Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Day Two - Part I

iPhone says wrong time.  Digital clock in room says wrong time.  I'm on unknown time.
Classy hotel with classy breakfast.  I opted for Sri Lanka fare: watermelon juice, fruit platter, and coconut sambol (not to be confused with 'sambool' which is arabic for a penis that can't urinate).  All very good, fiery and a nice change from normal breakfast of ... nothing.
A copy in English of the Daily Mirror was a great intro to Lankan politics.  Today's headings included: "No one can attack SL" (now that a new airport has been opened); "Another Lankan monk assaulted in Chennai' (some suspected pro-LTTE cadres yesterday assaulted a Buddhist priest); 'GTF circulating doctored war crimes photos'.
This last one was the most interesting (although I did like the quote on the front page: "Aviation is not something new to Sri Lankans.  They have been aware of aviation long before Western nations thought of aviation, which is a prestige to the country" - President Mahinda Rajapaksa).
According to writer Supuin Dias, "The military said yesterday that the Global Tamil Forum (GTF) was circulating pictures of alleged war crimes."  The article goes on to explain that "The GTF is an organization that emerged in early 2010 as a result of an initiative by the British Tamil Forum and has its objective the establishment of Eelam or separate state in Sri Lanka on the pretext of fighting for justice for alleged war crimes against Tamils in Sri Lanka."
So begin the stories.
"The GTF which mostly consists of Tamil expatriates who have not visited Sri Lanka for many years," writes Dias.
Tamils are less than 10% of Sri Lanka's population.  Clearly there is an ongoing perception that Tamils threaten peacetime in Sri Lanka - not necessarily from within the country, but from outside where they can "obtain the support of a few local political personalities." (Dias).
Day one, and already the international politics seems both more complex and clearer.

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