Tag Archives: Sri Lankan

Sri Lanka War Winds Down

The decades long civil war in Sri Lanka between the Tamil minority and the government is nearly over as members of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) are pushed into a narrow area on the northeast section of the island. Leaders of the Tamil Tigers appealed for international action that might lead the government to halt its offense and allow a cease fire. They made clear, “we also wish to inform the international community that we are ready to discuss, cooperate and work together in all their efforts to bring an immediate ceasefire and work towards a political settlement.” The words sound peaceful, but after over 25 years of killing it is unrealistic for the Tamil leaders to suddenly claim they only want a peaceful resolution of the conflict. The government made clear they want a white flag of surrender and will not accept anything less.

The Sri Lanka government position is understandable, but there is also room for making clear to the Tamil minority there now is an opportunity to end discrimination and accord Tamils equal rights. The murderous suicide bombs of the LTTE has engendered anger and hate. It is too late to suddenly change minds about how to fight for equality. Perhaps, if the LTTE had looked across to India they might have achieved their goals by adopting the ideas of an Indian leader- Gandhi.

Sri Lanka Civil War Nearly Over

One of the world’s longest lasting civil wars now appears over as Sri Lankan forces captured more bases in their nation including the headquarters of leaders of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE). The last remaining forces of the LTTE are fleeing to a narrow stretch of land in the northeast area of the island. UN Chief Ban Ki-moon expressed his concern that thousands of civilians are still trapped in areas where fighting continues and urged the government to allow civilians free passage to safety. Many civilians claim the LTTE is preventing them from leaving battle areas in order to create the image government forces are killing the innocent. Reports indicate many hospitals have dead bodies which they can not move since relatives are unable to pick them up due to fighting.

The conclusion of the American Civil War is a good model for the Sri Lankan government. The defeated Confederate soldiers surrendered and were sent home to resume their lives without any punishment. The Sri Lankan government should announce an amnesty to any LTTE member who is willing to surrender his arms and agree to resume a peaceful life. However, the next step is for the Sri Lankan government to address issues of discrimination against its Tamil minority.

Migrant Workers Abused In Middle East Claims Report

The Middle East is now temporary home to hundreds of thousands of migrant workers who mainly come from Asian nations like India, Pakistan,Sri Lanka and elsewhere. The Human Rights Watch has issued a report on the conditions faced by Sri Lankan immigrants in the Middle East that is entitled: “Exported and Exposed: Abuses Against Sri Lankan Domestic Workers in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Lebanon, and the United Arab Emirates.” The immigrants are mainly women and they encounter a variety of abusive behaviors such as not getting paid or being under paid, physical and psychological abuse, sexual abuse, long hours of work, confiscation of passports so they cannot readily return home, and restrictions that make it difficult for them to learn what are the norms in their new country of residence. It is estimated many of the Sri Lankan women work 18 hour days, seven days a week and receive about $100 a month for their labor.

The condition of the migrant workers is among the most ignored stories in any discussion of Middle Easter issues. Migrants constitute a rather large percent of several small nations like Kuwait or Omar. They lack leverage on the system to bring about changes and most Middle Eastern nations tend to believe that migrant workers are better off, with all the abuse, than being elsewhere.