- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 13, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

LETTER TO THE EDITOR:

Congratulations on your bold editorial “Tigers at bay” (April 26). The civilized world applauds your valiant effort at presenting the perspective of a sovereign nation battling a group of terrorists for more than a quarter-century. You hit the nail on the head when describing the Tamil Tigers as “one of the world’s most violent terrorist outfits.” On Jan. 10, 2008, the FBI said that “the Tamil Tigers are among the most dangerous and deadly extremists in the world.”

Why is the international community not pressuring the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to release civilian hostages? Asking Sri Lanka to cease fire and allow the LTTE to surrender to a third party is not feasible. Few countries have bent over backward to negotiate peace with a terrorist group the way Sri Lanka has - since 1985. Six sets of peace talks, under different leaders, ended with the Tigers walking away on flimsy excuses. At no point during any peace talks were the Tigers willing to discuss substantive issues to further the cause of peace. History shows that the Tigers always take refuge in cease-fires and peace talks to regroup when they are cornered. Each time they manipulated Sri Lanka’s desire for peace and democracy in order to rebuild and recruit. They abandon peace talks, without a qualm, when they are ready. The international community has not learned from history. However, Sri Lanka has learned bitter lessons from trusting terrorists, not once, but six times.

Peace and the dividends of peace will come only if terrorism is vanquished. Sri Lanka’s security forces are engaged in ridding the country of the last vestiges of Tiger control and winning back freedom and democracy. The democratic world needs to support and help Sri Lanka now.

ROHAN BANDARA



Bethesda

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