Tigers slain.

In Sri Lanka, the president pursues all out war against the Tamil Tigers, got crticized by peace-nicks, lost an IMF loan, but eventually suceeded in ending South Asia’s longest running insurgency. Now, Colombo is talking of ways to reconcile with the Tamils and address their grievances to ensure lasting peace, without being distracted by armed rebels.

Why can’t the Philippines do the same?


9 thoughts on “Tigers slain.”

  1. hehe nice question, i do hope that the Philippine Government will be able to end our conflicts with various rebel groups, anyway i don’t think that that conflict is about to end, those Tamil rebels are one of the most notorious terror groups the world has seen, they can easily turn to insurgency if need be, not to mention a really sympathetic population just a boat ride away (remember Rajiv Gandhi’s cruel death)

  2. Hi David,
    I don’t think we should keep on branding Tamil fighters as terrorist because what’s terrorist for the west is not necessarily for the ethnic Tamils.

    Well, it’s really the moral responsiblity of the Sinhalese Sri Lankans (the majority) to reconcile with the Tamils because it was them back in 1950’s to 1960’s who practically marginalized the Tamils which caused the arms struggle. Ending the war/conflict is but justifed to stop insane ways Tamils have used to attain their aspirations. But Sinhalese Sri Lankans have the greater role in making sure settlements of issues are not done through guns and bombs but rather through reaching out (including peacful means) to the more moderate Tamils.

    1. Hi Kuya Kaku
      I am branding them as terrorists because my education (and my heart) tells me so. My education taught me that there are different types of terrorism and those that use terror for the sake of independence are pretty much a terrorist just like a religious terrorist is. (Of course, there are differences, though).

      I, too, acknowledge that the Sinhalese majority have a lot to do to get their country at peace.

      And I also share the same opinion over the Philippine situation. I believe that these extremists have gone too far. And in return, we must show them extremism has no place here. After we flex our muscle, only then can we feel safe and secure as to start stimulating Mindanao’s great economic potential.

  3. anyway, I forgot to say that, It’s kind of hard for the Philippines to get a parallelism with this. I really think that sincere and faithful integration (cultural, social, economic etc.) of the Moros to the larger Philippine society is the biggest step to settling the conflict in the South.

  4. Kaku, true indeed. The Colombo establishment has the moral obligation to address the Tamil minority’s grievances. And true enough, people in Colombo are prodding the government to do so.

    I said in the post: “Now, Colombo is talking of ways to reconcile with the Tamils and address their grievances to ensure lasting peace, without being distracted by armed rebels.”

    I believe that to address the grievance, armed struggle must be stopped first. For it is armed struggle that’s making the government lose focus on addressing the minority’s main concerns. Now, if the Colombo government fails to address the Tamil’s concern, then it deserves another rebellion. But as of now, I’m giving their president the benefit of the doubt.

    There are a lot of difference between the Moro and Tamil insurrections. The Philippines is geograpolitically more important than Sri Lanka, which is why, unlike in Sri Lanka, global players had become stakeholders in Mindanao. Libya and Pakistan, as well as the Taliban and Al Qaeda, are known/rumored to be covertly supporting the Moro seperatist umbrella group. But despite the difference, the parallelism remains.

    The Philippines, for its part, has shown various gestures to integrate the Muslims. A prominent opposition leader is Muslim. Senators have been elected from the Muslim community. There is an Office for Muslim Affiars. Even in constitutional conventions, the Moros were represented. The largest party, Lakas-CMD, has a wide representation for Muslims. There are mechanisms for autonomy set up by Philippine laws already. Politically, there is nothing more the Moros can ask for. Economically, there is a lot of things to be done to improve Mindanao. But the government can’t do so because of the armed conflict there.

    I like the Estrada model of dealing with Mindanao. During his all-out war campaign, every time a town is cleared from MILF elements, soldiers themselved rebuild schools and mosques. It was a symbolic gesture of demonstrating that the government is hard on rebels, but would take care of the people. It should have been continued.

    You are right, Kaku. Faithful and sincere socio-cultural, political and economic integration is the key to lasting peace. But before that, the armed struggle must be met by armed solution first.

    1. Armed solution can really be an option, but my problem is how to transition it to integration when initially an aggressive approach has already been perceived by the Moros (by having sympathy with their fellow MILF Muslims) before the integration would happen. Even in peaceful settlement like that of Misuari’s MNLF has not resulted in halting the Moro insurgency beacuse a new wave of rebel group had come out which is MILF. So, both aggression and peace-making in the framework of “the south” might really not work out.

      I think making Muslims feel they are integrated like concrete development programs in the moderate areas of ARMM can the government win its struggle in the south. I believe it’s about winning the support of the Moros as a whole that we can make Moro insurgency an irrelevant concept to them.

      1. Kaku, it is debatable at best whether an initial armed solution will result to such deep-seeted grudge among the majority of the Moros even after reforms are undertaken after the conflict. Did you see the turn-out of voters in the last ARMM elections? It was record high! A clear indication of the majority of the Moro people’s regard for due process/ reforms!

        The MILF is another matter. These are extremists. Even if you fully integrate the Moros, they will continue asking for a separate state. There are only two ways of dealing with them: give them a state or crush them by force.

        I agree that making the Moros feel more integrated is the key. But again, this must come after we crush the extremist among them.

        This way, insurrection will be irrelevant for two reasons: 1. because they are integrated anyway and 2 insurrection will go nowhere since government is ready to meet it wirth force.

  5. Physically, the Tigers’ leader is dead. But the SOCIAL UNREST borne out of the question of ANCESTRAL LAND DOMAIN is very much alive. The Sri Lankan Tamil Tigers gravitated into a revolution because the British declared Ceylon independent (to clean their Commonwealth Desk in White Hall of the old problem of ancestral domain issue. The new pro-British Colombo government went after the ethnic minorities with harsh, crude eviction methods–people were killed. The ancestral domain issue is one of the reasons Ceylon’s first woman prime minister, Mrs. Bandanaraike was assassinated.

    As long as the socio-economic problems(alias social equity)–particularly the marginalization of the less educated Tamil minorities–are there, the Tigers’ movement is alive and kicking, even if mentioned in whispers only. (The Sri Lanka society became sharply divided — similarly to our muslim problems in the south–when the Tamil minorities left their settlements and occupied the northeastern and eastern territories after the independence was shoved into the unprepared Ceylonese people.

    Where social inequities thrive and economic retrogression or lack of education prevail, movements will always produce leaders. You have a nation sitting “on top of a seething social volcano.” Unless reforms succeed, the social volcano will always be alive! The national political leadership MUST be pro-active!

    In geopolitics, Sri Lanka does not have the same importance as the Philippines. In our part of the planet, the U.S. decided before the last century that the Pacific ocean was going to be the private Americans’ swimming pond. So they have their 7th Fleet based in Honolulu. And they maintain the Diego Garcia naval base in the Indian Ocean within snoring distance of Sri Lanka to monitor life of all sorts in the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea than the Bay or Bengal.

    Note also that the Tamil Tigers have not received ideological and logistical support from either the Russian or Chinese communists, or Libya or the Palestinians like the Philippine NPAs and muslim separatists respectively.

    By the way note that Diego Garcia is in British territory (Chagos Archipelago in the maps, but actually coral reefs and atolls). And the British navy is nowhere).

    The British navy is more concerned about the Atlantic And theAs long as there is a question of socio-economic divide (just as the Philippines and Sri Lanka have in common) exist, and, employment

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