The Sri Lankan government and the LTTE became entangled in a vortex of violence and brutality. It is undeniable that the blatant disrespect for human life and dignity as the ferocity of the atrocities escalated is the responsibility of both sides. The difference is that Pranhakaran’s Tigers were an underground, clandestine organization, whilst the Sri Lankan government is part of the international assembly – it is a democratically elected institution regulated by internal and external treaties and normative systems.
The Sri Lankan government had the legitimacy to eliminate the LTTE, who were executing targeted attacks against the civilian populace in alleged retaliation to civilian deaths by the hand of the Sri Lankan government.
Herein the problem lies, as you need to morally distinguish your actions from theirs. Instead, Colombo mimicked the spirit of the cancer it wanted to destroy, retaliating indiscriminately and unnecessarily murdering tens of thousands of civilians.
“The LTTE and the Sri Lankan government were so similar that they become one the mirror image of the other”.
(Dr Saravanmuttu, Director of the Centre for Policy Alternatives, interview for the documentary ‘A Sri Lankan Quest’).