The Inevitable Romanticizing of Prabhakaran

•June 25, 2009 • 12 Comments

When we think of William Wallace or Attila the Hun, we think of great men that dared to defy an empire. History is written by the victors they say, yet history remembers these men as heroes to be revered, or at least warriors to be feared.

When we look at the lives, the rhetoric, the military tactics, the sheer audacity of these leaders, one wonders if the real Wallace or Attila were as heroic as their legends tell us. The mythical proportions to which these characters have been elevated seem to have facilitated the omissions of their misdeeds – mostly in the case of Wallace. We all support the underdog, thus we scramble to sheathe their human errors, and rush to romanticize their ruthless resolve.

Real history, as opposed to popular culture, tells us that William Wallace was a monster. It took nothing less than a monster to defeat the stonehearted English. And it took much more than a monster to slaughter hundreds of women and children in the dozen villages his armies sacked on his command. He was in contemporary language, the quintessential ‘separatist’, perhaps even a ‘terrorist’. Yet we remember him as a freedom fighter. Attila the Hun was arguably worse. He decimated scores of cities in the Roman Provinces; murdering, raping and pillaging as he swept across the Empire with the singular ambition of bringing about its demise.

Yet we celebrate these individuals as great men of valor. And we teach our children of their brutal, yet heroic achievements.

Wallace was hanged, drawn, quartered and beheaded for high treason; the Scots never acquired independence; and the Huns were virtually annihilated. Under usual circumstances, the English and Roman historians should have erased the very memory of these so-called martyrs to a lost cause. However, world history did not permit this. This is because we simply cannot escape from the truth: that the world loves an underdog. Any man that cries freedom brings us to tears. Any man that challenges the oppressor inspires us.

The actions of these men should never have been condoned, let alone glorified. Their legacies should never have been remembered, let alone immortalized. Yet with the passage of time, fact became folklore and truth became legend.

They all love the underdog. They will forget his crimes and remember his message. They will demonize his conquerors and elevate him to martyrdom. And in a hundred years, the world would have romanticized him.

Thank you for reading.

My Cousin from Kili is in a Camp. How Do I Get Him Out?

•June 16, 2009 • 9 Comments

I have a cousin who lived in Kilinochchi. He was an 8th Grade school teacher. As far as I know, he bore no allegiance to the LTTE. He may have cooperated with them for the purpose of survival. However, he had no criminal record and certainly had no links to terrorist activities.

He now resides in  Zone 3 of the Menik Farm IDP Camp. He is one of 40,648 IDPs interned there. There are 6 medical officers for the entire Zone, which amounts to one medical officer for every 6,775 civilians.

He is neither an “elder” nor “a person with learning disabilities”, nor does he fall within the category of some “other vulnerable group”. Thus he is not one of the fortunate 2,234 individuals released into the care of elders’ homes or host families. That is a mere 0.8% of the 260,295 civilians housed in Vavuniya.

I have some relatives in Puttlam that are willing to accept my cousin into their home. They are willing to house him, feed him and assist him in finding new employment.

I heard the other day that my cousin’s wife was killed in a shelling raid and his two daughters have left the camp to be with their relatives. Yet he is not permitted to leave the camp and join his daughters.

Screening. Ok, screen him. What are they looking for? Are they all terrorist suspects?

All 260,295 of them?

I hear that the law requires you to be reasonably suspected of having committed an offence for the State to hold you in custody for more than 24 hours. I hear that murderers, rapists and thieves are granted bail under our law.

So why indefinitely incarcerate my cousin?

He is fortunate enough to have relatives willing to host him, yet unfortunate not to be a person with a learning disability. He also doesn’t have the Rs. 400,000 needed to get “unofficial bail”.

Why can’t they run a simple background check and release him?

How many IDPs want to leave these camps anyway? There are 18,200 IDPs in Jaffna, Mannar and Trincomalee. They may leave if they wish to, but no one does, since they have no where to go. So how many of the 260,295 IDPs in Vavuniya do you think would actually want to leave? Just a few, perhaps. Not many.

The few that do wish to leave may be screened. I doubt that it would be administratively impossible to reserve the screening process just for those who wish to leave the camps. The others could remain until they are resettled. Those who fail the test may be rehabilitated in the “Rehab Camps” located in Kalimoddai and Sirukandal in Mannar. Those who pass the test may be released to their families. Is it not that simple?

I’m sure my cousin will pass the screening. But in an ironic twist of fate, he was not born in 1940 or as a retard, so he doesn’t qualify for consideration.

What can I do to get him out?

Thank you for reading.

Conversations Apart…

•June 10, 2009 • 12 Comments

This is a conversation I had with one of my friends this morning. I have left the content untouched except for a few typographical errors. The names have also been censored in order to keep the discussion I intend to provoke sincere and, as far as possible, objective.

There is a difference of opinion slowly but surely materializing here in Colombo. I see it as the critical divide between ‘pseudo-liberals’ and the ‘newly radicalized’. The classification is not necessarily accurate, but rather a reflection of how each side sees the other. Another common opinion is that the former are ‘fashionable liberals – turned fascist’ and the latter are ‘liberals by conviction – turned frustrated’. You judge for yourselves.

Friend: ironically and worryingly the Peace seems to be polarizing the moderate machan

**** (a mutual friend) is a stubborn fuck sometimes

Me: ado no machang….he has a point

Friend: I am not saying he doesn’t have a point machan

Me: the bugger has always been stubborn no surprises there

Friend: he has a very valid point….but nevertheless you have to give to get no?

Me: tell that to an educated Tamil…the buggers don’t buy any of this…frankly I don’t either…

I hope though and try my best not to be cynical

Friend: that’s purely an issue of perception though and of trust….not factual

Me: may be

Friend: the govt I don’t think has put too many feet wrong in their post war messages

Me: but facts and figures are useless without trust

Friend: and I think the expectations of **** et al are unrealistic

EXACTLY

EXACTLY

and trust can only be mutual no machan…..hence my call or elimination of distrust

it has to be forced until circumstances eliminate it entirely over time

Me: ummm…but isn’t that something the govt has to earn?

Friend: yes….granted

but it is also the something the Tamil people have to learn because **** (another mutual friend) is admitting that Uncle P and the LTTE represented him

the Tamil people themselves need to speak out against that equation of the two

Me: it’s kind of true, prabha represented an aspect of the Tamil struggle. No one can deny that

Friend: of course he did machan – and a none military version of that struggle MUST continue but if you are associated by omission with an organization like that you have to bare the consequences machan

Me: if the object is self determination…and your opponents are bigoted …then any Tamil will see the use in having a militant approach

Friend: I am only saying that the Sinhalese aren’t the only people who are bigoted….the Tamils are too

they want to have their cake and eat it machan which is unrealistic and selfish

Me: well…I think the fear Tamils have now that they will not be taken seriously is legitimate

there is no incentive to

Friend: disagree….what has the GOSL done to affirm that fear since the war ended

not a bloody thing

Me: as long as the LTTE was there…there was hope of a little ‘give and take’ with the right Sinhalese govt

now there is NO INCENTIVE

ummm

13th amendment minus that is what is being discussed now

Friend: the fear stems from the paranoia…the incentive machan is to avoid a repetition and I don’t think even the Sinhalaya modaya is going to accept that

Me: no police powers

Friend: the only reason the 13th amendment didn’t work is because the LTTE fucked it up

Me: something which is included in the 13th amendment is now on the verge of being taken out and 13th am was the minimum

so yes…I think paranoia or not…the govt has done plenty to display its intention to provide watered down solutions

Friend: my point is that if the police force is effective it doesn’t matter who runs it…if it’s ineffective then at least you have somewhere to go from there

I only want legitimate Tamil voices to say exactly what you told me right now

that 13th am is minimum and this is why we should have it

Me: and that can be said about every aspect of the 13th am

see machang???? see where this is heading?

you’re compromising

Friend: machan – all I’m saying is both sides have to compromise…if you can’t see that we are doomed

Me: but how can you expect the Tamils to go below what was promised in the 13th

I say the 13th is not enough to solve this…

and people are saying the 13th is too much

and Tamils should compromise on that as well

here’s the long and short of it

as I see it…

NO ONE considered this govt as being capable of solving this problem politically

they all backed it to finish the war

it did so

now it is INCONVENIENT for people to remind themselves that this govt cannot solve the political problem

so they start compromising…

forgetting…

it’s a little sad

Friend: political solution = compromise

I’ve dealt with every single ‘Tamil Question’ **** (1st mutual friend) brought up

Me: hmmm

13th is compromise to begin with

Friend: and short of demanding a de facto separate state he doesn’t put up a single cogent argument for wanting what he does

Me: compromise was possible when an extremist was in the game

no LTTE means no bargaining chips

no compromise

Friend: the threat of another LTTE is a bargaining chip machan

Me: solution = take what we give you, you fucking Tamil

oh god

Friend: that has never been said, nor has it been manifested machan

Me: the threat of another LTTE is why 300k are in internment

several thousands are in Boosa

Friend: I don’t trust these buggers….the govt. but I am willing to give them a chance

Me: Tamil journalists are being tried for terrorism

Friend: it’s all I’m asking

Me: I don’t think you have a choice machang. :)

Friend: Tissa’s case is the most unfortunate fuck up of this war….but can you see how the GoSL needs to save face by trying him

once the publicity dies down he will be freed machan….he’s not dead

Me: oh yes  I see the point in trying him

didn’t think saving face was a legitimate ground for trying someone

Friend: it’s not machan – but it’s politics not law

Me: which is why it is wrong and people shouldn’t make excuses for this govt

I just feel that this govt is going to get away with a lot of

shit because of the war victory

Friend: everything is politics machan – **** (known lawyer) won his cases in the SC cos of politics nothing else

Me: agreed

Friend: mate do you think I’m not shit scared now that the main opposition leader has been eliminated….we are on course for a dictatorship

Me: but that was a case of politics when it happened to be consistent with was is right

Friend: but unless we start talking…to each other and shit we are not going anywhere

Me: err yes

so then why support the govt?

Friend: we can’t take this govt on machan – we’ll just get killed

I AM NOT SUPPORTING THEM

Me: so then leave the country

you’re making excuses for them

Friend: that’s what you’re doing

Yes – I may be…because I realize how hard this problem is to solve even if you and I were running govt

Me: ? anyway…you’re right to be afraid of this govt

Friend: being idealistic is great….but we must temper our expectations with realism…it’s why the two words and statuses quo exist

Me: we all should be

yeah…but we shouldn’t expect Tamils to have to throw away their idealism because we want everyone to be realistic

it’s as if you’re saying…YOU LOST

SO BE REALISTIC ABOUT YOUR ASPIRATIONS

you’re right…it’s not realistic

Friend: I am only saying that approach to solving the problem is unrealistic and has been a proven failure adopt another method

Me: who can blame **** (1st Mutual Friend) for being cynical

you can’t expect him to roll over and play dead

I don’t see [him] taking up arms

Friend: I don’t….but I expect him to be more reasonable and not expect all of the fucking pie

Me: I only see the bugger demanding for a better solution than fucking 13th am MINUS

Friend: otherwise Eelam is also his aspiration and I will fight to the death any bugger who wants Eelam

Me: so the better approach you’re suggesting is that he changes his demands

Friend: no making a proper case for the demands rather than prejudice and paranoia

Me: ok

Friend: development needs to be immediate

who does it is a secondary issue and further development can be handled by the Tamils themselves in their areas

did you read the last three comments on that groundviews thread?

Me: you do realize that Eelam and 13th am are worlds apart

Friend: read it machan….with an open mind

me: if we are not willing to give 13th am

Friend: I do realize that….but **** (1st Mutual Friend) rhetoric doesn’t seem to be

Me: then people have a right to demand for the extreme…and if they had a bargaining chip…they would have got something in between

they don’t

so they’re fucked

Friend: they have a right to demand it machan….but they don’t have  a right to receive it

Me: and so are we…because the problem will not be resolved

Friend: they’re not fucked machan

Me: I hope I hope

Friend: how can you possibly say they are fucked????? what’s so

fucked about it?

Me: ok…I just think we’ll have to wait and see

I say they are fucked because of the trends in the present discussion

how Pillayan can’t get a cent to work with

how emergency law continues to operate indefinitely

no attempt at a truth and reconciliation commission

I’m just not convinced

but I am hopeful

Friend: you have to give people a chance to convince you machan

Me: I realize that this govt doesn’t have any opposition to impede a solution

so I hope

I hope and wait

Friend: if a girl tells you she gives great head you can’t be cynical until you’ve gotten a blowjob

Me: and I fucking sympathize with those who are frustrated

Friend: machan I am frustrated too….but a thirty year wait and a few months is chalk and cheese

Me: if there is a legitimate concern that she will bite my cock off…I wont take the chance

Friend: suddenly the war is over and they want solutions yesterday….not correct no

Me: ok we’ll wait

Friend: that’s all

wait

Me: we have no right to tell Tamils to wait

but they’ll have to

such is life

Friend: of COURSE WE DO

Me: we don’t

Friend: we waited for thirty years…they can fucking well wait too

Me: but let’s agree that like it or not…we’ll all have to wait

Friend: yeeeers….so as long as we are agreed on that

Thank you for Reading

What Men Think, and Don’t Want You to Know About

•May 31, 2009 • 34 Comments

I’m going to tell you girls about something you probably suspect but shy away from believing. Every man you’ve ever made friends with has wondered about what it would be like to have sex with you.

This is true. Ask any man. Some may probably deny it, but most would give you a mischievous, or perhaps an embarrassed smirk.

They say women and men simply cannot have platonic relationships. This theory is utter bilge. Plenty of women and men are capable of having rich, fulfilling, nonphysical relationships sans an iota of sexual tension, or “pent up passion”. The notion that you can only be friends with someone you are incapable of having sexual relations with – owing to some circumstantial or, to put it mildly, physical constraint – is also misconceived. Again, attractive individuals unconstrained by physical marring can be the best of friends while still preferring, quite out of their own volition, not to hop in the sack.

So what is really going on in the male psyche? Here is the unadulterated truth: When a gentleman meets a lady for the first time, a judgment call is made. Be it a random rendezvous at a supermarket, a semi-flirtatious exchange at a night club or a simple introduction by a mutual friend, the man on each occasion will ask himself the question: “Will I sleep with this girl?” This encapsulates both the ‘possibility’ of sexual relations as well as the ‘desire’ to engage in such. Either way, this is not a deeply philosophical issue. It is simply an analysis of all circumstantial, physical and emotional factors to arbiter this fundamental question.

This is where it gets interesting. Once this fundamental question is considered, men will categorize women into one of three categories:

  1. Women they will never have sex with…unless under the influence of some powerful aphrodisiac coupled with complete intoxication…which still amounts to ‘never’.
  2. Women they may have sex with given the right opportunity and the display of reciprocity.
  3. Women they want to have sex with.

The basic instincts of men are nullified in the first instance, suspended in the second and put into its relentless application in the third.

So from the perspective of females, it should be borne in mind that each of your male friends puts you into one of these categories and therefore himself falls into the corresponding category. You have many male friends that are sincere in their friendship because they have concluded that they will never sleep with you; you also have some male friends that still see you in a sexual light but choose to ignore their instinct in an attempt to display sincerity; and of course you have a few male friends that deliberately pretend to be sincere while in reality they constantly entertain thoughts of bedding you.

There is no sociological secret in the relationships that unfold between men and women. It is essentially founded upon prime instinct neatly layered with liberal notions of decency.

My conclusion: girlfriends beware of what your boyfriends are already aware of.

Thank you for reading.

shr0049l

The Santa Claus Solution

•February 26, 2008 • 14 Comments

Suppose we live in an age where technology permits us to monitor a large proportion of the actions of citizens. The State may then replicate our childhood notion of Santa Claus and reward us according to whether we have been naughty or nice. And we, like all good children, will strive to be the latter. In such an environment, I believe man’s greed for wealth and fame may be used against him, in fact for the good of mankind. The theory I present below is admittedly fraught with loopholes but might be worthwhile discussing.

I find that all human actions are based on incentives. Whether it be incentives which we inherently respond to, such as basic survival, or whether it be incentives that we have grown to respond to, such as wealth and power, man has repeatedly demonstrated his ability to conduct a constructive cost-benefit analysis in terms of most things he does or plans to do.

This information is vital to a governing state since it is generally accepted that the right set of incentives would persuade a citizen to do almost anything. Now how may we use this to our own advantage?

Crime is often committed by human beings who calculate that the positive incentives to commit a crime are greater than the negative incentives associated with being detected and punished. Even where the negatives slightly outweigh the positives, human beings often tend to respond to slightly smaller positive incentives more readily than to slightly greater negative incentives. However, if we were to alter the stakes and increase the positive incentives in desisting from committing crime and being law abiding, the responses we would receive from potential criminals may be quite different.

To take a rough illustration, let us consider police corruption. A few years ago, bribing a Police Officer who stopped you for speeding or driving under the influence was common practice in Colombo. However, the government policy to award a commission or monetary bonus for each successful arrest made by a Police Officer changed all that. The Government used the Police Officer’s inclination towards monetary benefits against him and effectively replaced the briber. And thus, it is not so easy or convenient to bribe a Police Officer on the road today.

Suppose we extend this principle and treat all human beings the same way the State would treat profit-oriented companies. A range of incentives such as tax breaks, better credit ratings, and even monitory bonuses may be offered to citizens who strive to maintain a perfect, law abiding track record. Each citizen would effectively be given a fully public and transparent Citizen’s Rating which he may seek to improve in order to receive higher benefits. Even those who are lower down the scale in terms of wealth distribution may seek to improve their positions merely by remaining law abiding citizens. Added to this, the criminal justice system may be reworked to inflict disproportionately high fines for committing offenses, depending on income levels, thereby making crime too expensive to commit. Putting these positive and negative incentives together would in fact make it profitable for a citizen to be law abiding. (The specifics may be worked out once the principle is appreciated.)

Added to this scheme, we may also consider improving a citizen’s Rating where he or she engages in social service thereby rapidly increasing the positive incentives in being altruistic. An analogy may be drawn to the Government providing tax holidays to companies with CSR programmes.

The greatest sacrifice one would have to make in such a system would be the right to privacy. In such a scheme of affairs, the actions of all citizens and the ratings they receive will effectively be placed within the public domain. This may be viewed as a sacrifice unworthy of the benefits of a slightly more law abiding society. However, I tend to believe that if more thought is put into the manner in which human beings respond to incentives, we may succeed one day in establishing the perfect set of incentives to ensure the near-perfect, law abiding and altruistic society.

Thank you for reading.

How True is the Truth in Wine?

•February 18, 2008 • 16 Comments

Jenna (all-American hottie who likes to pick up well-dressed locals at bars): “So that’s why me and my brother own so many guns back home. We like to go hunting…”

Local drunk: “So what do you hunt? Niggers?”

Have you ever heard the ancient Latin phrase “in vino veritas” (in wine, there is truth)? It essentially speaks of people saying and doing things more true to their actual nature when under the influence of alcohol. I don’t really mind a good drink, so don’t mistake this post as being anti-alcoholic.

Most of my drinking buddies have varied responses to the hard stuff. Some become antisocial, while others become incessant nags; some become a little violent, while others just want to kiss you; some exaggerate stories from yesteryear, while others provide you with way too much information about their sex lives. There are a few good chaps that like to get frisky with the ladies, while others like to get touchy-feely with their male friends. The crudest remarks and the most sexist, racist and ignorant blabber often spew out (amongst other things) of these happy drunks in witty little packages which are often stored in our intoxicated memory banks and recounted during future binges. And yet we forgive them because they know not what they do.

Why do we behave the way we do when we are drunk? I will certainly not provide you with a medical or scientific explanation. This however, is my theory:

It is only when we are drunk that we lose all inhibitions. All the fallacious little wrapping of politically correct mumbo-jumbo go straight out of the window and into the spotlight jumps the “real you.” And since there is always the dependable excuse of “oh, I’m sorry, I had too much to drink last night”, we tend to literally let ourselves go when the alcohol starts flowing.

If you take the swaying, slurring and the funny hand movements out, and focus merely on what is being said and done when under the influence, it may often seem our personalities become larger and more clearly defined. Our thoughts literally become are words and deeds.

Girls who secretly don’t mind a good flirt become overly friendly or even seductive in a funny, drunk sort of way; Men who are flaming homosexuals in their private thoughts venture out of the closet for short drunken spells; and covertly intolerant people, when drunk, begin to “whip out” the Gay, Black, Jew and Muslim jokes, notwithstanding whose company they are in. And then of course, our hangovers are invariably accompanied by a surreal sense of regret and embarrassment commonly known as the “Foot in Mouth Disease”.

So the question remains, does alcohol make you do the things you really don’t want to do? Or does it empower you to do the things you really want to, but shouldn’t be doing? I beg to argue that it is clearly the latter.

And so, as twisted as it may sound, this is perhaps why we all prefer an honest bastard to an insincere saint.

Thank you for reading.

Suicidal Nation

•February 13, 2008 • 41 Comments

Even during medieval times, rulers often deliberately adopted a policy of war since it was widely believed that citizens expected less of their monarch during so called “hard times”. Ironically, it was during times of relative peace that a King was most susceptible to rebellion by the malcontent masses. It seems poverty and economic paralysis is much more noticeable when your Queen is devouring cake rather than when your King is off to kill the Muslims. And thus peace was equated to apathy while a blood-soaked conquest was associated with valour and honour. The greatest respect in history is reserved for conquerors such as Alexander, Julius Caesar and Napoleon, who in any modern sense of decency would be no less than soulless war-mongers.

Unfortunately, this policy of war along with its motivations is ever prevalent in today’s politically correct world. The Bush Administration is a case in point. But we as Sri Lankans are also victims of the “excuse of war”. Even as the cost of living reaches unbearable heights and oil prices soar, all we can muster up against this regime are a few whimpers of dissatisfaction. (I intend no disrespect to groundviews). Well, at least they are winning the war for us. Few realize that in the present economic context, we are assured of losing money in a fixed deposit offering as much as 15% interest simply because the rate of inflation is significantly higher than that figure. Yes, it is more profitable to spend your money than to save it. Let us not complain, at least they are winning the war for us.

So let us talk about this war. For now, assume you are a reasonable individual that values economic stability and long-term peace within a tolerant and diverse society. If not, perhaps this would better suit your taste. Since we cannot predict the future, we can only weigh the probabilities. Thus I have taken the liberty to analyse the possible outcomes of the present military strategy of our Government:

1. The Government Forces capture Kilinochchi and Mulativu and try Prabhakaran for crimes against humanity and/or execute him

This is a great outcome at face value and is in fact plausible given the support offered by third parties with compatible agendas. Also, the lack of Indian censure of the present war effort plays a crucial part in its chances of success.

However, there remain several questions that go unanswered given the political realities faced by a victorious government. Firstly, the TMVP will require their well-earned pound of flesh. I assume everyone remembers the strategic disaster that ensued after President Premadasa allied himself to the LTTE with the objective of ousting the IPKF. A rabid dog often bites the hand that feeds it. So the present Government ought to have a nippy strategy to deal with Pillayan, who obviously would be entertaining thoughts of taking over the East once the threat of the LTTE is removed.

And of course we have to consider the Muslims in the East. Oppressed by multiple parties for decades, it is unlikely that they will be in the mood to negotiate for much longer. Already, there are murmurs of Muslim youth being armed and trained and viewing serious militancy as a viable option for the future. Yes, all we lack in this ethnic conflict is an extremist Islamic movement.

Even if we are to assume that these concerns would magically evaporate into thin air, we must consider our own mentality. The Southern polity has repeatedly demonstrated its aptitude for fickleness. So we can certainly expect (in this day and age of triumphalist exhibitions of counting chickens before they hatch) the Sinhala South to go hysterical when their Southern son returns victorious from his conquests in the North. This will certainly usher in a new era of nepotistic rule and confirm further economic catastrophe. If you think that some other, more tolerant and economically savvy regime may replace the present one at the next General Elections, please think again. We are not British and he is no Churchill.

2. The Government Forces fail to take over the North and a stalemate continues indefinitely.

This scenario is also plausible if one is to consider the aspect of war-profiteering and my previous argument in respect of motivations for continuing a state of war. Regimes that are accustomed to a warring culture seldom do well at maintaining their territories during peaceful times and converting them into stable, prosperous regions. Our present regime, like the marauding Mongols, falls squarely into this category. Such a regime is all too aware of its limitations during peaceful times, and therefore chooses to perpetuate its military campaign and sustain its war machine. Also, the fact that individual members of the regime make hideously large profits from arms transactions tends to help.

This scenario is incredibly disturbing since it will indefinitely prolong the campaign in the North and East and lead to an eventual breakdown in the economy. The lives lost during the most recent campaign would be in vain and the morale within the forces would steadily decline. Furthermore, the new generation of militant leaders would most likely be far more sophisticated and, I dare say, ruthless in comparison to their somewhat ideological predecessors. The transition of the Palestinian struggle bears witness to this inevitability. And so separatism would be looked upon as a clear and nonnegotiable objective rather than a bargaining chip.

3. A miracle.

This is where we venture out of the probable and into abstract possibilities. As demonstrated through the analysis above, the only acceptable outcome that would satisfy a “reasonable and peace-loving” supporter of this war effort is a faith-based notion that the present regime would effectively and efficiently carry out the following tasks:

a) Dismantle the LTTE leadership in the North;
b) Manage and dismantle remnants of the old LTTE as well as new mushrooming groups with various agendas including separatism;

c) Manage the TMVP faction and either appease their demands for some form of control in the Eastern Province or dismantle them also;

d) Provide safeguards for the Muslim population in the East and prevent the rise of a Islamist militancy; and

e) Provide a comprehensive devolution package for the Tamils and Muslims of this country and successfully market it to a disinterested and triumphalist Sinhala majority.

The above tasks relate only to a political solution to our crisis. I have not even begun to think of the monumental effort required to resurrect this economy. Yet these tasks are more likely to be completed by Sauron in Middle Earth than this present regime in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka has long since held the infamous title of having the highest suicide rate in the world. It is therefore no coincidence that we as a nation now find ourselves in this hopeless predicament.

What horrifies me most is the fact that those who yearn for change are either systematically disenfranchised or forced to flee the country. Our only hope therefore is that the fortunes of this country will change dramatically and leaders who value freedom and inspire tolerance would eventually emerge.

Thank you for reading.

 
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