Sri Lanka: Winning The Peace

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May 29, 2009: The government wants to get all the displaced Tamils in the north, back to their homes by the end of the year. Winning the peace won't be easy. The majority of Sri Lankans are bitter over how the Tamil minority supported decades of terror and destruction. The Tamils still believe they are an oppressed minority. The fighting has ended, but the hatreds that got it started are still there.

During the last weeks of the war, 271,967 Tamil civilians fled to government controlled territory. The LTTE had sought to use this mass of civilians as human shields. The civilians knew that, and most wanted nothing to do with that sort of thing. In the same period, 9,100 LTTE fighters surrendered, 20 percent of them women. Another 22,000 LTTE fighters, many of them recently recruited or conscripted teenagers. These have to be carefully screened to try and detect diehard LTTE members who want to continue the fight.

The government continues to refuse access, by NGO (non-governmental organization) aid organizations, to the Tamil refugee camps. The government has found much evidence that the NGOs became allies and supporters of the LTTE during the decade that the LTTE controlled much of northern and eastern Sri Lanka. Letting the NGOs back in would provide the LTTE with an assist in reestablishing itself. The UN Human Rights Council refused to condemn Sri Lanka of atrocities, with many European nations, that the suspect NGOs come from, voting to condemn Sri Lanka.

The army has proposed that its strength be increased from 200,000 to 300,000, to prevent a revival of the LTTE fighting force in Sri Lanka. The expatriate Tamil community still contains a lot of LTTE supporters, who also support continuing the war to partition Sri Lanka. There are still hundreds of LTTE activists in eastern Sri Lanka, more than a year after the LTTE was defeated in that area.

Captured documents and interrogations of surrendered and captured LTTE members indicates that a number of Sinhalese journalists had been bribed by the LTTE to write stories with a pro-LTTE slant. Bribing journalists is common in most of the world, although it has become fashionable to try and conceal that you have been bought.

May 28, 2009: The government said that it had DNA evidence that confirm the death of LTTE leader Vellupillai Prabhakaran. Many LTTE members overseas don’t believe the photographic evidence of Prabhakaran's death, even though the LTTE organization has acknowledged it and declared a week of morning.

May 26, 2009: Troops encountered, fought and killed 11 LTTE fighters 220 kilometers southeast of where the LTTE leadership was killed last week. This was the second time in the last week that such small groups were found, apparently fleeing the final defeat of the LTTE. It is believed that there are a dozen or more of these small teams, who are carrying lots of weapons and attempting to find a Tamil village where they know someone and can hide their weapons while they begin recruiting and rebuilding an LTTE guerilla and terrorist force. The government has found some LTTE officials among the 270,000 Tamil refugees. These officials insist they have become disillusioned and want nothing to do with the LTTE anymore, but the government is not sure if these LTTE leaders can be trusted.

 

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