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February 13, 2009
Sri Lanka’s civilians ensnared by rebel-government battling

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse and his military chiefs. The president announced that the Tamil Tiger separatists would be completely routed in a matter of days. Photo: United Nations/IRIN

Sri Lanka’s government continues its battle against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and has made gains, but the conflict is killing 40 civilians every day.

The Tamil Tigers have long fought for an independent state for Sri Lanka’s Tamil ethnic minority, and held a stronghold in the north. Fighting in Sri Lanka has been more deadly than that in Afghanistan.

The United Nations and Red Cross have urged combatants to allow civilians to leave, but there may be from 100,000 to 350,000 civilians in the conflict zone. The government has restricted access for journalists and aid workers.

A Worldfocus contributing blogger at “The East Asia Forum” explains how the conflict originated and what the future holds for Sri Lanka’s government and the Tamil community.

The conflict in Sri Lanka

The ongoing conflict between the Tamil Tigers (LTTE) and the Sinhalese-dominated government has kept Sri Lanka in civil war for the last 27 years.

A designated terrorist group, the LTTE are accused of assassinating top political leaders including an Indian Prime Minister, a Sri Lankan President and a Sri Lankan presidential candidate. The LTTE has also assassinated many moderate Tamil leaders, making the conflict more than just ‘ethnic’.

In 2002, when a ceasefire was declared, the LTTE were at their strongest. They ran a de facto state complete with their own taxation system, courts, police and passport control. In addition to commanding ground cadres, the LTTE controlled a naval unit and a small airforce. Further, the Sri Lankan government funded schools and hospitals in LTTE controlled areas.

The political landscape shifted dramatically after the election of President Rajapaksa in November 2005. After the new Government invested large amounts of money in the military, and the LTTE attempted to assassinate both the defence secretary and the army commander, the country was again at war by 2007, even with the peace process still officially in place.

From a military perspective, the gains made by the government security forces have been extraordinary. The LTTE are currently restricted to less than 250 square kilometers of land, after controlling more than 18,000 square kilometers in 2006. In the country’s recent Independence Day celebrations, President Rajapaksa claimed the war would be over within days. Nevertheless, the army commander concedes that the LTTE may revert to guerilla warfare and that pockets of resistance are likely to remain.

Politically speaking, what does these recent developments mean? There is a strong possibility that elections will be called in the near future and if so, the incumbent party is likely to win with a strong mandate. Moreover, the potential end of Asia’s longest war is predicted to trump voter concerns about the economy, accusations of human rights violations by the military, the murder and harassment of journalists and alleged corruption in government institutions.

A major concern will be the plight of the Tamils. If the LTTE are eliminated as a politico-military force, then there is the potential that the government will not adequately address their grievances.

To read more, see the original post.

The views expressed by contributing bloggers do not reflect the views of Worldfocus or its partners.

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Dear ‘World Focus’ staff,

Can you please do your duty, and report the truth about the terrible suffering of Tamils in Sri Lanka today. You know, that even Mr Obama has now come out and spoken out against the Genocide of Tamils in Sri Lanka. Please HELP save lives. 1000’s of lives. Infact if we think of all Tamils in SL, that’s millions of lives. PLEASE HELP!



Tamils living outside Sri Lanka know the truth. They know what is really happening because they have relatives who have been killed and injured in the North-East area of Sri Lanka. Many in the Tamil Diaspora have been victims of Sri Lankan State terror / Army atrocities.

ALL OF THESE SRI LANKAN STATE ATROCITIES HAVE BEEN DOCUMENTED WITH FULL EVIDENCE WITH HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANISATIONS. You can check with them yourselves. Or check the reports published on Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and the Red Cross.

Please don’t become a mouthpiece of the Sri Lankan govt. Please report the TRUTH. or atleast publish the reports from Tamil Journalists, Politicians and Medical Staff.

The Sinhala people are NOT SUFFERING!

The Tamil people ARE SUFFERING!!!!

– Tamils are living in fear in Sri Lanka. They have a miserable life.

– Tamils are afraid of the Sri Lankan Police & Army.

– Tamils are living in fear of Sinhala Thugs, Criminals: ex-Sinhala Army Soldiers who deserted SL Army, Drug Dealers and other criminals.

– Tamils are living in fear of Kidnappers. Most are kidnapped at random by Sri Lankan Intelligency Agency (Secret Police) and tortured for information on LTTE.

– How many innocent Tamils languish in Prisons today???

– How many innocent Tamils have been brutally TORTURED?

– How many poor innocent Tamil girls have been RAPED???



Tamils and Singhalese were united when the British left in 1948. Mistakes were made by the majority Singhalese, but instead of using the democratic process to address these isues, the Tamil terrorist factions have resorted to terror. Tamil Terrorists actuallu invented the suicide bomber. Hatred never gets anyone anything worthwhile. Thank You for the reporting.


Thamizh does not know any history or geography – Sri Lanka has had a mejority of Singhala people for a recorded 3000 years, Tamils have been a part of that country, but there are 50 million Tamils in India (their original land) There are only 25 million Singhalese in the entire world and some Tamils want Sri Lanka too? Tamils and Singhalese have lived peacefully for dacades, many Tamils hold very high posts in Gov and the private sector. Terro by some Tamils have now pushed that country into a “middle east” of Asia.
Tamil terrorists murdered Rajeve Ghandi too!
Thanks Worldfocus for reporting.


I beg the International Media orgs to report the Truth pls and not become a mouth piece of the Sinhala Sri Lanka State.
THAMIL EELAM is the name of Tamil’s traditional homeland/territory in (what is now known as) Sri Lanka -> reliable, true News -> Truth/Facts about Tamils

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