a bitter victory

here on the east coast of sri lanka, the only people celebrating a victory were soldiers and policemen, all of them members of the 80% sinhalese majority of sri lanka’s population. the photo above was taken in dambulla. the tamils almost all were quiet, only the members of the ruling party tmvp showing open contentednes, and many others not daring to show their sadness about this defeat of the ltte (liberation tigers of tamil eelam).

a bitter victory(2) whilst since quite some time large parts of the tamil population have turned away from the ltte because of their rigorous and cruel regime and assassinations, sharing the view of the world’s majority that the tigers were terrorists, the ltte was also seen as the only power that would give the cause of the sinhalese-tamil ethnic conflict some attention in the world. now there is nobody influential anymore who can claim a true devolution, equal access to power and the realisation of full rights for the tamils.

now the ltte has lost the war and their leaders, the sri lanka government has won the last battle. to win the peace it needs actions that can be recognized by the tamils as the true and genuine will to make sri lanka a home for all citizens, regardless of ethnics or religion.


  1. However justified their cause might be, the means were simply not. It really has to come a very (VERY!) long way before violent war-like actions are justified even the slightest bit. The overboarding cruelty of at least some of the actions of the tamil tigers (and against civilists at that!) are never.

    Or am I missing something?

  2. Thomas, you are definitely right. The actions of the LTTE were unacceptable.

    However, the actions of the government were and are unacceptable as well. This conflict has a long and sad history, starting with the Sinhala-only act of 1956 that denied the Tamils their language. And since 20 years the situation in the Tamil areas that are under the government is comparable with the West Bank. Police powers is with the Singhalese only and arbitrariness rules as well as the use of masked denunciators followed by killings – from both sides. I could go on for quite a while on these things.

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