Explosion of falsehood in the face of truth
VIOLENCE: "Any man who has once acclaimed violence as his
method must inexorably choose falsehood as his principle," Alexandr
Solzhenitsyn, Nobel Laureate who was awarded the Nobel Prize for
Literature in 1970.
Falsehood - it is not the word, but its reality we have to live with.
It is falsehood inexorably linked with violence that is the guiding
principle of Velupillai Prabhakaran, Anton Balasingham and all the
others who mouth empty phrases about continuing the peace process and
the Ceasefire Agreement.
If there is anything to be learnt again about the LTTE from last
Tuesday's suicide bomber attack on the Army Commander, it's the fact
that it can and should never be taken at its word, because its word is
That it has been false from the time the CFA was signed in February
2002, hailed as the harbinger of peace, has been amply demonstrated by
all the violations of it by the LTTE, until the biggest violation in
targeting the Army Commander by a suicide bomber.
No doubt there are a many questions about security measures at Army
Headquarters, which should be the subject of serious study, leading to
the closure of all loopholes, and also taking to task any personnel who
have been complacent or negligent in their duty.
A pregnant woman is generally treated with respect, but the demands
of security require that even the pregnant undergo careful search when
entering a high security institution such as the Army Headquarters and
the Headquarters of the Joint Operations.
The echoes of Trinco
There are many who will readily conclude that the attack on the Army
Commander stems directly from what took place at Trincomalee over the
Sinhala/Tamil New Year period and thereafter.
What did take place in Trincomalee is unfortunate, and a sad breach
of the policy of patients and restraint that President Rajapaksa has
shown from the time the LTTE began its provocative acts, shortly after
his inauguration as President in November last year.
The government did take the speediest steps to bring the situation
back to some degree of normalcy as soon as possible. But the LTTE did
succeed in its attempt to carry out a mini-ethnic clash, in one place
that was very vulnerable for such a situation, having failed to provoke
such reprisals ever since July 1983.
However, as one Tamil political party has stated, although the
situation in Trincomalee did play into the hands of the LTTE, it must
also be accepted as an instance of the last straw that breaks the
camel's back. It was a reaction to the constant baiting of the Sinhala
population and the armed forces by the several claymore mine attacks
carried out by "people", resulting in several deaths of army and navy
personnel, and many civilians too.
The grenade attack on the Trincomalee market, where people were
peacefully buying vegetables and other needs for the New Year, also took
a toll of several people. There was also the earlier anger at the red
and yellow flags put up for the funeral of Vigneswaran of the TNA,
killed earlier under suspicious circumstances, and refusing the
permission to put up white flags in honour of the army and navy
personnel killed by the claymore attacks by the LTTE's ubiquitous but
yet evanescent "people".
Trincomalee was a veritable cauldron of anger placed on a fire that
was stoked by the LTTE to make it boil over, and it did. It was a
regrettable aberration of the patience shown by the Sinhala people and
the armed forces in the face of the repeated provocation by the LTTE.
It was a brief but unfortunate departure from the policy of patience
and restraint followed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, with all the
strength that patience can demonstrate. Most importantly, it is
something that must not happen again, and the President's appeal for
calm and his call not to give the slightest cause for communal clashes
to take place is indeed most timely.
We have already seen from the reaction of some respected
international organizations that monitor Human Rights, which have issued
scathing reports critical of the LTTE, that the LTTE has had some gain
from Trincomalee. Such mistakes must never be made again, if one is to
fight the falsehood of the LTTE effectively.
What next and where?
With the failure of the LTTE to make the Trinco developments spread
elsewhere, there was the question raised by many, as to what would be
next. There were also many who were rightly convinced that having failed
to make a huge success of Trinco, the next target of the LTTE would be
Colombo. They have been proved right, but only upto a point.
True the LTTE has shown that Colombo is vulnerable. The presence of
LTTE suicide killers in Colombo and its suburbs in considerable numbers
is no secret. It has been reported and commented upon earlier. But, the
attack on the Army Commander was not just a follow up on Trinco.
It has obviously been planned from much earlier than the developments
in Trinco. Or else, that woman suicide killer would not have been able
to carry out that attack so easily. It is the LTTE's message that we can
get at the highest in the military command, while the Sun God remains
safe in the Vanni. Major General Fonseka was a target from before he was
named Army Commander.
The LTTE is well aware of his military capabilities while holding the
command in Jaffna, and his attitude to terrorism. It was an attempt to
be rid of who they considered the most formidable opponent in the Sri
Lankan Security Forces.
The attack on the Army Commander is part of the LTTE's military
preparedness, built up since the CFA was signed in February, which has
been helped by successive governments, until the election of President
Rajapaksa. It is just one follow upon all the falsehood of the LTTE
about its commitment to the "peace process" and adherence to the CFA.
This attack alone shows why the LTTE will, never agree to the
altering of even one comma or colon in the CFA, however much it may be
demanded by various interest groups. This is part culmination of all its
lying about the government's support of "para military groups" ( replace
Karuna), and the palpably false fuss it has been making about government
provided transport for their cadres in the North and East to meet, prior
to Geneva 2.
As far as the LTTE was concerned there was never to be a Geneva 2. It
had violated the CFA so many times after Geneva 1, and its forcible
recruitment of child soldiers was more exposed, that it simply could not
go to Geneva wishing that all those charges away.
So instead they began doing more and more of what they are best at -
that of lying about everything that was happening around them and being
done by them, and directing violence at truth in addition to people.
The Co-Chairs and many others have now condemned the LTTE for the
suicide attack on the Army Commander, and have asked it to stop future
suicide attacks. For once one was pleased to see this confab of
peacemakers, individually and jointly, condemn the LTTE only, without
the usual rider about both sides respecting the CFA.
It is possible that the attack on the Army Commander has resulted in
better vision in the international community about what the LTTE really
is. In any event it has shown the overarching strength of patience and
restraint, shown all the while by President Rajapaksa, and his continued
commitment to it.