In an age of instant communication and sharing of information, nations are still able to conduct military operations in secret as witness the Israel invasion of Gaza. Another example of preventing the press from uncovering what is happening in a war is now transpiring in Sri Lanka where thousands of civilians are trapped in the fight between government troops and the Tamil rebels. Dozens of civilians are dying because there is no process to allow them to get out of fighting zones to the safety of more secure areas. The government rejected a British proposal to send a special envoy who would work with both sides to ensure the safety of civilians and find a way to draw the fighting to a conclusion. “It is tantamount to an intrusion into Sri Lanka’s internal affairs and is disrespectful to the country’s statehood” exclaimed the foreign ministry.
The Sri Lanka government made clear to the United Kingdom it jeopardized relations by raising issues of special envoys to assist civilians and help end the fighting. Actually, the British effort was mainly concerned with helping civilians and dealing with issues such as the lack of adequate medical facilities. Journalists have not ben allowed in the fighting area so no one knows what is actually happening to civilians or the quality of medical care.