Tamil Tigers in London?

Tamils in the UK marked the 60th anniversary of Sri Lankan independence Feb. 5 with a hundreds-strong protest at Downing Street demanding “real freedom” and “real rights” for the Hindu minority on the island. That same day, at least 14 were killed in two roadside bombings in Sri Lanka. In his independence day address to the nation, President Mahinda Rajapakse said the “challenge bestowed upon us by history is the defeat of terrorism,” and government forces had cornered the Tamil Tiger rebels in the north. His government recently ended a 2002 cease-fire with the rebels. The protest was called by the Tamil Youth Organisation (TYO), while the British Tamils Forum held a photo exhibition near parliament on “the past 60 years of oppression, ethnic cleansing and discrimination that…the Tamil community has faced at the hands of the sovereign state of Sri Lanka.” The Sri Lankan government protested the protest, charging it was organized by AC Shanthan and Golden Lambert. Both men have reportedly been arrested in the past under UK anti-terrorist laws and are believed to be out on bail. “Sources” cited by the Times of India said the two are “prominent fund-raisers” for the Tamil Tigers.

AFP reports that seven students and their baseball coach were among those killed in a suicide bombing at a train terminal in Colombo Feb. 3, the eve of Sri Lanka’s Freedom Day. In the northeastern Weli Oya region, a Freedom Day bomb attack on a civilian bus left 14 dead and 15 injured, while a roadside bomb elsewhere in the country left a solider dead.

See our last post on Sri Lanka.

  1. Nationalism & terrorism
    Because of Sep 11 attack, it seems there is a confusion among the western nations on what is nationalism and what is terrorism. National liberation has something to do with the independence of the people belonging to a particular region. whatever method is used, that is national struggle.
    Terrorism is something which doesnt’t have any goal or intention other than Scaring people.

    What is happening in Srilanka is Tit for Tat. Two sovreign nations (though one not recognised) are following the same tactics to fight each other.

    Please have deeper understanding of the happenings and the history of the nation and cover the news.

    1. Nationalism, terrorism and the English language
      You know, I don’t think anyone on earth uses the term “terrorism” honestly. Nobody has any interest in just “scaring people” as an end in itself. Even Stephen King does so as a means to an end—in his case, making money. Osama and his pals also use “scaring people” as a means to an end. As we have written before:

      There were “foreign policy grievances” galore in September 2001. The two al-Qaeda communiques in the immediate aftermath of the attacks (Oct. 7, 2001, Oct. 9, 2001) both invoked the US troop presence in Saudi Arabia, the Iraq sanctions and Washington’s support of Israel. Just because the US has made the situation much worse in the intervening years doesn’t mean that there were no “foreign policy grievances” behind 9-11! And however criminal al-Qaeda’s tactics and however totalitarian its ideology, these grievances are legitimate—a reality we ignore to our own peril.

      Now the Tamils doubtless have legitimate grievances too. But if the Tamil Tigers don’t want to be called “terrorists,” perhaps they should consider refraining from blowing up civilian buses.

      Just a thought.

        1. Pot calls kettle black, as usual
          I never said the Sri Lankan government was not guilty of state terrorism. OK, so both sides blow up civilian buses. Congratulations. My point is that Colombo’s tit does not justify the Tigers’ tat. Or vice versa. Capische?