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LTTE suicide bomb and its justification

It was not long ago that a Tamil intellectual came forward in defence of child soldiers on the eve of Dr.Radhila Coomaraswamy taking up her new appointment as UN Special Representative on Children in Armed Conflict.

On that occasion (April 1 st, 2006) I asked through my writing in the media the question if the person concerned was issuing a warning to the new UN envoy. To put it short, the intellectual argued the justification of the case of child soldiers on grounds of the need to meet the disparity in numbers available to the LTTE. Like Mr. Balasingham at Geneva, he quoted the case of use of children by British and the U.S. governments till recently.

Commenting on the "Non-Oscar" Film "Paradise Now," the narrative of a collaborator's son, by Hany Abu Asad which was screened at ICES Auditorium on 28 th April (see commentary in the Sunday Times of May 7th 2006) Jani de Silva pointed to the Palestinian situation depicted in the film which revolved around a Palestinian suicide bomber, a son of a "collaborator" as essentially a dilemma of those who are left behind, after the martyrs and the collaborators have destroyed themselves, one way or the other.

He observed that the "militant leader in the film to whom the suicide bomber reported (his failure to carry out the assignment) offering a "simpler and cruder justification for the order to deploy suicide bombers. The justification was because they did not have bomber airplanes.

The suicide bomber was the bomber airplane of the occupied (in Palestine)". The collaborator's son offered a different argument, however: his "emotional need to vindicate his father's shame (of being a collaborator for the Israeli occupiers), by subjecting the occupiers to confront his shattered body, in its corporeality".

War lords

I have asked elsewhere if our script writers and film directors who go seeking Oscars leaving reality behind would ever produce a film like the one done by Abu Asad revolving round the Palestinian suicide bomber even when suicide bombing is a far more common feature in the Sun God (Prabakaran)'s arsenal? This critique is not confined to the film world.

This week a correspondent asked if some of our media personalities like the one who walked away when a State Minister arrived at a function, in protest against the attack on Udayan as if the blame for that was on the government (Did the SLMM spokesperson who is yet to understand who was the suicide bomber who exploded in front of the Army Commander's vehicle killing ten other persons give him that idea?), if the media personalities would do so from at a Press conference at Kilinochchi organised by the LTTE or even ask any questions but just listen.

That is our tragedy. So many player's kicking into one's own goal shielding under the cover of independent art and journalism. It is a different matter with the NGO vallas financed by big money with stakes in the issue.

Be it as it may, what is the LTTE's justification for the use of the human bomber? Recently, an extremist Hamas leader claimed the suicide bomb as a birth right (of Palestinians?). Or, did he mean it to be universal.

Now, on LTTE's use of the human bomber in the attempt to assassinate the Army Commander Lt.General Sarath Fonseka, questions are being raised about the use of a pregnant woman for that purpose, in total disregard to motherhood by the LTTE and the silence of Womens' Rights Campaigners, Human Right Campaigners and other NGO vallas. Has the LTTE financial empire backed by the international financiers of the LTTE been successful in keeping these lobbies silent?

Before one goes to analyse this specific case of the use of a suspected pregnant woman one must look for other justifications for the human bomb used by the LTTE in general, as Abu Asad did in the case of the Palestinian bombers. Even there, one sees different approaches to understanding the motivating factor behind the suicide bombers.

This is something that government intelligence must look into in addition to going into individual cases, some purely to justify security lapses on the part of the security establishment, which seems me what is at the bottom of the direction that the investigations are now following.

Like the case of the theoretical justification offered by the Tamil intellectual I referred to above, i.e., getting maximum possible manpower for its (LTTE's) resistance' used in defence of the LTTE use of child soldiers, one might find an ideological advocacy for the use of human bombs as well.

For example it should be investigated if the LTTE is using an ideological belief already prevalent in sections of Hindu society of the nobility of `human sacrifice.' as a cult practice, has been revived to meet the political demand of the LTTE in creating the suicide bombers.

As the Time Magazine of July, 29th 2002.observed `Killing for Mother Kali," is practiced even now at one or two Kali temple in West Bengal. The Jaggernath temple in Orissa too was notorious for Kali sacrifices.

Fernao de Queyroz, the 17th century Portuguese chronicler basing his information on Antonio Monis Baretto (1547) who came to the island at the biding of Francis Xavier to convert King Bhuvanekabahu VII to Christanity but who accused the king of making human sacrifices of 300 captives taken in the war against Sitawaka to the Idol of Budum at the temple overlooking Trincomalee harbour shows that the idea of human sacrifices had been prevalent in Trincomalee though the chronicler associates it with the idol of Budum (Avalokitesvara) worshipped there.

The association of the human sacrifice cult with the worship of Buddha cannot be accepted because of Buddha's preaching of abstinence from taking any form of life and secondly, Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva whom the navigators worshipped here (Queyroz) was one known for his compassion.

The human sacrifice here might have taken place in the one of the three temples referred to by Queyroz which was at the closest proximity to the sea from where the chronicler says the heathens sacrificed themselves (jumped) to the Hell below in the belief of being born in heaven as a result of their action.

This may have been a remnant of a Yaksha cult practiced here which King Mahasena (3 rd c.A.D.) tried to eradicate by destroying the (Yakkha) temples (devalayas) and erecting three Buddhist temples.

Obviously, the cult worship continued till the time of the Portuguese and also the British (Alexander Alexander) with renewed vigour as a form of Kali worship mixed up with a Tantric form which were popular in West Bengal around the 13 th century.

Seeking freedom or ?

The prospects of the use of an ancient belief in human sacrifices to motivate LTTE human bombers squads of which were publicly paraded by the LTTE hierarchy behind the iron curtain and pictures of which were issued to the media should draw the attention of human right workers, mother's fronts, and the international community. This is an indication of the level of degeneracy in moral and cultural values to which the LTTE has come to.

It is a matter for immediate international concern and the international community and the so called Co-Chairs would be failing in their obligations if they do not address their mind to remove this terrible monstrosity of human bombers from the midst of Sri Lanka with its ramifications elsewhere as the bombing in London recently points to where it was reported that the suicide kit used showed identical marks to LTTE kits.

How can the Co-Chairs ever think of disbursing part of the U.S.$ 4.5 billion worth of funding into the hands of a ruthless terrorist outfit which has made an open display of the use of the human bomb to cause destruction to civilian life and destabilize a country? How could the Japanese envoy Akashi San or anyone else think of the idea of introducing foreign forces without putting their foot down when they can, to stem the abominable inhuman practice of resorting to the human bomb unless they are prepared to condone the use of (Japanese) Kamikase forces during World War II despite an International Tribunal punishing Japan for war crimes which included these human bomber operations.

 

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