Hype Dark logo
Back to Politics Home
The warped logic behind the London demonstrations
10:33 pm on Sun 12th Apr by SriLankan
Today in London we witnessed one of the largest demonstrations we have seen against the Sri Lankan government's ongoing war against the LTTE. My thoughts on those demonstrations, as a moderate Sinhalese who is more often than not highly critical of the actions of the Sri Lankan government, are as follows, and in my argument I make a single assumption: that the sole concern of such demonstrations is to prevent the further deaths of innocent civilians caught in the crossfire.

First, I would like to say that yes, we see your point. We see the news, the youtube videos, and the pictures of the hundreds of innocent civilians who are caught in the cross fire. As a Sri Lankan, I too am appalled by the deaths of my fellow countrymen.

But such demonstrations demanding that the Sri Lankan govt. immediately agree to a ceasefire are misplaced.

It is widely acknowledged that these innocent civilians are being held as human shields by the LTTE itself. This has been confirmed by various International Agencies which have been providing humanitarian assistance in the area. In fact, the United Nations has repeatedly called on the LTTE to cease using innocent civilians as human shields, and just today, the Co-Chairs comprising of the likes of Japan and the EU have also followed suit. Thus, I think it fair to say that there is credible evidence that those innocent civilians are being held against their will by the LTTE.

If that be the case, then isn't the more logical course of action for all those who are concerned about the deaths of these innocent civilians to call for the LTTE to cease this cruel practice? If, as the claim is, the foremost concern is the safety of those innocent civilians, then should not the rallies, the hunger strikes, and the incessant chanting be channelled towards convincing the top brass of the LTTE to let those innocents leave the war zone, so that the LTTE can face the Sri Lankan Army on its own? (without the help of innocent women and children?)

It is indisputable that the Sri Lankan government is winning this war. Any military analyst will know that the only reason the LTTE continues to fight today is because it continues to use innocent civilians as human shields. The LTTE, which claims to fight for the Thamil people, are more than willing to sacrifice the lives of those very people simply to save themselves from defeat. If one has the interests of those innocent civilians as their sole concern in calling for a ceasefire, then how can it be that the demand is against the Sri Lankan government to call a ceasefire, and not for the LTTE to cease its cowardly practice of using innocent women and children to save itself from defeat? And regrettably, if that is not one of the demands, then the only logical conclusion one can make is that such demonstrators are seeking the survival of the LTTE under the pretext of saving the innocent Sri Lankans that are caught in the crossfire a most alarming conclusion.

To put an end to collateral damage, one needs to put an end to the war. To put an end to the war, mere demonstrations about collateral damage will not suffice. It did not bear fruit with the Israel/Palestine conflict, and it will not do so here. Instead, one needs to address the underlying problem that is the cause of the war. The cause of the war is a terrorist organisation seeking a separate state, an aim that is unsurprisingly unacceptable to a sovereign nation. But if that organisation were to recognize that continued fighting simply places the lives of thousands of innocent civilians it claims to represent at the risk of death, and release those civilians from their clutches, this war would end tomorrow, and consequently, the end of collateral damage would follow. There would be no more gunfire; there would be no more death.

A few concluding words to a rational thinker: if you claim to solely have the interests of the innocent civilians caught in the crossfire at heart, then it is only logical that you take the course of action that is most likely to prevent further innocent deaths. The LTTE is 95% militarily defeated, and they will not come back from this. If that be the case, then is it reasonable to ask the imminent victor to cease the war? Instead, is it so unreasonable to ask for the LTTE to release these civilians and ensure their safety?

No comments yet
No comments yet!

Comments have been disabled. You can probably comment on this post on Geek On A Bicycle.

"The end move in politics is always to pick up a gun." - R. Buckminster Fuller