At the end of the American Civil War in which 500,000 men died, the Lincoln government held out the hand of friendship and told Confederate soldiers to keep their horses and ride home and return to their farms. Only one person was executed as a result of this bloody war. The Sri Lanka government refuses to extend the hand of peace and reconciliation. Hundreds of thousands of defeated Tamils remained locked in camps which the outside world cannot visit. Sri Lanka’s government argues that rebels might be lurking within the ranks of the refugees and therefore care must be taken before any are released. A staunch supporter of the government’s war against the Tamils noted that despite promises of peace once the war ended, “they have locked them up like animals with no date certain of when they will be released. This is simply asking for another conflict later on down the road.”
Sri Lanka’s president, Mahinda Rajapaksa insists he is merely trying to protect the people who are now locked up in camps. He warns that rebels might escape if the refugees are allowed to leave. Sri Lanka most probably is daily creating rebels as thousands linger in camps with no prospect of work or being able to enjoy a normal life.