Could gagged Mumbai confession do more good than harm?

July 22, 2009

hindux1A crucial part of gunman Mohammad Ajmal Kasab’s hindu-articleconfession at the Mumbai attack trial has been censored by the judge on the grounds that it could inflame religious tensions between Hindus and Muslims in India. After stunning the court on Monday by admitting guilt in the the three-day rampage that killed 166 people, Kasab gave further testimony on Tuesday that included details about his training by Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), a Pakistan-based militant group on U.S. and Indian terrorist lists.

The front-page report in today’s The Hindu, which noted the judge’s gag order in its sub-header, put it this way:

Ajmal made some crucial statements on Tuesday as part of his confession. They pertained to the purpose of the attack as indicated by the perpetrators and masterminds and the message they wanted to send to the government of India. Ajmal also wanted to convey a message to his handlers. However, this part of his confession faces a court ban on publication.

In view of the communally sensitive nature of Ajmal’s statements, judge M.L. Tahaliyani passed an order banning the publication and broadcast of Ajmal’s statement recorded on Tuesday by any media or person, except the part which pertains to the CST. Mr. Tahaliyani remarked that the trial was at “a delicate stage.”

Given the complex mix of religion and politics in India, it’s not unusual to see the media playing down the communal aspect of tension and violence. In the recent general election, the party that usually plays up these differences, the Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), hardly used the “religion card” in its losing campaign. But that doesn’t mean things are getting better. According to the Centre for Study of Society and Secularism in Mumbai, the “unfortunate year of 2008 … proved to be worse than 2007.” See their two-part report on 2008 here and here.

taj-mahal-hotelBut Kasab’s testimony could shed important light on what role religion plays in Islamist militancy. How could a young man who wanted to become a dacoit (bandit) be convinced by Islamist militants to try to become a shahid (martyr) instead? Was he actually convinced, or did he do it for other reasons?

(Photo: Taj Mahal hotel burns, 27 Nov 2008/Punit Paranjpe)

Kasab told the court on Monday that he originally approached the militants to get weapons and training and won (surprisingly easy) admission to their office by saying he wanted to wage jihad. He was taken in and given extensive training in preparation for the Mumbai attack last November. All of this is detailed in published accounts of his statement in court on Monday. In earlier statements, police say, he showed little understanding of Islam or jihad, saying the latter was “about killing and getting killed and becoming famous.”

What role did Islamist ideology play in this, and what part the confused ambitions of a poor and impressionable young man? In a publication entitled Why Are We Waging Jihad?, Lashkar-e-Taiba listed its goals as:

1) to eliminate evil and facilitate conversion to and practice of Islam;

2) to ensure the ascendancy of Islam;

3) to force non-Muslims to pay jizya (poll tax, paid by non-Muslims for protection from a Muslim ruler);

4) to assist the weak and powerless;

5) to avenge the blood of Muslims killed by unbelievers;

6) to punish enemies for breaking promises and treaties;

7) to defend a Muslim state; and

8 ) to liberate Muslim territories under non-Muslim occupation.

kasabDid his handlers stress all this to Kasab? Did he want to do any of the above? What did his Islamist handlers say about Hindus? If they fed him a diet of anti-Hindu hatred, might it be better to publicise the details so they can be debated and discredited? Some of the most interesting contributions to such a debate could come from Indian Muslims, who live in the kind of secular democracy the LeT rejects.

(Photo: Kasab in detention, 3 Feb 2009/video grab from CNN IBN)

I’d be especially interested to hear the reaction from the famous Darul Uloom Deoband seminary, which is a traditionalist Sunni school but has urged Muslims to reject terrorism and vote in elections against extremists.

Right now may not be the best time to publish Kasab’s censored confession. But revealing it at a later date, for example after the verdict, might do more good than the harm Judge Tahaliyani fears. What do you think?


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Indian “free speech” at work, anything inconvenient to ruling class read Congress is banned. Even if one were to review merits beyond the necessity for free speech in a democracy, it is clear that people of the India and world to hear what Pakistan military teaches its soldiers (and terrorists) and the objective it is trying to achieve.

Posted by Alok | Report as abusive

I guess it will be more important to actually see what the reactions in India are as they unfold, rather than speculate at this point in the process. But it does seem to be the typical Asian version of “freedom” at work again. The scary part: India is light-years ahead of its neighbors when it comes to free speech.

Posted by Patrick | Report as abusive

Why does the world pretend and show shock that Muslims can be motivated to commit violence, murder, genocide.The Quran and the hadiths which forms the basis of the Worldview that Muslims hold and cherish in secret. It teaches that they must convert the world to a muslim caliphate, it justifies the use of rape, murder and mayhem to further the cause of Islam. Kasab and his cohorts were sent to India to create mayhem and distruction, to destroy the will of the people of India. Sadly as their prophet(^PBUH^)is died so will those that preach violence against a fellow human being. Those that arrogate God’s power for themselves to kill who and what he alone has created, will answer for the blood they spill in his name. In the end even if the evil is in Islam the choice lies with the individual to act out their conscience and choose good over evil.

Posted by Satyavan | Report as abusive

Alok,”Pakistan military teaches its soldiers (and terrorists) and the objective it is trying to achieve.”Please be mindful of when referring to soldiers or terrorists. Pakistani military is fighting against the terrorists on its borders.

Posted by Usman Chaudhri | Report as abusive

“Jihad”, “Islamic militants”, “radicals” are misnomas which when used in a wrong context do no good but promote false violence. They way these terms are used all over the media and internet is not what they really mean. Trying finding out what these terms mean in an Islamic context.No religion teaches violence or terror but it is the individuals who make there own choice. Islam means submission to Allah in order to obtain peace and not violence.They way these events are propagated on the media and internet, “Islamic terrorists”, is just to create an atmosphere against Islam as if Islam teaches all this violence. There is not a single verse in the complete Holy Quran which talks about violence or any kind of injustice against any one and this includes animals too.

Posted by Usman Chaudhri | Report as abusive

Still, the US wants India to sit down and talk peace with Pakistan. All the while Pakistan is still supporting its LeT, JuD and other groups to terrorize India. As if India is going to be led to believe that IF we all sit down cordially and talk then the terrorist groups will disappear. That is so naive looking at LeT’s goals.Pakistan wishes the world to believe that by labeling these groups ‘non-state actors’ they are distancing themselves from any responsibilities and consequences.Pakistan also thinks that since it is helping the US in its War On Terror in its geo-political position, then the least the US can do is twist India’s arm to hold talks. Unfortunately, this could backfire on the US because it will be seen as abusing its world power status to into pushing around the world’s largest democracy and developing nation with which it has many business links. Though, Pakistan’s wishes go beyond this. It wants the US as a third party mediator on the Kashmir issue. Even though the US has ‘clearly’ stated that it will not be a party on this issue. India is not part of the Af-Pak strategy. Pakistan still thinks it has leverage over the right to what was NEVER its territory due to helping the US on its War On Terror.I could list ALL the problems that Pakistan is facing, but there is not enough room on this blog. When a country is facing so many problems as Pakistan is; it is not in any commanding position to demand anything.

Posted by bulletfish | Report as abusive

congress govt. is doing everything to placate Muslims in general and Pakistan in particular so that Commonwealth Games in 2011 is not disturbed by jehadis and Pakistan sponsored terrorists. current on going GOI actions in internal affairs and external affairs would fortify this suspicion

Posted by bghosh | Report as abusive

Tom,While trying to expose the hate ideology of Pakistani terrorists, do you have to throw some dirt on India just to appear neutral? I wish people in India will set aside all differences and work for the common good. All physical violence on other citizens on based on what ever identity or reasons is despicable, no sane person can condone that.I have a hypothetical question for you:In a small town in Oklahoma, a bunch of Hindu monks in orange robes stand at the local mall and tell all christians are infidels and will go to hell unless they become Hindus. They also pay 2000$ to some poor people and “convert” them to Hindus. You want to comment how tolerant that Okalhoma town would be??

Posted by Raj | Report as abusive

It is obvious that the Pakistani establishment was caught on the backfoot. They never expected any of their trained terrorists to be caught alive. I pay respects to brave police officers who were caught doing so.India promotes free speech and is a democracy unlike our eastern neighbor. The judge’s ruling in banning Kasab’s statement is justified since it may contain leads that affect the case. The statement may also contain inflammatory statements after all “Marta kya nahi karta?”.I think he should be given a solitary life sentence… let him die thinking of all his sins.I wonder what happened to the other nine terrorist bodies. Last time I read was that Indian muslims refused to bury them!

Posted by Rohit | Report as abusive

The judge was absolutely correct in issuing the gag order on parts of Kasab’s confession. It has nothing to do with free speech & judge’s of every civilized country in the world ‘strike out’ confessions or statements which are inappropriate. I’m sure many statements were stricken off from the Moussavi trial or the Richard Reed (shoe bomber) trial, here in the US & many other trials related to terrorists, everywhere around the world. The judge, appropriately, allowed only the part of confession which was related to the crime & struck out the other irrelevant part. After all, it’s a trial of a terrorist & not a message board for a terrorist outfit (in this case LeT). The only mistake that was made was the reason given for issuing the gag order. The judge should have simply stated that a part of the confession is being disallowed because of it’s inappropriate content. That’s how they do it in most countries.

Posted by Mortal | Report as abusive

I wonder what happened to the other nine terrorist bodies. Last time I read was that Indian muslims refused to bury them!-RohitIts a lot worse than that, Rohit. Nobody has ‘claimed’ them.I also hope that IF Kasab is given a life sentence then there will be no plane highjacking and hostage-prisoner exchange. The last time this happened an innocent man called Daniel Pearl was beheaded by the released terrorist who was allowed to roam free in Pakistan.

Posted by bulletfish | Report as abusive

“Please be mindful of when referring to soldiers or terrorists. Pakistani military is fighting against the terrorists on its borders.”- Posted by Usman ChaudhriIn Pakistan there is not difference between a terrorist and a soldier. Remember Kargil when Pakistan said it was NOT their soldiers rather Terrorist or Mujahid or Jihadist whatever you call them. Later on Pakistan also gave bravery awards to these “Soldiers”I read in an article that there are many families in Pakistan havind One member is in Army and other two in a Jihadist group.On which border Pakistan is fighting with terrorist ??

Posted by singh | Report as abusive

{{{{{Please be mindful of when referring to soldiers or terrorists. Pakistani military is fighting against the terrorists on its borders.- Posted by Usman Chaudhri }}}}NOT CLEAR, what you are trying to prove here. Pakistan army is (supposedly) fighting the terrorists it created.Motivating Pak army soldiers is being done along the same lines as Lashkar-e-Taiba….unlike Indian army…which is an entirely secular organization.Here is the link for the Pakistan army motto: Review/TextContent.aspx?pId=17&rnd=108EX CERPT FROM PAK ARMY WEB SITE:Jihad-fi-Sabilillah—-The real objective of Islam is to shift the lordship of man over man to the lordship of Allah on the earth —-and to stake one’s life and everything else to achieve this sacred purpose. The Arabic word “Jihad” means to struggle “or” to strive. In as much as “Jihad” is a struggle, it is a struggle against all that is—- perceived—- as evil in the cause of that which is perceived good,

Posted by Raj | Report as abusive

There will not be anything novel or unexpected in Kasab’s condession–just more hate content they learnt from their Pakistani handlers.@“Pakistan military teaches its soldiers (and terrorists) and the objective it is trying to achieve.”-Alok@Please be mindful of when referring to soldiers or terrorists. Pakistani military is fighting against the terrorists on its borders.-Usman Chaudhri-Usman, Pakistani at the very best is fighting terrorists like Taliban et al on the Western side, but at the same time Pakistani army has a policy that of creating and supporting terroists (LeT. JeM, HuMn) against Inddia. Plainly speaking, 166 dead in Mumbai is the result of Pak-trained LeT and in a way the work of pakistani Army and you know what does it mean? Pakistan has not yet shown that it treats all terrorists as terrorists. Until then you will continue to face Indian rhetoric.@No religion teaches violence or terror but it is the individuals who make there own choice. Islam means submission to Allah in order to obtain peace and not violence.”-But the distorted version of Islam teaches terror and produces Kasabs. Sad part is that before Kasab et al attacked Mumbai, he and other attackers were considered Kashmiri freedom fighters and were supported by Pakistanis (perhaos by you too). Now that he is caught in the attack that killed 166 victims from 10 countries, he perhaps is considered by you as non-Muslim. The rest of the LeT is on their way to achieve the same as kasab, but still not being declared as terrorists. Why there is a discrepency in words and deeds? if you and other Muslims who truly believe your own nice words, would would you not declare without “ifs and buts’ that LeT. JeM, HuM are terrorists. It is time to cut the crap and mean our own words.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Usman — “Islam means submission to Allah in order to obtain peace and not violence.”How did the Islam spread from Arab world to Asian sub-continent? Through peace? or peace after violence? Was Buddhism/Hinduism that flourished in Pakistan prior to Islam not peaceful?You said “They way these events are propagated on the media and internet, “Islamic terrorists”, is just to create an atmosphere against Islam as if Islam teaches all this violence.”Similarly, Taliban means ‘students’. But the way they are highlighted on the media and internet is to create an atmosphere against them as if all Taliban are violent? If you say Taliban’s interpretation of Islam is wrong then why not go ahead and close down the medressahs where they are taught about Islam as violent one? Whey there are no ‘long marches’ against these medressahs if Pakistanis are REALLY against Taliban? Didn’t Pakistan support Taliban when they ruled Afghanistan? Pakistan supports Taliban only when they decide to fight against Afghanistan/India?What is the difference between Taliban and your military when both are on par in killing innocents(remember Bangladeshis/Balochs?)?You wrote: “There is not a single verse in the complete Holy Quran which talks about violence or any kind of injustice against any one and this includes animals too.”How are women treated? Forget about injustice to animals when you can’t even provide justice to humans(women)

Posted by FS | Report as abusive

It seems that Islamist militancy is growing in all parts of the world – i.e. China, The Philippines, France, UK, USA, India, Indonesia, the former Yugoslavia… where does the wage on religious supremacy stop?

Posted by David | Report as abusive

Raj, what’s this about throwing dirt on India just to appear neutral? I’m not trying to set up any false equivalency here. This post just describes what India has done and asks if it is the best way of dealing with this question. What better alternative do you have to offer?As for your hypothetical question, what does your assumption about an Oklahoma town have to do with the merits or not of the way India is acting here? Are you trying to say that because you can imagine an Oklahoma town that would be intolerant to Hindus (NB in a hypothetical case that ou have invented), you can pardon intolerance by India towards Muslims?

Posted by Tom Heneghan | Report as abusive

This one from a link in article describes “How To Become A Terrorist in Pakistan””The surviving gunman in the terrorist attacks on Bombay has given testimony to an Indian court. This, from The New York Times’ story, was astonishing: Mr. Kasab and his friend went to Rawalpindi, he said, and asked in the market where they might find mujahedeen. They were directed to the office of Lashkar-e-Taiba. Indian and American investigators say that Lashkar-e-Taiba planned the attacks in Pakistan. In the Punjabi city that is the headquarters of the Pakistani military, a punk kid can enter a local market, be casually directed to a terrorist “office” and go on to carry out murder”.–Isaac Chotiner–Tom/Raj: I really did not get the exchange of posts between 2 of you.On the Qn of what is “the best time to publish Kasab’s censored confession”? I see no point now or later, it is not a big mystery unless media plays it out like that. What good will it do if confession is published after his sentence? I do not see much. Yes I see harm if doen now. Just punish this coward, do whatever with him as long as this guy does not run away to start his own Terror Inc. in pakistan like JeM chief Maulana Masood Azhar.The bigger Qn to me is the ease by which Kasab got into LeT, as described by him and mentoned above. Can these terrorists still be called “non-state actors” by Zardari/Pakistan? if not what are they? I hope Pakistanis out of habit do not call them bunch of kids.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Tom,It’s better to reveal Kasab’s confession in enteriety at a later date. This has social and political implications. You’ve rightly highlighted the social tensions thay may arise. The government will prefer to withold sensitive information keeping the upcoming state elections in mind.Religion has been an explosive issue in the sub-continent, especially after independence. Different communities have suffered at different times although your report limits to the injustices against minorities.

Posted by Nikhil | Report as abusive

Tom, that’s not what I said or even intended. And you are also not being fair in not posting my original post, but just critiquing it!!Nowhere did I say intolerance is justified. See the “secular” standards expected of the Hindus in India are MUCH MUCH higer (and sillier) than the secular standards expected of any religious group in any country.This sense of grievannce is the source of growth of Hindu extremism…I’m not justifying it, but objectively pointing it out. I want you to try to be objective and see if you will post this.Examples:(1)In the US, politicans openly declare on TV shows and in public USA is a Christian country. If you do that in India you are a Hindu extremist! Ironically there are numerous Christian countries, but India is the only Hindu country (other than Nepal).(2) In the USA you take oath on the Bible. Try taking oath on Bhagvad Gita, that is instant proof you are an extremist.(3)There was a politician in a southern state who said in a plotical meeting the word Hindu means thief. He is celebrated as a secular politician!I can list lot more examples.

Posted by Raj | Report as abusive

Tom Haneganfor reasons you know better, it is unlikely you will have a kind word for hindus. You need to talk to muslims who get taxpayers money for their Haj expences annually. The citizenship remains unbiased. There will be so many cynics and pessimists who will complain against Indias commitment to secualrism and democracy. India is used to it. Its hilarious western countries critcizing hindus and lecturing on secularism, especially you Tom.Forgot about Holocaust (of Jews),Goa Inquisition and numerous wars raged in the name of crusade? How Very convenient indeed.

Posted by Azad | Report as abusive

Also Tom,what is this thing about “intolerance by India towards Muslims”?By India? did you say some people in India or just India? poor choice of words I’m afraid.Just one terrorist attack, all kinds of brown people were attacked across the US. How tolerant US would be if Mexico is 100% muslim next door and conducts relentless jihad on the US! Please admit.Perhaps you have bought into the notion of muslims being “opressed” by others in the sub-continent.If this was true Pakistan and Bangladesh the “free” muslim countries would have raced ahead of India since the muslims there are free!

Posted by Raj | Report as abusive

you can pardon intolerance by India towards Muslims?Tom HeneganMuslims in India enjoy more freedom than they do in Islamic countries. Additionally, they also enjoy muslim personal law which is different from others.This is not extended to them in any nonmuslim nation. In every walk of life across the board they have travelled with others and occupied a position envious to many muslims in the rest of the world. Like others they do suffer from problems stemming from overpopulation and poor economy.What Raj was talking of, i suspect, is the illegal conversions evangelists have been carrying out in India by distributing money.

Posted by Azad | Report as abusive

I don’t understand why Raj and Tom are arguing over India’s secularism here. This is post is about should the Indian court allow Kasab’s complete statement to be made public.Tom, it is very helpful to bring out LeT’s specific goals in your post. I would imagine these are the things that were told to the 10 gunmen when they were sent on this mission. So, Kasab’s statement, about why he did it or how he was sold this idea, would include similar things. I agree his complete testimony will shed light on what role religious ideology play in Islamist militancy. But I don’t think this is the right time to make it public. I would give the government a chance to complete the probe and make a strong case to prove Pakistan’s state hand in supporting extremists before Kasab’s each and every word is sliced and diced by every other commentator across India.

Posted by Aman Tyagi | Report as abusive

It is pretty easy to deduce that the plan was to isolate Hindus and Muslims from among the hostages at CST and kill the Hindus!Does the judge think that this will hurt people’s sensibilities??????If we have judges (who are erudite) like this can you even imagine the thinking of the people sitting in Parliament?

Posted by Desi | Report as abusive

intolerance by India towards Muslims?- Posted by Tom HeneghanYou keep deleting the posts by hindu supporters. You yourself are a faith columnists and your loyalty lies in your un questionable commitment to your religion.Fine.Depriving other posters a chance to express their point of view exposes the bigotry and bias of Reuters.When you made an above accusation a fair number of posts from opposite quarters need to be allowed in print.yeah. Right.So much for being NEUTRAL.

Posted by AZAD | Report as abusive

60 years of Progress ..India contributes $14bn to IMF ews/Economy/At-14-bn-India-goes-generous -with-IMF/articleshow/4809784.cmsPakista n asks IMF for another $4.2bn loan in addition to the original $7.6 already approved. sh/2009-07/21/content_11746709.htmPakist an’s ambassador to the US, called for a $30 billion Marshall Plan hp?id=32579

Posted by Ravi | Report as abusive

Tom:Off the topic discussion by many, but since you made a comment, then commentators should also be allowed to do the same.Each section of Indian society has faced similar problems at some point in post-1947 history. For example:1. Muslims got killed and emotions hurt by Gujrat, Babri Masjid. This is given as an evidence of Indian intolerance to Muslims in specific. This is simply wrong. An amateurish writer can be pardoned but if smart and professional writers do the same, why would I not smell that as their bias?Here are more examples when non-Muslim segment of India society faced the same problem:A) Sikhs in India faced 1984-riots and thousand got killed, people were profiled by security on the basis of long beard/turbans.B) Hindus faced terrorism and a general feeling of insecurity in Punjab: selective kilings of Hindus. But Hindus and Sikhs have moved on.C) Hindus faced the same in Gujrat at the the hands of Muslim rioters.D) Hindus are still feeling the religious intolerance from Christian terrorists in NE and faced in the past from Christians in Goa.E) Christians faced recently in Church burning.I guess India should be the last choice to live for anyone. But then why do in general all still feel safe in India as compared to anyother place. There must be a reason. It is all relative if India is not expected to be Utopian society.Hoping to let it go through.If you decide not to, post a new article on faith blog about Religious (in)tolerance/secularity in India not just from minority POV but for a change include the views of majority population too.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Pakistan is not conducive for Pakistanis: ZardariZardari has advised Musharraf to defer his plans of returning to Pakistan until “conducive conditions prevail”, stan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online  /Politics/25-Jul-2009/Zardari-declines- Musharrafs-wish-list

Posted by Patrick | Report as abusive

Azad, I don’t know what you’re talking about. And I’m not sure you understand what this comments page is all about.You wrote: “You keep deleting the posts by hindu supporters.” — this is not true. We only delete posts that are obscene, personally abusive, incomprehensible or totally off the topic under discussion. I have not deleted any in this series and I don’t think other comments moderators (I’m not the only one) have either. If you have sent comments by hindu supporters that pertain to the discussion, resent them and I will post them.”You yourself are a faith columnists and your loyalty lies in your un questionable commitment to your religion.Fine.” — I am not representing any religion here. You seem to be confusing simple questioning of an Indian practice with criticism blindly driven by the religious views of journalists here. That is clearly an overinterpretation of what we’re doing here.”Depriving other posters a chance to express their point of view exposes the bigotry and bias of Reuters.When you made an above accusation a fair number of posts from opposite quarters need to be allowed in print.yeah. Right.So much for being NEUTRAL.” — Where is your proof that “a fair number of posts from opposite quarters” have even been sent to us? Is this assumption at the base of your charge that we are deleting comments by Hindu supporters? It sounds to me like you don’t want to accept that we post all comments that we get that are within bounds of editorial relevance and decency. If only readers with certain points of view write to us, we can only print those comments. Creating the fake kind of balance you seem to want to see here would be far less neutral than the mix we currently get.

Posted by Tom Heneghan | Report as abusive

Raj, in your comment of July 23rd, 2009 at 11:53 pm GMT, you accuse me of not being fair because I allegedly did not post your original comment but critiqued it anyway. If you look back to July 23rd, 2009 at 2:02 pm GMT, you’ll see your initial comment printed as it was sent in. Why don’t you at least scroll back through the comments and check to see what was actually posted before making such baseless accusations?

Posted by Tom Heneghan | Report as abusive

I have to say I’m surprised at how many readers want to change the topic by mentioning U.S. treatment of minorities, the Holocaust, the Inquisition and other issues that are not relevant to the question at hand. One cannot justify a policy or a situation just by saying things are worse elsewhere. If readers think I’m defending the real or hypothetical situations they mention, they are making very flawed assumptions.On my comment about “intolerance by India against Muslims,” this was a hypothetical question in response to a hypothetical case the reader brought up. Doing this was a mistake because some readers took this as a statement of fact, which it was not meant to be. I should not have responded to hypothetical questions at all because, as mentioned above, they only aim to divert attention from the real issue at hand.

Posted by Tom Heneghan | Report as abusive

Whether a poster is satisfied or not, I think Tom Henegan deserves appreciation for addressing the posters comments in detail.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Tom, you have to remember the Asian “golden rule”.”If someone else does it, I can do it too and blame them for my actions.”Hence the constant dragging through the mud of events from decades ago, and more “what-if” scenarios than a murder mystery. X years of inertia just means that one constantly drags one’s feet while trying to fly. This mindset is exemplified by how the gov’ts treat the people. They don’t think they can handle honesty. When the nations of SE Asia let go of the past, the past will release them as well.

Posted by Patrick | Report as abusive

Thanks, Rajeev!

Posted by Tom Heneghan | Report as abusive

Patrick Says:”They don’t think they can handle honesty. When the nations of SE Asia let go of the past, the past will release them as well”Thanks for your comments. You may be right. But if you look at the bigger picture, it is a cold war between China and India. China wants to slow down the development of SE Asia and India is trying to develop SE Asia faster. It is a cold war between China and India. Peace will return to SE Asia when China stops meddling or when SE Asian countries get wiser. Problem is India is not playing nasty is Chinese are doing.China’s foundations and values are weak and might collapse in next 10 – 30 years. So may be peace will return to SE Asia soon.

Posted by Andy | Report as abusive

@Tom, you have to remember the Asian “golden rule”.“If someone else does it, I can do it too and blame them for my actions.”-posted by PatrickPatrick: Are you stereotyping the people from the whole Asian continent?”those who live in glass houses do not throw stones at others” is much more useful and actually cuts across the geographical boundaries.BTW, what is the Western “golden rule”?

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Western “golden rules”1. “Plunder mother earth for till she is permanently damaged and then ask poorer nations to for damages”2. Make Political blunders like Palestine, Kashmir and then sell arms to both sides to solve problems

Posted by Robin | Report as abusive

Pakistan golden rules:1. Sponser and support islamic terrorism.2. Let Government fall apart in bloody civil war.3. Get nuked by India.

Posted by Hmmm | Report as abusive

I was sad when Mumbai happened. I wondered why innocent people died when they had done nothing wrong. Then I realised that India helped Sri Lanka kill so many innocent people. Even now, India supports Sri Lanka in the international arena so that Sri Lanka can keep Tamils in concentration camps. We, Jaffna Tamils, always so India as a motherland. We fought against Rajiv Gandhi only because he started the fight first. But instead of killing only the main LTTE, India helped Sri Lanka kill 20000 innocent lives, about 2000 times more than the numbers killed in Mumbai. Then India helped Sri Lanka put all the rest into concentration camps. India then supports Sri Lanka to get IMF loan so they can settle Sinhalease in the north so the population demographics can change. Can you imagine if everyone from UP was settled in your state on purpose to make you a minority in your own state. This is the curse of being Jaffna Tamil. Next time, there is an attack on India, I will not feel sad. Perhaps I won’t be happy to see innocent people die because I have ethos unlike Indians who rejoiced in the internet forums as innocent Tamils died. However, I shall never be sad to see India being attacked by China. India has indeed brought me closer to the Sinhalease. Because unlike Tamils, Sinhalease have always hated and been suspicious of India.

Posted by Ashok Mehta | Report as abusive

Ashok Mehta,I feel sorry for your pain and agony. But i find your views wrong. India US EU desisted from selling arms to Sri Lanka. Pakistan and China immediately supplied arms. Looking at the press reports, India/US/EU always pressed Sri Lankan Govt for a negotiated settlement, but Sri Lankan Govt, over stocked with Chinese arms, ignored all requests and values.After the end of the war, India is various kinds of free aid and material specifically for the Tamil areas so that the displaced people can be rehabilitated quickly. Not talking or engaging Sri Lanka will only worsen the suffering of Tamils more. In fact talks are focussed on rehabilitation of Tamils.I have two question for you. Why are you totally ignoring the roles of Chinese and Pakistanis in the war who instigated and supported it? Why are you complaining about India, who denounced the war and totally stayed away from it?

Posted by Robin | Report as abusive

Such a horrible tragedy that could have been so easily averted. A sad day for people of all religions, everywhere.

Posted by Anton@Anxiety Disorder Journal | Report as abusive