19 May 2009

The endless cycle

So ... the long civil war in Sri Lanka is apparently over, with military victory of the government over the LTTE (Tamil Tigers) insurgency.

No tears for the LTTE, which has shown the worst excesses of human rights abuse over its quarter century campaign. But let's not forget, in the shadow of that blight, that the government has its own grim history of abuses. Nor the tens of thousands dead, nor hundreds of thousands injured and displaced.

And let's not forget, in the longer term, that the origin of this human disaster lay (as it almost always does) in repression and injustice. Unless the Tamil population are, in the aftermath of military victory, embraced as full and equal parts of a single civil society, their legitimate grievances fully and effectively addressed, the whole cycle will just start over again.

Always and everywhere, if "we" push "them" to the point of desperation where "they" take up arms against "us", then "we" carry much of the burden of responsibility for what follows.

No comments: