Everything possible must be done to
defuse the volatile ground situation in the Eastern province-now spreading
to the North as well-which is a powder keg after this week's incidents
in Kanchirankudah. But, the powers that be need to realize that it
is not easy to sweep things under the carpet, keep people in a world
of make - believe and pretend that what the people do not know in
fact does not happen.
We wrote not
too long ago in these columns that one could excuse a government
for being taken for a ride once, twice, thrice - but four times?
The eruption in the East which has resulted in mayhem and the loss
of lives, was not a flash-riot that happened in a vacuum.
It was something
that was seen to be coming for sometime. Over the past week or so,
there was a citizens protest in and around Trincomalee about a blatant
violation of the MoU when the LTTE abducted seven soldiers in retaliation
for the arrest of two LTTE cadres, which was an unabashed violation
of the MoU and the law of the land.
General counselled within the bounds of the powers vested in him,
when he said that he could not bow to various pressures to mitigate
the charges against the two LTTE cadres who had been arrested, so
that bail could be obtained for them from Trincomalee's hapless
Magistrate who was caught in the middle of all this.
In the end
the LTTE cadres had to make an appearance at the Court of Appeal,
accept the jurisdiction of the Sri Lankan courts, and get a ticking
off from the Judge to the effect that this is a good example of
Justice being held to ransom.
But, the LTTE
kicked justice in the face by saying that their cadres now released,
will not report to the police as required under the conditions for
bail. Then came the storming of the STF camp in Batticaloa.
the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission, and the international community
has at every turn bent over backwards to accommodate the antics
of the LTTE. The government has shown too easily that it is touchy
about not wanting to hurt the feelings of the LTTE because it is
the end of the world if the LTTE walks out on the peace process.
The SLMM on
the other hand has such a scanty understanding of the machinations
of the LTTE or they are either too simple or naïve or too partisan,
that they have made the MoU not worth the paper it is written on.
Seeing all this, the international community which is witness to
the government's bend-over-backwards attitude is not vocal in any
way lest they be accused of getting in the way of the peace process.
But, it's not
the LTTE today which is being called the hawk - the war - monger.
Instead it is those others who say to the government: 'watch out
- watch your step.' It is being said that the people are for peace
but how does that explain the reaction of the people of the East,
who are shivering out of fear that a fascist regime is about to
take over their 'homelands' in that province? A string of incidents
- school children being made to attack police stations, attacks
on non-co-operating school principals, dispensing of justice through
kangaroo courts, illegal taxes, fasting in jails, hartals, asking
that local government elections be postponed - are these confidence-building
measures or plain provocative acts bent on breaking the fragile
peace to which the government is turning a Nelsonian eye-nay, a
blind eye? They see no evil, hear no evil nor speak about LTTE evil.
the events of this week will also be glossed over as some unfortunate
incidents that need to be forgotten in favour of the big picture
- economic development of the North with the LTTE, and the South
with the World Bank.