Legitimate struggles are branded as terrorism!

- The Sudar Oli Editorial

(August 07, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Colombo declaration by the leaders of the SARRC countries vouching to eliminate terrorism in the South Asian region appears to be a matter of insignificance, since it fails to address its mind to the root cause of terrorism. It is like curing the symptom rather than the disease. This declaration of war against terrorism has been made following strategies to brand legitimate and just struggles of minorities as terrorism. State terrorism that unleashes oppression and violence to put down legitimate struggles has not been considered by these leaders.

The leaders of the 8 countries have failed to see the justice in the freedom fight in member countries such as Sri Lanka to get their basic rights. Tamil National Alliance has been critical of the SARRC leaders for articulating against terrorism while ignoring the human rights violations.

Even political observers of the calibre of Jehan Perera, have pointed out this. He points out that Indian PM Dr.Manmohan Singh, Pakistan PM Yousef Raza Jilani and president Rajapakse have urged for collective action to rid the region of the scourge of terrorism.

However, the reality is that behind many of the episodes of terror and human rights violations, are ethnic and religious grievances that cannot be resolved by solely relying on police and military actions, he has explained. He has quoted that this is the case in places such as north-east of Sri Lanka, north east of India and eastern hills of Bangladesh.

It is, therefore, apparent that these SARRC leaders, who identify terrorism as the common problem in the south Asian region, fail to grasp the cause - ethnic and religious grievances.

It is also apparent that these SARRC leaders lack vision and political will to resolve these issues. While, the international community is concerned about finding an apt definition to the word terrorism, this word is bandied about by the leaders of the SARRC countries without grasping the problem in the right perspective.

( An English translation of the Editorial in The Sudar Oli, a Tamil daily based in Colombo)
- Sri Lanka Guardian