I took this photo of Vavuniya. I’m sorry CNN can’t get in. Maybe they need to work smarter
The main story in the Western media seems to be how little access the Western media gets. However, there are Sri Lankan people here, we are not powerless and we fully understand the terrible terrible sacrifices both our civilians and soldiers are making. But, in all seriousness, we are the good (and terribly flawed) guys. Sri Lanka is good and offers hope for all its citizens, though God knows we must work for it. The international pressure now must be on the LTTE to lay down their arms, lay down the suicide bombs, free their child soldiers and let our people go.
To that end I’m very thankful to see the statement from the UN saying:
“The Security Council members, we expressed our deep concern about the humanitarian situation … and the plight of the civilians trapped within the conflict area,” Mexican U.N. Ambassador Claude Heller told reporters after an informal meeting of the 15-nation council on Sri Lanka.
In a summary of the closed-door meeting, he said council members “strongly condemned” the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), who are apparently using civilians trapped in a 5 square mile (13 square km) strip of land as human shields.
Frankly, I think the ‘International Community’ and international media are far too quick to offer solutions without looking at the situation. And they are, frankly, largely impotent and irrelevant. Note that Al Jazeera is doing real reporting. They have an actual guy on the ground in Palmudai, the anchors ask real questions and so they report that the LTTE is firing on people and holding them hostage.
The other media seems to be like, ‘We don’t understand so, just, er, stop’. Seriously, on CNN I often see the anchor being like ‘I don’t know what’s going on’ and the reporter being like ‘Yeah me neither’ and I’m like, ‘congratulations on publicly sucking at your jobs’. But Al Jazeera does well.
I think the internationals can help, but they need to help Sri Lanka. The LTTE is calling for a ceasefire to save their own skins, and they are holding innocent Sri Lankans as human shields because they are cowards.
Those protestors abroad are waving LTTE flags and calling for Tamil Eelam and a lift of the ban on the LTTE. They too are cowards, using those innocent people as poster fodder.
The hope for Sri Lanka lies in unity. We have to unite, we have to cast off the LTTE and we have to deliver immediate relief to our fellow citizens in the North. The armed forces must exercise utmost care in saving civilian lives, but we should not doubt for a moment their bravery and sacrifice. They are fighting for Sri Lanka and the LTTE is fighting for themselves. It’s important to recognize that.
The best thing the international community could do is call on the LTTE to surrender and lay down it’s arms. This is a draft petition to the US State Department, but it works just as well for the ‘international community’ at large:
We appreciate the attention the international community has paid to our island. Sri Lankans are suffering in the North of our country and we, as fellow citizens, feel great compassion for their plight.
While we agree with your calls for a political solution from our government, we believe that you should be more forceful in condemning the LTTE. If the LTTE lays down their arms and accepts amnesty this war would be over in a matter of days. Instead they seem determined to conscript innocent civilians into their suicidal force.
We are painfully aware of the failings of our own government, but it is still our government. We are practicing our democracy and trying to change it. We hold no such hopes for the LTTE. As citizens of Sri Lanka, we would appreciate a clear statement demanding that the LTTE lay down its arms and release its human shields. Please tell the LTTE to let our people go.
I’m serious man. The only way out is for Sri Lanka to unite.