25 March 2014

The wages of flirtation

There are road blocks again in the North.  That’s an ominous sign.  If the threat of terrorism is the reason then let it be recognized, again, that terrorism is something that is never restricted to a particular territory. Road blocks have their purposes in terms of ensuring security of course. All countries have them. Borders, after all, are guarded.  But terrorism is not contained by road blocks alone.  Those road blocks will, if things don’t get better, start appearing in other parts of the country.

Does this mean that the government has failed? Yes and no.  Yes, because it can be said that the moves to resurrect the LTTE is deeply rooted in an inability to address grievances.  On the other hand, there are grievances and grievances, those that demand and deserve redress and those that are so colored by grab-intent, exaggeration and goalpost-shifting that no government can even begin to address them.  The history of communalist politics of Tamil leadership speaks of the latter more than the former.  So, ‘no’ is also a legitimate answer the question raised.

The fact of the matter is that it doesn’t take too many spoilers to precipitate anarchy or wreck the peace that has been achieved at great cost.  Societies therefore can never afford to drop their guard.  Vigilance is one thing, outright invitation to peace-wreckers is another.  Development and even constitutional re-arrangement can only do so much in these days of globalized arms-movement, cross-border surveillance and machinations to obtain instability. 

It is in this context that we have to first take stock of omission and commission that facilitated the now all too evident return of the worst elements in Tamil society. 

We had the likes of Mahendran Jeyakumari in the forefront of agitation.  Only the naïve would think that these protests were innocent initiatives of the aggrieved.  Jeyakumari, it is now established, was fronting for known terrorists with criminal records, ‘Gobi’ being just one.  If the Tamil National Alliance as a whole or its key spokespersons such as C.V. Wigneswaran, M. Sumanthiran and R. Sambanthan couldn’t figure out what’s what, they should retire not least of all because they would be the first to be ‘got out of the way’ in the event the LTTE rump graduated into even a pistol-gang. 

But it was the TNA that invited these people in.  All TNA leaders have at one time or another hobnobbed with key members of the LTTE resident in Europe and North America, all of whom have blood on their hands for funding and arms procurement, not to mention blanket approval of the LTTE.  The aforementioned gentlemen would know if and how much they owe these elements for supporting their political careers.  Prabhakaran’s pawns need not have agreed to be pawns of his successors, but there you have it; the TNA never got out of its shell, it can be concluded.   

How is inconvenience?  Who suffers?  Why, the people in the Northern Province, mostly Tamils.  They will see policemen and soldiers manning these roadblocks.  They won’t see that these policemen and soldiers were put there by those who in their very name birthed death, destruction, dismemberment and displacement for more than thirty years.  They can come to that conclusion though.  And they can thank the TNA for flirting with the most pernicious and ruthless elements of the LTTE rump for the inconvenience. 



Thrishantha Nanayakkara said...

Those who are good at winning wars are not necessarily good at maintaining peace. These are essentially two different things because they demand two different levels of honesty and courage.