Sri Lanka: December 25, 2000


  Five soldiers were arrested on suspicion of involvement in the disappearance of eight civilians in Jaffna. The years of fighting with the rebels, plus the many rebel attacks on Sinhalese civilians, have created much anger in the mainly Sinhalese army. Soldiers have often treated Tamil civilians roughly. Meanwhile, the army said it would halt military operations on Christmas day, even though the government had rejected a rebel ceasefire offer. Although Sri Lanka has only a small Christian minority, Christmas is celebrated as a national holiday. The Christmas theme of "peace on earth, good will towards men" resonates with the majority Buddhists. 


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