I had a long day today. I spent my daylight hours working on Sri Lanka. I'm amazed at how high-tech and low-tech converge - satellite images competing with photos of desperate people pulling carts on a beautiful, pristine beach. It's really a challenge sifting through all the information, from the world's largest hostage rescue to Tamil genocide. I have a job that is satisfying and heart-rending at the same time. I hope that I don't become so hardened that the people and situations I'm writing about become mere abstractions.
I felt like stuffing my face with a cheeseburger on my way home but I restrained myself. Yay me.
The situation is heart rending. I am not a fan of the Tigers at all. I've been to Colombo and I've seen what carnage they have inflicted on the country. Plus I also have very vivid memories of how they assassinated Rajiv Gandhi, a former Prime Minister of ours.
That being said, it's pathetic the way innocent hostages are being held to ransom. The brutality of both sides never sides to horrify me. Today, here in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, there was a complete strike that was called in support of the practically defeated Tigers. This is despite the fact that they assassinated a Prime Minister of ours by the way. Yes that again. I can't get over that major fact.
Its one bloody mess isn't it? What do you see happening in the immediate future? I am really interested in your take on things. I know I am not an impartial person with regard to this. What do you think will happen to the LTTE - especially with regard to Prabhakaran, the LTTE chief?
It's really hard for me to say. I've never worked on South Asia before and everything's new (and a bit overwhelming). It seems like both sides are pretty intractable and there isn't much of a middle ground. I heard a consultant say that it will be years before normality will ever resume because of the lack of political will and the practical ones, like entire areas that have to be demined before people can return. It's really depressing all around. I don't really have a sense of where Sri Lanka falls on the US foreign policy radar screen either.
On April 23rd, 2009 08:49 pm (UTC), (Anonymous) commented:
oooh, YAY for you!
i realized today that now that i'm not in the field some things get to me. a dataset i'm working on has some gbv variables and i don't like to look at their definitions. i don't want to think about it. my skin isn't as thin anymore. even if you become hard, you'll get soft again. ah