The idea of a separate Tamil nation is not dead in Sri Lanka.
There was a time when this was espoused with brutal violence by the dreaded LTTE. That violence has been leached out now to be replaced by a kind of limitless — and perhaps more potent — despair. There are reasons why the idea of a separate Tamil nation refuses to die.
The chilling story of the LTTE and its lethal suicide bombers is well-known. The horrific retaliatory killing of its cadres and thousands of Tamil civilians by the Sri Lankan Army towards the end of the war is also now an emerging story. But this is a report on the silent war that continues till this day against the Tamils, an insidious and systematic violence they call a “structural genocide”.
There are two overriding images that greet you when you drive from the peacock- blue-themed Bandaranaike International Airport into Colombo city. Giant cutouts of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, beaming, arms outstretched to bless the people; and statues of the Buddha. For tourists, who are pouring in swelling numbers into Sri Lanka, the 30-year civil war was definitively finished in 2009. Sri Lanka is back to being an idyllic island of peace; the LTTE has been exterminated. There is, in fact, a shiny triumphalism in the air to match the new Buddhist statues smiling at you from every street corner. However, at the other end, far away from Colombo, the army is still out on every street.
Peace remains elusive as Muslims become the target of Sinhala-Buddhist extremism
New Delhi, Feb 22: Human rights watchdog Amnesty International (India) and the director of the documentary ‘No Fire Zone – The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka’ urged the Indian government to support an independent international investigation into the alleged war crimes committed by Sri Lankan soldiers during the 2009 conflict. Read More>
By Sai Manish | There is little doubt that Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s war machinery spared neither a bullet nor a thought for civilians trapped in an ever-shrinking area in the final stages of the offensive against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in 2009. The United Nations has noted that not only did the Sri Lankan forces disobey all rules of war by deliberately forcing fleeing citizens into areas that were being carpet bombed, their blood-thirsty campaign led to crimes that would even put the warring African militias to shame. Read More>
By Benjamin Dix | The recent conflict in Sri Lanka ended in 2009 at Puttamattallan, a beautiful stretch of beach in the northeast. It left a community destroyed and a country further fractured. The three-decade conflict between successive governments and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) climaxed, trapping thousands of Tamil civilians between the Indian Ocean to the north and the Sri Lankan Army in all other directions. Within these bounds they were held captive by the LTTE, who were trying their best to prompt a humanitarian crisis to compel the international community to intervene. The international community stayed away, but the LTTE did succeed in inducing a humanitarian calamity. Read More>
Among the first books to be published on one of the most brutal wars of the 21st century, Still Counting The Dead is an account of the Sri Lankan state’s hostilities with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The book attempts, through 11 profiles, to put a human face to the war. Author Frances Harrison, 46, speaks to G Vishnu about the “really problematic role” played by the UN, the horrifying stories told by survivors and the importance of reporting those stories to a wide audience. Read More>
By Shyam Tekwani | Prabakaran had everything: territory, international support and committed fighters. Senior journalist Shyam Tekwani, who has covered the LTTE and Sri Lanka for almost three decades tracks the alarming rise and astonishing fall of a man who sought to live to fight another day, but found only death at the hands of his nemesis. Read More>