Winning: War Crimes In Sri Lanka

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June 4, 2009: The UN, and many European nations, are very angry at Sri Lanka for defeating the separatist Tamil rebels, after nearly 30 years of fighting. The UN, and particularly Norway, were trying hard to work out a peace deal. The Tamils, represented by the LTTE (an organization eventually recognized as an international terrorist group) refused to budge on their demand for partition of the island. A decade ago, the LTTE controlled a third of the island, although Tamils are only 13 percent of the population. It used to be 18 percent, but many have fled because of the LTTE violence, and government attempts to cope. Three years ago, fed up with over a decade of failed peace efforts, the government determined to crush the LTTE and regain control of the entire island.

This went against UN, and European, beliefs, which held that you cannot destroy a popular uprising with force. You must negotiate. This terrified the Sri Lankans, as the UN and Europe had recently detached Kosovo from Serbia and arranged for Kosovo to become an independent nation.

Despite UN and European efforts, Sri Lanka recently destroyed the LTTE, and brought the entire island under government control. Now the UN and many Europeans are determined punish Sri Lanka for this affront. There is talk of war crimes prosecutions, and European nations that sold Sri Lanka weapons in the last decade are being threatened as well.

None of this will come to anything. The LTTE were a really nasty bunch, and it wasn't all that surprising that the group was eventually declared  international terrorists. But it took years of efforts by the Sri Lankan government to accomplish this. The Sri Lankan officials embarrassed many nations, by exposing the way the LTTE coerced expatriate Tamils (especially those living in Europe) to support the LTTE violence with cash and assistance in supplying weapons to the LTTE fighters in Sri Lanka.

The UN, and many Europe based NGO (non-governmental organizations) aid groups were also hated by most Sri Lankans because this aid kept the LTTE going. Moreover, as territory was recovered from the LTTE, it was discovered that the aid groups were rather more vital to the LTTE than the NGOs had admitted. The NGOs still insist they were just doing their job, while Sri Lanka see the NGOs as self-righteous supporters of terrorism.

For the UN and many Europeans, this primacy of negotiation, and compromise, over fighting, is considered sacred. Sri Lanka is seen as evil for their use of violence to halt terrorism. The offended parties in the UN and Europe will never forget.

 


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