More Violence in Sri Lanka
August 12, 2005 6:52 PM   Subscribe

Violence that had been building up in the Eastern coast of Sri Lanka has errupted in the capital with the assassination of the foreign affairs minister. Presumably the LTTE are involved in the killing, as they have been complaining for some time that the government has been sheltering a splinter group, conducting a covert-war. As one would expect, LankaWeb supplies a strong opinion on the assassination. One wonders if we will see Sri Lanka return to the state it was in some 10 years ago.
posted by chunking express (9 comments total)
This is very bad.
posted by mr_roboto at 7:19 PM on August 12, 2005

posted by breath at 8:04 PM on August 12, 2005

Thank you so much for this post. You've taken breaking (and very sad) news and given it smart context. I haven't been following Sri Lanka at all, but you've helped bring me up to speed while demonstrating to all the one-link newsfilter jerks exactly how to turn breaking news into an interesting post. Thanks again.
posted by mediareport at 8:07 PM on August 12, 2005

I agree with mediareport. Thank you for this post, I've been engrossed with the links for the last twenty minutes and I cannot believe the tense situation in Sri Lanka. I've heard of the LTTE before, but never in such a negative context (probably my own error in judgement). It's very upsetting that Lakshman Kadirgamar was assasinated given that he was a strong advocate for peace in the region.

posted by purephase at 9:11 PM on August 12, 2005

Alas, it's not online, but Philip Gourevitch wrote a great article in the New Yorker a couple of weeks ago assessing the current conflict. Recommended if you want to get up to speed relatively quickly.

posted by Vidiot at 11:48 PM on August 12, 2005

Good post. Bad situation. I hope it can, somehow, not devolve into yet more brutality.
posted by teece at 12:11 AM on August 13, 2005

Thanks for the feedback.

I might not have linked to enough articles on the subject, but I didn't want to suggest one way or the other that the LTTE are bad or good -- things are never that simple. Whatever your opinions of the Tamil Tiger are, they are the popular voice of the Tamil people. That said, it is important to understand that they are not infaliable.

The first link, to The Broken Palmyra, is worth reading for anyone interested in Sri Lanka. It is probably one of the most detailed accounts of the ugly side of the war going on. One of the authors was killed for her work on the matter.

If you want to get a taste for the sort of racism that fuels the war, read through LankaWeb. I find the writing on the site scary.
posted by chunking express at 12:42 AM on August 13, 2005

Thanks very much for the post chunking express. It's a very sad development and the irony of Lakshman Kadirgamar being a Tamil himself just magnifies the feeling of senselessness. I had been quite optimistic over the last couple of years with the progression of the Norwegian mediated peace talks. I recall that there was even an opening of the road to Jaffna (I think?) which had been basically a no-pass zone for so many years.

I was there in the late 80's for a few months and was actually in Colombo when the bus station was bombed. And although the civil war was the major conversation topic I was very impressed with the basic nature of the Sinhalese people (and I don't mention this as an oblique swipe at the Tamils - it was just that obviously I didn't get much opportunity to meet many of them. I had bought a motorcycle and actually ran a military roadblock in an attempt to get through to Batticoloa without success -- more military patrols in the way) whom I came to regard as the most friendly and gentle people it has ever been my privilege to encounter.

And of course this latest development will just compound problems for the regular folk - it will again put a dampener on the much needed tourist dollar/yen/euro. Not to mention the continuing hardships caused by the tsunami. One can but hope for a way back..
posted by peacay at 9:01 AM on August 13, 2005

Oh, I note that the Tamil Tiger leadership are denying that they were involved in the assassination. And Tamilnet reports that 2 people (Tamil), owners of the residence where the sniper was said to be located, were arrested - they too deny involvement.
posted by peacay at 9:13 AM on August 13, 2005

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