End of the Line for Tamil Tigers
I have blogged about the Sri Lankan civil war before.
There are reports that some 20,000 people have fled conflict zones in March. About 30,000 fled in February – but fighting was more widespread then.
The rebel Tamil Tigers have been beaten back to a tiny area of only about 20 square kilometres.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa has said there will be no cease fire, because this would just give the Tigers a chance to regroup and call in reinforcements.
The Tamil Tigers will not want to surrender, because this will be a defeat from which they cannot recover.
Things could get nasty over the next few days.
As at Thursday evening, fierce fighting is continuing, with both sides claiming they have inflicted heavy losses on the other. According to the Sri Lankan military, the battle has entered its final phase.
Once the fighting is over, the majority Sinhalese government in Colombo must start to treat its Tamil citizens as real people with the full rights of citizens. If it does not, the same anger will continue to grow until to some, at least, it seems as if violence is the only option. An interesting perspective on this from British/Tamil rapper MIA, who was a child refugee from Sri Lanka.
Of course she does not mention that much of the violence and destruction in the North has been caused by the Tamil Tigers, nor that you cannot expect government personnel to go and rebuild roads and hospitals when it is likely they’ll be shot or kidnapped if they do.