Today’s suicide bomb attack in Sri Lanka appears to mark the return to business as usual. It was bad enough that certain officials were targetted by snipers. The resumpton of suicide bombing indicates a disregard for collateral damage– in other words, innocent bystanders.
It must be noted that the LTTE is not alone in its march to war. The government has used paramiltaries, such as TELO and EPDP, to harrass LTTE supporters. Ethnic violence between LTTE-supporters and hard-line Sinhalese groups has increased daily in Trincomalee, and schools are beginning to fill with refugees. There have been reports of Tamils being abducted by the security forces and found dead the next day. The number of disappearances on both sides has increased. While the army has so far been reluctant to re-enter the war directly, there has been plenty of violence conducted on the government’s behalf.
Also the so-called Karuna Faction of the LTTE, the breakaway group that has sided (more or less) with the government, has attacked the LTTE regularly. Led by LTTE’s former top strategist, the Karuna Faction is effective and deadly. The LTTE claims that Karuna is supported and armed by the government, as well as India, but I have not had any independent reports indicating that this is true.
While it is true that Karuna and the government have a common enemy, Karuna’s claim that they arm themselves with captured LTTE weaponry appears (so far) to be true. Nevertheless, today’s bombing indicates a turning point, perhaps a tipping point beyiond which a resumption of war is inevitable. While I offer my condolences to Gen. Fonseka and his family for his grave injuries, my sympathy goes out to the Sinhalese and Tamil civilians, for they are the ones who will bear the brunt of the renewed violence.
And yet the quest for peace is not over. (I pray that it will never be over.) More on that when I have current details on what’s been going on.