I strongly advise anyone feeling giddy about the turn of events in Sri Lanka to hold on to the champagne a little longer — a few decades, to be more precise. The government may have crushed the LTTE, but that will not bring peace. It will simply silence the guns until a new generation of Tamil insurgents grows up to carry on the struggle.
It’s worth remembering that, incredible as it may sound, this all started over language in the 50s. That it spawned a 26-year war and one of the world’s most vicious terrorist groups and turned a fledgling democracy into a police state can be squarely blamed on politicians on both sides. Today, there is even less chance for a military solution to the problem than there was in th early 80s when the first bombs went off. The grievances of the 50s were but minor niggles compared to the bitterness felt by the Tamils after years of killing and neglect. And if you believe the Colombo government is about to waste its newly acquired political capital by addressing the losers’ issues, you’re in for a nasty surprise.