I have been regularly following up with the news from Sri Lanka. Images and news from this civil war brought me solemn concern and uneasiness. Here in London, I caught this scene one weekend early this month. A sense of helplessness arrived soon after I stepped deep into the scene seeing men, children, elders and women yelling out loud their urging need and asking for international intervention. They were right, Sri Lanka is facing a humantarian criris; although, the Tigers themselves also committed the type of war crime that they are pledging against Sri Lankan government. There can never be a right reason for war and violence. Yet, at times people involved seem to put on a convincing case with the Tamil Tiger for their own justice (or injustice).
Last Thursday, Sri Lanka's President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, rejected advice from European high-level delegations to proceed a temporary ceasefire and told the representatives to stop lecturing him.
According to the United Nation, 6,500 civilian have died and twice have been wounded since late January. At the moment, there are still 50,000 civilians are trapped in the combat zone with very little humanitarian supports. The refuge camps are reported to be "overcrowding, malnourishment, dehydration and limited medical facilities." Despite growing tension with foreign governments, the Sri Lanka government has been unwilling to openly allow international support-groups to enter further into the war zone.
Last March, Sri Lanka reported its slowest economic growth rate in five years last year, at 6% underlining the need for the government to push ahead with talks on a bail-out from the International Monetary Fund. However, due to the government's resistance, the United States had decided to delay a $1.9 billion International Monetary Fund bailout for Sri Lanka’s central bank to pressure the government to do more to help trapped civilians.
Such intervention seems to do little to change the Sri Lankan government's attitude toward cooperation and helping displaced civilians from boths ethinic groups. International governments and agencies must continue to pressure Mahinda Rajapaksa's government to allow international humanitarian groups to rescue and provide basic aids to the war victims.