Friday, April 28, 2006

Restraint? What Restraint?

Let's think about this whole 'we congratulate the Army for showing restraint' business.

Now if we were to think that the Army did not show this amazing retraint, what would they be doing? Would they be out there killing the LTTE because the LTTE tried to kill their commander? Would they launch assaults on LTTE camps? There are several possible scenarios.


For the Sri Lankan Army, acting spontaneously and without a strategy or plan, means
a) killing anyone Tamil who crosses their path
b) killing anyone who tires to stop them
c) setting fire to Tamil shops and homes
d) confusing Muslims with Tamils (goes with the general xenophobic mood)

So, this is apparently what we need to congratulate the Army for not doing. But wait, the Army did do this in Mannar! They haven't done it anywhere else, but they most certainly assisted Sinhala-JVP groups in Trincomalee in attacking Tamil shops.

Yes, thanks boy for all the restrain you've been showing.


Going out on a limb, let's assume that all this restrain that the Army is being praised for is actually about not carrying out a tactical strike on the LTTE.

The Army follows orders. If they were ordered to carry out a retaliatory attack against the LTTE they would. And they were asked to and they did (killed a whole bunch of civilians too, tactical my ass!). And this attack was only carried out because Mahinda Rajapakse ordered and approved it and his brother Gotabhaya made it happen. It was the political command in Colombo who did not order an attack to be carried out earlier.

So, any congratulation for restraint on that level should go to Mahinda, because the army does, or doesn't do, what he askes them to do or not to do. Capiche?


So, the Army's doing nothing but not behaving like barbarians. If you want to congratulate them for that, then go ahead.

I hate having to make sense of the arguments of idiots.


Why is the Army Killing Auto Drivers?

Really, why is the Army and Military Intelligence killing auto-rickshaw (three-wheeler) drivers in Jaffna? Do they charge too much for an auto ride? They have killed four so far with the one in Kayts today.

Sources in military intelligence in the peninsula say that the auto drivers are messengers for the LTTE and they are being targeted to put a hole in the LTTE's communications network in the Peninsula. But military intelligence admits that these guys are not LTTE members, just civilians who have been pressured and coerced to do the LTTE's bidding. If these guys don't do what the LTTE asks them to do, then the LTTE is probably going to burn their house down and kill their family. Would anyone really gamble with those things at stake?

Therefore, is their arbitrary execution acceptable?

If military intelligence has proof that these auto drivers are LTTE messengers then arrest them and put them on trail. That's what 'civilized' security and law enforcemen agencies do. But no, particularly in the Jaffna peninsula, the police, military and military intelligence have shown that justice is something that only Sinhala people have a right to. For the Tamils, well, a beating or a bullet in the head will have to do.

All those who talk about the LTTE's murder of civilians, I ask you to think for a moment about what the Army is doing in Jaffna. I'm not saying the LTTE is right to kill civilians, or that violence justifies more violence. I'm only saying that the Army don't have a squeaky clean rap sheet either. Infact their reputation in the North and East has been worse in terms of the disregard for human life than the LTTE.

And each single time the Army executes someone in the peninsula, they create enemies for themselves. By engaging in such activities they are feeding the LTTE and furthering it's cause.


Where are the unidentified corpses from?

There's fear that the unidentified corpses that have been found in Avissawella and Mulleriyawa might be the bodies of Tamil youth taken in by the Army for questioning in Colombo. The Mulleriyawa body was only found today. There may be more. The Upcountry People's Front has gone to the extent of sending a letter to the President about it.

Do I think the Army did it? I don't know. Do I think they could have done it? Of course they're capable of it. They've done it before.

The timing of the appearence of the bodies is what is most intriguing. Just days after the explosion in Colombo, this could prove to be a potent warning. But it would be a warning not to thje LTTE, but to the Tamil people living in Colombo, or those who want to ever come to Colombo: You're not safe. We can hack you, chop your head off and dump your body and no one's going to say anything.

And if they were Tamil youth, were they LTTE members? Probably not. Any LTTE member who is captured by the military is bled for information. Military intelligence is stupid, but not so stupid as to kill potential informants. And if the Army had proven their terrorist status, then we'd have heard about it in the news. The military makes few successful arrests, when they do, they let it be known.

And even if they were LTTE members, do they deserve this? No. No one deserves to be hacked and decapitated and dumped. Particularly not for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.


Other People's Lives

(First posted on Nittewa on the 22nd of August. Republished here in light of the recent warmongering statements made by Sittingnut, Sophist, Indi etc)

There's a cold war era saying about the work of the CIA which was very popular among the US military. They used to joke that the CIA's motto should be 'We bet your life'. This was because the decisions that the US Government made based on the information provided by the CIA would directly impact the lives of those serving in combat zones.

What Indi, the JVP, the PNM, the JHU and other war-mongering pseudo-intellectuals in Colombo do not realise, or do not care about, is the fact that if Sri Lanka were to return to war they would not be the ones who would pay the price.

Let us for a moment forget about the people living in the North and East, because as far as the war-mongers are concerned the protection of their lives or their rights is secondary to militarily defeating the LTTE, a bloodthirsty terrorist group. Remember when Albright said that the death of Iraqi children was the price they had to pay for defeating Saddam? Sounds pretty much the same.

Let us for a moment forget about the LTTE members who would die in a war, because as far as the war-mongers are concerned they're terrorists and anyone who throws in his lot with a terrorist group should be killed.

(I will explain why I have done this leaving out later)

Let us think only of our valient, brave, patriotic Sri Lankan Military (dare I call it the Sinhala Army?). If those who shout for war finally get what they want, then it's going to be the soldiers in the front lines who have to do the actual fighting. Indi, Wimal Weerawanse, Athuruliye Rathna and the others will sit at home watching the day's news on TV and notching the score like it was a cricket match.

"Twenty two LTTE terrorists killed in an ambush. Ten SLA soldiers also gave their lives for the motherland in this encounter"

Whao! 22 - 10. What's that come to? That's 12 up for us! Time to go out and have a drink to celebrate this victory boys! Molly's or Clancy's? Or does anyone want to do some karaoke?

That's all it is to them. Those ten soldiers who died mean nothing to them. They are merely statistics. Not real human beings. They did not have mothers/fathers/brothers/sisters/wives/sons/daughters/friends/neighbours. They did not have a home. They did not have a family to feed. They did not have younger siblings or children to keep in school.

The biggest misconception among these people is that the people in the Sri Lankan military have joined it out of patriotism. These soldiers are young men from poor familes in the South who have been forced into service because of the lack of employment opportunities. A consistently failing economy (brought on by massive defense expenditure over 20 years) drives these sons of farmers to join the only sort of employment which requires nothing more than the ability to close your eyes and pull a trigger.

They do not hate the LTTE, they do not love Sri Lanka any more than the average Sri Lankan, but they have to keep their families from starving.

So they join the military and die at the hands of the LTTE or the incompetence of their own leaders so that Indi, Wimal, Athuruliye and the bunch can teach the LTTE a lesson. They will not see their siblings or loved ones die because they live in Colombo, far far away from the war. To them it is an abstract game that must be won at any cost.

I live in Colombo, far far away from the the. I am not willing to join the army. I am not willing to die to defeat the LTTE. I want to live the good life as much as any of these "patriots" do. But that takes away from me the right to gamble with other people's lives, and the right to ask them to die for me.

If I think the LTTE needs to be defeated militarily then I should be willing to do it. How can I live with the knowledge that out there young men who don't want to die, who don't have issues with the LTTE are dying because I shout my ass off online? I don't think I would be able to live with something like that running through my head. If there is a return to war, I should shout out 'not in my name'.

Indi will never join the army. Wimal Weerawanse will never have the balls to pull a trigger. The monks shouldn't be screaming for war anyway!, well at least if they understand anything about Buddhism.

These people who scream for the destruction of the LTTE have not met the women of the Mothers and Daughters of Lanka. They have not met Visaka Dharmadasa, mother of a soldier missing in action, who would easily explain to them what the war can take away from you. They have not met Margret Hewage, the mother of a PoW, who could explain to them how there are some things worse than death. They have not met the Martenstynes who could explain to them how war can leave an entire family in limbo.

They do not care about these people, they care about the politics. Much like the leaders of the USSR sacrificed millions of people to protect their politics, so do these war-mongers try to yell louder than each other that the LTTE needs to be defeated, to protect their politics. Only their lives and their politics have any value to them.

Will these people who do not attach any value to the lives of the soldiers of the Sri Lankan military give any thought to the death of innocent Tamil civilians in the Vanni or LTTE cadres?

Ultimately, they gamble with other people's lives. Because other people lives mean nothing to them.


Thursday, April 27, 2006

Is Killing Civilians OK?

In my opinion killing civilians is wrong, regardless of if the LTTE does it or the Army does it.

But I think it's more wrong for the Army to kill civilians than it is for the LTTE to kill civilians.


The LTTE are terrorists who have stated that they are the sole representatives of the Tamil people. And their goal is a Tamil homeland they plan on calling Eelam. They will work to that end and they will kill civilians because they are terrorists. No stupid blogger complaining about it is going to make the LTTE see what's wrong with killing a few civilians. As long as they continue to be a terrorist outfit with a political wing controlled by a military wing, they will do whatever they have to do to get to their goals. As the Sri Lankan military has at great cost demonstrated that it is incapable of defeating the LTTE in the battlefield, the only remaining option is to push forward with the peace process and force the LTTE to mutate into a political organisation, with military support.

Statistically, the attack on the Bandaranayake International Airport in 2001 showed a change in LTTE policy towards indiscriminately killing civilians. Sinhala Racist websites have the number of civilians killed by the LTTE. Study them. The BIA attack, while being the most damaging to the country overall, did not result in the death of a single civilian. While they have not gone out of their way to keep civilians from being in killed in crossfires in the North and East, they have changed their image. They have consistently attacked military, political and economic targets, and kept civilian deaths to a figure much lower previously. Even in the attack on the Army Commander, this is visible. The most heinous attack on civilians by the LTTE since this shift was the killing of six farmers in Gomarankadawala last week.

So... Sittingnut, Indi, Janapathi, and other bloggers (and attachments like Sophist) who complain about the LTTE killing civilians really need to stop just bitching, and start offering solutions. It's easy to bitch and the call the LTTE cold blooded civilian-killers. It's a lot harder to really apply your mind to it and think of what can be done (I would not suggest this for Janapathi, as 'thinking' may overload his single lonely braincell).

The Sri Lankan military

Quite a few people are amazed by how they Army is showing restraint in the face of LTTE provocation. Am I missing something? Isn't that what they're supposed to do?

Or wait... we're so used to the Army going on rampage and killing civilians and setting fire to houses and shops at the slightest provocation, that when they don't do that, we're amazed and feel a need to congratulate them. When random violence on the part of the becomes the norm, as it has in Sri Lanka over the past decade, then I guess they really do need to be congratulated for the present 'restraint'.

But the Army, (later joined by their proxy the Karuna Faction), have been carrying out strikes against the LTTE for the entire duration of the ceasefire agreement too. From the assassination of Kaushalyan, to the cold blooded murder of Joeseph Pararajasngham, the Army has been dishing out to the LTTE as much as it's been getting. Nimalarajan and Sivaram and the other journalists killed by the government forces were civilians. The refugees burnt to death in the camps by the Navy were civilians. The SLA in Jaffna killed several civiliand who the 'suspected' were LTTE messengers. And now they have been bombing known civilian targets in Trinco. These are just recent examples.

Now some people think the murder of civilians by the Army is equal to the killing of civilians by the LTTE. Wrong! The killing of civilians by the Army is much much more of a terrorist act. The Army is called the Sri Lanka Army for a reason. It is supposed to protect Sri Lanka. But it no longer protects Sri Lanka, it protects the Government, frequently at the expense of the people. When the Army begins killing the very people that it is pledged to protect, and calls it collateral damage, then there has to be a serious flaw in the system.

To say that the military doesn't kill civilians is plain stupid, and indicates ignorance. Just because you donh't read about it in the newspapers in Colombo or see it on the TV, that doesn't mean the military hasn't been killing civilians in the North and East.

And a little bit of history...

There's a lot of info on the number of civilians killed by the LTTE on any one of the racist Sinhala websites. For someone who wants to count, and weigh one figure against the other, I suggest you also include the number of Sinhala civilians killed by the Army in 88-89. As you may realise when digging into the Army's role in quelling the JVP insurrection, it has no qualms about killing civilians.

And my point is...

Killing civilians is wrong, and it must end. Using your enemies disregard for civilian lives as a license to kill civilians is not only dangerous but also moronic. The LTTE kills civilians because they are an terrorist unit. When the Sri Lankn military also kills civilians it becomes a terrorist unit, protecting a terrorist state.


The Truth About The Sri Lanka Military

Sittingnut writes about how proud he is of his army. Wonder if he even knows who Gamini Kularathne is. How many of you out there know who Gamini Kularathne is? Leave comments if you have a clue.

Munching on that, let's think about the Sri Lankan Military a little bit.

The military is largely composed of the sons of peasants, and landless farmers. They join the Army because that's the only way to get a decent salary without any qualifications. They join the army not out of pride, but out of need. They are the fringe in an increasingly rurul-person-unfriendly economy. They are pushed into the army by socio-economic circumstances. When they have no skills to sell, they sell thier lives. You join the Army if you're a boy. You hook if you're a girl. Same thing.

Despite all the hollering, almost 3 of 4 military people are not from the Southern, Central or Western Provinces. A disproportionate number of soldiers are from the Wayamba, North Central and Uva provinces. The youth of a South and Central Province have much better access to education than the youth in these provinces.

Among the officers however the breakdown is hugely different. A disproportionate number of officers are from the Southern, Western and Central Provinces.

Makes you wonder about who's out there 'dying for you', and who gets the comfortable officer posting far away from the frontlines.

Call the ministry of defence. Ask them.

So this is what Sittingnut is proud of. The fact that thousands of young Sri Lankans, are forced to put their lives on the line to protect those who would seek to further oppress them and their families. Bravo!


Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Bomb At Army HQ

Apparently there's been a bomb explosion outside the Army HQ in Colombo. Priliminary reports say one important commander has been killed, but the military spokeperson was unavailable for comment right now.

More on this later.

Update: The explosion occured outside the Army Hospital. Army Commander Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka is among the injured. Hospital sources say one person dead and the Commander is being taken in for surgery. Ten people have so far been admitted to the Colombo General Hospital.

Update: Slave Island Police says the explosions apppears to have been carried out by a suicide bomber. Military sources say a female suicide bomber carried out the attack. Journalists are not being allowed access to the site now.

Update: Hospital says the number of dead has gone upto 6.


Humor: The King Of Trincomalee

There's some real bad shit hitting the fan right now that I'm glad Sittingnut is providing us with some entertainment. Let's have some humor.

A follow up to my post on how uninformed and ignorant and generally silly Sittingnut is being:

Sittingnut thinks having some property in Trinco makes him the sole representative of the people of Trinco! All hail the Monarch of Thirikunamale! He doesn't even claim to have travelled there anytime in the past 6 months, instead just points out to the fact that we don't know if he did. I'm willing to bet he didn't go to Trinco. He just sat in his armchair and his servant couriers ran all the way down with messages. Attaboy Sittingnut!

The fact is Sittingnut, we don't care. Whether you went to Trinco after the recent trouble or not, what matters is that you did not write about it, nor did you care to report on what you saw and heard and experienced. And then, when some people who did go write something about it, all you can do is trash them.

And what exactly do you plan on proving by hollering that you won the argument, and that I conceded defeat, even after I had posted this? Are you trying to prove that you're retarded? I didn't say it. You did :)

Why don't you do something constructive? Be nice. It might save you from that popularity blackhole you're in :)


War, Love It or Hate It, It's Here!

Yipee! We're bombing the shit out of the LTTE in Trinco district. Hopefully our aim will be as bad as it was when we were last at war and we'll get a few civilians too.

The LTTE wanted this.
The JVP wanted this.
Mahinda didn't know what he wanted, but he'll settle for this.
The UNP, well, they don't really care (or matter!).

Sittingnut, Sophist and the lot, you boys wanted to teach the big bad LTTE a lesson. Here's your chance. Get out of your armchairs and go join the army. Come on, if you think they're so bad then go fight them yourself.

We're tired of hearing your anit-LTTE bullshit. Now you have the war you wanted. So go out there, and put your life where your mouth is.

Well, hope everyone's happy :) I'm throwing a party.


Army Commander Dead?

Official Army sources say Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka who was injured in an explosion today, is out of danger. However one source at the hospital says he is not out of danger and he has been taken in for surgery. An unconfirmed report from the Command office of the Army HQ says he's dead.

Regardless of whether the Army Commander is alive or dead, the explosion today remains the biggest attack carried out by the LTTE since the ceasefire agreement.

How is the Government going to repsond to it?


Now What?

The explosion today outside the Army Hospital in Colombo is the biggest explosion in Colombo since the ceasefire agreement. Barring the explosion at the Colpetty Police Station that killed four policemen and a few gangland and mysterious minor explosions around the city, this is the only explosion in Colombo since the ceasefire agreement.

It would be easy to assume that the LTTE is behind this, and that their aim was to assassinate Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka. The suicide bomber certainly points to this being of their doing. At the time of writing this, it's not very clear as to if they managed to achieve their aim. A few years ago (not mnay), as the Commander in charge of the forces in the Jaffna Peninsula Sarath Foneska came down hard on the LTTE, and on anyone who showed any sympathy for the LTTE.

So when new President Mahinda Rajapakse posted Sarath Fonseka as the Commander of the Army, it was very clear what it meant. Mahinda was not interested in being cute with the LTTE. Fonseka was also a accomplished (if brutal) military commander, and would be a key person in a war that seems more and more real each passing day.

So what is the LTTE saying now by trying to kill him?

They are not just marking him as a military target. His death would of course be beneficial to the LTTE in the battlefield, but this seems to also have a political statement somewhere in it.

And the statement seems to be: Prabhakaran, not Mahinda makes the decisions in this country.


Arguing Online

As insensitive as this image may be, I'm putting it up here to in memory of all those online arguments past, present and future. Special thanks to Indi, Sittingnut, Dextr and all the Anons.

If anyone is offended, I apologize.


Monday, April 24, 2006

Uninformed and Ignorant

Those two words best describe what Sittingnut has to say about the 'Trinco Report' that the CPA published in it's website.

Here's a summery of what's been said. Sittingnut has called the Trinco report biased, and he claims the report was plagiarised from something D B S Jeyaraj wrote. Perhaps the report is biased, but all Sittingnut has done is make his anti-NGO bias as clear.

If Sittingnut had gone to Trinco, and had inquired into the situation there, then put forward his own report, and then called the CPA report biased, we would have had an argument on our hands. But being the armchair critic that he is, he trashes the report without ever bothering to find out what happened in Trinco.

Instead sittingnut chooses do a few things that are solely indicative of his ignorance, his inability to analyse a situation, and paint in vivid colors his own bias.

He attacks the individuals who took part in preparing the report. He wonders if other people were invited to be a part of the team. Well Sittingnut, you could have gone to Trinco and done your own report. You didn't bother. The situation in Trinco didn't affect you enough. But if you wanted to, you could have. Why wait for the CPA or anyone to send you an invitation?

More than the CPA has shown an anti-military bias in the report, Sittingnut has shown and anti-NGO bias in his analysis of the report. He begins with the assumption that all the individuals are pro-LTTE and anti-government. Beyond this an argument with Sittingnut becomes as productive as an argument with Maduluwawe Sobitha.

But the stupidest thing that Sittingnut did is accuse the report of plagiarism. D B S's story came out on the 21st of April (23rd in some places). The report in question was drafted before the 19th and the first draft was circulated and discussed on the 19th. If Sittingnut had bothered to write and emal to CPA he would have found this out, but he didn't.

In the end, Sittingnut's arguments are nothing but hot air.

Yes there are many things in the report that should be criticised. There are many omissions that need to be noted. But Sittingnut is not interested in analysing the report. He just wants to bash the NGOs. That's all he's doing.


Friday, April 14, 2006

New Year

For once, I feel sorry for the Army.

On the 10th the claymore explosion in Mirusuvil that claimed the lives of 5 soldiers (and also 2 civilians) put an end to what might have been a nice quiet new year celebration in the peninsula.

Just for the record, yes, the SLA in the peninsula were trying to do some getting-pally-with-the-locals activities for the new year season. Yes it would have been a PR exercise, but at least it would've given the people of Jaffna a break. It was nothing big, and whatever the SLA had planned was not going to win them the hearts and minds of the people of Jaffna, but at this point, any small step would have been welcome.

Obviously the LTTE was not too happy with this. And boy did they put an end to whatever peace and calm the peninsula would have over new year. I really do feel sorry for the army. Everyone deserves a break for new year.


Everything's Back

Today on my way to work, near the Nawala bridge there was a new police post being constructed. There had been one there many years ago, but it was taken down. But this morning the police were there piling sand bags one on top of another and making a little bunker for themselves. Trust me, this was no ordinary police post. It was akin to the ones found in Vavuniya.

This has been happening in Colombo quite a bit. Checkpoints that went away have now been brought back.

And the raids are back.

Since January, regular raids, or at the very least a visit from a not-so-friendly-neighbourhood-policeman have been plauging the lives of the people living in Colombo.

And what's with the way the cops have been naming these 'search operationg'?

'Strangers Night'? What the F*** does that mean anyway? Who in the Colombo police has suddenly developed a taste for the dramatic? Anyways, it's really scaring the Tamil people in the city, and also the people who would seek to come into the city for work.

At the office we had an entrance exam scheduled for those who wanted to be a part of our new batch. There were 24 people who were supposed to show up for the Tamil medium test. Only 7 people arrived. They were all from Colombo. The ones who didn't show up were the ones from the East and from the estate sectors. When we asked why they didn't show up even after having confirmed that they would take part in the test, they said that they did not want to come to Colombo because it would not be safe for them. They would rather skip an entrance exam into a college they had tried hard to get into, that stay overnight in Colombo and end up in prison.

So is that the message the Colombo police want to send with these raids? Tamil people should stay out of the bloody city. Why? Because it belongs to us. Who's us? The upper class Colombo elite who do not want bombs going off and disturbing them when the war starts.

There was even a raid in town on New Year's Eve. They couldn't even leave the people alone for New Year's eve. How many more 'Strangers Night's are there going to be before the Colombo police realise that they're not going to stamp out LTTE presence in the city by busting all the innocent Tamil people in town.

So while the country prepares to return to war, the Colombo police prepare to return to what they do during war: harassing the Tamil population of Colombo.


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