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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2737

Brutal Buttala Killings Provide Path to Ultimate Victory Against Violence Leading to Peace

By Philip Fernando in Los Angeles

The attacks on civilians in Buttala with LTTE’s inherent brutal dimensions to it got damning condemnation from all over the world. The United States aid that the incident bears "all the hallmarks of the LTTE." European Union’s Colombo office stated that "this attack has all the characteristics of the LTTE’s modus operandi."

It added that no support can ever be gained in the EU through such acts of "barbaric terrorist violence." The time is opportune for the Sri Lankan government to show the world that while taking the path towards a decisive victory against the LTTE in all its deadly forms of violence, the problems of the Tamils are also being taken seriously. The country is behind the Rajapakse government in their unerring militaristic assault on the Tigers and it must deliver also on the issue of a fair settlement of the governance issue and that Tamils and their problems are being generously addressed.

While many were shocked and bemoaned the ruthless killings, the British House of Commons seemed somewhat unmoved. The TV pictures from U.K showed the debate amidst the expanse of empty benches. How many MPs were interested in our problem? The answer is few, very few, indeed. There were comments that the LTTE reacted violently due to the abrogation of the Ceasefire Agreement, or something to that effect. The CFA had been a dead letter for over a year. Violating it had become common place for over a year when it was breached with impunity and served no useful purpose. LTTE, as it always has, gave it a ruthless terrorist dimension.

Those in the human rights watch group faulted the government for abrogating the CFA. They wished Sri Lanka had played the game rightly. For them that would meant lying down and dying at the hands of a brutal enemy who observed no rules employing never ending number of fanatical suicide killers to do the bidding of the LTTE leaders now entrenched in fortified caverns under ground in the jungle terrains in Vanni.

Some also faulted the government that giving 14 day notice of the CFA when it was dead for over a year was somewhat imprudent. They also found it ridiculous that the decision of the government to use the CFA provisions of withdrawing from the agreement with formal two weeks notice to the Royal Norwegian Government.

Some saw it as a means of ensuring that the JVP remained in the government camp dictated by the parliamentary impasse of inheriting a slim majority. The opposition had been threatening to bring down the government for over a year. Any sign of the government carving in would automatically help the JVP to ratchet up the pressure more, some pointed out.

Internationally, the pressure was unbelievably high as shown by the House of Commons debate and the rumblings so the human rights watchers. Pleasing them and the JVP are taxing the government to the full.

It is self evident that the government has convinced the larger section of the Sri Lankans need to seize the opportunity of finishing off a weakened LTTE. Everyone agrees that if gods are smiling down on the President, he will finish the job on hand and end the war. Then he will live to be fight the other war of spiraling cost of living largely arising from externally determined world market prices.

The President and his government have the responsibility to convince the Tamils that their problems are being generously addressed. The APRC has for too long been dragging its feet although we are now assured that its final proposals will be presented by the middle of this week. But there have been reports that there is an effort to push the committee towards a formula favored by a few. Does the government intend to stay with the 13th amendment or go beyond it? The answers will be forthcoming very shortly if the assurances given by the government are to be believed. The main weakness of the APRC is that its very title is a misnomer. It has yet to gain consensus and is still no where near “All Party” level. The Tamil point of view must be gauged and assembled.

- Asian Tribune -

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