Friday, August 11, 2006

Seeing Red

The strength of the local communist insurgency in the Lianga area has through the years ebbed and flowed like the tides and eddies of its coastal sea. As part and parcel of a national revolutionary movement its successes and failures have been linked, to a large degree, to how well the overall insurgency has been doing all over the country.

The recent series of rebel actions and activities in towns like Lianga and Barobo seems to be part of some cyclical upsurge after some months of relative calm. The seriousness of the danger in being caught up in these "encounters" was personally made plain to me a week or so ago when I almost got caught in the middle of the an incident where a group of NPA guerrillas seized control of a vital section of the Barobo-San Francisco road section and held it for a couple of hours.

Reports of sightings of armed rebel groups in areas near the two towns have lead to a series of so called "red alerts" which have reduced once bustling town halls and offices to barricaded and fortified camps guarded by fully armed police and military personnel constantly preparing for a feared rebel attack.

And in the midst of the real danger of being caught in the crossfire of an insurgency war, life must go on for the local people who have carry on with their lives and and survive the best they can. It is not easy to live on the edge if not in the middle of a protracted war whose end is not in sight.

The government says that the armed forces is winning the war against both the communist and the Muslim insurgencies. On television I look at the faces of the refugees fleeing the madness of confict and war all over the world and then wonder - will our turn be coming?

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