September 18, 1988: LTTE massacres sleeping civilians in Sri Lanka

On September 18, 1988 LTTE terrorists hacked to death more than 50 men, women and children in the Gonagala settlement in the eastern part of Sri Lanka.

GONAGALA, SRI LANKA – It never ceases to amaze, and trouble, when terrorists massacre dozens of civilians to advance a ’cause’.

It should come as a surprise to a grand total of no one that I have no sympathy for terrorism or terrorists. After all, I WAS paid to counter terrorism for 15 years in Canada, not befriend them and have a beer with them (or non-alcoholic beer in the case of jihadis).

Still, while have no sympathy I can understand, in very well-defined circumstances, why some terrorists do what they do. In a few circumstances the causes they purport to be fighting for actually make sense.

Take the situation in Afghanistan in the 1980s. The Soviets invaded that country in 1979 and settled in, pissing off and killing the local population. Is it any wonder then that groups of Afghans (and ‘Afghan Arabs‘) rise up to fight the usurpers? In some cases those who rise up are what we would call terrorists.

Hell yeah we may be terrorists but this is OUR country! (Photo: Erwin Franzen on flickr, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

In most cases, however, the actions of terrorists are anything but justified or even humane. Take today’s featured attack.

On this day in 1988

Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) terrorists hacked to death – hacked to death! – more than 50 men, women and children in the Gonagala settlement in the eastern part of Sri Lanka. 75 terrorists, most of whom were female, used knives and machetes to kill civilians while they slept.

My wife was to deliver a baby in January.

Survivor who lost his whole family (pregnant wife, two children, six and eight years old, his father, mother, sister and brother-in-law)

The LTTE would claim their cause was just – a Tamil homeland for their people. So killing a pregnant woman and children advances that cause how exactly?

Read More Today in Terrorism

By Phil Gurski

Phil Gurski is the President and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting Ltd. Phil is a 32-year veteran of CSE and CSIS and the author of six books on terrorism.

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