Where is the outrage over Sri Lanka?


by Sunny
27th April, 2009 at 1:22 pm    

Geoffrey Aldermnan is right to ask why there is Silence over Sri Lanka. But he’s trying that rhetorical trick whereby if you want to cast doubts over your political enemy’s motives over human rights, you find a tragedy they haven’t written about and then say: see, you’re not really that dedicated to human rights are you? why this obsession with Israel?.

But here’s the curious thing. The last time that same rhetorical trick was tried on blogs, it was on Harry’s Place in February. I replied by pointing out several reasons why Israel gets more coverage than Sri Lanka. Since then, there’s been radio silence about Sri Lanka on Harry’s Place. A cynic might even begin to think the people who try this rhetorical trick only use mention Sri Lanka for their own little battles rather than actual concern for those people.


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  1. pickles

    New blog post: Where is the outrage over Sri Lanka? http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/4407


  2. Karin Ayche

    RT @pickledpolitics: New blog post: Where is the outrage over Sri Lanka? http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/4407




  1. David T — on 27th April, 2009 at 1:38 pm  

    We can’t talk about it though, can we. Because when we do, we’re accused of whattaboutery, innit.

    There is also little we can say other than (a) Tamils have a right to self government (b) the LTTE are murderous bastards (c) the Sri Lankan government appears to have little regard for civilian life in their battle against them.

    That’s pretty much what the news reports say as well. There’s nothing novel we can say, beyond that.

    That’s because

    - prominent authors and national newspapers aren’t putting on plays entitled Seven Buddhist Children in which Buddhists are depicted telling their children that they will ‘attain Nirvana if they kill a Hindu child’.

    - no national politician nor celebrity is involved in advocacy over this war at all

    - only Tamils turn up on the pro LTTE demos

    - supposedly Buddhist owned shops and temples aren’t being attacked

    - the LTTE is fighting for regional autonomy, not for the creation of a Hindu state in which Buddhists will be expelled.

    - the LTTE doesn’t have a foundational charter which claims that Buddhists are responsible for all the ills of the world, including Communism and Capitalism, and will all be killed by Hindus when the time of reckoning comes, and nobody is claiming that these words oughtn’t to be taken at face value, or are unproblematic

    etc.

  2. Katy Newton — on 27th April, 2009 at 1:39 pm  

    A cynic might even begin to think the people who try this rhetorical trick only use mention Sri Lanka for their own little battles rather than actual concern for those people.

    Like you just did here, then?

    You’re beyond irony, Sunny. You really are.

  3. atropos — on 27th April, 2009 at 1:51 pm  

    Could it just be that people are suffering from outrage fatigue?

  4. Leon — on 27th April, 2009 at 1:55 pm  

    Beyond Irony. Hmm, might make a good blog name that.

  5. faisal — on 27th April, 2009 at 1:56 pm  

    Just to be absolutely sure: this post has nothing to do the LTTE, Tamils, Sinhalese or indeed anything to do with Sri Lanka, does it?

  6. Sunny — on 27th April, 2009 at 2:01 pm  

    we’re accused of whattaboutery, innit.

    Do you? If you limited it to outrage over the lack of coverage Tamils are getting, without the obligatory reference to Muslims or Israel, you might even get some praise David T!

    Katy: Like you just did here, then?

    It’s good that your irony detector works so well. Too bad you’re seen sagely nodding when it does actually happen that people use Tamils as a stick to beat ‘the international community’ (I’m not even sure who that means).

  7. Katy Newton — on 27th April, 2009 at 2:06 pm  

    When, please?

    You’ll be pleased to hear that my bullshit detector works as well as my irony detector. I’ve never commented on a thread on Sri Lanka, I don’t think. I only commented on the HP thread to say hello to Mirax, who I liked very much and who no longer comments here. I didn’t comment on your so-called response at all. So why don’t you come up with an example of me “nodding sagely” on a thread about Sri Lanka, if you can, or just accept that this thread was pure point scoring, using a human tragedy as capital for a personal tiff with another blog you can’t leave alone?

  8. chairwoman — on 27th April, 2009 at 2:17 pm  

    I have on occasion passed the time of day with Professor Alderman, and I would like to assure you of two things.

    The first one is, yes, he is, of course, using Sri Lanka rhetorically to make a point about Israel.

    The second is that I have no doubt that he feels as deeply for the people caught up in the whatever-you-want-to-call-it in Sri Lanka as you did for the people in Gaza.

    I would like to bring to your notice that here, on a primarily ‘brown’ site, there has been considerably less visible outrage about Sri Lanka than about I/P.

  9. Katy Newton — on 27th April, 2009 at 2:26 pm  

    But actually, for what it’s worth, I do think it’s fair to criticise the silence about Sri Lanka, and Darfur, and any number of crises on the African continent which go unnoticed, and to ask why people are indifferent to those when they are so angry about Israel. I’ve never suggested that Israel should escape scrutiny for its human rights abuses. I just wonder why people don’t feel the same about human rights abuses generally.

    That’s my position. Now please do explain to me how the fact that I feel that way makes it all right for you to use the human tragedy in Sri Lanka to score cheap, juvenile points off another blogger?

  10. faisal — on 27th April, 2009 at 2:37 pm  

    *nods head sagely but ironically*

  11. Sunny — on 27th April, 2009 at 2:51 pm  

    Now please do explain to me how the fact that I feel that way makes it all right for you to use the human tragedy in Sri Lanka to score cheap, juvenile points off another blogger?

    But Ms Newton, if your ironic bullshit detector was as good as mine, you’d see that I was actually pointing out that the same people who employ this rhetorical trick of using Sri Lankans to imply criticism of Israel is ‘obsessive’, only actually mention Sri Lanka when employing that rhetorical trick!

    In other words, they don’t normally mention Sri Lanka, except to say others (who coincidentally criticise Israel) are not mentioning Israel enough! Geddit?

    It’s a double rhetorical trick now. And I fully expect this meta-exchange will get more convoluted when David T tries to justify who accused him of ‘whataboutery’ when he wrote about Sri Lanka… or that he can’t be bothered to argue with Sunny… or simply that there’s no comparison etc etc.

  12. bananabrain — on 27th April, 2009 at 2:51 pm  

    *nods head as well* – my brother’s just come back from sri lanka, where he visited a mate of him who works with the un and human rights groups and it’s scandalous that about 5,000 civilians have been killed in the last couple of weeks and nobody seems to give much of a toss about it, almost certainly for the reasons outlined by david t in #1, which is certainly neither lost on myself, chairwoman, katy, or indeed professor alderman. i don’t know him personally, nor am i always in agreement with his newspaper columns, but he’s generally quite sensible and much concerned with ethics.

    the comments about letting the PP/HP feud go, however, i think are important. unless, of course, it is important for some reason that it continues, in which case i’d quite like to know what the purpose of that is.

    and, sunny, are you now referring to yourself in the third person, like a fashion designer?

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  13. Sunny — on 27th April, 2009 at 2:53 pm  

    it’s scandalous that about 5,000 civilians have been killed in the last couple of weeks and nobody seems to give much of a toss about it,

    I agree bananabrain!

    So perhaps you’d like to compare posts about it on PP versus posts about it on HP? Or even, horror of horrors, on Comment is Free! I bet they haven’t said anything about Sri Lanka, those anti-semitic bastards!

  14. Leon — on 27th April, 2009 at 2:54 pm  

    I’m nodding off with all this nodding…

    I just wonder why people don’t feel the same about human rights abuses generally.

    It’s a good question although I feel outrage fatigue and focus (focus meaning limited time and energy) have a lot to do with it…

  15. Katy Newton — on 27th April, 2009 at 3:35 pm  

    you’d see that I was actually pointing out that the same people who employ this rhetorical trick of using Sri Lankans to imply criticism of Israel is ‘obsessive’, only actually mention Sri Lanka when employing that rhetorical trick!

    Yuh-HUH, Sunny, except that you just cynically used it yourself to take a pop at HP over an issue that is dead to everyone except you. Why don’t you get your head out of HP, if it’s so unremittingly awful, and stop putting words into the mouth of me and BB, both of whom you seem to think will be at one with any issue that’s raised on HP – wonder why you think that? – and just leave all this juvenile name-calling behind for a bit?

  16. Katy Newton — on 27th April, 2009 at 3:37 pm  

    Incidentally, I’m not a Ms. I’m a Miss.

  17. sonia — on 27th April, 2009 at 3:48 pm  

    fatigue is obviously a factor in how publicised people’s ‘outrage’ might be. after all, not everyone is an activist/journalist, and if you’re an activist, you’ll probably have reasons for focusing on certain issues. usually based on what they think they can best contribute to. often a lot of activists will have a broad base of universal human rights that they subscribe to, and focus on some particular area that they believe is very important to get right in order to “progress” to ideal state.

    what is particularly dodgy and needs very much to be examined, is when there is a clear issue that some entity is shouting about ‘human rights’ when its their/their tribe/group’s rights – at stake, but not recognising their own direct action towards some other group – is all about the same dynamic. for example, people who support the Caliphate and want it ‘back’- who use’human rights’ as an argument for why they don’t like ‘western’ /i.e. superpower’s interventionist foreign policies – but will with their dying breath claim that very Caliphate’s historical actions as not having breached anyone else’s human rights. Of course it comes down to what you think of as ‘human’ rights. banging on about someone’s rights – because of their ethnicity/religion – is not ‘human’ rights. backing human rights is about backing the rights on the basis that one is human – regardless of race or group or religion.

    of course that’s about looking at the spokespersons for ‘entities’ e.g. countries, non-state actors committing violence and human rights abuses. this business of which journalist said what, what ‘issues’ they have covered – is boring, tiring and trite so often.

    if there is a real flaw in someone’s thinking, you can critique them fairly and squarely. if that involves bringing in some other position/statement they have made elsewhere, then fair enough.

    and anyway, this business of israel/palestine attracting more attention than Sri Lanka – well that’s hardly suprising given the way the media works.

  18. Katy Newton — on 27th April, 2009 at 3:49 pm  

    Why anyone cares what HP may or may not have posted about or their motives for doing so when swine flu is TOTALLY A BETA TEST FOR WORLD DOMINATION BY THE NEW WORLD ORDER, I do not know (via Ben Goldacre)

  19. sonia — on 27th April, 2009 at 3:49 pm  

    but actually if we’re talking about ordinary people – they are bothered about humans dying anywhere – if it is brought to their attention sad sob story direct empathy kind of way. very few people wouldn’t.

    that’s the whole point of portraying ‘enemies’ as ‘other’.

  20. Katy Newton — on 27th April, 2009 at 3:51 pm  

    I note, incidentally, that he advises that you take a rat to your doctor so that you can test any vaccine he gives you on the rat first.

  21. sonia — on 27th April, 2009 at 3:51 pm  

    you have to use certain ‘group’ tricks to get past natural human empathy – organised religion, nationalism have all successfully tried these tricks.

  22. David T — on 27th April, 2009 at 3:53 pm  

    Sunny

    Would it be easier if we just, like, had sex with each other?

  23. Sunny — on 27th April, 2009 at 3:54 pm  

    No doubt that my lack of posts about Swine Flu indicate a general carelessness towards brown-skinned Mexicans!

    But according to that crazy nutbag on Prison Planet, I’m beyond help :(

    Yuh-HUH, Sunny, except that you just cynically used it yourself to take a pop at HP over an issue that is dead to everyone except you

    I only raised it because Mr Alderman did, and no doubt Harry’s Place would have done (again) soon enough! It’s all a big circle-jerk… I’m just getting in my pre-emptive strike (Tony Blair style) before they get in their pre-emptive strike!

  24. sonia — on 27th April, 2009 at 3:55 pm  

    but yes, i am getting bored about what Harry’s place did or did not say and this great battle of the blogs…all good fun for a bit but it seems like an endless cycle now. all this continuing about right-wing media vs. left-wing media – too self-focused..if it doesn’t stop somewhere! let’s actually focus on issues rather than what so and so journalist/blogger did or did not say about issue x. its falling into the same trap politicians fall into.

    let’s all have a truce shall we? i mean how can we ever hope to inspire hamas/palestine + israel to sort out their difference if this HP/PP battle won’t stop raging ? ;-)

  25. Sunny — on 27th April, 2009 at 3:56 pm  

    That, is an interesting proposition Mr T.

    Incidentally, I’m not a Ms. I’m a Miss.

    What? I always get confused by this! Isn’t Ms (like, mzzz) supposed to be generic?

  26. sonia — on 27th April, 2009 at 4:06 pm  

    titles are self-chosen..i.e. most of us start out as Miss as the default..then as you know, traditionally most women on marriage became Mrs. the Ms. option is usually taken by women if they don’t want to be Mrs..or by some women who might not want to reveal their marital status. so its upto the woman to specify – heh. People – when they are not sure if a woman is married or not – do say Ms rather than Miss or Mrs – as it is a ‘safer bet’ – but then they should defer to the correct title when informed what it is.

  27. bananabrain — on 27th April, 2009 at 4:07 pm  

    So perhaps you’d like to compare posts about it on PP versus posts about it on HP? Or even, horror of horrors, on Comment is Free! I bet they haven’t said anything about Sri Lanka, those anti-semitic bastards!

    as i don’t read HP or CiF, i’m not analysing the comparatives right now. so your protestations about being better than them are really not that relevant to me. i’m not suggesting for a moment that you care less for the pain of the tamils (or sinhalese) than that of the palestinians (or israelis) – only that, on the basis of what you yourself seem to get exercised about, you seem somewhat keen to add to the chorus of disapproval from the usual quarters. now, call me cynical, but i wonder why you would spend your time on an already over-reported subject when you are not especially adding any extra insight, if there were not some other element involved. note that i am presuming here that the answer is *not* To Put The Boot Into The Jews In Order To Appeal To The Peanut Gallery And Get Extra Votes, as it was whenever ken livingstone (for example) got involved, you are not that sort of person. i’m just interested to know what you are trying to achieve and who your audience is, really. i thought it might include me, but i don’t think it is any more.

    of course, if i am wrong then, in that case, what sonia just said.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  28. Katy Newton — on 27th April, 2009 at 4:08 pm  

    Oh, it is, but I hate the way it sounds, and I like the Austen-ness of Miss, so I stick with that.

  29. sonia — on 27th April, 2009 at 4:09 pm  

    22 – yes..that’s a good plan..get it out of your system lads!

    :-)

  30. sonia — on 27th April, 2009 at 4:09 pm  

    or a cage-fight?

  31. sonia — on 27th April, 2009 at 4:11 pm  

    good idea Katy…i like Miss as well! I’m meant to be Ms. Ali but my bank statement still says Miss because i couldn’t be bothered to change it and i *secretly* like the way it looks! i don’t see why i can’t still be Miss Ali. i hate it when people call me mrs. ali- i am definitely not that!

  32. Sunny — on 27th April, 2009 at 4:12 pm  

    now, call me cynical, but i wonder why you would spend your time on an already over-reported subject when you are not especially adding any extra insight, if there were not some other element involved

    Which is the over-reported subject? I/P or Sri Lanka? The post wasn’t about either topic, it was more about how people use one to bash others about I/P. It was a comment on a rhetorical trick. My last post though, between the two, was on Sri Lanka rather than I/P, which I haven’t written about for a while. So I’m still unsure what I’m being blamed for Mr Bananabrain!

    Katy – grrrr, there always has to be one!

  33. Katy Newton — on 27th April, 2009 at 4:13 pm  

    It’s got to be a cage fight, hasn’t it?

  34. sid impersonating Ashik — on 27th April, 2009 at 4:17 pm  

    hmmm, Sonia, given your Islamic revisionist background and your defence of equal rights for women, it’s no wonder you want to be a miss. hmmmmm? Am I wrong? You libertine minx, you. hmmmmmmmm?

  35. David T — on 27th April, 2009 at 4:19 pm  

    That, is an interesting proposition Mr T.

    You will find me an inventive yet sensitive lover.

    It’s got to be a cage fight, hasn’t it?

    I am a lover, not a fighter.

  36. Katy Newton — on 27th April, 2009 at 4:23 pm  

    You will find me an inventive yet sensitive lover.

    So will everyone else, if it’s live-blogged.

  37. Amrit — on 27th April, 2009 at 4:26 pm  

    ‘Where is the outrage over Sri Lanka?’

    Redirected into:

    a) pointless point-scoring arguing-for-the-sake-of-it over Israel/Palestine.
    b) pointless point-scoring arguing-for-the-sake-of-it blog wars.

    atropos at #3, I believe you are correct. I think the amount of time/energy people invest in exercising themselves over I/P naturally leads to outrage fatigue. I sure get fatigued by other people’s outrage. There is only so much that can be done…

    Lol @ sid impersonating Ashik; ‘libertine minx’? I think I want that to be my new job description. :-D

    Maybe Sunny ought to consider David T’s Valley-Girl-style proposition above. C’mon guys, kiss and make up… ;-)

  38. David T — on 27th April, 2009 at 4:31 pm  

    Why don’t we get Sunder to join us in a threesome.

    After all, I can barely tell the difference between you two…

  39. sid impersonating Ashik — on 27th April, 2009 at 4:33 pm  

    hahaha

  40. David T — on 27th April, 2009 at 4:34 pm  

    One of these days, I will tell you the story about the night Dan Hannan and I spent in a strip club…

  41. Katy Newton — on 27th April, 2009 at 4:36 pm  

    This thread has taken an odd yet strangely compelling direction

  42. Sunny — on 27th April, 2009 at 4:42 pm  

    It’s got to be kabaddi!!

  43. Katy Newton — on 27th April, 2009 at 4:45 pm  

    Cage kabaddi threesome! Who’s going to put that into Google?

  44. David T — on 27th April, 2009 at 4:52 pm  

    kabaddi kabaddi kabaddi kabaddi kabaddi kabaddi kabaddi kabaddi kabaddi kabaddi kabaddi kabaddi kabaddi kabaddi kabaddi kabaddi kabaddi kabaddi kabaddi kabaddi kabaddi kabaddi kabaddi kabaddi kabaddi kabaddi kabaddi kabaddi

  45. Leon — on 27th April, 2009 at 5:05 pm  

    5000 dead and all the Picklers can talk about is Sunny giving Dave T a good fucking…

  46. faisal — on 27th April, 2009 at 5:12 pm  

    Were you really expecting a sensible discussion on Sri Lanka, when the post was predicated on an ‘he said/I said’ blogger’s feud?

  47. Leon — on 27th April, 2009 at 5:16 pm  

    Of course not but you know couldn’t help point out the obvious in all this absurdity…

  48. MaidMarian — on 27th April, 2009 at 5:29 pm  

    Sunny – ‘A cynic might even begin to think the people who try this rhetorical trick only use mention Sri Lanka for their own little battles rather than actual concern for those people.’

    Interesting point, but to my mind the question about why there has not been as much outrage about Sri Lanka relative to other, any other, conflicts, is perhaps more a reflection on the nature of debate rather than anything about Sri Lanka per se.

    You talk about, ‘little battles.’ Substitute, ‘internet hot air,’ and I think we’re closer. That we don’t get good quality debate of Sri Lanka probably has much to do with the reductivist nature of internet debate which too often become a willy-wave about particular gripes.

    In the old days, this sort of thing was called a stalking horse.

  49. sonia — on 27th April, 2009 at 5:38 pm  

    34. sid impersonating ashik = ha ha good one :-)

  50. Katy Newton — on 27th April, 2009 at 5:48 pm  

    Leon and Faisal both make valid points, which is why I for one say that any dirty cage action should be sponsored.

  51. Don — on 27th April, 2009 at 6:13 pm  

    Sex or cage fight, as long as all parties are thoroughly oiled it’s all good.

    But I agree with all those saying that the PP/HP thing is boring as hell to those of us for who don’t particularly care what the commenters on HP have to say.

    Maybe one of the reasons that the MSM are lukewarm over Sri Lanka is that relatively few people in this country know what it is about and educating them is too much like hard work. Perhaps their is a conviction that Joe Public can only handle so many narratives at a time and something like Swine Flu is an easy sell.

    The narratives which currently run all have a (perceived) impact on the UK public at large – Iraq, Afghanistan, the economy, climate change, swine flu …
    Nobody other than those with a personal connection to Sri Lanka is likely to be affected and there have been very few images available to inspire empathy.

  52. Don — on 27th April, 2009 at 6:26 pm  

    On the Mrs/Miss/Ms thing, a while back I was escorting a friend who uses a wheelchair on a flight to Belfast when the staff member assisting made the error of speaking to me about my companion, saying ‘Does she prefer Mrs or Ms?’

    I expected to see him strangled with his own entrails, but Jan must have been in a good mood as she merely snarled ‘She prefers ‘Professor’, you fuckwit.’ and ran over his foot.

  53. sonia — on 27th April, 2009 at 7:42 pm  

    that’s a good point Don, we forget about the Dr.s of this world who don’t fit into the mr or mrs category!

  54. Mango — on 27th April, 2009 at 7:42 pm  

    If I may give you some news straight from SL DefSec:

    http://tinyurl.com/d92gu5

    London’s Eeelamtard community had better get ready for a long period of whining and moaning, because their ‘Sun God’ has probably already achieved ‘Eelam’.

    The overwhelming majority of Sri Lankans have shown by their votes (remember those pesky voters?), that they want this war ended. After almost 30 years, this is enough.

  55. Leon — on 27th April, 2009 at 7:59 pm  

    But I agree with all those saying that the PP/HP thing is boring as hell to those of us for who don’t particularly care what the commenters on HP have to say.

    Boring doesn’t even begin to describe it now. I’m actually on the verge of tying Sunny to a chair and beating him until he swears on his Mothers life he wont utter another word on the subject.

    ….

    Man I need a drink…

  56. chairwoman — on 27th April, 2009 at 8:13 pm  

    May I offer you a cyber Margharita? :)

  57. Amrit — on 27th April, 2009 at 9:32 pm  

    Don @ 52 – priceless.

    Congrats to all of you successfully and amusingly derailing this thread. Flowers DO grow from shit, so they say.

    Leon @ 55 – agreed…

  58. Arif — on 27th April, 2009 at 9:57 pm  

    My word, I just read the article by Geoffrey Alderman.

    I think it is clear that it is a rhetorical trick – because the parrallels between the situations are not drawn out beyond the superficial.

    Would he argue that the Sri Lankan State was established by settler colonists on the land inhabited by Tamils. That the Sri Lankan State has then engaged in ethnic cleansing and occupation, followed by various other acts of dispossession? If so, he should make this clear, and then his argument for consistency in advocating human rights would make sense.

    For me, the article came across as arguing that States kill people in order to achieve their ends against those they consider terrorists. That therefore the states of Israel and Sri Lanka should be equally condemned, because it sounds as though, in his view, that is all he believes they are doing. And that’s fine, but doesn’t relate to human rights.

  59. Sunny — on 27th April, 2009 at 10:37 pm  

    Stalking Horse! That is the phrase I’ve been looking for all this time, thanks MaidMarian! Rhetorical trick doesn’t quite do it. Stalking Horse is in fact the right phrase.

    Sweeeet!

  60. platinum786 — on 28th April, 2009 at 7:54 am  

    What do people expect the Sri Lankan government to do, allow the LTTE to commit the ethnic cleansing of the North?

    To be fair to all sides, Tamils might feel agrieved by their treatment by the central government in sri Lanka, past and present, but show me a country in the developing world where that is not true? Look how Muslims and lower caste communties in India feel, look how Bihari’s in Bangladesh are treated, look at how NWFP and Balouchistan have been neglected in Pakistan, take example from the treatment of the Tajiks and Uzbeks in Afghanistan, or the treatment of Arabs and Balouchs in Iran.

    That does not make any of the treatment of people tamils in Sri Lanka right, nor does it justify the mistreatment of the other people mentioned, however if groups in any of the states mentioned, started fighting for an independent state, would you support their cause and more to the point, do you think the government would support them? The answer is no.

    At the same time we must also take note that continued abuse of people does force people into the position the LTTE is in (kind of). Pakistan was created because the Muslims of India felt they needed a homeland, Bangladesh was created because the Bengali’s felt they were not being treated correctly by West Pakistan, similarly, the Kurds are on the brink of their own state because of abuse in Turkey/Iraq/Iran and Balouchistan and many places in India have rebellions because of problems with the state.

    However the difference is the LTTE is involved in ethnic cleansing, they’ve targed Buddhists and Muslims in the areas they are in control of and they have been involved in terrorism against the state. Even the Pakistani ambassador was attacked by a Tamil scuicide bomber last year i think.

    The Dri Lankan army has done well to defeat the Tamils in a long drawn out conflict, but they have caused a lot of collateral damage, due in part to their lack of technology (if your buying your military equipment from Pakistan, chances are it’s pretty medium tech).

    You won’t find Tamil babies with their skills crushed, Tamil Children with bullets in them fired at close range, and Tamil homes with racist Graffiti on it done by Sri Lankan soldiers.

    The use of the Sri Lankan conflict by the Israel supporters in places like Harry’s place etc is a shameless abuse of those people, mind you as long as gods super race is alright, most people on those kinds of blog don’t care for “darkies”. These people abuse the lack of knowledge people have on the details of the Sri Lankan conflict to present some sort of “double standard”in order to help defend the indefensible committed by Israel.

  61. Katy Newton — on 28th April, 2009 at 8:12 am  

    The Dri Lankan army has done well to defeat the Tamils in a long drawn out conflict, but they have caused a lot of collateral damage, due in part to their lack of technology (if your buying your military equipment from Pakistan, chances are it’s pretty medium tech).

    Seventy thousand deaths since the conflict started, and over 6000 since January. A million people displaced and living in refugee camps, and civilians – including children – dying of malnutrition or disease if not actually caught in the crossfire. That’s your idea of acceptable collateral damage, is it?

    Your double standards are breathtaking. Thousands of civilians, including children, are being caught in the crossfire, and what you and Arif appear to be saying is that you can live with that because you don’t support the Tamil cause, and/or that it’s all right for the Sri Lankan government to kill civilians because its technology isn’t that great. You’re entitled to your opinions but don’t be surprised if I take your outrage about Israeli abuse of human rights with a pinch of salt. Truth is, you don’t like Israel and you do like the Sri Lankan government, and that’s the determinative factor.

    I find that point of view pretty disgusting, frankly. It’s a combination of hypocrisy and unbelievable callousness. Go tell the Tamil and Sinhalese civilians that they don’t matter as much as the Palestinians because it isn’t “God’s super race” that’s oppressing them, why don’t you?

    I’d have marginally more respect for people like you if you just came out and admitted that as far as you’re concerned it’s nothing to do with civilian deaths and everything to do with who you happen to think is in the right.

  62. cjcjc — on 28th April, 2009 at 9:01 am  

    This is Sunny’s next *magnum opus*.
    Following
    “Why Iain Dale and Guido Fawkes should be ignored, Vols. 1-20″
    he is now giving us
    “Why HP is a Zionist cesspit and must never be mentioned in polite company, Vols. 1-25″.

  63. izmir — on 28th April, 2009 at 9:23 am  

    thankssssss

  64. alem — on 28th April, 2009 at 9:25 am  

    thank you

  65. forum — on 28th April, 2009 at 9:27 am  

    thankssssssssss

  66. Shuggy — on 28th April, 2009 at 9:32 am  

    In the future you could circumvent all this guff by accepting that no-one, not even you Sunny, is consistently concerned about people killing other people per se. People always, always have their concern engaged, outrage provoked, by something else – because they see it as a symptom of a wider problem or because it represents a particular form of injustice that they are concerned about. But to be realistic, it is also because, sometimes, they see the victims as more important than other victims and/or because they see the perpetrators as instrinsically more malevolent than other perpetrators.

    I don’t see why this obvious fact can’t be acknowledged. It doesn’t make any sense, when you think about it, to insist on impartial, calculating, completely consistent ‘outrage’ since outrage is, after all, a powerful emotion. So if you could acknowledge this simple fact then we could dispense with all this nonsense and accept that to ask the question – why all the focus on Israel/Palestine? – is a perfectly legitimate one.

  67. faisal — on 28th April, 2009 at 10:29 am  

    well said Katy.

  68. platinum786 — on 28th April, 2009 at 10:34 am  

    70,000 people have died, i’ll take your word for it, but the conflict is 25 years old. Also how many of those killed have been killed by the Tamil tigers and their scuicide bombers? How many of the million displaced have been forced out by Tamil tigers?

    Death is unfortunate but is a consequence of war. You say 6000 people have been killed this year, how many of them are cvillians, how many are fighters, how many were killed by the Tamil Tigers.

    I have made it quite clear that you can’t condone or accept the levels of casulties in this war, but that is the same as any war, as war is not a necessity. When war does occur these are the prices we pay for it.

    What people like you are trying to do, is abuse the Sri Lankan conflict, to smear it in an effort to make the genocide in Gaza appear “okay”, to take political pressure away from the “chosen ones” by pointing figners at a country taken hostage by terrorist.

    8000 people have died in Pakistan in the last 3-4 years, as a result of terrorism. Half a million have been displaced due to the war against the Taliban, illegal US drone attacks have killed nearly 700 civillians to kill 14 Al Queda commanders, yet you don’t use those statistics to compare the cost of war, why because that war suits you, you don’t want to undermine that war, wheras you couldn’t give a second thought for the Sri Lankan conflict, so it’s simple enough to make them look bad, as long as it deflects from the crimes commited by Israel.

    Why accuse me of being, what you are, when you have not admitted to yourself, what you are yet.

  69. faisal — on 28th April, 2009 at 10:36 am  

    Wow. The moral equivalence lauched from one very badly advised article which basically reads like an “I’m too sexy to be impugned by HP” is amusing to say the least.

    We shall see how Arif and platinum786 play out their own little “rhetorical trick” in 12 to 18 months time when they will be forced to get off the whataboutery fence with the inevitable bloodbath that will result from the Pakistan government’s handling of the impending Taliban crisis. Pakistan has never been too concerned with the wording of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights or the Geneva Convention when dealing with its enemies. And Pakistani “liberals” have regarded the growth of Islamist terrorism, the introduction of Shari’a law in some of its Western provinces and its role as a conduit to international terrorism with the usual blaming of the US or a grumpy silence.

    That won’t be so easy to do now, and we shall soon see how the call for human rights should be dispensed to Taliban forces, if at all, as Pakistan and US military offensives are used to quash the Taliban. I have no doubt whatsoever that when we start seeing news pour in of crushed skulls and dead civilians, human rights abuses are not going to be as important to Pakistan as they are of Israel and Sri Lanka.

  70. Katy Newton — on 28th April, 2009 at 11:32 am  

    You’ve got a cheek, Platinum. You don’t actually know anything about Sri Lanka, do you? How dare you start in on me when you couldn’t even be bothered to find out who was displaced or how many people died? If you want to talk about ethnic cleansing and displaced people, many of the displaced persons are Tamils who were driven out of the north of Sri Lanka by the government (this is not to suggest that the Tamils have not caused civilian deaths themselves). The government plans to keep them in camps, isn’t that lovely? And furthermore, if you’re going to be so crass as to reduce human deaths to a numbers game, the 70,000 dead in Sri Lanka since the 1980s compares to between 50,000 and 90,000 dead in I/P since 1945. I personally think it’s an insult to all of those dead to try to suggest that whoever lost more people “wins” some macabre game – but if it is a game to you, don’t be thinking that I/P’s won it. Okay?

    8000 people have died in Pakistan in the last 3-4 years, as a result of terrorism. Half a million have been displaced due to the war against the Taliban, illegal US drone attacks have killed nearly 700 civillians to kill 14 Al Queda commanders, yet you don’t use those statistics to compare the cost of war

    I picked on Sri Lanka because that’s the topic that Sunny chose. And I am not using statistics to “compare the cost of war” or defend State A against State B. I don’t deny or condone Israeli human rights abuses or suggest that the Palestinians are well served by anyone – I just ask, rhetorically, why, if it’s all about civilian casualties and human rights abuses, people like you are so selective in what outrages you.

    why because that war suits you, you don’t want to undermine that war, wheras you couldn’t give a second thought for the Sri Lankan conflict, so it’s simple enough to make them look bad, as long as it deflects from the crimes commited by Israel.

    Utter, utter cock. The war in Israel certainly does not “suit” me. This is you you’re describing, not me. You’re the one who’s picking and choosing. You’re the one scrabbling around for convoluted arguments about why civilian deaths in Sri Lanka are less worthy of outrage or report than civilian deaths in Israel or Palestine, even though you couldn’t be bothered to look up the most basic information about either of them.

  71. fugstar — on 28th April, 2009 at 11:43 am  

    Its a classic israeli ploy to feign concern for tamils under siege to save the glory of zion. They do it all the time, in an attempt to occupy the virtuous discursive space. It doesnt benefit people in Sri Lanka, and gives the content of what they say an untrustworthy blue glow.

    However, it is a minor CiF piece. You could post more accurate and informed readings from the region if you wanted but i dont think south asia really features here, unless its because of some distorted human rights bitching.

    i think he’s accusing white people specifically of latent anti-semetihood. Its hard to get muslims out on this one because a) awareness of the three-way conflict and history and b) a mawlid procession was bombed by the tigers a short while back.

    Tamil protesters are tenacious, indefatigable even. they are still there. theres a few events and rallys, especially at the uni level but i dont think thats alderman’s concern.

    What he’s distracting his entrapped readers from is that the Israel problem would happily cause armagedon because they care for noone but themselves. The (once Indian government armed) Tamil Tigers vs the Buddhist Sinhalese state conflict will not. As tamil leaders have noted, there is no oil and the geopolitical stakes just arent there.

    Then theres the historical aspect, people in the UK have a greater burden of colonial guilt for causing the Israel problem than in Sri Lank’s civil war.

  72. faisal — on 28th April, 2009 at 11:48 am  

    Sunny, Arif, Platinum and now fugstar in a Maududi-esque soggy biscuit circle-wank. Last one to come eats the biscuit.

  73. fugstar — on 28th April, 2009 at 11:56 am  

    “but if it is a game to you, don’t be thinking that I/P’s won it. Okay?”

    - how ‘game’ of you.

    IT boy.

    - happy playing with your tail there? boy do you have ‘pakistan’ ishoos.

    Civilians

    possible impacts on Indian elections? http://www.tehelka.com/story_main41.asp?filename=Ne170109crouching_tigers.asp

  74. bananabrain — on 28th April, 2009 at 12:00 pm  

    My last post though, between the two, was on Sri Lanka rather than I/P, which I haven’t written about for a while. So I’m still unsure what I’m being blamed for Mr Bananabrain!

    i’m not “blaming” you for anything. i’m simply trying to understand your motivation and your comparative levels of outrage.

    Were you really expecting a sensible discussion on Sri Lanka, when the post was predicated on an ‘he said/I said’ blogger’s feud?

    i suppose not. that is what makes me sad, really.

    That we don’t get good quality debate of Sri Lanka probably has much to do with the reductivist nature of internet debate which too often become a willy-wave about particular gripes.

    which is kind of the point about making it about personalities rather than issues.

    and leon @ 55 – also agreed!

    Would he argue that the Sri Lankan State was established by settler colonists on the land inhabited by Tamils. That the Sri Lankan State has then engaged in ethnic cleansing and occupation, followed by various other acts of dispossession? If so, he should make this clear, and then his argument for consistency in advocating human rights would make sense.

    yes, but these are your assumptions, stated tendentiously for the purpose of making your real point, rather than actual fact.

    i think, all in all, the point made by shuggy at #66 might be the best.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  75. platinum786 — on 28th April, 2009 at 12:02 pm  

    Katy: I’m playing the numbers game? All I’ve done is pick up on the gist of the original blog war that the article was about which was that the other website, mention the Sri Lankan war to defend Israel and bash those who question it, but then don’t actually highlight the “Tamil cause” themselves.

    You were the first person to mention numbers, I only used them to show that all conflicts have casulties, all as equally dead as the others, and that certain people, perhaps i shouldn’t have pointed fingers at you as i don’t personally know you, but certain people do use the issue to mud sling.

    Faisal: I’m not going to sit about on any fence. I don’t need to, I’m, not sat on a fence right now. There is a distinct difference between the tactics used by Pakistani forces and the tactics used by israel in Gaza.

  76. faisal — on 28th April, 2009 at 12:02 pm  

    i think, all in all, the point made by shuggy at #66 might be the best.

    Agreed.

  77. Ravi Naik — on 28th April, 2009 at 12:19 pm  

    When MCB refused to honour those who died in the Holocaust because they said that the Memorial didn’t include other genocides, I felt they were being very disingenuous, because I thought I am glad that we at least acknowledge a horrendous event of the last century – to remind what humanity is capable of. We certainly know a lot more about the Holocaust than we know about other genocides, because in the last 50 years, there have been countless movies, books and articles written about it, as well as movements destined to preserve the memory of those who died under the Nazis.

    My point is that while I agree that PP (and the media), have been mostly silent about Sri Lanka (except when attempting to score a few points against HP), I have to say that Geoffrey Aldermnan question at the end of his article to be equally disingenuous – why are people and the media obsessed with what Israel is doing in the Middle East? Why the fuck not? I for one am glad that people are at least concerned and outraged about what can only be described as state-sponsored terrorism.

    I agree with Shuggy in #66 – we all suffer from selective outrage, but that beats total apathy for any sort of human suffering.

  78. faisal — on 28th April, 2009 at 12:44 pm  

    The media’s and by extension our blanket obsession with I/P means that equal “state sponsored terrorism” and equally horrendous government-sanctioned human rights abuses in Somalia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iran, UAE, Sudan, Burundi, Guinea, Uzbekistan do not even get discussed let alone covered in blogs such as this.

    Aldermann is right.

  79. Katy Newton — on 28th April, 2009 at 12:54 pm  

    how ‘game’ of you

    How clever of you. You took four words of a much larger post completely out of context and then twisted them beyond recognition. Isn’t that the sort of thing you usually consider to be typical zionist behaviour? Are you currently emitting a sinister blue glow? Perhaps you’d better let your shadowy hook-nosed overlords know that you’ve blown your cover.

  80. chairwoman — on 28th April, 2009 at 12:56 pm  

    “Its a classic israeli ploy to feign concern for tamils under siege to save the glory of zion. They do it all the time, in an attempt to occupy the virtuous discursive space. It doesnt benefit people in Sri Lanka, and gives the content of what they say an untrustworthy blue glow.”

    Yet another vile racist slur from one of the usual suspects.

    How dare you decide what concerns and compassion Jews have.

    You are indeed a one dimensional piece of something indescribable.

  81. chairwoman — on 28th April, 2009 at 12:59 pm  

    “There is a distinct difference between the tactics used by Pakistani forces and the tactics used by israel in Gaza.”

    Yeah, Yeah. Muslims good, Jews bad. Heard it all before.

  82. platinum786 — on 28th April, 2009 at 1:39 pm  

    ^^^How knee jerk. Both of your responses in fact. Both very typical, we first have the race card, then we have the religion card.

    Any sensible person would know that there are distinct differences between the wars being fought by Israel and Pakistan.

    For example, Pakistan isn’t on anyone elses territory for a start. Secondly, Pakistan is fighting a war in a mountaineous area, not in an urban environment (which which happens to be one of the most densily populated in the world). Pakistan didn’t use chemical weapons on civillian populations. Pakistan, has not targetted civillians, to avoid the damage caused by war Pakistan has even agreed truces and peace deals with the enemy.

    Differences which are more than religion. In fact talking about religion, Pakistan is fighting a war where both sides are of the same religion, unlike in Israel.

    The majority of Pakistani’s in Pakistan have not immigrated there from another continent. That’s another one you might have missed.

    The simple fact is you’ve been called out, your Sri Lankan charade exposed, and you’ll try your level best to derail the topic or attempt to bait people who argued against you so that you can character assasinate.

  83. chairwoman — on 28th April, 2009 at 1:56 pm  

    The simple fact is you’ve been called out, your Sri Lankan charade exposed, and you’ll try your level best to derail the topic or attempt to bait people who argued against you so that you can character assasinate.

    Nobody I know is trying to derail the subject. But you, like Himmler, know that a lie repeated often enough is deemed to have become the truth even when it, in fact, remains a lie.

  84. faisal — on 28th April, 2009 at 1:58 pm  

    There is a distinct difference between the tactics used by Pakistani forces and the tactics used by israel in Gaza.

    There are many differences, but “Pakistan is not committing human-rights abuses” is not one of them.

  85. Refresh — on 28th April, 2009 at 1:58 pm  

    Don,

    on the Prof/Dr/Miss/Ms thing, I had the opposite experience. I ran into a TV reporter who I had given an interview to a week earlier pushing a wheelchair’d friend in a shopping mall. After the obligatory greeting to both, the reporter and I had chat whilst we walked. I made the effort of treating her friend as I would anyone else. I left it to her to join in. To do otherwise would have been patronising. The only comment I got from her was ‘I suppose my wheelchair makes me invisible’.

  86. fugstar — on 28th April, 2009 at 2:03 pm  

    82. or the racyligion card

  87. Jai — on 28th April, 2009 at 2:03 pm  

    I do keep saying that people here seem to go nuts everytime I/P is mentioned, even on topics not directly related to the subject. Here we go again.

    In any case, I agree completely with those who’ve already said that the remarks by Shuggy in #66 were spot-on.

    To be honest with you, I think that a PP article focusing solely on the current strife in Sri Lanka would have been much more constructive, but I guess that’s the way the cookie crumbles.

  88. Katy Newton — on 28th April, 2009 at 2:19 pm  

    Deleted. What’s happening out there is too bad for cheap shots, even at people like Fug and Platinum who richly deserve them.

  89. Refresh — on 28th April, 2009 at 2:22 pm  

    ‘For example, Pakistan isn’t on anyone elses territory for a start. Secondly, Pakistan is fighting a war in a mountaineous area, not in an urban environment (which which happens to be one of the most densily populated in the world). Pakistan didn’t use chemical weapons on civillian populations. Pakistan, has not targetted civillians, to avoid the damage caused by war Pakistan has even agreed truces and peace deals with the enemy.’

    Not wishing to distract from the criticism that should be heaped on Alderman, HP et al.

    Pakistan army’s conduct has been quite despicable, the Lal Masjid seige is a case in point. I understand that phosphorous shells were used, locals report that ceiling fans melted in the intense heat and that around 2400 young people perished; whilst their parents pleaded at the barriers to allow them to fetch their sons and daughters out – to no avail.

    Not only that, there are many reports of people being sold for dollars so both sides benefit, the US agents delivering ‘non-combatants’ for Bagram and Guantanamo and goodness knows how many secret gulags, and individuals and agencies receiving hard-cash.

    Which leaves families campaigning to find the ‘disappeared’.

    Now, its not often I have kind words for the State of Israel – but I commend what appears to be one principal it does not seem to bend – you do not harm your own. Unless you expose secret development of weapons of mass destruction that is.

    The other point of course is that the State of Israel can and will use the despicable behaviour of the Pakistan army as a justification for whatever it has done or will do in the future. Which leaves Israel appearing to always seek the lowest common denominator when justifying its many forms of oppression.

  90. Jai — on 28th April, 2009 at 2:27 pm  

    A few more brief thoughts:

    For example, Pakistan isn’t on anyone elses territory for a start.

    The Taliban would disagree, both in relation to the Pakistani territory they’ve recently annexed and their plans for further expansion.

    Secondly, Pakistan is fighting a war in a mountaineous area,

    Not for much longer, if the Taliban’s efforts to infiltrate the rest of the country and indeed replace the government continue. In which case, the fighting is going to spread to everywhere the Taliban rears its head.

    not in an urban environment (which which happens to be one of the most densily populated in the world).

    As above.

    Pakistan, has not targetted civillians,

    Pakistan’s government and military will have to start making some very tough decisions if they want to effectively eradicate the presence of the Taliban from Pakistani territory full-stop, not just in the northwest but also from the rest of the country if the Taliban’s aims to take over Pakistan genuinely start bearing fruit. The horrible chain of events could be very nasty and very tragic indeed for many of the country’s civilian population.

    Anyway, this is a discussion for another thread, assuming that a PP article on the subject is forthcoming in due course.

  91. faisal — on 28th April, 2009 at 2:43 pm  

    Yes, the tactics in Pakistan is akin to an imperialistic, US-backed Islamic-state military using middle-tech munitions to massacre low-tech, impoverished Muslims. And because it’s Muslim-on-Muslim massacres, the recieved thinking is that there can’t be human rights violiations going on.

    And this is reinforced by blanket disregard by the Pakistani chattering classes languishing in the posh parts of London and in Islamabad. Fucking pathetic.

  92. Jai — on 28th April, 2009 at 2:51 pm  

    “Just one more thing”, as Columbo would say…..

    Pakistani jets have begun launching airstrikes against Taliban targets within “Pakistan proper”:

    http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/04/28/pakistan.airstrikes/index.html?iref=topnews

    Quotes:

    The airstrikes killed between 70 and 75 militants in the Dir district, and flushed out many more, military spokesman Gen. Athar Abbas told reporters……

    …..But Pakistan’s recent military crackdown has led to an exodus of civilians in the region. Between 15,000 and 30,000 residents have left the Dir district, which is less than 160 km (100 miles) northwest of the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, according to an aid agency operating in the region.

    The Pakistani military on Tuesday completed its operation to eliminate and expel militants in Dir, and is now focusing on the Buner district, Abbas said. The Buner operation began at 4 p.m. local time (6 a.m. ET) and is still ongoing.

    Some 300 militants entered the Buner district a few days ago, in violation of the Taliban’s recent agreement to pull out of the district, he said. Buner is about 60 miles away from Islamabad, but Abbas said the militants posed no threat to the capital city.

    Fighter jets are pounding targets in Buner and Swat Valley in an effort to block the militants’ entry and exit points, he added.

    …..But he warned that a Pakistani military operation against what is sometimes perceived as “going after its own people” will not be an easy task for the government.

    “The military will go into the field and reclaim territory, but it’s not going to be pretty and it’s not going to be easy,” he said.

    …..He said that local residents have told Amnesty in recent months that Pakistani military operations have “destroyed houses, destroyed markets, without in any way impacting the Taliban.”

    “And that’s what really frightens people,” he said. “We’ve seen over 500,000 people are now registered as displaced from areas and most of those are people who are afraid of military operations.”

    …..But that’s a detailed debate for another thread, as I said earlier.

  93. Paul Moloney — on 28th April, 2009 at 3:47 pm  

    ” I understand that phosphorous shells were used, locals report that ceiling fans melted in the intense heat and that around 2400 young people perished”

    I’m sure it was the good anti-Zionist type of phosphorous shell.

    P.

  94. Refresh — on 28th April, 2009 at 4:01 pm  

    Don’t be pathetic Paul Moloney.

  95. george — on 28th April, 2009 at 5:31 pm  

    People have run out of outrage and not only for Sri Lanka.
    The whole South Asian region reeks of corruption, repression and ungovernability.
    In contrast, SE Asia is a breath of fresh air and East Asia a shower of celestial fragrance.

  96. marvin — on 28th April, 2009 at 6:04 pm  

    5,000 civilians dead.

    I thought the left were always outraged at civilian deaths in military conflicts?

    Where’s the ‘anti-war’ marches by the SWP and the ‘left’ ???

    No of course not. The the killing needs to be done by ‘Westerners’ (a majority white or Jewish). Why? Two reasons

    1. White liberal guilt. In which the ‘Western’ world is one big contiguous bloc guilty of countless atrocities. We should all pay for these crimes.

    2. Soft racism, that westerners should know better, and that brown people can’t help killing others, hey let’s give them some slack.

  97. Mango — on 28th April, 2009 at 7:59 pm  

    Outraged? I’m absolutely outraged that the usual suspects, Grauniad, BBC, the UK-based Eelamtard diaspora and our very own guilt-free Labour govt are trying to stop the SL govt from finally annihilating the LTTE. In case any of you’ve forgotten, let me remind you, the LTTE chose to re-start Eelam War IV. A very stupid move.

    The civilians you see now, suffering without food, water etc were not beamed there. The LTTE dragged them along from their homes, as shrapnel sponges to protect itself from the incoming Army.

    Oh, read this by Dayan Jayetillke. The headline says it all.

    Hands up or feet first: The only deal in town

    None of those who are urging from afar, a humanitarian pause /ceasefire, amnesty and talks with the Tigers, are going to live in Sri Lanka when the suicide bombers strike again, the parcel bombs go off in shops and at bus stops, promising leaders are assassinated, and dead and disabled soldiers start coming back to our villages when the war resumes as it will if we stop operations now and the Tigers survive.”

    http://tinyurl.com/d7hnkb

    As the LTTE’s captured records including computers are examined and revealed, we’ll be able to find out who in the West protected and funded this particularly foul group of ultra-racist terrorists.

  98. annoyed — on 28th April, 2009 at 8:26 pm  

    What a useless post. Using Sri Lanka to hit out at some of your internet foes, just to marginalize and trivialize the conflict that much more.

  99. fugstar — on 28th April, 2009 at 8:34 pm  

    97. im suprised that the Tigers look to have been finished of so easily. do you think their foreign backers deserted them? who leads/represents/serves the aspirations of the tamil pupulation after them?

  100. Ismaeel — on 28th April, 2009 at 8:47 pm  

    Let’s not forget it is the Israeli army who has spent alot of time training the Sri Lankan army in how to fight against guerilla fighters

  101. Mango — on 28th April, 2009 at 9:56 pm  

    It took a long time because the Army finally worked out that capturing land alone wasn’t sufficient to destroy the LTTE. Their fighting units had be encircled and destroyed whilst keeping civilian casualties to a minimum. I believe the target was 10 LTTE cadres per day!

    The LTTE maintained its’ myth of invincibility’ through some great successes and the repeated mantra, ‘the LTTE cannot be militarily defeated’. This was eagerly repeated by foreign peacemakers, NGO-tards and various Human Rights organisations.

    The SLA has come a long way from their disorganised early years. They’ve had over 20 years’ experience in combatting the LTTE. Sorry, Ismaeel, the Israeli connection (weapons and training during the early part of the insurgency) is no longer relevant. This is a purely home-grown victory, with intel assistance from many countries around the world.

    If SL had followed the advice of well meaning useful idiots (Western bloc peacemakers, appeasers, INGOs etc), we’d still be facing an intractable LTTE rather than waiting to hear news of their leader’s well-deserved death.

    You can follow the military twists and turns here:
    http://sf-3.blogspot.com/

    Naturally the annihilation of the LTTE’s military power has to be followed by an equitable peace or the whole thing may erupt again. But peace could never happen with the continued existence of a militarily capable LTTE.

  102. Arif — on 28th April, 2009 at 10:52 pm  

    Katy and Faisal, you are free to think what you like about me.

    As it happens I do not justify the Sri Lankan Government’s behaviour (unlike Platinum). In fact I take a very different view, that the Tamil people have genuine grievances and the Sri Lankan Government is guilty of terrible human rights abuses. And these human rights abuses have been going on a long time, and I have done what I can to help the victims of them who make it here.

    I thought the question on this thread was about rhetorical tricks. I am sure I also employ rhetorical tricks, without being fully conscious of them, so it is fair enough for you to draw my attention to them.

    I personally take the view that a belief in human rights should be principled, so I did not expect to disagree with Geoffrey Alderman, but his focus was not in terms of the human rights abuses and how we react to them. It was about how campaigners for Palestinian rights are ignorant of Tamil rights. He does not bring in those who campaign for a free Tibet. He does not bring in those who campaign for Kurdistan.

    He chooses Palestine. So he should make clear the parallels between the situations so we can clarify the principles at stake. Otherwise it sounds to me a form of smear – one that does not make sense – is he saying that caring about Palestinian human rights means you do not care about Tamil human rights? That caring for any human rights is only a form of special pleading? Maybe he is arguing the only principled stance to take is to support powerful states against any liberation movement?

  103. Sunny — on 29th April, 2009 at 1:17 am  

    Shuggy: In the future you could circumvent all this guff by accepting that no-one, not even you Sunny, is consistently concerned about people killing other people per se. People always, always have their concern engaged, outrage provoked, by something else – because they see it as a symptom of a wider problem or because it represents a particular form of injustice that they are concerned about.

    But of course :)

    I was merely pointing out the rhetorical trick that people such as Alderman and David T use.

    And no doubt will try and use again in the future. In which case I’ll point to this thread and the bliss will be complete.

    Damn it feels good to be this good.

  104. Doug — on 29th April, 2009 at 3:02 am  

    Is it that unreasonable to question why one human rights tragedy ignites outrage and indignation, while another much worse human tragedy results in a considerably more muted response?

  105. Faisal — on 29th April, 2009 at 7:53 am  

    He chooses Palestine.

    Arif

    Can you think of a reason *why* he chooses Palestine? Here’s a tip: How many articles (angry, frothing or otherwsie) have you seen posted here, for example, devoted wholly to Tibet and Kurdistan compared to the numbers on I/P?

  106. Shamit — on 29th April, 2009 at 9:32 am  

    Defining Tamil Aspirations and making them synonymous with LTTE has been the biggest success of the Sri Lankan Government.

    LTTE is nothing but a terrorist outfit ala Hamas who did not mind killing fellow Tamil leaders to establish its supremacy and as recently as on Sunday fired on Tamils trying to leave the hold out area.

    The current Sri Lankan President has gone on record that he is ready to address constiutionally the equal rights of Tamil citizens of Sri Lanka — but he also made it clear since taking office that LTTE and the megalomaniac Pirbhakaran must go. And while one can fault excessive force and lacking the respect for human rights in some cases, the strategy of the Sri Lankan government cannot be faulted.

    Terrorism must be opposed in all its manifestations — and LTTE is nothing but a terrorist organisation especially since all its overt fighters left LTTE accepting the peace deal brokered by the Norwegians.

  107. Ravi Naik — on 29th April, 2009 at 10:35 am  

    Can you think of a reason *why* he chooses Palestine? Here’s a tip: How many articles (angry, frothing or otherwsie) have you seen posted here, for example, devoted wholly to Tibet and Kurdistan compared to the numbers on I/P?

    Actually, Sid, that’s a good question. How many articles or comments have you written about Tibet, Kurdistan or the countless genocides in Africa, as opposed to those related to the Middle East and Pakistan/Bangladesh?

  108. faisal — on 29th April, 2009 at 10:55 am  

    Ravi Naik

    My expertise isn’t Tibet or Kurdistan. It isn’t even the I/P issue by a long shot. I have written some posts about the plight of Palestinians and, during the Iraq War, I was truculently critical of the Iraq war and the plight of Iraqi civilians. My areas of interest remain politics in the Middle East and Pakistan/Bangladesh and Islamist politics in the UK.

    I have raised human rights abuses of Southasian migrant workers in the Middle East (UAE, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Somalia) and human rights abuses in Bangladesh) and the Australian aborigines. And also the human rights abuses of minorities: Christians, Dalits and the Hijra in South Asia.

    For raising these issues, I have had any amount of personal abuse thrown at me – akin to being called a racist, or anti-Arab, or a kaafir, anti-Muslim or self-hating Muslim etc. I’m sure you found that all very entertaining.

    But still, in my opinion raising human rights issues and awareness is eminently more important than scoring cheap political points against “the other side” or even more shoddy, using the human tragedies that these issues entail to score another point against Nick Cohen or HP or the ‘dreaded’ neocons – however dissipated their influence now.

    I also think this post and your defence of it shows a certain moral and ideological bankruptcy.

  109. chairwoman — on 29th April, 2009 at 11:01 am  

    “Damn it feels good to be this good.”

    In circumstances such as these, a brisk, cold, shower is highly recommended.

  110. faisal — on 29th April, 2009 at 11:03 am  

    Looks like triumphalism without the triumph.

  111. Ravi Naik — on 29th April, 2009 at 11:09 am  

    is he saying that caring about Palestinian human rights means you do not care about Tamil human rights?

    Yes, you have a point there. One could easily ask Geoffrey Aldermann (and Sid for that matter) if their silence on human rights violations in many parts of the planet is the result of not caring about human rights in general. Or their focus on certain conflicts… is because they have a special agenda against a certain state or its people?

    It is a pity that Geoffrey Aldermann said he was perplexed by this obsession and left the reasons for this obsession out in the open, because I think they are worth exploring.

  112. faisal — on 29th April, 2009 at 11:18 am  

    Yes, you have a point there. One could easily ask Geoffrey Aldermann (and Sid for that matter) if their silence on human rights violations in many parts of the planet is the result of not caring about human rights in general.

    I don’t think Prof Alderman is suggesting you do not care about Tamil human rights, or anything as stupidly binary as that; he is saying that Palestinian human rights are *qualitatively* higher than Tamil human rights, or Israel is *qualitaviely* more culpable than the Sri Lankan government, as judged by the Western media, which we all consume, resulting in *quantitatively* more coverage of the I/P issue than probably all other human rights violations in the world.

    And yes, that obsession does bear exploring. But please, not at the expense of ignoring yet more human rights abuses. ;)

  113. chairwoman — on 29th April, 2009 at 11:23 am  

    Ravi – If you follow Professor Alderman’s column in the Jewish Chronicle, he doesn’t ignore other human rights violations, and is highly critical of UK Jewish leadership generally.

    Our Geoffrey is, in fact a bit of a maverick, and I am sure would be delighted to explore the obsession more fully.

    Perhaps Sunny should invite him to write a guest post here where we could all have our say. Although I wonder if he would be deterred by the ‘robust’ language used by some of our regulars – and you all know who you are.

  114. Shamit — on 29th April, 2009 at 11:27 am  

    We are all hypocrites — and we still blame Sunny for saying we are all hypocrites.

    When given the opportunity to talk about Sri Lanka — most of us chose to attack Sunny or defend him rather than discuss an important humanitatian issue raised in this post.

    Hey I am not taking the holier than thou approach — I have vented out here as well many many times and we all do- why single out Sunny? its after all his blog.

    and the tiff with HP — thats boring.

  115. Ravi Naik — on 29th April, 2009 at 11:32 am  

    But still, in my opinion raising human rights issues and awareness is eminently more important than scoring cheap political points against “the other side” or even more shoddy, using the human tragedies that these issues entail to score another point against Nick Cohen or HP or the ‘dreaded’ neocons – however dissipated their influence now.

    I also think this post and your defence of it shows a certain moral and ideological bankruptcy.

    I explicitly criticised this post in #77 for wanting to score points with HP, and you replied in #78, which means you clearly read what I wrote, but now you want to pretend otherwise, to throw this cheap “moral bankruptcy” dribble?

    In any case, accusing people of “moral and ideological bankruptcy” just because you disagree with them is flamebait. Stay classy, Sid.

  116. faisal — on 29th April, 2009 at 11:39 am  

    Ravi

    If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck etc.

  117. Ravi Naik — on 29th April, 2009 at 11:49 am  

    If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck etc.

    And tells you explicitly “he is not a duck” in #77. You would still say he is a moral and ideological bankrupt duck. :)

    I had enough of you.

  118. Rumbold — on 29th April, 2009 at 11:54 am  

    I bet you eat bread thrown to you too. Have you no shame?

  119. faisal — on 29th April, 2009 at 11:57 am  

    I’m referring the use of the plight of the Tamils to score yet more cheap poinst against political enemies – that would be Sunny, and the defence of that artifice – that would be you.

    Walks and quacks like moral bankruptcy.

    I had enough of you.

    It’s mutual, I’m sure.

  120. Jai — on 29th April, 2009 at 12:02 pm  

    Ravi,

    You see that aquatic bird over there, the one in the blue sailor’s outfit that shamelessly goes around without any trousers, and hangs around with that damn mouse with the funny voice ? That’s you, that is…..

    *joking*

  121. Ravi Naik — on 29th April, 2009 at 12:14 pm  

    Perhaps Sunny should invite him to write a guest post here where we could all have our say. Although I wonder if he would be deterred by the ‘robust’ language used by some of our regulars – and you all know who you are.

    I think that it is a good idea. I certainly would like to know what he thinks about the reasons behind this obsession. Furthermore, since I/P threads are very popular in PP, it would be great to have a regular Jewish or Israeli blogger associated to this site, as it certainly would provide more balance and nuance to the discussion. Would Sunny go for it?

    I bet you eat bread thrown to you too. Have you no shame?

    Nope. Don’t you know? Moral and ideological bankrupt ducks have no shame.

  122. Sunny — on 29th April, 2009 at 12:15 pm  

    lol at jai.

  123. Sunny — on 29th April, 2009 at 12:18 pm  

    Also – not sure what Alderman would add to the discussion.

    He’s raising a point that David T or someone else raised on Harry’s PLace not long ago. It’s a great stalking horse on the decent left – spend all your time obsessing about jihadi Muslims, and then as soon as someone writes about I/P you immediately accuse them of ignoring other issues and therefore it’s all *wink wink nudge nudge* you’re a bit anti-semitic aren’t you? rubbish.

    Which of course I shot down already in a subsequent post linked above, and pointed out why Israel/Palestine gets more talked about. If you want to see my reasoning, see that post. I don’t have to justify myself anymore. I will just make fun of poor suckers who keep repeating themselves in the hope of trying to detract attention from certain issues.

  124. Ravi Naik — on 29th April, 2009 at 12:28 pm  

    It’s a great stalking horse on the decent left

    Haha… you finally managed to use MaidMarian’s term in a sentence. :)

    and therefore it’s all *wink wink nudge nudge* you’re a bit anti-semitic aren’t you?

    That’s the problem, isn’t it? He didn’t say specifically what are the reasons for this obsession, he just said he was perplexed by it. I certainly would welcome an explanation of that article in this site, or elsewhere.

    You see that aquatic bird over there, the one in the blue sailor’s outfit that shamelessly goes around without any trousers, and hangs around with that damn mouse with the funny voice ? That’s you, that is…..

    Hahaha… I wish. He is an ideological sound duck, whereas I am not. See #121.

  125. Sunny — on 29th April, 2009 at 1:04 pm  

    That’s the problem, isn’t it? He didn’t say specifically what are the reasons for this obsession, he just said he was perplexed by it. I certainly would welcome an explanation of that article in this site, or elsewhere.

    sure, but it’s a bit like asking why Alderman writes about Jewish issues so much. Is he obsessed too? Or is it an issue he’s interested in? I mean… why is Harry’s Place so obsessed with Muslims? It’s an interesting question to ask isn’t it….?

    Though I’ve already written up my explanation above

  126. faisal — on 29th April, 2009 at 1:11 pm  

    He’s raising a point that David T or someone else raised on Harry’s PLace not long ago. It’s a great stalking horse on the decent left – spend all your time obsessing about jihadi Muslims, and then as soon as someone writes about I/P you immediately accuse them of ignoring other issues and therefore it’s all *wink wink nudge nudge* you’re a bit anti-semitic aren’t you? rubbish.

    Actually, he’s raising a point that I heard made many years ago by an Indian human rights activist who campaigns for Dalit rights. Way before the Decent Left even existed.

    There are two Dalits killed every day in India. What do you think the earnest “pro-Palestinians” in the Guardian would have made of that if it were 2 Palestinians being killed every day in Gaza? And any ideas why the coverage on Dalit rights is a fraction of the coverage on I/P?

    It’s a “great stalking horse” for the middle class tossers who construct the editorial policy of the Guardian to say that I/P deserves more coverage than other issues.

  127. faisal — on 29th April, 2009 at 1:17 pm  

    I bet you eat bread thrown to you too. Have you no shame?

    And beware hungry East Europeans. ;)

  128. Ravi Naik — on 29th April, 2009 at 1:33 pm  

    sure, but it’s a bit like asking why Alderman writes about Jewish issues so much. Is he obsessed too?

    You are absolutely right. Is he criticising those who like him focus most of his writing about Israel and Jewish diaspora, but whose opinion he disagrees with? At face value, that is what it seems.

  129. Sunny — on 29th April, 2009 at 3:03 pm  

    Faisal if you want to write about Dalits, which I have on here a few times, be my guest. Has anyone stopped you?

    It’s a “great stalking horse” for the middle class tossers who construct the editorial policy of the Guardian to say that I/P deserves more coverage than other issues.

    Perhaps they don’t write about it for the same reason you don’t write about it more enough.

  130. faisal — on 29th April, 2009 at 3:09 pm  

    Hey Sunny

    Prof Alderman wasn’t talking about my personal blogging habits, get a grip.

  131. Sunny — on 29th April, 2009 at 3:18 pm  

    So who was he talking about? Who is the international community? You’re the one who mentioned the Guardian – I pointed out perhaps there was a parallel between why you don’t write more about Dalits, Kurds and Tibetans, and the Guardian.

    Why don’t you write more about these people? You secretly hate them don’t you? Iz it coz they iz brown?

  132. faisal — on 29th April, 2009 at 3:25 pm  

    Perhaps they don’t write about it for the same reason you don’t write about it more enough.

    This seems to be back to front.

  133. faisal — on 29th April, 2009 at 3:42 pm  

    Why don’t you write more about these people? You secretly hate them don’t you? Iz it coz they iz brown?

    Yes I hate them deeply. :D

    But I did an Events post on the screening on a film on Dalit history some mates of mine did at the LSE though. Very good it was too.

  134. Katy Newton — on 29th April, 2009 at 5:34 pm  

    I thought that the point that Professor Alderman was making was pretty simple, and I think this thread has done a lot more to illustrate his point than Sunny’s, frankly:

    Here are a load of civilians dying in State A because they’re caught in a conflict that they have no direct control over.

    Here are a load of civilians dying in State B because they’re caught in a conflict that they have no direct control over.

    If the reason for the outrage is that civilian deaths and collateral damage are not acceptable no matter what the provocation, why is it that people like Platinum, fug etc are up in arms about State A yet tying themselves into cognitive knots to justify their lack of outrage about State B? That’s the question. And I think it’s a fair one.

    See, it’s more than just lack of reporting or lack of, say, a personal stake in Sri Lanka, or Israel, or whatever, because you’d expect that if someone was alerted to what was happening in Sri Lanka and they hadn’t known before, their reaction would be “Wow, I didn’t know that but that’s really terrible”, as opposed to “Ah, now, human rights abuses by the Sri Lankan government are far more excusable even if the net result is still that civilians end up dead because [insert spurious distinction here]“.

    I mean, that’s how I read his point, and that’s what I think this thread bears out, really. It’s sad.

  135. Ravi Naik — on 29th April, 2009 at 7:53 pm  

    Sri Lanka and they hadn’t known before, their reaction would be “Wow, I didn’t know that but that’s really terrible”, as opposed to “Ah, now, human rights abuses by the Sri Lankan government are far more excusable even if the net result is still that civilians end up dead because [insert spurious distinction here]“.

    I mean, that’s how I read his point, and that’s what I think this thread bears out, really. It’s sad.

    I totally disagree that this view is representative of this thread – I suspect you would find one or two with that view, but then again, they are the troll exception rather than the rule.

    I would have agreed with Geoffrey Alderman had he focused on how the media is not giving Sri Lanka the attention it deserves, and that the media should give as much attention to Sri Lanka as they do with Israel.

    But instead, he finishes the article saying the media is obsessed with Israel and its problems in that region. People here may find that this position and the one above are the same, I certainly don’t. There is a difference between saying that Sri Lanka gets no attention, and that Israel gets more attention than it deserves. I find this latter position to be quite sad.

  136. Katy Newton — on 29th April, 2009 at 10:09 pm  

    I totally disagree that this view is representative of this thread

    I don’t know who you think you’re disagreeing with, Ravi, because I didn’t say “representative”. That’s your word. I said that this thread proves his point, specifically referring to fug and Platinum.

    I really don’t know why you would interpret what I said as “every single person on this thread is doing exactly what Alderman describes” – except, of course, that you’ve already made it clear that you wish I didn’t comment here, which does rather explain your general inclination to take the worst possible interpretation of anything I say and then run with it ;-)

  137. Ravi Naik — on 29th April, 2009 at 11:08 pm  

    I don’t know who you think you’re disagreeing with, Ravi, because I didn’t say “representative”. That’s your word. I said that this thread proves his point, specifically referring to fug and Platinum.

    You threw me off with the “etc”, as well as saying that such view is illustrated in this thread. I understood that you were saying that such view was representative in this thread. Instead, you were saying that our two predictable anti-semite trolls vindicate Geoffrey Aldermnan’s article. Still, this was a minor point in #135.

    which does rather explain your general inclination to take the worst possible interpretation of anything I say and then run with it

    Yes, but you ruined my evil plan of misinterpreting you in the worst possible way… by clarifying your position. Oh, but I will strike again, Katy. ;)

  138. Jai — on 30th April, 2009 at 9:42 am  

    Yes, but you ruined my evil plan of misinterpreting you in the worst possible way… by clarifying your position. Oh, but I will strike again, Katy. ;)

    Ravi, for your sins I think you should be banished to MILF Island and confined to “Erection Cove”.

    I think you know what I’m talking about.

  139. Ravi Naik — on 30th April, 2009 at 10:12 am  

    Ravi, for your sins I think you should be banished to MILF Island and confined to “Erection Cove”.

    You know I am not a Sikh, Jai… ;)

  140. Jai — on 30th April, 2009 at 10:33 am  

    Neither were any of those 50 8th-graders who were subjected to the wiles of Deborah and D’Bora, Ravi…..

    Just ask Jack aka Alec Baldwin.

  141. Anas — on 30th April, 2009 at 8:24 pm  

    Isn’t it obvious that I/P gets more coverage than Sri Lanka or the treatment of Dalits because we have far greater military, financial and diplomatic, not to mention ideological ties to Israel, and therefore a greater leverage and a greater stake in what is going on over there?

    I mean, since Israel is a bastion and exemplar of Western values, both politically and culturally, and our politicians are quite happy to arm, fund, and approve its indiscriminate bombardments of thousands of helpless civilians in Palestine and Lebanon, then this obviously raise some very serious, very pressing, questions about our the supposedly loftier standards to which we in the West hold ourselves.

    Israel’s behaviour, then, sets dangerous precedents. If Israel, a rich democratic state, one which is completely integrated into the Western system, can get away with massacring thousands of civilians with the full compliance of the US+UK, then how is it possible for us to take the moral highground when it comes to something like Sri Lanka? Indeed the Sri Lankan authorities can and do echo the exact same rhetoric as the Israeli generals about protecting the security/sanctity of the state to justify their atrocities against men, women and children.

  142. marvin — on 2nd May, 2009 at 5:33 pm  

    The Sri Lankan army has killed 91 people at a makeshift hospital inside a civilian safe zone in the last two days, two doctors have told the BBC.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/8030605.stm

    Just imagine the incessant and spitting fury of The Independent and The Guardian opinion pieces if both of the following were true

    1. The victims were Palestinian.
    2. The killers were Israeli.

    Robert Fisk would be on the verge of shouting “fucking Israelis, fucking Jews!”

    Jewish linked shops would be getting graffiti and smashed windows as we speak, thousands of assorted middle class leftists, antisemites, and the requisite shouty Muslims from the BMI would be on the streets of all the UK’s major cities!

    I must say I also find it quite astounding, that a middle class leftist South Asian blog has but a handful of blog posts on the issue…

  143. Sunny — on 2nd May, 2009 at 5:39 pm  

    How many blogs have you done on the issue marvin? And what would the outrage have been if the dead were Israeli? No doubt you’d be calling for an invasion that killed another 1000 people.

    Please take your faux-mourning for dead Tamils elsewhere, it doesn’t really wash here.

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