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
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
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".
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
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
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
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
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
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.