THERE comes a time when one senses the approach of a turning point, and catastrophe
is but a few ticks of history away.
That moment appears to be fast approaching in Sri Lanka. This small country is in
fact as geopolitically significant to the United States and the West as troubled Cyprus
and the other flaming sunspots that attract Western political and media attention.
But the former Ceylon – a gorgeous tropical island just off the southern coast of
India – is on the brink of the political hell-hole again.
WHO is the bad guy in the Sri Lankan impasse? Until recently, Western observers tended
to blame the Tamil Tigers, a group that trafficks in the same clandestine arms-acquisition
circles as the Al-Qaeda. But now, a more rounded perspective views the viciousness
of these rebels as related to the oppression by the ethnic-majority government in
Certainly, the recent antics of President Chandrika Kumaratunga give considerable
credence to that view. She recently dissolved Parliament to pave the way for unneeded
snap elections (four years ahead of schedule) in order, it is suspected, to stack
the Cabinet with cronies and coalition allies in her effort to defenestrate Prime
Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, a relative moderate on the Tamil issue. [Read