You have no doubt heard about the war between the Tamil Tigers and the Sri Lankan government. According to recent reports the Tamil Tigers are all but defeated. Of course this war is taking a terrible toll on the ordinary Tamil population.
Recently, Tamils around the world have been calling for a ceasefire in northern Sri Lanka. Whenever I see these protests on the news there are people holding up a particular flag. Of course all protest groups have flags. A flag represents who you are. But have a close look at the flag of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.
There is a fierce tiger in the middle surrounded by a halo of what look like bullets above crossed rifles with bayonets attached. And if this wasn’t enough the background of the flag is red. Which just happens to be the colour of well…. you know.
What is an ordinary person, who knows nothing about the conflict, supposed to think when they see protesters waving a flag such as this? Do they immediately write to their local member and say: please tell the Prime Minister to support a ceasefire? Or instead do they think it is the cynical last gasp of a terrorist organisation? It is beyond ironic that people who wave of flag like this would ask for a ceasefire.
There are many Tamils who are suffering tremendously because of this war. If you want help from the international community you need to persuade them to your cause. A flag of such violent symbolism is not going to convince people that your cause is just.