Monday, May 18, 2009

Sri Lanka: Tamil Rebels Routed, Their Leader Killed

Will the Country Go for Amnesty
and Reconciliation or Racism Again?

Top and bottom photos: Vellupillai Prabhakaran, Tamil rebel chief
and founder of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)

Photos Courtesy:

The government of Sri Lanka in a television broadcast has announced that its armed forces routed the Tamil rebels completely and killed 250 rebels including their leader Vellupillai Prabhakaran, reports The New York Times. With this the 26-year-old civil war, the longest running civil war in the world, came to an end.

At this news, the Sinhalese, the majority community in Sri Lanka who have been fighting the minority Tamils, took to the streets singing and dancing.

Selvarasa Pathmanathan, the spokesman of the Tamil Tigers in London, on Sunday said in the TamilNet website: "This battle has reached its bitter end. We have decided to silence our guns." The Tamils in diaspora, those living abroad, although saddened by the latest event, would not give up their fight for independence.

Foreign Ministers of the European Union in Brussels said that they were highly concerned over the reports of high civilian casualties and urged an independent inquiry into alleged violations of international humanitarian and human rights law by both sides.

Observers believe that this time the government of Sri Lanka should be prudent enough to treat the Tamils in such a way that they do not feel alienated again, that they enjoy equality with the majority Sinhalese community and that they be given autonomy in Tamil-majority regions in the north and east of the country. If magnanimity is not shown on the part of the government this time, Sri Lanka will again fall into chaos and the Tamils are most likely to resort to different kind of insurgency -- like that of Iraq and Afghanistan -- bombings in public places and streets. Mr. Prabhakaran is gone, but his legacy will remain for a long time. The government of Sri Lanka needs to act judiciously from this very moment to make Sri Lanka a united and peaceful country that may be an example in South Asia.

Bookmark and Share