There seems to be no end to foreign do-gooders visiting here purportedly to help resolve the conflict. Now it is a British delegation! For the past three decades or so, neither foreigners nor successive Sri Lankan governments have succeeded in finding a solution. It is a foregone conclusion that the visiting British dignitaries are wasting their time and energy.
The European Parliament, about three years ago, sagaciously put its finger on what had put paid to Sri Lanka`s peace efforts in its resolution on Sri Lanka on Sep. 08, 2006. It read, inter alia, [the EU Parliament] `condemns the intransigence of the LTTE leadership over the years which has successively rejected so many possible ways forward, including devolution at the provincial level or Provincial Councils, devolution at the regional level or Regional Councils as well as the concept of federation with devolution at the national level [as envisaged in the Oslo Declaration]`.
It is thus clear on the EU`s own admission that no political solution is possible with the LTTE save the partitioning of this country or any other arrangement that will lead to its division like the LTTE`s brainchild, the notorious ISGA (Interim Self Governing Authority), which even independent observers like Richard Armitage and Chris Patten dismissed out of hand as something that `far exceeds the Oslo Accord and does not resemble any kind of known federalism`. India tried to cut the Gordian knot in 1987by introducing the Provincial Councils but in vain, because of the LTTE`s intransigence.
Now what do Britain, the US and the like-minded allies want Sri Lanka to do? Prabhakaran, the megalomaniac killer is cornered with the army poised to either capture or destroy him and his fellow criminals. Certainly, there is a humanitarian crisis with people being forcibly held in the so-called no-fire zone by the LTTE as a human shield. Humanitarian ceasefires are of little use as the LTTE will never let go of its hostages as we saw during the past pauses in fighting the government declared.
By ratcheting up pressure on the government to de-escalate the war and declare a truce, the international community is only encouraging Prabhakaran to tighten his grip on civilians. It is only the day he is made to realise in no uncertain terms he has no chance of escape that he will either surrender or bite his cyanide capsule bringing the hostage drama to an end.
What if the government ever agreed to a ceasefire at this juncture? Prabhakaran would get a new lease of life and resume his killing spree after regrouping and rearming. India blundered in 1987 by saving him from the Sri Lankan army and Sri Lanka by saving him from the Indian army. Prabhakaran has been described as a good strategist in some quarters but, in our book, he is only a shameless coward else he won`t hide behind innocent men, women and children whose survival is due to blunders India and Sri Lanka have made. Had he been eliminated in the late 1980s, tens of thousands of lives and property worth billions of dollars could have been saved.
Does the international community want to make those blunders anew and plunge this country into another protracted bloodbath with busloads of commuters bombed, villagers massacred, political leaders assassinated, child-soldiers recruited and people kept in slavery?
If it is a lasting peace that the civilised world seeks in this country, then it must, without being swayed by the terror backers up in arms overseas claiming to fight for civilians but waving the LTTE flag and thus betraying their real intention, allow Prabhakaran to be removed from the equation.
That will be half the battle in solving Sri Lanka s problem.