Pickled Politics

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  1. Kesara is writing something on this too, so it would be interesting to get his thoughts.

    Kesara - when you’re done just email it to me mate.

    Comment by Sunny — 27th April, 2006 @ 3:24 am

  2. War looks like a foregone conclusion now…How sad to see this beautiful nation and a fellow South Asian state plunged into darkness once more. It was just yesterday the Tsunami struck and now this.

    Comment by Geezer — 27th April, 2006 @ 9:13 am

  3. I sent you a comment sunny - its pretty long though :(

    Comment by Prescott_Luva67 — 27th April, 2006 @ 10:20 am

  4. “Meanwhile the rebels”

    Interesting choice of words there.

    Comment by raz — 27th April, 2006 @ 1:51 pm

  5. Is it that interesting? Are they not rebelling against the government? Hence, rebels. Doesn’t mean they’re wrong or right. And to be honest I was a bit drowsy and just paraphrasing from a WSJ article (IIRC). I just wanted to vary the syntax instead of always saying ‘Tigers’. I do try to stay as neutral as I can, for someone who studies in Tamil Tooting, is best friends with several Sinhala and Tamil people and has worked in Tamil and Sinhala Sri Lanka. I try!

    Comment by Rohin — 27th April, 2006 @ 2:12 pm

  6. I don’t see why we’re mincing our words. Anyone who kills innocent people is a terrorist, and that goes for the LTTE too.

    Comment by Sunny — 27th April, 2006 @ 2:27 pm

  7. ” Anyone who kills innocent people is a terrorist, and that goes for the LTTE too. ”
    It goes for the Sri Lankan government and every other government too then.
    It is inevitable that innocent people will die in warfare. The test of terrorism is whether they are deliberately killed, what steps are taken to avoid killing them as a side-effect of killing legitimate targets, the comparative importance of the deaths of the legitimate targets killed and the innocent people involved, how innocent they actually are and many other factors. I agree about LTTE- its tactics destroy any moral rights they have, but we can only differentiate between bad and worse, not good and bad.

    Comment by Roger — 27th April, 2006 @ 3:37 pm

  8. I have a somewhat wierd perspective on this whole thing. One of my closest friends is blood-related to the presidential family.

    My brother in law used to be an active member of the LTTE and suffered horrendous torture at the hands of the gov’t.

    Roger said: I agree about LTTE- its tactics destroy any moral rights they have, but we can only differentiate between bad and worse, not good and bad.

    I whole heartedly agree with you.

    Sunny: I also think the word terrorist should not be solely used for suicide bombers. Anyone individual or organisation that tries to attain it’s aims through killing or torturing the innocent should be classed as a “terrorist” organisation and this includes the gov’ts

    There just doesn’t seem to be any active diplomacy being undertaken to resolve any of the issues that have been faced by the nation and no foreign gov’ts or the UN seem to want to get involved. As long as this is the case the problems will continue.

    Comment by Amit — 27th April, 2006 @ 4:46 pm

  9. It’s interesting that the LTTE are accusing the SL government of arming the LTTE break away faction in the east.
    There were similar rumours that the SL govt had armed the LTTE to drive out the Indian peace keepers all those years ago.
    I have also heard rumours that political gangs helped the LTTE bomb the temple of the tooth.

    Comment by Ismaeel — 27th April, 2006 @ 6:01 pm

  10. The reality is that the continued civil war is in alot of people’s vested interests. Ironically the democratic system in Sri Lanka has been a block on making peace. Neither of the two major parties wants to allow the other to take credit for achieving peace while they were in power and they consistantly work against each other- ensuring peace cannot be broken.

    Talking of terrorism in the SL context, let us not forget the Buddhist Monk fuelled terrorism from the assasination of a President to their backing of the JVP: An unholy Marxist-Sinhalese Nationalist-Buddhist terrorist trinity.

    Comment by Ismaeel — 27th April, 2006 @ 6:08 pm

  11. >>An unholy Marxist-Sinhalese Nationalist-Buddhist terrorist trinity.

    A good 95% of Buddhists will think they suck balls and any monks actively getting involved with the political system of violence (ie the JVP Marxists) are on the wrong planet as this contradicts the philosophy they have undertaken to follow. The main Buddhist Sangha do not support any JVP terrorists.

    I detest the JVP as much as the LTTE but they’re a political party now, they gave up armed struggle and took to democratic means.
    They arn’t terrorists anymore.

    >>Buddhist Monk fuelled terrorism from the assasination of a President to their backing of the JVP

    Twas a Prime Minister, in 1956 mind ye.
    President Ranasinghe Premadasa was killed by the LTTE.
    Just to clarify that.

    I’d like to take the ‘terrorist’ definition a tad further and suggest that any organisation that actively targets civillians as part of it’s tactical and strategic military doctrine is a terrorist group.
    Ideally we’d see a survey amoungst members of both insurgent groups and government forces everywhere:

    On a scale of 1 -10 how acceptable is the premeditated targeting of civillians to one’s strategic objectives?
    (8 iPods to give away!)

    Dare I say it but I think you ll find fewer Govt troops willing to target civvies.

    I agree with Rodger though - theres bad (SL Govt) and the LTTE (worse) in terms of the country at large.

    Comment by Prescott_Luva67 — 27th April, 2006 @ 8:45 pm

  12. Yes, governments do kill innocent people too. But if they have a due process to make sure that when innocent people are killed then there is an investigation or re-criminations then it is a different thing.

    I really have little time or respect for any organisation that kills innocent people in achieving its aims.

    Comment by Sunny — 27th April, 2006 @ 11:57 pm

  13. The JVP hate anyone who isn’t ultimately a communist/ hardcore socialist. They’ve killed people from all ends of the political/ethnic spectrum.

    Comment by SajiniW — 28th April, 2006 @ 8:57 am

  14. Thanks for the corrections, however the last time I was in SL (last summer)the JVP were actively getting support from members of the Buddhist clergy.

    I’d like to take the ‘terrorist’ definition a tad further and suggest that any organisation that actively targets civillians as part of it’s tactical and strategic military doctrine is a terrorist group.

    I agree wholeheartadly

    Comment by Ismaeel — 28th April, 2006 @ 12:43 pm

  15. ” any organisation that actively targets civillians as part of it’s tactical and strategic military doctrine is a terrorist group.”
    In that case it’s legitimate to kill a soldier but not a weapon designer.
    Are the Israelis terrorists when they kill officials and activists of HAMAS even though they are surrounded by civilians, some of whom are killed with them? Or are the members of HAMAS responsible because they hid themselves among civilians? Or does it depend on how senior the target is and how many civilians are killed- a moral calculus?

    Comment by Roger — 28th April, 2006 @ 1:13 pm

  16. Well the same question can be asked about off duty soldiers inside Israel’s towns and cities.

    Comment by Ismaeel — 28th April, 2006 @ 2:36 pm

  17. It can. I didn’t ask my question rhetorically. Israel goes to quite a lot of trouble to kill their enemies with minimal collateral harm, ‘though they could accept that they will kill fewer and kill an even smaller percentage of noncombatants. Given the number of people who would be willing to fight Israel killing anyone but the most senior or skilled enemies probably wouldn’t make much difference. All the same, Israel kills a remarkably small proportion of noncombatants to combatants considering that they are fighting guerilla forces embedded in a civilian population, while the Palestinian suicide bombers seem unconcerned as to whether they kill current, future or former soldiers on or off duty or anyone else around.

    Comment by Roger — 29th April, 2006 @ 4:54 pm

  18. Roger, those claims sound hollow when you actually analyse the actual figures of how many palestinians and how many israelis are killed every year due to political violence.

    Comment by Ismaeel — 30th April, 2006 @ 12:33 am

  19. Ismaeel: compare the percentage of fighters/political figures and noncombatants killed on either side. Whatever their faults, the Israelis are not killing at random. The Palestinian groups are.

    Comment by Roger — 30th April, 2006 @ 10:52 am

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