Monday, May 18, 2009

And its Game Over

Well, if you are a typical American you probably missed this. But the world's longest running insurgency has finally been crushed. The commander, founder and singular reason it ran so long of the Tamil Tigers was killed by Sri Lankan Army forces this morning (our time anyway) and the last 300 meters of Tamil Tiger controlled ground was taken. For the first time in nearly 30 years the Sri Lankan government controls all of its territory.

This is awesome. The TT were a bunch of rat bastards. By that I mean that they were mean, motivated and tough as hell. And also, they were just nasty people, especially towards the end when they were herding the people they were supposed to be "protecting" into zone to use as human shields while they had Tamil Immigrant groups in Europe protesting to have the EU stop the government advance.

Several observations. One, time length was LONG. Folks, this is insurgency. Long, unpleasant and nasty. Also expensive. If you are a typical yank and you want a nice clean and quick solution to these problems, do us all a favor and leave the pool as it is adult swim time. Two, the British have again proven how far they have fallen. The end of the world's longest insurgency and Britain's first statement was about "disturbing" reports of human rights violations by the army and "possibly" by the TTs. Yeah, this is why no one really listens to England much anymore. The SL government then sat back and let a mob nearly overrun the British embassy and when they complained the response was "Sorry, celebrations got out of hand. It happens when you WIN."

Let them cheer, they have earned it. And England can shut its gob on this, SL deserves its moment of triumph. They won without any help so let them cheer.

I have been following this fight since I was in high school. It, along with Angolia and UNITA, were some of the first real-politic situations I ever studied. I honestly never thought it would end like this with such a absolute victory.


  1. Yeah, no kidding; those bastards deserved to've been strung up ages ago. Big kudos to the S.L. gov't indeed!

  2. You'll have to forgive my ignorance on this next question, but I honestly don't know.
    How exactly did this insurgency manage to survive this long? Were they foreign supported or did the SL govt. lack the political will to defeat them? Or was it recent events that turned the tide?
    I've been following this only over the past 7 years, so my knowledge of the movement is very limited. It seems it was more recent events that led to their downfall, but again, I'm puzzled when you mention the 25 year span.

    If I would be better served reading some links - please point me in the right direction.

  3. Indeed, this was a long time coming. Part of the problem for the government of Sri Lanka was the the Tamils recieved all kinds of support - including arms smuggling - from their ethnic kin in southern India. Another was that it took the Sri Lankan Army a long time to find its feet in a tactical/operational/leadership sense. I personally know people who worked as military instructors there in the 90's and they said that the SRA had a lot to learn. In addition, the LTTE was sharp; good, well-armed and highly motivated fighters who were willing to fight to the death.

    Let's hope that the country can rebuild and that the different ethnic groups will learn to coexsist.

  4. Jon hit it. Lots of arms smuggling, plus early on India heavily supported them. But the TT turned on them, eventually assissinating a Prime Minister. That and they were really around the bend. Suicidial doesn't quite do them justice. Plus the leader was seriously hard core and in complete control. Which is why his death is so key, this is a movement that will very likely die if the head is killed. And the main leader and his entire staff and his sons have been killed.

  5. Now I undertand much better how this movement survived. Thanks for the additional details.