The agony of India - a letter to my American friend Bill
Mario Perera Kadawata
My dear Billy,
What India is going through at this moment and known to all and sundry across the globe through the exclusive media attention they receive, we have known and experienced during thirty years...and what is more; NO ONE CARED. They (the USA, the West and India) only said, "solve it through negotiations". Ironically when the suicide bombers struck the twin towers a srilankan writing in the international press had a message for George Bush. He told Bush: 'Solve it through negotiations"!!! But what did Bush do? With the blessings of the American people he reduced Iraq and Afghanistan to rubble...That is not my idea of "negotiations" !! The word "negotiations" was also heavily used by the Indians in our regard, though after the brutal murder of Rajiv Gandhi by the LTTE they softened that stance and tempered their language.They smelt that something similar was coming their way... and come it did. Do not be surprised if some srilankan advises India to "solve it through negotiations" !!
Billy, we live through the nightmare of terrorism since 30 years... What the news spills out as a Tamil revolt for equality in the face of a brutal and unrelenting majority is an attractive publicity stunt and evokes sympathy even from the most hardened hearts. Yet the reality is quite otherwise. The majority population of Sri Lanka nurtured in the gentle Buddhist culture is not insensitive. They are among the most tolerant and compassionate human beings on the planet but made to look like monsters by the International media, the BBC included. The colonial excesses of the British in Ireland they chose to forget and the IRA reaction was for them a 'terrorist problem'. Our terrorist problem was for them an "ethnic" problem of a suppressed minority against a brutal majority! They forget that this problem is part of the colonial heritage they left us...just like the India-Pakistan issue across the Palk Strait.
My latest book, the novel 'Siripala the cinnamon peeler' gives the real picture of how terrorism began....as a caste conflict among the Tamils. And once the lower caste took control with the gun, there was no question of laying it down. Then India seized on the opportunity to train them and to arm them and to unleash them on Sri Lanka which had begun to thrive as an open economy, even drawing an unending flow of Indian buyers to our land. Billy what is presented as a simple ethnic problem is a very complicated one, and has to be seen in the context of Indian hegemony over the sub-continent. The first suicide bomber (the very first since the Japanese Kamikazes of the 2nd world war terrorized your Pacific Ocean fleet) was trained in India and unleashed on Srilankan soil (this was openly stated by the Pakistani delegation at the U.N, and the Indians listened as mute as door posts. Scores of innocent human beings belonging to all ethnic groups including women and babes in arms perished and are perishing as a result of this demoniacal invention of the Tamil terrorists that is the suicide bomber.
The LTTE set in vogue the technique of the suicide bomber, so successfully used in the bombing of the twin towers. There is no defense against a suicide bomber Billy.They do not come with a view to escape. They come to die and take along as many as they can. They brought the cult of death to its apotheosis.
Here we live in constant fear not only of bombs planted in pubic places including in buses but, and especially of, suicide bombers. The man next to you in a bus can explode himself when and wherever he wants and you would not know. My famly bears the scars of LTTE terrorism. My wife's only brother Mr.Joseph Jayamanne a brilliant engineer and builder of the Jaffna (northern capital) cement factory and harbour, was brutally dragged out of his residence in the north and shot through the head in cold blood. His wife did not receive a thread of his clothing even for a symbolic burial.
The LTTE is the most ruthless terrorist force the modern world has know and seen. The suicide bomber concept which they successfully exported to Palestine, Hamas, the Al Quaida and elsewhere is their brain child. A suicide bomber killed our president Premadasa...a suicide bomber killed Rajiv Gandhi (husband of Sonia Gandhi and former prime minister of INDIA on Indian soil (you see violence has a tendency of coming home to roost !!). No one wanted the Sri lanka government to go after them. for fear of offending India; India being such a big market, and a money spinner for the great countries who are also the greatest preachers of morality to the poor and the destitute nations! So they let the terrorists grow, fatten and prosper with their blessings. They grew as they wanted, in the only way they knew, killing every opponent including their own moderate Tamil leaders and bending all others to their ferocious iron will. Their moto seems to read 'Our kingdom come, our will be done on earth whatever it be in heaven'. They are kept alive through forced funding by expatriate Tamils especially in Australia and Canada, but also in several other powerful countries, USA included, and aided and abetted by the corruption prevalent among burocrats. Their armed groups include child soldiers abducted from parents, and girls. Women are also used in suicide missions; read the UN an Amnesty Inernational reports.. Those selected for suicide bombings have their 'last supper', with their leader Prabhakaran, a sort of macabre diabolical ritual with the devil in person. But as you know the great ones of the earth including the UN and Amnesty and others put their foot down 'with a firm hand', (sometimes down their own throats ) only on the poor nations, victims of the moral hypocrisy, selective morality and double standards of the great ones. Terrorists care two hoots for them, and therefore are left alone. Why should a suicide bomber (take the ones that bombed the twin towers) care anything about anyone, especially their morality!
So no one raised a hand to help us. We were just third world bums of a small and poor country whatever our incomparable ancient history and heritage. Everyone, including the most powerful countries of the globe, made a fast buck on our back, selling their military hardware to prop up their failing economies and providing these ruthless assassins with military training. Money has no morals Billy.They unleashed the cobra on us holding it by its tail and caressing its backside. And then the inevitable happened. The cobra has a very flexible spinal column. So it turned and is biting the hands that are holding it. Naturally we sympathize with those being bitten, but with so many scars on our own bodies, we remember too. We forgive but how can we forget? One country that caressed the cobras has been bitten over the last several days where it really hurt, right in its financial nerve center.
There are many countries caressing the cobra who will also learn their lesson in due time. Time is the supreme teacher and time will tell.
Thank you for giving me a patient hearing Billy
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