In an earlier post, Now’s the time, I pondered on the question of global economics being inextricably entwined with war. As I indicated then:

Many of us I’m sure are of the opinion that most wars are based on ideological differences of ethnic differences and/or religious beliefs – and the acquisition of territories that are so involved. And what usually comes in the way of a peaceful settlement is the filthy lucre that is involved – in every aspect of the conflict and attempts at its resolution. Right from the industrial complexes that process the raw materials, that in turn are used for the manufacture of all manner of ultra-complex death-machines, from supersonic flying craft, to the most sophisticated battle-tanks , to multi-barreled launchers that decimate environments and life, to the less sophisticated but equally lethal automatic and semi-automatic weapons that find their way into the hands of criminals, to the employment these actions generate, that in turn fuels economies and the stock markets. At a lesser level, we have the arms dealers and the ten-percenters and then on the lower rungs, the black-marketers and other feeders off the carrion that is left to dispose of. So, in effect, the global economy is, in a way, dependent on war. It isn’t just the industries involved in the manufacture of instruments of death and destruction that reflect on the economy, transportation by rail, road, sea and air add tremendous weight to the mass. The implications need not be detailed here, as anyone with a modicum of reasoning power could see how this stretches to encompass the very fabric of our lives.

In light of that, wouldn’t it be interesting to know who benefits most, monetarily speaking, from the war in Sri Lanka? This could well be extended to finding out the same thing about, for instance, the war in Iraq. I seem to recall during the early days of the Bush (Jr) administration, that certain deals were tracked back to Dick Cheney’s buddies’ oil and armament interests. Michael Moore’s ‘9/11’ also made references to Bush’s conflicts of interest in many of the decisions that were bulldozed through Congress. Here in Sri Lanka during the administrations that preceded the present one, the arms-dealers minted cash and fortunes were earned virtually overnight – the same with the food suppliers and other dealers in requirements for the armed forces. At present we are informed that arms deals are only permitted through Lanka Logistics and Technologies Co. Ltd.

An extract from India eNews website of June 2, 2007:
Citing exclusive access to an internal Sri Lankan cabinet document, Britain’s renowned Jane’s Defence Weekly reported that Sri Lanka had signed a classified $37.6 million deal with China’s Poly Technologies in April to supply its defence forces with ammunition and ordnance for the army and navy in addition to varied small arms.
Jane’s declared that the China National Electronics Import Export Corp is to provide Sri Lanka a JY 11 3D radar for $5 million over the next few weeks once the site for its location near Colombo is ready.
It was Gotabaya Rajapakse, the defence secretary who concluded the contract for the radar for the Lanka Logistics and Technologies Co Ltd that he heads

On the other side, Prabhakaran, we are told, has received money from Mahinda, through Tiran Alles and the others alleged to have been involved, to enforce a boycott of the elections in order to ensure that Ranil would receive less votes. It is also alleged that the deal was carried on further and that more money changed hands under the guise of reconstruction whilst Mavil Aru was in full swing.

So what the fuck is really going on??? Are we all being played for a bunch of suckers? Some of us are opposing the government’s strategies, berating it for the state of the economy and appalled at the levels of corruption and nepotism, whilst others are dead keen on the military defeat of the Tigers, quite willing to put up with the rapidly sliding economy and rising inflation and shrugging off corruption and nepotism as necessary evils in the quest of defeating the Tigers. The ones opting for a negotiated settlement and opposing the war and all its ill-effects are branded by the pro-war contingent as ‘peaceniks’ (apparently a derogative term) who stand to gain (again monetarily) from the quest for peace, whilst the pro-war / military action lot are branded ‘chauvinists’ and ‘racists’ by those who see that war will never be the answer.

Looking at it from the perspective of the bloggers on kottu, it would appear that the views generated on the subject are equally intense on both sides of the divide and the posts and comments often get to the point of being quite aggressive, if not abusive. The few that offer comic relief (sometimes in the form of tongue in cheek extremism) are often mistaken for the real thing, creating more emotional responses and abuse.

Ultimately, it appears that the country is caught in the midst of a quandary, causing a rapidly sliding economy that doesn’t look likely to recover unless there is some change in the scenario. The abductions, evictions, paranoia and inconvenience brought about by the escalating conflict that has caused the current instability will only increase and who knows where it will end? And what is most tragic is that it appears that both protagonists want the war to continue – for their own purposes. And does it have to do with money and power – and the hell with the rest of the country?

You tell me!

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