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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The curtain is about to fall; Tigers vow never to surrender

The Sri Lankan government appears poised to ring down the curtain on the final act in Asia’s longest-running war. Their military’s deadline for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE or Tamil Tigers) to surrender passed without any word from the separatists who are seen by many as being terrorist or, at least, being guilty of terrorist acts.

The LTTE have vowed that they will not surrender despite being outgunned by a military that seems intent on wiping them out. Seevaratnam Puleedevan, secretary-general of the LTTE peace secretariat is quoted by Reuters as saying:

“LTTE will never surrender and we will fight and we have the confidence that we will win with the help of the Tamil people.”

The International Committee of the Red Cross warned the situation was “nothing short of catastrophic” and urged both sides to prevent further casualties among civilians, saying hundreds had been killed in the past 48 hours.

Many Tamils have made their home in Canada and one cannot help but feel for the loss of family and friends they have suffered. And I do suppose that this does, on some level, excuse some of the excesses of which the Tamil Tigers have been accused.

Sadly, however, this is the way of the world. For eons now humans have fought over power, land and ideas, and I doubt this practice will end any time soon. To the victor goes the spoils—that is how the system works.

For the Tamils who have chosen Canada as their new home, although it is too much for us to expect they will ever forget the terrible events that have occurred in their former homeland, we can expect that they mourn their dead and move on with their lives. This is not now nor has it ever been Canada’s war, and we do not deserve these mass demonstrations in our streets.

The Tamil Tigers are currently considered to be a terrorist organization by 32 countries, including Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, the United States and 27 countries of the European Union.

These countries all share similar legal systems and core values to ours, therefore, I am prepared to believe that the Tamil Tigers are, indeed, terrorists who have committed atrocities against civilians and have carried out assassinations of Sri Lankan and Indian politicians. They are also guilty of recruiting and using child soldiers. These are the people who invented the “suicide belt” and are known to use suicide bombing as a tactic against civilians.

There is much to blame on both sides of the Sri Lankan conflict, and Stephen Harper and his government are well advised to stay clear of it.

2 comments — This is a moderated blog and comments will appear when approved. Please don’t resubmit if your comment doesn’t appear immediately, and please do not post material that is obscene, harassing, defamatory, or otherwise objectionable.

  1. Maybe we can hope they will not use Canada as a base for terrorist acts elsewhere, but we can't 'expect' it. I very much fear the struggle will now go underground.

  2. We were nice and let them in, so this is what happens.