Accounts are emerging of widespread terror against civilians during the past few months as rebel Tamil Tigers fought for survival against government forces. Civilians report they were shot at by the Tamil Tigers because they tried to escape entrapment in the area which was being shelled by the army. There are reports the Sri Lanka army used phosphorous bombs as they blasted the remaining rebel sites, and it appears the LTTE also employed such bombs that wound up killing innocent civilians. A health official claims as many as 15,000 civilians were killed during the last three months of fighting even as the UN and other nations urged the Sri Lanka government to reduce shelling and attempt to negotiate a peaceful surrender.
There is joy throughout Sri Lanka to celebrate the end of a disastrous 25 year civil war, but the legacy of death and destruction lingers on. Civilians are now able to describe life under siege by the Sri Lanka army in which there were no medical facilities and food and shelter were scare. The only hope is from this devastation can arise a new sense of building ties of friendship with all those who live on the island.