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The past few days saw some disturbing developments in the North. The plot to assassinate Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Parliamentarian MA Sumanthiran created quite a stir in the local political circles.

Sumanthiran, a lawyer by profession became an active politician after he entered Parliament through National List following the 2010 Parliamentary polls. He then contested the General Elections in 2015.

Four suspects were arrested in connection with the assassination attempts and the government too has taken initiatives to ensure that adequate security is provided to the Parliamentarian.

A lot has been spoken and written about the incident and issues related to it.

Arthur-wamananWhat needs to be addressed is that such situations do not arise in future. The past did see many politicians who spoke their minds out silenced through bullets. Those days are gone, or rather we would like to think that those days are gone.

Today we live in a peaceful environment. Peace in the sense that there are no bombs, no unannounced round-ups and security checks. There is work to be done in terms of achieving peace in its real sense.

But it is quite peaceful than it was, and people prefer it that way since they know how it is to live with war.

It is important that security officials are kept on the alert. The recent development may come as a disappointment to those who call for the demilitarization of the North. But sadly, it does not look as if it would happen anytime soon.

Armed groups
A disturbing CCTV footage of a group of masked men on motorbikes attacking a shop and burning it with petrol bomb went viral on several social media platforms last week.
The masked men were armed with swords and terrified bystanders and drivers on the road while attacking the shop.

These violent scenes in the North are not healthy for the future of the region and the country. Youngsters carrying arms and terrorizing people is not a good sign for a country that has just emerged out of a 30-year-old violent war.

The existence of armed groups has been reported for quite some time now. Groups such as ‘Awa’ have been operative in the North for the past few years.

The police and the security forces have taken several measures to tackle the issue.

It was reported that many of these armed groups comprised young boys mostly in their late teens. This is the prime at which boys and girls move to the next phase of their lives. These boys should be in schools and colleges holding books and pens and not swords and guns.

23Drug and alcohol culture
The increase in usage of alcohol and drugs among youngsters has also been attributed as a factor for the increase in violence.

The question that needs to be asked is what makes these youngsters hold weapons. We have seen what weapons are capable of and we do not want them in the wrong hands.
Arresting and apprehending these youngsters alone will not solve the issue. The problem is much larger, and much deeper.

The North has been accustomed to violence for 30 years. The people have lived with violence on a daily basis.

For youngsters, holding a weapon probably gives a sense of power, or makes them feel that they are invincible. If that is so, then the whole thought process of these youngsters is wrong.

Influence of Tamil films?
The attack see in the above mentioned footage is very similar to what we see in Tamil films. Sadly, a considerable number of films that are made in Tamil Nadu include violence in order to cater to the masses.

For the film producers, the mass masala has to include scenes where antagonists attack innocent people.

But the film mostly deals with a hero who stands up for the people. Unfortunately, the youngsters seem to be influenced by the wrong message.

The government and the local officials need to get their act together to get the youth of the North back on the right track.

Small incidents like the one mentioned earlier could snowball into large issues. This has happened before, and it should not be allowed to happen again.