Sri Lanka and the Tamils (and Israel)

I am going to take a risk here and say a few words about the endgame going on in Sri Lanka (Ceylon) at the moment. Sri Lanka is a large island just South of India with nearly 20 million people living there. Most Sri Lankans are an ethnic group known as the Sinhalese but in the far North is a minority of Indian affinity called Tamils, some relatively recent arrivals from India and some of more ancient origin. Most of the world's Tamils live just North of Sri Lanka in the Indian State of Tamil Nadu. Tamils have a civilization going back over 2,000 years and the ones in Sri Lanka felt that the Sinhalese did not treat them with due respect. They were more prosperous than the Tamils in India, however, so they accepted the status quo, with very few escaping the Sinhalese "oppression" by taking the 20 mile journey across the Palk strait to Tamil Nadu. Then along came some far Leftist creators of trouble who whipped up feelings of grievance among the Sri Lankan Tamils and thus the Tamil Tigers were born: Communist "nationalists" much like Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam or Stalin during WWII.

What the Tigers demanded was "eelam" -- a homeland for Tamils in Sri Lanka independent of the rest of Sri Lanka. That they already had a homeland just across the strait in the Indian State of Tamil Nadu was ignored. But the Sinhalese did not like the idea of losing part of their island at all -- particularly to a hostile Communist regime. They wanted Sri Lanka to remain united. But for 30 years they negotiated with the Tigers off and on in the hope of finding a peaceful solution. At one time they even allowed an Indian "peacekeeping" force into their island to stand between them and the Tigers. All they got was terrorism in return. The suicide belt is a Tamil invention. And all India got was the assassination of their Prime Minister by a Tamil. There is a great deal of sympathy for the Sri Lankan Tamils in the Indian State of Tamil Nadu but the Tigers threw away any prospect of Indian support by their viciousness.

So in the end all patience was exhausted and the Sinhalese accepted aid from China which enabled them to move from containing the Tamils towards an all out military solution -- gradually grinding the Tigers down to nothingness. And that is now just about all done. It proved to be the only way to peace and to rescue the ordinary Tamil population from the tyranny of the Tigers. All very sad -- particularly because it shows how Israel's patience must run out one day too. Sometimes peace can NOT be gained by talk. Neville Chamberlain found that out. Sometimes the enemy can only be destroyed. 30 years! Just remember that! The Sinhalese negotiated for 30 years before they decided that they had to wipe the Tigers out if they wanted peace. One is reminded of Bismarck's much reviled but sadly true dictum: "Not through speeches and majority decisions will the great questions of the day be decided - but by iron and blood".

Israel has now been negotiating with the Arabs for around 60 years and it is not presently foreseeable that they will treat Gaza the way the Sinhalese eventually treated the Tamil enclave. But "transfer" (deportation) of recalcitrant Arab populations to other countries has long been discussed in Israel so could become a majority view who knows when? So it is no wonder that the two Arab countries which have peace treaties with Israel are Egypt and Jordan. Because they are the two neighboring countries which have historic and quite recent ties with the Gazans and the West Bank Arabs and into which the Gazans and the West Bank Arabs could be expelled. But they don't want the "Palestinians" either. But Syria remains foolishly hostile. In the 19th century the Arab population of what is now Israel was described as Syrian. So the Syrians could reasonably be expected to welcome their Arab brothers back, could they not? The Arab countries expelled or forced out their Jewish populations so why should the Jews not expel their Arab population?

Posted by John Ray. For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see TONGUE-TIED. Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me (John Ray) here

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