Sri Lanka Outlaws Tamil Rebels

Sri Lankan troops just won a major victory by seizing the Tamil rebel capital and being in a position to completely end the civil war which has raged for over two decades. Instead of using its position of power to offer conciliation to the Tamil, the Sri Lankan government decided on hard policy and officially outlawed the rebels. The government ruled out any possibility of peace negotiations since it apparently expected complete victory and an end to the rebellion. Sri Lanka has refused to allow outside media into fighting zones so it is difficult to know the exact strength or desires of Tamil rebels.

The real question is whether loss of the capital will be the type of blow which ends the ability of the Tamil rebels to continue fighting. They have previously suffered severe losses only to bounce back since there are numerous sources in the world to supply them with money and arms. The taste of victory in January may be replaced in August with the bitter taste of war and death. Now is the time to make every effort to offer compromise and bring the Tamils into the government rather pushing them to the outside.