Aadhavan made a valid comment about rejecting international opinion outright and joining the ranks of China, Russia and Libya. I’m not for that. However, a lot of the stuff in the international media is poorly researched and sourced largely from LTTE-supporting diaspora. I’m serious, the footage they get is from TamilNet or Vanni Mercy Mission or whatever. So I reject that. However, the recent statements that came from Barack Obama and the UN do make sense and I thank them. They basically call for the LTTE to lay down arms, let the hostages go and for Sri Lanka to allow much more humanitarian relief in.
I think this is about right. It is vital to condemn the LTTE. Whatever, negotiating position they were in before is pretty nullified by the despicable use of human shields. As Obama said ‘Their forced recruitment of civilians and their use of civilians as human shields is deplorable. These tactics will only serve to alienate all those who carry them out.’
That is clear. That the LTTE needs to let our people go. Then Obama is in a valid position to say:
I’m also calling on the Sri Lankan government to take several steps to alleviate this humanitarian crisis. First, the government should stop the indiscriminate shelling that has taken hundreds of innocent lives, including several hospitals, and the government should live up to its commitment to not use heavy weapons in the conflict zone.
Second, the government should give United Nations humanitarian teams access to the civilians who are trapped between the warring parties so that they can receive the immediate assistance necessary to save lives.
Third, the government should also allow the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross access to nearly 190,000 displaced people within Sri Lanka so that they can receive additional support that they need.
The United States stands ready to work with the international community to support the people of Sri Lanka in this time of suffering. I don’t believe that we can delay. Now is the time for all of us to work together to avert further humanitarian suffering.
Now is the time for the LTTE to lay down arms and let its hostages go. Now is the time for the government to admit it needs help (which it does internally) and allow much more local and international humanitarian assistance. We have to unite with the civilians now and give them every possible support. Within Sri Lanka.