Black July and After

Chennai is a city that does not make you sweat. The heat is so overwhelming that your sweat glands stop functioning over time. So on a hot summer day when a friend of mine pointed to a dusty office in one of Chennai’s busiest roads and said without much enthusiasm that it is one the offices of LTTE in the city, I was still holding on to a glass of fresh orange juice from a Malayali juice shop. A terrorist organization holding office one of India’s biggest cities would be quite difficult for many of us to comprehend. However, the moral support that the Indian Tamil community has for the LTTE cause is unmistakable.
A Sri Lankan girl staying near our apartment in Chennai (who fell in love with a friend of mine) turned out to be a member of the LTTE en route to Germany where she would be trained for executing suicide attacks. She is one of the many young women raped by jawans of the Indian army during India’s infamous tryst with the conflict. The anger and agony of people like her is only exploited time and again by terrorist organizations like the LTTE who urge them to kill innocent people as an act of revenge.

Mistrust and suspicion between the Sinhalese and the minority Tamilians erupted into one of the worst human massacres during the year 1983. Incidents like the Black July leads us to think that the justification for this kind of support is not entirely misplaced. What the Tamil sympathizers fail to mention is the LTTE’s violent past and questionable ways of exploitation that they continue even today to achieve their goals.
Views expressed above are solely that of the author and does not reflect a collective opinion of contributors.