The downturn in the Colombo bourse in the aftermath of terror attacks on Monday, however worrisome that downslide may be to brokers, investors and the public, has led to celebrations in some quarters. While the terror sympathizers are cock-a-hoop about the tumble out in the open, the terror-worshipping southern politicians are deriving some sadistic pleasure from the country`s plight, on the sly. The striped doomsday prophets are working overtime on the web to have the world believe that come next month, the Sri Lankan economy will collapse and Eelam will come into being. They are issuing threats of more air raids to drive the economy into the ground to achieve that goal.
It is strange that the world has apparently taken the LTTE`s newly acquired air capability for granted. Apart from a few paper missiles fired at the outfit from some countries over the air raid, there are no signs of big nations being galvanized into assessing the latest threat to global peace. The LTTE may not pose a direct threat to big nations but there always exists the grave danger of other terror outfits emulating it and using its modus operandi to further their macabre interests. The LTTE may not have pioneered suicide bombing, contrary to its claims to that effect, but, it may be recalled, its suicide jacket is already in vogue among others of its ilk the world over. Likewise, it has over the years spawned a large number of fans overseas. It is training guerrilla outfits in several countries including India and Nepal.
When steel prices rise in China, pedestrians usually fall into open manholes in other parts of the world. For, the high demand for steel causes manhole covers to turn into scrap metal at the hands of the cash-strapped sections of society. The classical ripple effect at work! If a blockbuster movie is launched in Hollywood today, its pirated version will be available in Maradana tomorrow. Technology for making the Oklahoma bomb was obtained from the Internet!
Now that the LTTE has unveiled its air capability, which has had an adverse impact on the Sri Lankan economy, the turbaned terror mastermind on the run may question his wisdom of having opted for large scale terror attacks without settling for micro terrorism, which has proved to be quite effective. Since fuel laden jumbo jets are hard to come by these days due to stringent security measures at airports, he might start thinking in terms of ultra-light planes, which are a dime a dozen in the developed world. (They are available even on large farms.) Will bin Laden adopt `small is beautiful` as his motto? If he ever switched over from jets to low-flying small planes packed with lethal material and landed on civilians and economic targets in their numbers simultaneously in a country of his choice?absit omen!?what would be the fallout? Wouldn`t there be tumble in the stock market in that country?
Terrorism is like avian flu. The spread of the virus of terror is swift and its mutation unpredictable. Whoever thought Uncle Sam would have his Al Qaeda pets coming home to roost riding jets? India may never have expected Prabhakaran to send a Child of Fire to garland Rajiv. On the other hand, look at the way those outfits are adapting to new situations. It was only a few moons ago that the vigilance of the British police prevented liquid explosives being smuggled into aircraft to cause dozens of mid air explosions over the Atlantic Ocean. Terrorism?especially its flying version?must be dealt in the same manner as avian flue: It must be stopped at the source. As much as it is downright stupidity for a farmer to say the avian flue affected birds are not his and take the threat for granted, it is nothing but sheer asininity for a country to say that the Tigers are not its terrorists and therefore let things slide. But, that exactly is what is happening!
The worthy members of the international community, far and near, might think it is in their interest to keep the pot boiling here. They may be silent as they believe Monday`s air raid will further debilitate this country so that it will be dependent on them more. The news of the tumble in the Colombo Stock Market, as was said earlier, may be music to their ears.
They will be sadly mistaken if they think it is only Sri Lanka`s economic indicators that are sliding due to terrorism. Their callous disregard to the predicament of small nations battling terrorism almost single-handed has turned out to be as detrimental to democracy as terror strikes. Their duplicity has added to the momentum of global democracy`s journey down the Gadarene Slope. How sad!