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This is the time to repair and re-launch USA – Sri Lanka Relations

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by Teresita Schaffer

Teresita Schaffer, a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, was U.S. ambassador to Sri Lanka from 1992-1995

The meeting in Geneva is over, leaving a sour taste in everyone’s mouth. It’s time to put Sri Lanka’s political rebuilding on track, and repair US-Sri Lanka relations in the process.

Despite the dark conspiracies being described in the Sri Lankan press, the US had hoped to avoid a confrontation in Geneva.

A far preferable outcome, from Washington’s perspective, would have been for the Sri Lankan government to use the Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), and move toward implementing its recommendations.

Washington focused on the LLRC because it was a home-grown institution, always a stronger basis for political healing than imported ideas. Unfortunately for everyone, the moment when this could be done discreetly and with no appearance of outside nagging has passed.

For the next year, the UN Human Rights Council will be dealing with other issues. This is the time for Sri Lanka and the United States to relaunch their relations. External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris’s upcoming trip to Washington represents an excellent opportunity to do just that.

An important US contribution to this enterprise, ironically, was getting under way even as the UNHRC was meeting. A US government team was in Colombo to negotiate and Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA).

Such agreements set the broad rules for expanded economic relations, and the predictability they provide have been extremely useful in other countries in attracting new business – precisely what Sri Lanka needs to strengthen and extend the peace dividend after its long and bitter war. It’s time to conclude the agreement. Resolving the issues raised in the US labour movement’s petition against Sri Lanka’s duty free access to the US market under GSP would be an added bonus.

Ambassador Teresita C. Schaffer

Sri Lanka could make two contributions to this effort. The first would be to intensify its reconciliation efforts. Senior government personalities generally describe economic development as the key tool in this effort. I believe it is an important starting point, but not the only tool.

The political benefits of economic development will be much stronger if it is supplemented by concrete moves toward addressing war-related grievances and political integration. The government has often cited the LLRC as its preferred vehicle for beginning the reconciliation process. Moving toward implementation, consequently, would appear to be the government’s own decision, using the government’s own means.

A more complicated US-Sri Lankan issue, unrelated to the human rights dispute, arises from current US sanctions on Iran and Sri Lanka’s high dependence on Iran for oil imports. Sri Lanka would appear to have good reason to diversify its oil imports to provide additional security in an uncertain energy market. A little quiet diplomacy with the United States as it reviews its energy purchasing patterns might pay rich dividends.

Lowering the temperature between Colombo and Washington is not just an exercise in improving the atmosphere for its own sake. Sri Lanka’s economic goals – which, as we have already seen, are closely linked to this government’s goal of bringing the island together – cannot be achieved if Sri Lanka walks away from expanding economic engagement with the largest economy in the world, and from its largest export market.

The United States too has important interests in play. One that has risen in importance in the last two decades is the strategic importance of the Indian Ocean, which is not just a passageway between the major U.S. security presence in the Persian Gulf and in the Western Pacific. It has become a strategic zone in its own right, and the United States needs to engage with Sri Lanka on that basis.

Sri Lanka’s relations with the United States have always been influenced by the human side of the government’s actions. From the time of independence, Sri Lanka was a country that held free elections and took pride in its ability to bring about peaceful governmental change.

It was and is a country where everyone can read, nearly everyone finishes secondary school, and basic health care is the envy of the region. These are accomplishments that have brought the United States and Sri Lanka together.

On the other hand, the ethnic war and the JVP uprising created a terrible legacy of disappearances and political violence that left thousands dead in Sri Lanka – and did terrible damage to US-Sri Lankan relations in earlier years.

Human rights represent an important strand in America’s political makeup, one that has tremendous resonance around the United States.

Americans share in the excitement of countries that are recovering from long internal conflicts. Look at the way the opening of the political system in Myanmar has captured people’s imagination.

Sri Lanka has an opportunity to generate that same kind of positive excitement, using a mechanism it created, and serving a goal – the creation of a more united country – that all its politicians espouse. Don’t let the moment for real action slip away. courtesy: The Sunday Times

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30 Comments

  1. Good lady write a bunch of baloney and BS. Human Rights to US represents an important factor as long as that serves their purpose. Time and time again, all over the world they have demonstrated that over and over again. At this point in time they perceive the current political leadership in Sri Lanka as a minor irritant for them in their strategic view of the world. They want to hinder any influence gain by China in the region.

    The latest this week is now Poland is coming out and admitting that they allowed CIA to run secret prisons in Poland after 9/11 in 2002 and 2003. One of the many places all over the world where the US took detainees illegally, subjected them to torture repeatedly, all in the name of “war on terror”. If they are serious about human rights, they would have brought a resolution at the UNHRC against themselves!

    In the end, who has the power will win, and this was the case of US being mightier that the tiny Sri Lanka forced her will on the smaller and less powerful country. Sri Lanka and the government better understand that clearly and act accordingly.

  2. ugh hmm

    Ranjan, Toronto – Ambassador Teresita Schaffer is all for restoring US-Sri Lanka ties and she has argued to NOT just base the US policy about Sri Lanka on human rights alone!

  3. USA just intimidated Sri Lanka to catch their ropes. Sri Lanka is still with the “DOLLAR” connected economy. So, US intimidations are always come until Sri Lanka bend like J.R.Jayawardene. If Mahinda bend to USA, then no Human rights issues against Sri lanka from USA or its allies.

    When JRJ closed down news papers of opposition and killed scores of journalists or chased many out of the country, USA or their WHITE human rights companies never opene their mouth against UNP regime.

    Now the Tamil idiots cry that Americans are for Tamils. That is a fun and joke. Are these Tamils tell Obama and Hilary want to study “Thirukkural”?

    Some Sinhalese are also American slaves. They always try to tell WHITES are with Sinhalese. Now they have to know how the whites treat Sri lanka.

  4. Rohana_Puthra. Tell me one country that went against US and prospered. The country’s that prospered due to US help are Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand (which are the most similar countries to Sri Lanka).

    The country that went against US in Asia is Burma. Look at its economy. India was against the west for 30 years and ended up dirt poor. Now only they have started to prosper after improving ties with US.

    Even China started to develop after it ended its communism and started having a market economy and also improving relationship with US. The whole of China’s economy is based on exporting to US.

    Unfortunately, if even now the world is run by US interest. Sri Lanka is not going to prosper without it.

  5. The slavery mentality of majority of the ‘educated Jaffna Tamils’ has been obvious throughout the history ever since the invasion of foreign powers in Sri Lanka. They almost worship the ‘might’ that whatever the might do looks ‘right’ for them. It starts from the kind of ‘respect'(which really comes out of their meekness) they show to even a local thug. In fact, it starts from one’s school itself where many meek students would seek the friendship of the ‘school bully’ as a safeguard. The colonialists, being mightier due to the modern weaponry they possessed, plus the white skin colour ( another weakness of the eastern people in general and the Tamils in particular is to take the white colour as pure and just) and their devious way of divide and rule policy, were successful to conquer the eastern people physically and mentally. In addition, they speak a language which is prevalently used world over. It is overwhelming for the Jaffna educated Tamil lot to fall flat at the feet of west. Hence they not only accept whatever the west do, they even go to the extent of blindly justifying their actions. The Colombo elite circle of Singhalese are also no exception to it. In short, these people would like to identify themselves with the west rather than their own country folks. They assume to be bosses themselves but in practicality they still bore the slavery mentality. I doubt if they would ever learn!

  6. Dr Bharath says:

    “It is possible only after each and every war criminal arrested and sent to Hague”

    There is a better way of dealing with the future. A commission based on South African Truth and Reconciliation model is suffice. People of the island do not have to resort to Retributive Justice which certainly will carry forward hatred to future generations.

  7. A woman of the past is speaking for her masters. In short what she says is,you re-launch but only our way.
    From-Ambalangoda, That’s a slavish mindset you are displaying. What about China? Brazil? Not quite the typical US puppets are they? That time is over. Yes we still depend on US trade but the world is changing. Obama is running here and there like a worm cut in half, because the winds are blowing sideways. Just because the diaspora including GTF, the comical transnational government thing as well as Tamils for Obama, is exerting pressure in this election year, US is trying unnatural ways to satisfy them. We don’t always have to listen to them. Only Dayan Jayatilleke is worried and advises the government to follow Burma, that’s because he wasn’t included in the Geneva team. Otherwise, Burma didn’t have a seperatist problem, but a problem from within and we have a problem from the outside.Yet, we have to use our own methods, not the US methods to sort our problems out. British solutions to India problems, Israel problems, African problems did not work. The same theory applies here.

  8. Dexter, I don’t think you have understood what the former ambassador wrote or what I was trying to say.

    What US did in UNHRC has absolutely nothing to do with human rights in Sri Lanka. It is just a convenient stick that they use to beat Sri Lankan government with. If the war was conducted and completed by the UNP with its attachments to the West, we would not have heard a peep from the West nor from the International Human Rights industry.

    The mistake that GOSL did or doing is not to understand that there are limits to what can be accomplished by the current stance that they are taking. A good example of what the good lady has written about the Iranian oil situation. read it carefully and read between the lines.

  9. Ranjan,Toronto:
    “….If the war was conducted and completed by the UNP with its attachments to the West, we would not have heard a peep from the West nor from the International Human Rights industry. …..”

    Exactly! UNP know international law and the civilian casualty if they decided to finish the war such a cruel manner. MR & Co did more worst than Japanese did to the Chinese during WW.

  10. Tamils in the US, numbering perhaps about 50,000 in a nation of 300 million people, are not in a position to influence elections, and the State Dept. or the White House has no need to take them seriously. That is true of these two-bit groups like the TGTE, TAG, USTPAC, and Tamils for Obama.

    Robert Blake may talk to some of them in the normal course of listening to all citizen groups, or because the US must be seen to be addressing human rights concerns in countries with which it has diplomatic relations. If the US brings a resolution against SL, it is because the US has its own foreign policy reasons such as containing China and having a partnership with India, or trying to not let the ‘Sri Lankan example’ of using scorched earth tactics to kill thousands of civilians in a counter-insurgency become the norm among third world countries, which cannot be allowed to happen. There is also a strong institutional bias toward spreading democracy and freedom whenever possible–i.e., as long as it aligns with US self interests.

    But make no mistake, pressure from US Tamils, as many Sinhalese assume, has very little to do with it.

  11. Americans have unipolar imperial agenda to destabilise countries through a systom which has nothing to do with democracy they only want to know are u with us or not.They use human rights as the theme and R2P as the pass worrd to enter countries using the highly corrupted politicise office of the UN.India did it to orient srilanka to their axis in 1987 (the famous parrippu drop violating all international norms)the same thing in 2012 in geneva.

  12. As Ranjan said this is a lot of baloney but with some veiled threats.She says Sri lanka should diversify its oil sources. Why? Iran is not going to be there tommorrow?is that it? Sri Lanka would do well to diversify its dependence on US/EU trade which they seem to concider as favours or aid they can use as tools.
    How can any one even think that one can not prosper with out US. Yes,they will do their best prevent that.
    Sri Lanka,Thailand,Malaysia,India were prosperous hundreds of years ago and it was the ancestors of the US that came and plundered them.They did’nt even know the meaning of human rights back then.
    The US has jumped the line to don the hat to take credit for changes in myanmar!But in reality it was the ASEAN’s plolicy of inclusive engagement and persuation that changed mayanmar. What would the thieving plundering murderers of the wild west know about engagement and persuation. They only know language of the gun,threats and sanctions.
    Agnos, It is true that 50,000 or so Tamils in the USA is not enough a force to change US policies which are only interested in US interests. The tragedy is these stupid tamils for Obama or the TGTE don’t realise this.
    Allan,UNP did’nt give a damn about interantional law on human rights or any thing else when they massacred youth in the south. Do’nt give us that bull. The reason the UNP didn’t do it because it was against US interests. Keeping LTTE going was a US interest and that is why they are so hopping mad with President Mahinda and even threaten with the resurrection of LTTE.

  13. I agree with the views expressed here by Ranjan and Agnos that American love comes with strings attached – first and foremost preservation of American self interests and secondly an alignment to American values (of democracy, secularism, and free markets – but specifically not to American culture). Post-war policies of the Rajapaksa administration have been a problem in both areas – more so in the ideological shift than in geo strategic interests. If we were to take inventory of the US-Lanka relationship, for the most part it has been a friendly one, in which the US has appreciated the delightful and exotic friend Lanka, Asia’s first democracy. But the authoritarian turn of the Rajapaksa administration has bothered the Americans and it’s not their wish to see the island shift from its democratic norm. Americans wish to nip the trend in the bud, and as Ranjan quite accurately assesses, the HRC was a convenient platform and furthermore, the LLRC report, a god-send screw driver to tighten the screws on the Rajapaksa administration.

    And that is exactly what the Americans are doing at this very moment – having demonstrated that it has the Will and the skill to exercise its super power when needed. (The State department has better things to do than taking a tiny nation to task, but this was done as a last resort after repeated pleads to Colombo to shape-up!) Ranjan says it best: In the end, who has the power will win … Sri Lanka and the government better understand that clearly and act accordingly. (This comprehension should not be that difficult to those Sri Lankan Americans holding highest positions in the administration.)

    But more broadly, what Ms. Schaffer and the Americans are trying to say is: Look, we are not your enemy but your friend; we are not interested in dragging you to war crimes tribunals but we would like you to admit that nasty things happened during the war and empathize with the victims in the interest of reconciliation; we want to engage with you, and help you build a prosperous and just Sri Lanka for all Sri Lankans – though according to democratic norms and by the way we would also like to re-awaken our warm pre-war relationship so that it is mutually advantageous – in a broad range of areas (and certainly including preservation of US strategic interests.)

    And what is mind boggling to me, a Sri Lankan American of four decades, is why my fellow Sri Lankan Americans in the administration would think that this is not a win-win proposition? RF says to do so is be a slave, and to that I say we should have done the right things (LLRC recs.) by our own minorities instead of procrastinating. And now the entire democratic-World is ordering us to do so! And whose fault is that?

    As Ms. Schaffer implies the Rajapaksa administration should grab this opportunity to mend fences with the US for the great benefit of all Sri Lankans or be warned as Ranjan says.

  14. The old lady Terrashita in on a nostalgic path where she had a good time back in Sri Lanka. Diaspora Tamils can relaunch the eelam war. Who will pay the price. The innocent Tamils in the north and east who paid with their lives for the modern Tamil community to cliam the cozy life in the west. MR got the revitalizing pill after Geneva. Who says it was a debacle. Slim chance of a strong opposition ran out of the window for Sri Lankans with the patriotism Pill and MR must be laughing all the way to the bank.

  15. Allan,

    It was during the UNP regime that tens of thousands of rural Singhalese youths were killed and dumped, far more in number than the Tamils killed during the 3 year war from 2006 to 2009 during the present regime, by the security and paramilitary forces. It was during the UNP time the biggest two ethnic violence took place in 1977 & 1983. It was during the UNP time the Jaffna Public library was burned down. Do I have to continue on with the list of UNP actions? Why you people are blind to whatever the UNP did? Remember that since the Tamil militancy started in 1975, half of that time period was ruled by UNP and they let the Tamil militancy grow unabated. The so-called international community were not only just kept themselves as observers, but also let the LTTE operate setting up offices from their soils.

  16. Allan:

    What I meant is that UNP with its connections to the West could have finished off the LTTE in any manner they wanted and still would not have heard anything from their friends and allies.

    As for MR doing worse that Japanese, lets not go that far into the time. Do you really think that they did worse than,
    1. US and UK in Iraq and Afganisthan?
    2. Israel in Lebanon and Gaza?
    3. US backed rebels in Libya?

    The list is endless. So where are the resolutions in the UNHRC? The UN report on Israeli conduct was withdrawn due to pressure from US and Israel. As for the latest UNHRC resolution that was passed over vehement objections over US, Israel has said that they are going to completely ignore that and are not going to cooperate with UNHRC in the future. Why is US government is silent on that account?

  17. Last a foreign country tried to ‘assist’ us to establish peace in Sri Lanka, they brought no peace to Tamils or Sinhalese but pandemonium to all.

    Remember, India used gun diplomacy to ram Indu-Lanka accord in 1987! Self appointed Indian Viceroy, Dixit assured us that 13A would bring peace and prosperity to everyone in Sri Lanka. But LTTE and Tamils as well as most Sinhala parties rejected 13A outright. Trying to enforce 13A unilaterally, IPKF not just set fire to the ‘North and East’ where Tamils were dominant but to the entire island as well. And no government dare implemented 13A in full since.

    I remember very well that LTTE had accused IPKF javans had raped thousands of Tamil women, and maimed and murdered thousands of Tamil men, women and children while they disarm LTTE and try to force 13A. To take revenge from India, LTTE said; they blasted Rajiv Ghandi to pieces.

    But India has learned no lesson. Together with the US, India now demand Rajapakse enforce 13A ‘plus’ against the election manifesto that he was elected. Imagine the predicament and the kind of mayhem Rajapakse has to face if the US sponsored resolution were to force upon Sri Lankan: We will end up as another Libya. That may be what the US wants. But is it what Sri Lankans want?

  18. @nihal: On the contrary, the United States does not pursue a unipolar agenda but is more like a person with a bipolar disorder. Every time Americans elect a new president, U.S. foreign policy undergoes a complete reversal.

    Recall it was the U.S. military under former President Bush that provided the Sri Lankan Army with aerial drones and tactical advice as the LTTE was being routed. Then as the war was nearing the end in 2009, the shameless Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State for the newly-elected Obama began scattering her accusations of human rights abuses against the army and largely without evidence.

    Angola in the mid-1970’s is an example of the devastating effect of the change in U.S. foreign policy brought on by the change of an American leader. Any Western country with a democratically elected government has the potential to radically change its foreign policy. The United States is merely the most prominent.

  19. Ganapathy Moorthy:Thank you for re-educating me and the bloggers about SL history.

    Ranjan, Toronto:
    “….What I meant is that UNP with its connections to the West could have finished off the LTTE in any manner they wanted and still would not have heard anything from their friends and allies…..”

    Your code explains my simple sentence. All I meant was that UNP was smart enough to keep themselves not being an enemy to West and they was waiting for approval to finish the Tigers off but the same West is supported/supporting LTTE too. That was the reason, I think, UNP could not wipe out the Tigers. UNP were not fools like MR & Co to finish Tigers without their approval. I believe wheather West might have let SL Tamils to slowly die down through UNP’s systematic wipe out or they might have given a chance to Tamils fight back and win their rights.

    Ranjan, whatever you listed in your blog all happening with the blessings of the same West. Then, how can you expect them to raise voice against themselves?

    If MR & Co think that they can win the war without West’s support, they might in Wonderland!!!!

    The war is not over yet because it is linked to SL Tamils rights and freedom. Suppose, if SL Tamils got their fundmental rights and freedom, UNP/MR & Co won the battle. If not, they have to face not only West supported Tamil Diaspora also Sinhala diaspora.

    Good Night.

  20. Allan,

    A few points.

    UNP did not ask for Western permission when they wiped out the JVP with equal or more brutality than the current GOSL ever did. Not a peep from the West nor from the International Human Rights industry. No one has been taken in front of ICC although people responsible are still around. Some even enjoying high positions of Western sponsored ‘democracy” organizations. Human rights is a concern to West only when that suits them.

    My list of Western countries’ complicity on human right violations were to show the hypocracy that is going around. UNHRC resolution should be dismissed with the contempt it deserves.

    Having said that, GOSL should immediately implement in to actions the recommendations of the LLRC. After all that was a Sri Lankan initiative. As for submitting to UNHRC the plans for taking such actions and “progress” reports, GOSL should tell UNHRC to go fly a kite. No international agency should be allowed to interfere in Sri Lanka.

    Finally, let me tell you one thing. I wish that Tamils in Sri Lanka are treated as equal as any other community with all the rights that everyone else enjoys (or not) in the country. The laws are already there but they do not mean anything in action. That has to change, and Sinhala attitudes have to change. However, you can not clap with one palm as they say. If the Tamil community has no interest in learning to live in harmony with the other communities and share the island, nothing will change. The current proclamations by TNA using words like self determination do not help and they are like waving red flags in front of Sinhala hardliners. The Tamil politicians may think that they have GOSL cornered by the UNHRC but I would tell them that that is a very wrong and dangerous position to take, dangerous for the Tamil community. You may think that you have the West, UN, human rights industry on your side, but the reality is the Tamils of Sri Lanka do not have to live with those, they have to live with Sinhalaese and other communities.

    Despite all the education and wisdom contained within your community, you let a bunch of thugs subvert your political process with disastrous consequences for your community. I don’t think you want that to happen again. Any political settlement that is imposed from outside, be it by India, the UN, or the West will NOT work in Sri Lanka. The only settlement that will work on the ground is a one that comes within, worked out by the affected parties in Sri Lanka.

  21. Ranjan,

    “…UNP did not ask for Western permission when they wiped out the JVP with equal or more brutality than the current GOSL ever did. ”

    -I do doubt about your statement because JVPers were leftists and not even embrass demogracy a bit. So, I believe that West might have given secret support to then governemnt (UNP) to flush out of all leftists.

    “…Having said that, GOSL should immediately implement in to actions the recommendations of the LLRC. After all that was a Sri Lankan initiative. As for submitting to UNHRC the plans for taking such actions and “progress” reports, GOSL should tell UNHRC to go fly a kite. No international agency should be allowed to interfere in Sri Lanka….”

    -Since Banda’s period, Tamils and world have/are seen/seeing so many agreements between tamils and Sinhalese leaders on sharing the power, most of those went into dust bin. A few of them signed only on paper still exists never put into practice or unabled to implement due racist reations from ruling/oppositon parties. Today, LLRC is eye wash, as you put “Sri Lankan initiative” to fool tamils and world. Tamils know very well that it never going to be implemented as happened in the past but now, world ask you about your genuinity and sincerity on implementing your on report. As a resposible governemnt,show your progress in implementing your own recommandations and no one says they come and implement it or interfere in SL governance.

    “….Finally, let me tell you one thing. I wish that Tamils in Sri Lanka are treated as equal as any other community with all the rights that everyone else enjoys (or not) in the country. The laws are already there but they do not mean anything in action. That has to change, and Sinhala attitudes have to change. However, you can not clap with one palm as they say. If the Tamil community has no interest in learning to live in harmony with the other communities and share the island, nothing will change…”

    Ranjan,
    SL tamils’ homeland is Sri Lanka only no other country. They used to share/live with everybody living around them. Before ’83, tamils’ were in a mind that they could live wothout any fear anywhere in the island even though they did not have a piece of land as thier own to live. Today, Tamils live outside NE may or may not own property, ready to pack up and leave thier place and go anywhere feeling safe. Your advice saying share and live to SL Tamils is a joke. May I suggest that it is a weakness of yours to advice on the subject of share and live to a community already shared living with other commnunities.

    You have enough knowledge on what is wrong in our nation but all of our governemnt are lagging to implement anything relate to Tamil issue and keep continue to hide it under its carpets.

    All I tend to say that our government do not need sign a fancy deal with Tamils. They should build trust among all communities out there to feel safe home and no law enforcing officer should not allowed to ask “Are you tamil/Sinhala/Muslim?” Nobody will not be allowed to vandalize any citizen there. Finally, I want to see a political system better than India? Will it happen???????

  22. MR did not intend the LLRC to be an “Internal Mechanism”. He thought like the APRC report he could shelve it and no one will refer to it. A mis-calculation that has come to haunt him. MR could do what some of his predecessors have done, a group of Buddhist to Burn It and spread the ashes in the Kalu Ganga. That is if Mervyn does not beat them to it. They also serve who stand and scream.

  23. Ranjan, Toronto says:
    April 3, 2012 at 9:02 am

    “Having said that, GOSL should immediately implement in to actions the recommendations of the LLRC. After all that was a Sri Lankan initiative. As for submitting to UNHRC the plans for taking such actions and “progress” reports, GOSL should tell UNHRC to go fly a kite. No international agency should be allowed to interfere in Sri Lanka.”

    Totally agree with you.We should just get on with what we have to do ignoring the UNHRC or US.I don’t think GL pieris should even go to meet hilary,just to show that the days whn white masters ruled the world is over,but we must start to implement the LLRC recommendations one by one quickly starting with the easiest ones first

    “Despite all the education and wisdom contained within your community, you let a bunch of thugs subvert your political process with disastrous consequences for your community.”

    Totally disagee with you.LTTE was a creation of sinhala hardliners,not by the tamils.what you created,you could have destroyed,just like the UNP before it started to subvert the political process.The UNP did not do so probably because the military got benefits by having the LTTE as a going concern and became increasingly powerful in srilankan society and also made money on commisions for arms purchases and transportation of goods to the north and east.I am reminded of the army commander berating his subordinate for wiping out the JVP completely without leaving some remnants.He told him “now do you think the politicians are going to have any interest in us anymore”.Gota is now facing the predicament of what to do with the armed forces and is now very innovatively engaging them in non military tasks,and i give him credit for that.The primary duty of the armed forces is to secure the territorial sovereignity of the country.You cannot transfer that responsibility onto the tamil populace.In fact many of the tamils died opposing the LTTE including practically the entire TULF leadership.Even DBSJ got his head and legs broken right there in toronto for merely providing some views that the LTTE did not like,while you have been safe there in toronto and are saying that the tamils are responsible for building up the LTTE.The LTTE was an outfit that was capable of building up themselves and they thrived like bacteria on the fertile grounds provided for them by the actions of the sinhala hardliners.They created the LTTE and they should have destroyed it before it subverted the political process as you rightly pointed out.On the question of responsibility only i differ from you.

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