EU ban ‘will radically transform’ Sri Lanka’s conflict - paper

[TamilNet, Saturday, 03 June 2006, 12:40 GMT]
The European Union's decision to proscribe the Liberation Tigers "sends an unambiguous message to all Sri Lankans that, when all is said and done, President Mahinda Rajapakse is being backed by the international community against the LTTE," the Tamil Guardian newspaper said in its editorial this week. Amid a slide to war, the EU move has "left the Tamils isolated and confronting the Sri Lankan state" and this will thus "radically transform the long-term strategies of both protagonists," the paper argued.

Extracts of the Tamil Guardian’s editorial, titled ‘Inevitable Outcome’ follows:

“The [European Union’s decision to proscribe the LTTE ] move will have far reaching consequences for the peace process and for Sri Lanka’s future. The most obvious impact has been stated repeatedly ad nauseum over the past few months: an EU ban on the LTTE will embolden the Sinhala nationalists in the south and encourage Colombo to confidently take a militarist approach to the ethnic question. But this appeal, repeated this week by thousands of Tamils who demonstrated in several European cities, has fallen on deaf ears. The EU rationale instead is that coercive steps by the international community are needed to deter the LTTE from returning to a new war and that, above all else, is the priority. There is simply no consideration of Colombo’s role in the steady escalation towards war.

“But this is not only the only reason why the EU’s action coming at this particular juncture can be expected to radically transform the long-term strategies of both protagonists. The EU move comes as thousands of Tamils are fleeing government-controlled areas and seeking refuge in LTTE-controlled ones or in neighbouring India. There have been unabashed demonstrations in the past few months, not just days, of the racist cruelty that underlines Sri Lanka’s US-trained military’s approach to the Tamils. Norway’s veteran peacemaker, Erik Solheim, pointed out last week that ‘people all over the north and east are living with fear.’ The question, therefore, is: how are they to be provided with security? 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.

“Despite Tamil reservations about international bias towards the Sri Lankan state the LTTE has explored the peace process for ways to advance the Tamil liberation struggle without recourse to war. Contrary to the central charge against it today, it has stuck with the peace process. This is despite a failure to get greater recognition – by way of direct engagement – from the international community and despite the rapid disintegration of almost all agreements reached through the talks. Even when the conditionality imposed by donors in Tokyo three years ago frayed and was eventually dumped, particularly after the tsunami, the LTTE has remained engaged. It has also done so despite vitriolic and unabashedly one-sided condemnation by key states underwriting the peace process.

“The EU’s move is thus the most severe intervention in the Norwegian initiative to date. It has devalued the peace process and left the Tamils isolated and confronting the Sri Lanka’s state, which has by stealth resumed a new round of aggression. Amidst the state’ relentless violence, the pre-truce economic embargo has also been gradually reimposed: a total blockade on cement and fuel into LTTE areas came in last week. In short, the war is already upon the Tamils.

“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.”


Related Articles:
29.05.06   EU bans LTTE

 

Latest 15 Reports
14.06.19 18:48   Photo
Mano Ganesan misleads on Kanniyaa heritage dispute: Trincomalee Councillor
13.06.19 22:45   Photo
SL military targets Tamil grassroots activists in Mullaiththeevu, GS officer receives death threat
12.06.19 22:47   Photo
SL State-run Timber Corporation escalates logging of teak trees in Vanni
11.06.19 08:37   Photo
SLA Sinha regiment extorts money from Tamils in Batticaloa
10.06.19 21:30   Photo
Occupying Colombo schemes Sinhala Buddhist settlement in Chemmalai-East, Vanni
09.06.19 20:39   Photo
SL authorities plan to seize 50 acres as ‘Buddha Pooja Boomi’ in Thennai-maravadi
08.06.19 20:36   Photo
Kokku'laay-centric united action needed to counter Colombo wedging North-East
07.06.19 17:16   Photo
Tamils, Muslims need strategic alliance to protect heritage rights in North-East
06.06.19 19:18  
Sinhala Buddhist fundamentalism ultimate trump card in unitary ‘Sri Lanka’: Suresh
05.06.19 23:20   Photo
Sinhala monk named Galgamuwe ‘Santhabodhi’ spearheads Buddhicisation of Mullaiththeevu
04.06.19 19:02   Photo
SL military, police suppress traces of officer involved in fatal accident
03.06.19 22:32  
Muslims learn hard lesson on modus operandi of Sinhala majoritarianism: Journalist
02.06.19 12:14  
SL Forest Department seizes 1,500 acres of lands opposite Tamil Heroes Cemetery in Champoor
01.06.19 23:18   Photo
Prejudiced Archaeology Dept escalates ethnic tensions in Trincomalee: Civic Councillor
31.05.19 22:11  
IC failing to impose mediated solution, ultimately responsible for escalating Sinhala chauvinism
 
Find this article at:
http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=18381