Recognising the Tiger

The Sri Lankan government has finally decided to recognise the LTTE as the de facto voice of the island’s Tamil population. That’s a positive move for the re-establishment of peace in the troubled country.

Whether or not LTTE is really the sole representative of the Tamils is not a very meaningful question as the Prabhakaran’s forces not only hold significant amount of territory in the northern and eastern parts of the island but have shown that they are capable of defending it. The LTTE is therefore a principal dialogue partner for the Sri Lankan government. Knowing that the international community is no longer sympathetic to its brand of struggle for liberation it has made moves towards a political solution. This move needs to be positively reinforced by the Sri Lankan government. That it has done so is good news.

Moving ahead, Sri Lanka must think of setting up a South Africa style truth and reconciliation commission. Prabhakaran and his crowd are guilty of some of the most violent acts seen on the planet; the broader interests of peace may require these acts to be forgiven, but they must not be forgotten. A lasting peace will be built not by skimming over sins of either side, but by both sides reconciling to their own unholy pasts.

2 thoughts on “Recognising the Tiger”

  1. I didn’t get the implication clearly and perhaps I’m mistaken – you’re saying that because the LTTE holds significant amount of land (and is keeping it) and that since no one else is interested in SL politics, it is a good idea to recognize the LTTE as a bargaining partner on the table?

  2. Ankh – The LTTE is virtually running a parallel country in the north-east. The full might of the Sri Lankan army has been unable to re-capture LTTE positions. This has gone on for a number of years.

    It is because the LTTE holds territory that the Sri Lankan government cannot wrest back by force the two should negotiate.

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