To Sri Lanka, with love

To Sri Lanka, with love
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First Published: Fri, May 01 2009. 12 48 AM IST
Updated: Fri, May 01 2009. 12 48 AM IST
Ramayan’s almost over when someone asks: Who is Ram? That’s what’s happening in Sri Lanka.
Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government has wiped out the Tamil Tigers and the West has finally awakened to the plight of civilians.
The Times of London reports that the US is threatening to block a $1.9 billion (nearly Rs10,000 crore) emergency loan from the International Monetary Fund to Sri Lanka. The West is reluctant to help Sri Lanka ostensibly because of human rights concerns. But with Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) chief V. Prabhakaran on the run, this fight is on the home stretch. It’s a little too late to use “moral suasion” to direct Sri Lankan military policy.
There is, of course, more to it than meets the eye. President Rajapaksa, who doesn’t want to be lectured by the West, has pricked egos in London and Washington by rebuffing their appeals. Now Sri Lanka’s hard-won victory against the LTTE is being hindered. In contrast, the West is happy to give multiple lifelines to Pakistan for its half-hearted attempts against terrorism.
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First Published: Fri, May 01 2009. 12 48 AM IST