Tag Archives: victory

Sri Lanka Horror Continues As 15,000 Reported Killed

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.

Sri Lanka Civil War Ends– But Does Peace Begin?

In the spring of 1865, defeated General Robert E. Lee turned over his sword to General Grant of the Union Army, and then Lee and his men got on their horses and headed home to begin the arduous process of re-uniting a nation that had just witnessed 500,000 men die. In the spring of 2009, Sri Lanka forces smashed the last holdout of the Tamil Tiger rebels and killed virtually all the top officers of the rebel army including the leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran. The issue is the same as in 1865, how do those who have killed one another for years begin the process of peace? It is estimated about 7,000 Tamil civilians were killed by Sri Lankan forces during the past three months in their determined effort to wipe out the entire Tamil Tiger force.

European Union officials are calling for a war crimes investigation about the deaths of civilians who were never able to escape the tight situation of being trapped behind enemy lines. The Sri Lanka government insists they did not kill civilians and it is all the fault of the dead Tamil Tiger leaders. General Sarath Fonseka told the world: “We can announce very responsibly that we have liberated the whole country from terrorism.”

Actually, his statement may not be accurate. There are still terrorist groups within the cities of Sri Lanka. Now, is the time to reach out to them with amnesty, promises of assistance to secure work and incorporation into the government of the nation. Reconciliation is the best path to peace.

Sri Lankan Forces Take Rebel Capital

For nearly one fourth of a century, war has raged within Sri Lanka between Tamil and Sinhalese forces. The nation has witnessed nonstop killing, suicide bombers, air strikes, war and devastation as the two groups battle for the right to impose their view of reality upon the island. President Mahinda Rajapakse insists “this was an unparalleled victory,” ignoring that years ago the rebel capital was captured and then lost. Most probably, it is a psychological victory and makes it more difficult for the Tamil Tigers to continue their fighting. Even as the president demanded surrender, the capital of Colombo was rocked by a suicide bomber who killed three and injured 37, many of whom were members of the air force.

Planet Earth has these ongoing wars in which each side is confident it alone knows the truth and that truth will eventually be triumphant. After a war that has gone on for 25 years it is difficult to use expressions such as “victory” or “defeat” given that over 70,000 people have died. Does anyone even know today, what would constitute “victory” in this endless war of hate and violence?

Bush-Get The Feeling, Want To Go, Want To Stay?

President Bush appears to want things both ways, he, and John McCain, would like to boast the famous surge has reduced violence, and he wants to boast troops will be coming home, but at the same time he wants to maintain more troops in Iraq than were present before the surge. He has absolutely no plan to deal with the war in Afghanistan except to say we need more troops. The rhetoric of the Bush-McCain coalition is that there is such a thing called “victory,” although that is never defined and, most probably, will never be achieved. Leaders in Iraq have consistently supported the idea proposed by Senator Obama that all American troops should be out as soon as possible, but Bush wants to keep them in place. At the core of the Republican position is everything must be done to support the candidacy of John McCain he wants the United States to “stay the course.”

Bush and McCain insist we have attained “victory.” The Iraq government is not cooperating with Sunnis who fought as part of Awakening Councils and, one can hypothesize that eventually will result in violence. The Taliban grow stronger every day and one can assume Senator McCain, if victorious, will be informing the American people we need another “surge” in Afghanistan to attain “victory.”