Sunday, February 8, 2009

Sri Lankan Resistance Over

Reports from Sri Lanka indicate that time and territory are about to run out for a decades old opposition group, the Tamil Tigers. The Sri Lankan army has taken control of Kilinochchi, a city on the northern tip of the island that was the political and military headquarters of the Tigers. Aid groups cannot keep up with the steadily increasing humanitarian crisis, the last hospital in the region has been forced to evacuate. The last remaining rebel fighters are hemmed in around Mullaittivu, a town on the northeast coast. Designated a terrorist group by the U.S. in 1997, the Tigers are reported to have purchased arms from Myanmar, Ukraine, Cambodia and other sources, with profits from drugs and human trafficking, money laundering, piracy and credit card fraud. The violence has been ruthless on both sides, Tamils and government troops alike, but the government's first moves in the next few months will be critical in deciding whether the bloodshed is truly over. A rapid and substantial overhaul of Sri Lanka's human rights laws and the majority's treatment of ethnic minority groups must occur to ensure that opposition groups don't turn to violence instead of a strong system of social justice.

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