Monday, February 9, 2009

Where it all began

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam--one of the world's most fearsome and aggressive (non-Muslim as well) terrorist organizations--proved its ability to continue its campaign of violence when a female suicide bomber blew herself up among Sri Lankan soldiers who were escorting civilians out of the war-ravaged north on Monday. The media has had a fascination with female suicide attackers in Iraq, but has put almost no emphasis on where the phenomenon originated: Sri Lanka.

Contrary to what may be a popular belief, the use of women as suicide bombers did not begin after the US invaded Iraq or during a stage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It originated in the dark jungles of a remote island in the Indian Ocean, and it continues to this day. The Sri Lankan military has made many strategic gains against LTTE rebels in the island's civil war, but unfortunately, this type of violence may never go away.

Sri Lanka bomber 'kills dozens'

From BBC:

A female Tamil Tiger rebel has blown herself up, killing 28 people and injuring dozens more in the north-east, the Sri Lankan military says.

A military spokesman told the BBC the woman blew herself up as she travelled with civilians fleeing fighting.

He said 20 of those killed in the attack in the Vishwamadu area of Mullaitivu district were soldiers. The rebels have made no comment yet.

Thousands of civilians have fled the fighting over the past few days.

Military spokesman Brig Udaya Nanayakkara told the BBC: "[The civilians] were coming to an area where there were security forces. A woman in that group blew herself up when she was being checked by female soldiers."

Brig Nanayakkara said 20 soldiers, including three women, were killed along with eight civilians. About 50 troops and 40 civilians, mostly women and children, were hurt, he said.

The injured, Brig Nanayakkara said, were being evacuated to hospitals in the area.

State television showed footage of the bodies of civilians lying on bloodstained ground in Vishwamadu.

The United Nations said it deplored the attack. Resident coordinator Neil Buhne said: "It's a blow for people who have suffered so much."

The rest of the story can be read here

6 comments:

Iraqi Mojo said...

Interesting post. I did not know the Tamil Tigers were so ruthless and were responsible for half the suicide bombings in the world at the time this article was written (2003):

''Of all the suicide-capable terrorist groups we have studied, they are the most ruthless, the most disciplined,'' said Rohan Gunaratna, a research fellow at the Center for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. He said the group was responsible for more than half of the suicide attacks carried out worldwide.'

I think that has changed with the number of suicide bombings in Iraq in the last 5 years.

Jake said...

Shows some of the media bias, especially here in the states. But this is sad to hear. What do these women think is waiting for them in the afterlife that they will blow themselves up this way? I makes no sense to me.

C.H. said...

Mojo,

I think you are correct...but the LTTE has still carried out more suicide attacks involving women than any other group on earth. They are also the only terrorist group to have assassinated a sitting head of state.

Jake,

the interesting thing is that the LTTE is a secular group...they are willing to kill themselves solely for their cause or for their leader, Vellupillai Prabhakaran. Its really kind of creepy...Prabhakaran usually grants suicidal recruits a personal meal with him before they are sent to the front lines to blow themselves up.

Average American said...

As with any suicide, life has to have lost all meaning. To be so desperate that suicide is the answer probably won't be understood by the sane among us---ever. Once they accept suicide, it must be real easy to want to take others with you.

C.H. said...

Yes AA, Prabhakaran (and most terrorist leaders) will prey on people who are already struggling with their lives. Although, the LTTE has some very specific guidlines for what a potential suicide bomber must be like.

Entropy said...

Although I don't condone what the Tamils have done, there is a LOT more to this situation than just "an insurgency".

For more than 40 years there has been systematic discrimination by the Sinhalese against the Tamils in regards to government. While the British were in power, the employed both Tamils and Sinhalese with some slight bias towards the Tamils. The reasoning for this was that the Tamils worked harder at their jobs.

When the British left, the Sinhalese systematically removed all Tamils within the government and didn't hire them; instead choosing more Sinhalese bureaucrats who knew how to do nothing and got paid for doing it. The Tamils couldn't /do/ anything.

Whenever the government's "democratic" elections were called, magically the Sinhalese high ups declared a state of emergency over "Tamil insurgents" and magically they could postpone elections. In this way Ceylon could appear as democratic, but it effect it was not.

Increasing since the 80s and 90s, the Sinhalese-dominated government decided the best way to deal with the "insurgents" was to round up all ethic Tamils into camps.

Frankly, I sympathize with the Tamils to a degree, because at least when the British were around things stayed in repair and worked. One would only need to look as far as the artificial water reserves for an obvious example. Every time a tank "breaks" they call it a Tamil strike and use it as ammunition to fight fiercer yet.

Funny what they don't report in the news sometimes eh?