Prabhakaran Dead

According to the Army, he was shot dead while trying to escape.

By: on 18 May 2009


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A sharp slap in the face for

A sharp slap in the face for radical Tamils.

Does the death of Prabakaran,

Does the death of Prabakaran, and the "erradication of terrorism" as well as a declaration of the end of war, take away the convenient excuse the Sinhalese people have been giving for a failure to actually do something and work towards a sustainable and just solution for the Tamil people?

That would really be something!

The Tamil people are as much

The Tamil people are as much to be blamed as the Sinhalese.

Unfortunately again the

Unfortunately again the constitutional framework over 60 years of independence cannot really allow the portioning out of equal blame.

I think it would be fair to add that Tamils are not blameless, but the majority community according to powerstructures and the voting system over decades after independence does have to take responsibility, at least for now.  The LTTE and "threat of terrorism" has been a smokescreen used since 1979 (introduction of prevention of terrorism act) that politicians have used to distract this community and unfortunately a significant proportion of the population seemed to have accepted this.

I don't want to whitewash facts with PC speak.

We all need to face these and then try to work with it and yes in the future it is hoped that there will be changes to this.

Censorship of the media has played a huge role in helping politicians hoodwink the Sinhalese people.  Side by side with the corruption of the leaders as well as the buddhist clergy and the symbiotic releationship they have with each other.

Don't forget the British, the

Don't forget the British, the Dutch, the Portguese, and the Indians (and I'm sure the Americans too, though I don't know the specific role).

Ultimately, there is an actual analysis you can develop that looks at the specific factors (poolitical, economic, social, psychological, cultural, military, geopolitical, structural, contingent, etc.), looks at how they have worked, which ones are most reliable, and will help us understand what the main stories are that are accurate.  Boiling it down to 'the Tamils' or 'the Sinhalese' without doing that just makes things worse at a time when really there is no need to inflame.

Actually, even more than

Actually, even more than before, the power ultimately lies in the hands of the sinhalese people with a large population of Tamils literally detained in camps.  And as we know the international community at present does not have much influence on the sinhalese population.  A significant proportion of muslims are also living in camps ( I am not sure of the exact details here.  ie if some are being detained), including those from the so called "liberated" east of Sri lanka.

Apart from the constitution, you have an increasingly millitarised society with more than 90% of the army from the sinhalese population.  So they have fire power too.

Of course the International community can legally intervene if they choose to.  However, they cannot provide a sustainable solution without the backing of the sinhalese people and to a slightly lesser extent the Tamil people (who seem to have asked for international intervention for quite some time).

So to put equal responsibility on Tamils and Sinhalese or think the international community is the answer to the solution ignores the ground realities.

  Prabha's dead body shown on


Prabha's dead body shown on tv....

 the video on you tube is a

 the video on you tube is a complete fake released by the government that much is very sure, however the fact of prabaharans death is still a major debate, if he is dead why has the government posted a fake video and if he is not dead why has he not revealed him self to the public. i believe that coming out so soon could be dangerous for him and staying hidden could account for a suprise attack.

but ks - this is a bit

but ks - this is a bit similar to discussions of the holocaust that focus entirely on jewish victims and omit slavs, lgbt people, the disabled, communists, trade unionists, etc.  How does what you're saying account for, say, the suppression of the JVP or the prohibitions on free journalism?  This doesn't take away from what you're saying in that, yes, Tamil people and Tamil identity have been a focus, an excuse, a primary victim in the political and social setup of Ceylon and now Sri Lanka but how these factors interesect with each other to produce a particular kind of politics is important and I think it would move away from broad generalisations about groups of people both for sensitivity and for accuracy.

For example, if you consider 'sinhalese people' or 'tamil people' as having some agency but at the same time being products of social forces, to what extent can you really attribute responsibility to 'sinhalese people' for the political and social structure that produces sinhala chauvinism and attendant actions?  I know that unlike the recent attacks, the pogroms of the past or other measures can be said to be more socially rooted than governmental action, but still, to what extent is it useful to say that that is 'the sinhalese people' engaging in that? 


I think it would probably be

I think it would probably be like saying the German people and the Jewish/non Aryans etc. or the Turks and Armenians, or the Jews and the Palestinians were equally to blame.

It is true the people of Germany after World War I were beaten, humiliated and were in a desperate situation.  We have the great depression etc. Then Hitler finally gave the Germans some hope.  After this there was censorship and suppression of dissenting voices etc. among the German people as well.  How much say did the Germans have in all this?  In fact they probably had less say, since if I recall they were under a dictatorship.

If any Jews, Gypsies etc survived after the first decade of the holacaust then I wonder if they would have stood back passively if they had a chance to pick up arms.  Then would people have said they were equally to blame?

The JVP situation is quoted frequently by many as equal or greater than the distruction caused to the Tamils mainly because the official body count in the JVP insurection is greater than the official body count after the 30 year war in the North East. People who do cite this insurection are not exposed to or have not had access to the destruction in the North East areas.  The level of destruction by government forces, of hospitals, schools, places of worship, the Jaffna library etc. is unparelled in any other part of the country.   And in the last few decades, blockades were placed against these Tamil areas, restricting access to food, medicines etc. to "fight terrorism".  I suspect continuous war, displacement and restricted access to the North East areas over 30 years, has also reduced the availability of data that would tell a very different story to what we know today.  When someone asked Anton Balasingham, chief advisor to the LTTE, where Tamil Eezham is, if I recall correctly, he said look at all the areas bombed and destroyed in Sri lanka...that is where Tamil eezham is.

Certainly the muslims have suffered tremendously, from both sides after the war started, though there have also been pograms conducted against them in the south by the Sinhalese even before independence.

At present, the "war on terrorism" focuses primarily on the Tamil community ( though in the past, muslims in the area were also targetted as terrorists by the government, since they were part of the Tamil liberation struggle.). The war involving the LTTE was conducted very differently to the one that was conducted against the JVP.  Even the words used were different-the JVP were called "insurgents"...not "terrorists".  (

The term "ethnic outbidding" was used by political analyst Neil Devotta.  Where successive Sri lankan governments gained popularity among the sinhalese majority and attracted votes from this population by "ethnic outbidding"(

Does the death of Prabakaran,

Does the death of Prabakaran, and the "erradication of terrorism" as well as a declaration of the end of war, take away the convenient excuse the Sinhalese people have been giving for a failure to actually do something and work towards a sustainable and just solution for the Tamil people?


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Well if you mean the GoSL and

Well if you mean the GoSL and the politics of Sri Lanka rather than 'the Sinhalese people' then I agree.  There is no excuse any more for violence - the question is really, though, whether its effects are undoable and whether it matters substantively whether the government has an excuse or whether they will be stupid enough to destroy themselves and a lot of other people in the process as they have done in the past - long predating the LTTE.

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