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Generational Dynamics Web Log for 17-Nov-2013
17-Nov-13 World View -- Britain threatens Sri Lanka with war crimes investigation

Web Log - November, 2013

17-Nov-13 World View -- Britain threatens Sri Lanka with war crimes investigation

Pakistan mobilizes army to quell sectarian violence in three cities

This morning's key headlines from

Pakistan mobilizes army to quell sectarian violence in three cities

The army in Rawalpindi on Saturday
The army in Rawalpindi on Saturday

A curfew has been ordered in Rawalpindi, a suburb of Pakistan's capital city Islamabad, after major sectarian clashes on Friday spawned retaliatory violence on Saturday in at least two other cities. Clashes in Rawalpindi on Friday, when a Shia Muslim procession passed by a Sunni mosque. Ten people were killed and dozens injured, forcing the army to intervene and impose a curfew. The clashes appear to have occurred spontaneously and were not triggered by Taliban attacks, as happens in many other cases. However, on Saturday, retaliatory clashes occurred in Rawalpindi and in two cities in southern Pakistan, forcing the army to be called in all of those cases. Daily Times (Pakistan)

Britain's David Cameron threatens Sri Lanka with a war crimes investigation.

Sri Lanka's president Mahinda Rajapaksa rejected the demand by Britain's prime minister David Cameron to conduct an internal war crimes investigation by March, saying, "People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones."

The confrontation occurred in the context of the biannual CHOGM (The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting), being held this year in Sri Lanka. This is the meeting of the leaders of the British Commonwealth of Nations, 53 member nations, mostly former British colonies. The Commonwealth is considered irrelevant by many, but Britain promotes it as a force for world peace and prosperity.

The major controvery about this year's CHOGM was whether it should be held in a country being accused of human rights abuses, stemming from the Sri Lanka civil war that ended in 2009. The leaders of India, Mauritius and Canada are boycotting the event.

Britain's prime minister David Cameron attended CHOGM, but pulled a major publicity stunt. Cameron left the meeting and went to Jaffna, the heart of Tamil territory, to see for himself the conditions under which Tamils continue to live. Cameron said this at a press conference:

"I told President Rajapaksa that there is need for a credible, transparent and independent internal inquiry into the events at the end of the war (against LTTE) by the end of March. If that does not happen I will use our position to move the UN Human Rights Commission and work with the Rights Commissioner for an independent inquiry.

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa was not moved. He fired back:

"It is his view. This is a democracy. He can say whatever he wants. People living in glass houses must not throw stone at others."

Rajapaksa was apparently referring to inquiries into the war in Iraq and into the "Bloody Sunday" massacre in Ireland.

Sri Lanka has very good relations with China and Pakistan, and very poor relations with India. Sri Lanka is expected to side with China in the approaching Clash of Civilization world war, and the island nation will be an important naval base for China. Australian Broadcasting and BBC

Generational analysis of the Sri Lanka civil war

Long-time readers know that I covered the Sri Lanka civil war pretty closely. (See "Sri Lanka appears close to war" from 2006.) The civil war followed the pattern that Generational Dynamics predicts for almost all civil wars.

Indian subcontinent, with the island of Sri Lanka off the southern tip of India.
Indian subcontinent, with the island of Sri Lanka off the southern tip of India.

World War II was a generational crisis war for Ceylon, and the two ethnic groups, the Sinhalese (who are Buddhist) and Tamils (who are Hindu), lived in peace through the generational Recovery era and into the beginning of the generational Awakening era. But as the post-war generation reached adulthood, tensions grew between the two groups, and became very sharp in 1972, , when Ceylon changed its name to Sri Lanka and Buddhism was given primary place as country's religion.

What always happens is that low-level conflicts start. Periods of conflict alternate with periods of peace, but each period of conflict is worse than the last. In 1976, a separatist rebel group was formed, demanding a separate Tamil state. The group called itself the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), and were called the "Tamil Tigers" for short. A non-crisis civil war began in 1983, alternating between peace and conflict. The last peace expired in 2006, when war between the Tamil Tigers and the Sinhalese army became serious. In 2008, the Sri Lanka military commands promised "to defeat the Tamils once and for all" by the end of the year. That declaration signalled that a "regeneracy" had occurred, and a full-scale generational crisis war was in progress.

What always happens during a generational crisis war is that the value of an individual human life goes to zero, and the only thing that matter is the survival of the society and its way of life. This happened to America in World War II, as American soldiers poured onto the beaches of Normandy and were shot down like fish in a barrel, and then entire cities in Germany and Japan, including Dresden and Tokyo, were firebombed and destroyed, while other Japanese cities were destroyed with nuclear weapons.

This is what happens when a generational crisis war reaches a climax. In Sri Lanka, the Tamil Tigers increasingly forced Tamil women and children to sit in front of military targets, so that Sinhalese shells would kill them, which is exactly what the Sinhalese shells did. At that point, nobody cared who died.

In early 2009, it was clear that the war was close to ending. Based on a Generational Dynamics, I predicted that once the Sinhalese army was victorious, the war would be over, just as the war against Germany and Japan was completely over in 1945. As far as I know, every other journalist and analyst in the world predicted that, with the war having gone on for 26 years, it would continue to go on after a Sinhalese army victory. Generational Dynamics was right, and everybody else in the world was wrong. (See "Tamil Tigers surrender, ending the Sri Lanka crisis civil war")

So now come the recriminations. The Sinhalese army killed, tortured and jailed Tamil civilians, and the Tamils deserve legal retribution. But the same thing happens as the climax of any generational crisis war approaches and, if you look at the actions of psychopathic genocidal monster Bashar al-Assad, the president of Syria, can sometimes happen in non-crisis wars.

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 17-Nov-13 World View -- Britain threatens Sri Lanka with war crimes investigation thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (17-Nov-2013) Permanent Link
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