"The LTTE have lost the sympathy of the world by their slaughter of innocent Sinhalese" says a leading US scholar writing in what is widely regarded as the world's most influential publication on foreign policy and international affairs. Prof Richard Rosecrance makes this observation about the Tamil Tigers in a contribution co-authored with Arthur Stein entitled 'Separatism's Final Country', which appears in the latest issue of Foreign Affairs (July-August 2008).
Debating Prof Jerry Muller of the Catholic University of America on the issue 'Is Ethnic Conflict Inevitable?' Prof Rosecrance concludes that:
"If a separatist group uses terrorism, it tends to be reviled and sidelined. If an ethnic group does not have enough support to win independence by peaceful electoral means inside its country, its resorting to terrorism only calls into question the legitimacy of its quest for independence.
Recognizing this, the Quebecois abandoned the terrorist methods of the Quebec Liberation Front. Most Basques castigate Basque Homeland and freedom (known by its Basque acronym ETA). Enlightened Europeans have withdrawn their support for the Chechen rebels. And the continued terrorist shelling of Israeli cities from a Hamas -dominated Gaza might undermine the previous international consensus in favour of a two-state solution to the Palestinian problem, or at least warrant a exceptional approach to Gaza.
....Even where the central government has used force to suppress secessionist movements, it has offered carrots at the same time that it has yielded sticks. The province of Aceh has been coaxed, even as it has been subjected to threats, to remain inside the Indonesian republic. Kashmir, facing a balance of restraints and incentives, is unlikely to emerge as an independent state in India. And the Tamil Tigers have lost the sympathy of the world by their slaughter of innocent Sinhalese."
Richard Rosecrance is Senior Fellow at the Belfer Centre for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University and Adjunct Professor of Public policy at the John F Kennedy School of Government, also at Harvard. His co-author Arthur Stein is Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). They are co-editors of "No More States? Globalization, National Self-Determination, and Terrorism" (2006).
Their conclusion on the Tamil Tigers and secessionism appeared in the current issue of Foreign Affairs (Volume 87 No 4). The journal is rated in several surveys of the media as No 1 in influence among US opinion leaders and for four straight years the world's top publication on international affairs.
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