The decades old civil war in Sri Lanka is drawing to a conclusion as government forces batter down the last remaining strongholds of rebel soldiers who belong to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Many nations have urged the Sri Lankan government to offer peace talks with rebel leaders in order to develop a transition process from war to peace, but these suggestions have been rejected. The government refuses to hold any discussions with the LTTE and will not accept anything other than a complete surrender. It has discussed the possibility of offering a limited amnesty. The military insists the remaining rebels are surrounded and are close to collapse having lost virtually all the territory they once controlled.
The Lankan Defense Secretary put it bluntly: “Nothing short of unconditional surrenders of arms and cadres could being an end to the offensive.” He made clear there is no future political role for the LTTE and its leaders punished. The Sri Lankan government insists it is conducting a “humanitarian” operation. The real issue is what began the civil war–failure of the government to respect the rights and dignity of its minority Tamil population.