The twenty five year civil war has ended in Sri Lanka as government forces swept over the last defenses of rebels and most probably discovered the bodies of rebel leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran and his deputies in a pile of bodies of soldiers who most killed themselves rather than be captured. Yesterday, Tamil Tigers tried suicide attacks, but were killed in the attempt. Finally, on Sunday afternoon, came a statement from rebel official Selvarasa Pathmanathan which announced: “the battle has reached its bitter end. It is our people who are dying now from bombs, shells, illness and hunger. We cannot permit any more harm to come to them. We remain with one last choice –to remove the last weak excuse of the enemy for killing our people. We have to decided to silence our guns.”
The war is over. Now, comes the war of peace. There probably will be trials of leaders of the Tamil Tigers, but a spirit of reconciliation and hope is the best guarantee of possible long-term peace. Do not allow voices of hate to restart anger. Now, is the time for Sri Lanka leaders to follow the ideas of Abraham Lincoln who reached out the hand of peace to defeated Confederate soldiers.
The ending process of a civil war is as important as the origin of such a conflict. At the conclusion of the American Civil War which had resulted in the death of over 500,000 men, President Abraham Lincoln decided forgiveness and trust was the best way to heal the nation’s wounds. The Sri Lanka government has won its civil war as remaining insurgents are trapped in a narrow area in the northeast sector of the island. Sri Lanka’s president rejected calls from the United Nations for a cease fire which would allow civilians to escape from the firing zone. According to the UN’s satellite images, air strikes and artillery fire continue to hit areas which contain over 50,00 civilians whose only goal is to escape the chaos and destruction.
Sri Lanka pledged earlier in the week to end use of artillery and air attacks, but evidence from the UN satellite reveals ongoing bombing. Nearly 6,500 civilians have been killed since the beginning of the year since they are unable to escape the fighting zone. There is no question the Tamil Tigers are hypocrites in now seeking a cease fire, but the interests of civilians should take precedence over anger toward the Tamil Tigers who already have enough blood on their hands.
During the past two weeks, the Sri Lanka armed forces have continuously denied employing artillery or heavy weapons in pounding away at trapped members of the Tamil Tigers. Today, it announced it was ending the use of artillery and air strikes which is remarkable given that they have never used such weapons in recent days. “Our security forces have been instructed to end the use of heavy caliber guns, combat aircraft and aerial weapons which could cause civilian casualties.” The United Nations claims that over 6,000 civilians have died since January due to the non-existent bombardment. A doctor working in the “no-fire zone” claims the area is still being bombed. Thangamutha Sathiyamoorthy says there have been nine air strikes in his vicinity during the day.
The Sri Lanka government yesterday rejected an offer by the Tamil Tigers for a cease fire arguing the offer was a “joke,” After decades of fighting and killing it is difficult for anyone to accept the Tamil Tiger claim they seek a cease fire for “humanitarian” reasons. They are whipped, they are defeated, and want a face saving way to surrender. Unfortunately, the struggle has lasted too long and they will not receive any consideration by the government.
Posted in Asia, Human Rights, Military, Multicultural, Peace, Politics, War, World News
Tagged air strikes, civilian deaths, Sri Lanka, surrender, Tamil Tigers
After decades of fighting, the government of Sri Lanka has finally defeated the Tamil Tigers and confined them in a narrow area in the northeast portion of the island. Reports that thousands of innocent civilians were trapped in the narrowing circle of insurgents led to promises there would be a “no-fie zone” to avoid further casualties to the innocent. The Sri Lanka government has not kept its promise and hundreds of civilians are being killed as artillery shells pour into the area and rip apart the bodies of civilians as well as the remaining Tiger forces. Gnana Gunalan, a doctor in the area, notes: “most of the people have shell blast injuries and gunshot injuries. Some people have lost their limbs, others have lost other parts of their body, some people have wounds in the abdomen, some in the chest.”
The Sri Lanka government turned down an appeal by the United Nations to provide more time for the evacuation of civilians. The government now denies anyone wounded to be taken to larger medical facilities away from the “no-fire zone.” Is this the best way to end a civil war– by hate and violence? We suggest the Sri Lanka government read how Abraham Lincoln handled the end of a civil war.