The Great Debate UK
“Colombo should make public its lists of the interned and allow the Red Cross access to all places of detention and all aspects of the “screening” process conducted by the military and intelligence agencies.
The international community has a clear role to play in convincing the Sri Lankan government to take these steps.” – Robert Templer, Asia program Director, International Crisis Group, 21 July 2009 In a damming article in the International Herald Tribune, Robert Templer of the International Crisis Group, called for the Tamil doctors who remain detained, having renounced the statements they made during the final stages of the conflict, to be released stating “This farce should end: They should be freed”.
As the Government of Sri Lanka continues to imprison over 300,000 Tamil civilians in barbed-wire camps, with limited access for aid agencies and international media, the international community seems content with the military ‘guided tours’ of these camps orchestrated for the benefit of foreign diplomats and allow the Sri Lankan Ministry of Defence to boast claims that “the welfare centres were the best in the world”.
Civilians are dying by the hundreds and possibly thousands in the northeast of Sri Lanka. As government troops converge on the remaining forces of the rebel LTTE (Tamil Tigers) in a tiny strip of coastal land, tens of thousands of civilians remained trapped in the crossfire — getting killed and maimed in large numbers both by indiscriminate army shelling and by the rebels preventing them from fleeing, with equally lethal force.