Tag Archives: Sri Lanka

The Price Of True Belief In Sri Lanka– Death!

The civil war that has raged in Sri Lanka over the past thirty years has been brutal and virtually nonstop. But, the war apparently is drawing to a close as government forces drive the Liberation Tigers of Tamil (LTTE) into a narrow slice of territory in the northeast part of the island. Unfortunately, along with the thousands of die-hard Tamil rebels over forty thousand refugees are stuck and unable to leave the area. The United Nations appealed to the government of Sri Lanka to work for a solution which would allow evacuation, but the people of Sri Lanka simply want an end to fighting and if more civilians die, that is just too bad. A UN representative warned if the Sri Lanka army enters the enclave, the Tamil Tigers will not allow anyone to leave and will fight to the last man which will ensure a bloodbath.

The latest reports indicate over 400 Tamil Tigers have died in recent weeks and in most cases they fought on until death rather than surrender. In the end, true believe in a cause justifies one’s death and that of innocent people.

Sri Lanka War May Conclude In Disaster

The long war in Sri Lanka is just about over but for thousandsk of innocent people trapped in a small area on the northeast corner of the island, they may become the last victims of a war that once seemingly had no end. Rebels belonging to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) have been pushed into a corner but they have dragged thousands of civilians into the small enclave in order to deter the Sri Lanka army from completing the task of ending the war. The UN is pleading with both sides to allow the civilians to leave, but neither side appears willing to budge. “If the Sri Lankan army would try to go into there,” said a UN official, if the LTTE would not be ready to let those civilians go, then we’ll wind up with a bloodbath, and this must by all means be avoided.”

In London, supporters of the LTTE demonstrated but their group’s reign of terror has hardened the hearts of the Sri Lankan government. The LTTE most probably wants to use the civilians as a cover to escape. It is doubtful if the government will allow that exit strategy.

End Of Tamil Tigers At Hand?

Many of the Tamil Tigers still fighting in northeast Sri Lanka were born into a world of war, spent their childhood in war, entered adolescence in war and have been fighting for years without ever having once experienced the idea of peace. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE) are now trapped with their leader, Velupillai Prabhakran, into an area of 21 square miles in the northeast section of the country. The ruthless ruler of LTTE has been a demi-god for nearly thirty years and has made decisions that impacted the lives of his followers. For years, a Tamil Tiger could not marry, but in 1984, the leader married a university student and suddenly marriage was OK.

Parbhakran has three choices — surrender, flight or death. He probably is not the suicide type and will undoubtedly find an excuse to leave the island. If he goes, the entire revolution will most probably come to a stand still and end. At this point, for most inhabitants of Sri Lanka, that would be the best solution.

The real task is now for the government to reach out and grant amnesty to all fighters and begin the process of reconciliation. A reading of Abraham Lincoln’s policy toward the defeated South would help Sri Lanka leaders understand what to do.

The End Draws Near In Sri Lanka War

One of the world’s longest conflicts is drawing to an end on the island of Sri Lanka as government troops have pushed the rebel Tamil Tigers into a small enclave in the northeast section of the island. Over 70,000 have died in this twenty five year civil war which has caused untold deaths by suicide bombers and dislocation of life. The United Nations says that thousands of innocent civilians are trapped inside the enclave along with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) who apparently do not wish to quietly exist the stage of violence. Naturally, the rebels claim civilians wish to remain so they can get killed. Why is it that those who claim to be defending the rights of people invariably ensure the people they are protecting wind up dead?

Hopefully, leaders of Sri Lanka can take note of how Abraham Lincoln ended the American Civil War. He granted amnesty to just about all rebels and encouraged them to return to their homes and once again engage in farming and commerce. This is not the time for terrible retribution against those who rebelled.

Did Pakistan Government Know Of Cricket Attack?

The recent attack on Sri Lanka cricket players by members of the Tamil Tiger opposition group has raised new questions concerning the effectiveness of the Pakistan government. Opposition leader former Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, who was ousted by the Zardari government, charges the Pakistan government knew of the intending attack but did nothing to prevent it. Shahbaz claims the Crime Investigation Department (CID) had already informed the government about a terrorist threat to the cricket team, but there was no follow up to their warning. Shahbaz insists, “I also held meetings with the inspector general of police, the home secretary, Ejaz Butt and other officials concerned to prepare a plan to thwart the terrorism attempt, due to the strong possibility of such an incident occurring. But the governor’s government diverted the attention of security agencies to some other issue.”

It is difficult to ascertain if this is an accurate version of what happened, but the story can readily be believed due to the corruption and inefficiency of the Pakistan government. Until the current government cleans house in the security section of the military, it is difficult believing Pakistan will ever take action against terrorism.

India Offers Help To End War In Sri Lanka

The Indian government which has a strong interest in the plight of Tamils who reside in Sri Lanka has offered to use its influence in an effort to persuade Tamil Tigers to lay down their arms and end the fighting. Sri Lanka troops have completely surrounded the area and within a week will most probably have captured or killed the last remaining Tamil fighters. The government of India notes as the conflict winds down, Tamil Tigers “would best serve their interests” by releasing civilians trapped in the area and lay down their arms. India offered to facilitate evacuation of civilians and work with the Sri Lanka government to resolve remaining issues in the conflict. It strongly urged the victorious Sri Lanka government to address needs and interests of the Tamil minority in their country in order to avoid future hostile actions.

In 1987, India and Sri Lanka worked out an agreement that would provide more extensive local autonomy in areas where Tamil people live and it offered to assist in the reconstruction of devastated areas and move toward integration of the Tamils into the government and economy of Sri Lanka. India External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee urged Sri Lanka, “in our view, after 23 years of conflict, there is today a political opportunity to restore lfe to normalcy in the northern province” and this will be achieved by consideration of the desires of the local Tamil population.

Tamil Tigers In Sri Lanka Kill Their Own People

The Tamil Tigers who have conducted a civil war in Sri Lanka for over two decades are now trapped in a narrow portion at the northern tip of the island. UNICEF reports the rebels are desperate and are forcing civilians to aid them and even recruiting children in order to have more soldiers in their collapsing rebellion. According to UN officials, “we have clear indication that the LTTE has intensified the forcible recruitment of civilians and that children as young as 14 old are now being targeted.” The end is near for the Tamil insurgents and they apparently intend to take down as many civilians and children with them as the noose tightens around them.

Most of the remaining Tamil are in a small area and if civilians attempt to leave the rebels either shoot them or force them to remain behind and become part of the debacle that shortly will engulf those who continue fighting. Those civilians who manage to escape find there are few medical facilities available to care for them and even those are being shelled by both sides.

The curtain is coming down on the Tamil Tigers and it is tragic that a group which claimed to be fighting for their people’s right to have freedom are now killing those same people.

Sri Lanka, The War That Arouses No Protests

A civil war has raged for nearly three decades on the island nation of Sri Lanka in which at least 70,000 have died, but for some reason this slaughter has never captured the interest or imagination of the radical left which is concerned about human rights. Government forces have now pushed the remaining Tamil Tigers into a 142 square mile area in which there are also thousands of innocent civilians, but artillery continues to blast away and hundreds of civilians continue to be killed. There are only some improvised hospitals to care for dozens who daily are wounded or killed as the desperate Tamil guerrillas conduct a last ditch struggle for survival. As General Nadya Nanayakkar notes: “we don’t mind if they are captured or swallow cyanide. They have been a cancer to this country and they must suffer.”

Tamil forces are suffering but so are thousands of civilians who are caught in the cross fire. The International Red Cross says dozens of people daily arrive at makeshift hospitals which lack facilities or trained personnel. Shelling continues on the part of both sides. Yesterday, a Tamil Tiger threw a grenade into a bus as the rebels prefer dying to surrendering.

The United States of America had a civil war in which over 500,000 died, not 70,000. The Lincoln government offered peace and no punishment to those who began the war in order to heal the wounds of battle. This might be good advice for the government of Sri Lanka.

Civilians Die In Sri Lanaka’s Unseen War

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.

The Future Of Sri Lanka- Where Is It Going?

The Civil War which has raged in Sri Lanka for over a quarter of a century is apparently growing to an end as the last remaining bastions of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) are wiped out and those found in them killed. For the first time in years, it is possible to move in certain areas without fear of death, but in some last ditch efforts, a Tamil Tiger woman blew herself up and killed twenty people. Suicide deaths will probably be a weapon employed by the remaining members of the group as they hide in jungles and attempt to continue their fight. Red Cross and international supplies are arriving to assist refugees, but military sources have been attempting to be the ones handing them out in order to convince the local population the government is their friend and protector.

The Sri Lanka army was modernized with Chinese and Pakistani assistance in 2008 which led to the recent successful operation to wipe out the LTTE. A remaining problem is use by LTTE forces of civilians who have been unable to leave. In a sense they are hostages of the Tigers who have become anything but tigers as their positions are over run and their friends killed.

Victory without concessions to the needs of the Tamil people will only result in another civil war some years down the road. It is now time to offer extensive local autonomy and integrate the minority within the nation in a manner that respects diversity.