The Sri Lankan Blogosphere is reacting strongly to the recent move by the authorities to evacuate some Tamil people in Colombo. A lot of blogs have expressed anger and rage at the government's actions, while others have attempted to understand the reasons for this move. Another debate appears to if this is a form of ethnic cleansing or sheer ineptness on part of the government. From Kumar Rupesinghe
More than 300 Tamils who live in lodges in Colombo suburbs have been forcibly evacuated by the Sri Lankan Police, after a massive search operation in the Wellawatte, Kotahena, Pettah and Wattala areas in the morning of 7th June. According to news reports, 47 Tamils were forcefully taken from a single lodge located in Station Road in Wellawatte. Another lodge in the area reported 35 arrests by the Police.
A Janusis asks pertinent questions about why there was utter lack of diplomacy surrounding the events. The author further points out to what appears to upset the bloggers, and sums it up with the post title “Colombo being cleansed by the filthy?”.
It is such an obvious move of desperation that I wonder if we might have to conduct tuition classes in diplomacy for our politicians. It is like stubbing your toe on a rock and then kicking the rock because you are mad at it. No terrorist is going to base himself in such obvious locations for instance, and you can’t abuse bus loads of people solely because you might assume one of them is dangerous.
True Sri Lankan points out that while the Supreme Court in Sri Lanka has stayed the evictions, the government's powers may be unstoppable because of the Emergency regulations. The blogger highlights the fact that through the years of the conflict, no side has emerged as having defeated the other, and that peace can be established through a settlement, instead of violence. ..In Science We Trust says that it's all a part of Sri Lankan mentality, and that it may not be ethnic cleaning, but it is “just plain stupidity by a bunch of idiot policy makers”.
Lanka Libertarian opposes the government's move, but feels that the media (in this case a journalist from Reuters) has misrepresented the case by calling it ethnic cleansing.
this racist also quotes an (as in one) unnamed(!) analyst saying that eviction of 376 tamils without identification and without any reason to be in colombo, is equivalent to ethnic cleansing. nowhere does he mention the fact that hundreds of thousands of tamils live in colombo. and that only real case of ethnic cleansing in sri lanka was carried out by ltte terrorists in north where presently almost 100% of the population is tamil.
A Voice In Colombo feels that all parties involved may be over reacting. From the police who evicted the people from the lodges, to bloggers who oppose the evictions.
All these stupid acts by the police (and other parties involved) create gold mines for those who supporting the terrorist. They take this as a great opportunity to justify their support to the LTTE. Pro LTTE parliamentarians, the usual network of peacenik bloggers are jumping up in the air, in the rejoice of finding this great opportunity given by the government.
Lanka Whistle-Blower offers his apologies to the Tamil Community. According to the blogger, while security concerns are real and present, there are appropriate ways and means to tackle the same. Further, “However, rounding up of people like this based on the sole criteria of race marks a new low in this conflict that has marred post-independent Sri Lanka. “. Mahasen offers his views, “What do they do here? If they aren't working or learning, why are they in Colombo for months? How and on what do they spend their time?”. Words of Wisdom wonders if they'll target Tamils living permanently in Colombo next.
Ravana pinpoints the current situation in Sri Lanka and says “The root of Sri Lanka’s problems is disregard for human rights. For me, it really is that simple.”. An article at groundviews says that this act is the government's arrogance at its peak, and questions the need to possess a legitimate reason to stay in Colombo.
A Tamil is expected to possess a ‘legitimate reason’ to stay in Colombo, which may include attending university, doing a job etc. Otherwise he does not have any business to be in Colombo. Even those who can stay in Colombo are expected to possess sufficient reason to be on the streets. The question “Kohitha Yanne?” strikes at the rock bottom of our freedom and fundamental rights. It wont be acceptable to provide answers in the likes of “off to the beach side to get some fresh air” to this Kohithe Yanne question. That definitely can’t be a ‘good’ reason to be on the streets.
Scourge! highlights the importance of a compromise and points out that this war cannot be ended militarily. Indi.ca, in a post titled “Shame” expresses that war and conflict only strengthen the LTTE. The blogger further says
Prima facie, this is wrong. It is wrong for a government to abuse its citizens so. Strategically, this is foolhardy. It runs directly contrary to the goal of a united Sri Lanka and reconciliation. Consecutive governments ahave asked us to sacrifice human rights, press freedom, freedom of speech, freedom of movement, and freedom in general for this struggle.