Last night there has been an ‘incitement’ incident and The Toronto Star carries this report:
As many as 5,000 demonstrators reacted angrily this afternoon as a small airplane circled Queen's Park with a banner that proclaimed: "Protect Canada Stop Tamil Tigers."
The message incensed the crowd and the protesters started chanting more loudly.
Members of the Tamil community began forming a human chain in the shape of a semi-circle around the edge of the front lawn of Queen's Park at around noon today as part of a series of roving protests designed to draw attention to the situation in Sri Lanka, which the United Nations has referred to as a "bloodbath."
"It's not a smart thing to do," said Staff Inspector Don Campbell of the circling aircraft."All it's doing is fueling the crowd, its inciting them." Campbell said efforts are being made to contact the pilot.
The Tamil community continues to suggest they are protesting in order to pressure the Canadian government to stop the ‘genocide’ and killing of civilian non-combatants in the Tamil Tiger controlled area of Sri Lanka. Short of demanding Canadian troops be sent in to battle both sides I am at a loss to understand what the government could do.
I don’t have a dog in this fight but I am increasingly puzzled as to what the Tamil protestors expect the Canadian government to accomplish when logic dictates it would be far more productive to be ringing the embassies, trade missions and consulates of the Iranians, Russians, Chinese and Japanese governments with protests since it these governments who do have considerable influence with the Sri Lankan government. But by all means, continue your protests at Queen’s Park.
Photo Pawel Dwulit/Toronto Star
Great pains in the media have been consistently suggesting the Canadian Tamil protests are not to save the Tamil Tiger terrorist organization from certain and final defeat by the Sri Lankan government forces, but then why is a banner flown above the crowd “Protect Canada Stop Tamil Tigers’ considered ‘incitement’?
While most reports are quick to point out the UN has called the current war a ‘bloodbath’ and while I won’t for a minute suggest this civil war (or any war) isn’t one of the ugliest a human can devise or imagine; what surprises me is why I do not hear the Tamil community demanding the Tamil Tigers lay down their arms and surrender – if for no other reason than to spare non-combatant lies.
If anything, what I do see is the flag of the Tamil Tigers, and the face of Tamil Tiger leader prominently displayed. I read accounts from the organizers of the Tamil protests that they want the Canadian government to pressure the Sri Lankan government into accepting a ceasefire with a terrorist organization.
At this point, I am again going to quote the War Nerd (and before anyone groans, he was a big Tamil Tiger fan – so there)
We also don't get nice, crisp starts and endings to wars any more. That seems to bother a lot of people, because a lot of readers wrote me asking why the peace treaty in Sri Lanka between the Government and the Tamil Tigers broke down. That's like asking why a Yugo breaks down. It breaks down because that's what Yugos DO.
Like I said in my earlier column on the LTTE, these treaties between governments and guerrilla armies are just a time-out, not the end of the game. Usually, neither side expects them to last, or even wants them to. In fact, the only suckers gullible enough to think they're really solving the problem are the do-gooder Jimmy Carters and Scandinavian diplomats who broker the treaties.
In Sri Lanka, it was the Norwegians who dragged the Tamil guerrillas and Sinhalese government to the table and got them to sign on the olive-branch line. I guess that's what Norwegians do now that going a-Viking ain't an option: sail the seven seas ruthlessly imposing peace treaties with a half-life shorter than some subatomic particles. I bet the Sri Lankans went screaming, fleeing for the hills, when they sighted the dreaded Norwegian banner flying from the mast of some bio-diesel powered Green Peace-frigate carrying Norwegian mediators into the harbor. "Help! Foreign invaders trying to impose peace!"
Eventually, though, feuding tribes like the Tamil and Sinhalese figure out they've got nothing to fear from signing the pieces of paper these blond busybodies shove in front of them, because the EU's guilt-ridden bureaucrats will shovel money at you if you go through the peace-making motions for the press.
Before the ink is dry on the treaty you've got Airbuses full of rice and penicillin darkening the skies. All for free, or rather for profit, because the locals never see any of it. It goes straight into the carefully-guarded warehouses of the guerrillas' wholesale operations. Every guerrilla movement that lasts past its first manifesto has some very cool heads running things behind the scenes, and the most carefully run, orderly places in the country, sometimes the ONLY spic'n'span interiors in town, are the secret storage depots where the Movement keeps all its donated food, meds and weapons.
There's another reason these treaties don't last: hate momentum. That's what I call it anyway. See, people have the wrong idea; they think "violence" starts when the insurgents set off their first bomb. It doesn't work that way. That's just when the violence first makes the press. There was ALWAYS violence in these places, lots of violence. But as long as the government is strong enough to dish it out, nobody notices. When the people getting zapped non-stop suddenly start zapping back, suddenly it's a "man bites dog" story, a big turnaround, and every TV channel in the world is on the story.
So my question becomes - what would make this ceasefire from all the other ceasefires the Sri Lankan government and the Tamil Tigers have already entered into? Frankly, I can see no evidence or any proof that a ceasefire will accomplish anything other than allowing the Tamil Tigers to survive as an organization with sufficient breathing room to recoup their losses until the fight moves to the next round and it begins all over again.
While I won’t suggest the Sri Lankan government is blameless or absolve it of any sins; the Tamil Tigers are a horrendous terrorist militant group which does grave injustice to all concerned. The sooner the Tamil Tiger movement dies, the sooner Sri Lankans from all communities can heal themselves and pursuit legal civil remedies for all injustice for all Sri Lankans - regardless of ethnicity.