not a “humanitarian” one.
Remember the “humanitarian” flour bombing of Jaffna. The “humanitarian” operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and even Sudan. There was also that very “humanitarian” operation in Mavil Aaru. Not to forget the one we are having in the Vanni as well.
Right now in the East coast there is another “humanitarian” Indian army medical team doing, you know what.
So has the world, including Austria, Costa Rica and Mexico suddenly woken up, mounted their white stallions and are galloping to the rescue of Tamils who are “trapped” in between the nasty LTTE, and the biscuit and tea offering, cotton wool caring Sri Lankan armed forces?
I suspect that only the galloping part is accurate.
The Government of Sri Lanka could not have succeeded in their present course of action, if not for the internationally favourable position to pursue its military strategy – I call these trade winds.
The government is playing a very high quality chess game with great skill in the international arena, by carefully reading the game, so far, accurately. No previous government has in my opinion played this game with such skill.
But, they are sailing very close to the edge.
Sri Lanka is a mere pawn in the international chess game, a pawn that has certain strategic value.
Indian and Western powers want influence over this pawn in their favour and they view the Sinhala-Tamil conflict as a strategic tool for this purpose.
Mrs Gandhi did not train and arm the early Tamil militants because of her love for Tamils. It was because India was at the time pro-Russian and she wanted to “control” a pro-Western Jayawardene’s Sri Lanka. This Indian foreign policy in relation to Sri Lanka fitted in with the Tamil cause and they hitchhiked on the slum dogs.
This strategy needed Tamils to be the pawns of India and as soon as the LTTE rejected this, the two parties fell out.
The next trade wind to affect Sri Lanka was Islamic fundamentalism. That wave ensured the banning of the LTTE around the world and Lakshman Kadirgamar guided Sri Lanka through that period to gain maximum benefit.
The Rajapakse administration is presently riding the Chinese trade wind. The world is watching China, the sleeping giant of Asia awakening, slowly becoming the super power of the 21st century.
The world is aware of the long unbroken relationship of Sri Lanka with China going back to Sirimavo and Mao Tse Tung. Sri Lanka is China’s most stable and consistent ally in South Asia.
For India, the earlier equation of Pro-Russian Indira and Pro-Western Jayawardene is no longer valid as India is also now in the Western economic camp. For them too, the new concern is China, with whom they fought and lost a war.
India is emerging as Washington’s key economic and strategic partner and is concerned that developments in Sri Lankan will impact negatively on its interests.
Rajapakse has repositioned Sri Lanka reducing its reliance on the West and increasing its engagement with China. Sri Lankan officials comment that the level of aid that we get from the West is negligible.
China has begun a process of building capacity around the globe, with significant input in Africa to secure markets and raw material.
One of its major projects are in Sri Lanka at Hambanthota, where its shipping, bringing in Oil and other raw material and its exports to Europe are passing six miles from Hambanthota in the major sea lanes. For the Chinese this is a strategic investment.
China favours the Sri Lankan state to have complete, uncontested political and military control over the Island, so that Sri Lanka cannot be compromised in any way in its allegiance to Chinese strategic interests.
The Wickremasinghe administration’s action of handing over Trincomalee oil tanks etc to India was to safeguard Sri Lankan strategic interests. This would not have taken place if the LTTE had been marginalised previously.
Removal of the LTTE from the equation strengthens China’s position in Sri Lanka and weakens Indian and Western control over Sri Lanka.
Control over the pro-LTTE Tamil Diaspora also gives the West a certain degree of control. With the straining of relationships between Sri Lanka and the UK, highlighted by the Des Browne affair, we see Britain turning a blind eye to increased LTTE fund raising currently going on in the UK.
The LTTE fundraisers are going around saying that even if they lose territorial control in Sri Lanka, they intend staying around for another 20 years.
Britain has also turned a blind eye towards a LTTE front, British Tamils Forum, assisted by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils (APPG-T), hosting an international conference, titled "World Tamils Forum", on Thursday, 26 March 2009 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in London.
These events do not take place without the knowledge of New Scotland Yard, Specialist Operations. Des Browne was one of those present, together with Rev Jesse Jackson. Colombo ignored the event rejecting Jackson as yesterday’s man.
Britain would not have dreamt of allowing a group allied to a radical Islamic group to put on such a show in London. By allowing the event, Britain is sending a signal that it is treating a front organisation of a terrorist group that assassinated Rajiv Gandhi and President Premadasa in a different light to that of Islamic fundamentalists. But then, Britain will argue that they did business with the IRA, who assassinated Lord Mountbatten.
The present “Humanitarian” pause smacks of a Western agenda, rather than the World coming running to help the Tamils. It is an attempt by the West and India to counter Chinese strategy in Sri Lanka and to safeguard their strategic interests. Sri Lanka has already allowed an Indian “humanitarian” presence in the form of an Indian military medical team on the East coast.
The Tamils around the world are distraught, watching their families bombed, shot and chopped by those claiming to be liberators, and yes, “humanitarians”. Those who manage to escape are only swapping prisons. They leave an open prison run by the sole reps, to a brand spanking new one, complete with a glistening razor wire boundary, run by the humanitarians.
The humanitarians will of course argue that they are making omelettes and that omelettes cannot be made without breaking eggs. Then they will bless you and talk of the triple gem.
War on terror has resulted in the abandonment of the triple gem, and embracing radical Catholicism and Islam. Its no longer the middle path, but the philosophy of medieval Catholicism and Islam. Then it was the Crusades and the Bible or death. Then it was the Jihads, the Koran or death. Today its “you’re with us, or you are against us.” You can only spread our gospel, of the “humanitarian” patriots. The middle path is as dead as the enlightened one.
The Western world have been preoccupied with other issues and have been taken by surprise by the speed and the momentum of the Sri Lankan military advance.
Suddenly, it has dawned on them that the politico military landscape of Sri Lanka has changed and is continuing to change rapidly.
They have suddenly woken up to the prospect that in Sri Lanka, the exit of the Tiger, will result in ‘enter the Dragon’. The West is scrambling to press the pause button. A humanitarian pause, of course.