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EDITIONS
Monday, 15 May, 2000, 15:02 GMT 16:02 UK
Should Sri Lanka seek outside help?
The Sri Lankan military has suffered setback after setback as Tamil Tiger rebels press home an offensive in the northern Jaffna peninsula.

The crisis has prompted calls for outside help to prevent the army suffering even more setbacks. The government says it is considering asking India for help in evacuating soldiers trapped in Jaffna.

But should other countries risk getting involved in Sri Lanka's long-running civil war? Or is the situation so serious that foreign intervention might be required?

This debate has now closed. Read your comments below.


I lost two uncles due to this war when they served in the Sri Lankan Army and it is truly sad to see that more young boys from both sides are going to die because of some stupid causes of patriotism and nationalism.

Chaturanga Bandaranayake, Australia
There should no foreign military involvement at present. The foreign involvement that is immediately required now is to bring about a political solution to this conflict. Why cannot the U.S, U.K, Canada and other countries who have been affected by the refugee problem arising out of this conflict, persuade the Sri Lankan Govenment to come to a political solution?
Siva Ratnam, USA

I am a teenager from Sri Lanka and it hurts me to see that a country will lose a generation because of this pointless war in country where it had the potential to be a rich nation and peaceful land. I lost two uncles due to this war when they served in the Sri Lankan Army and it is truly sad to see that more young boys from both sides are going to die because of some stupid cause of patriotism and nationalism.
Chaturanga Bandaranayake, Australia

The Sri Lankan Government has every right to ask for help. So did Pakistan against the creation of Bangladesh, the UK against their war in Argentina, in Bosnia and the list could go on. This fight is against a terrorist group who is fighting for a baseless cause with false propaganda. LTTE could not and cannot fulfil Tamil aspirations of any sort. They have killed and eradicated all those leaders who do not obey Prabhakaran.
Hematha, Hong Kong

The countries which provide safe haven to the LTTE and allow them to raise funds to finance the war should intervene and outlaw the LTTE. Unfortunately Britain is one of them helping to perpetuate this destruction. LTTE has one motive, power not the welfare of Tamil people.
Sonya, USA

Sri Lanka does not need outside help, except for military hardware, which will be purchased eventually. Also the conflict needs to be handled by the army and not by politicians. It is amusing see Indian nationals washing their hands of the matter, in spite of the fact that the Indian government provided arms and training to Tamil Separatists in the 80s and having a significant Tamil population within their borders sympathetic to Tamil Ealam.
K. Samaratunge, USA

Government should spend money on training programs to get the Tamil teenagers into the workforce

John Janakan, Australia
Sri Lanka has around 80% Sinhalese and 20% Tamils. But, if you look at the statistics it shows that the Sri Lankan military has less than 1% Tamils. It shows there is a fundamental problem within the way the country is governed. Imagine, living in your own country where you can't speak your mother language at your local police station. Let's fix these fundamental issues.
Government should spend money on training programs to get the Tamil teenagers into the workforce, instead of pushing them into a corner where they are forced to fight for their freedom.
John Janakan, Australia

What a pathetic situation? The war is certainly an internal affair. But wasn't it not foreign countries that harboured and assisted the LTTE from the very beginning to do what they are doing now. They got so powerful by the support of the foreigners who believed in their cause. Now when the Sri Lankan government wants assistance nobody is willing. Would any of the foreign countries that assist separatist movements like a situation that is faced in Sri Lanka by the Sri Lankans. It has not only taken lives, it is tearing a nation apart.
Devika, Sri Lanka

I find it Ironic that Tamils are claiming murder at the hands of the Sinhalese. How come I never see these murders when I travel amongst the suburbs in Colombo which see Tamils, Sinhalese, Burghers and Muslims living side by side in peace.
The Sri Lankan government should be given every assistance in combating the cancerous menace of LTTE terrorism. Firstly Britain should kick the LTTE head office out of London and stop this love affair they are having with these murderous terrorists masquerading as freedom fighters!
Lioness, UK

It is sure to say that whatever happens, something radical should be done NOW. To settle it once and for all. Perhaps international intervention could be useful, maybe for decommissioning of arms and talks, or the army should retreat and accept that it will not be solved, and a homeland for Tamils who WANT to live in a separate state would be best. Whatever Sri Lankans chose, it is to see that both groups are in the wrong, and it must not continue for another 17 years.
HN, London, England

There seems to be a thin line of divide between patriotism and terrorism!

Arnold, USA
No one seems to look for the root cause of current conditions in Sri Lanka. Thousands of homes of law abiding residents in Colombo and elsewhere in the country were burned by organised mobs. The Sri Lankan government did nothing to help or protect the victims.
Ceylon was a peaceful, tranquil and beautiful country until the respect for human rights was lost. That provided the breeding ground for terrorism. Many countries like Israel were born through terrorist acts. I am not justifying terrorism. There seems to be a thin line of divide between patriotism and terrorism!
Arnold, USA

I would say that the foreign countries have to wait they can't just go and capture the places the Tamil tigers have and give it to the government The other countries have to be fair. They should know that the tigers would fight back even if they capture the places the rebels had.
Srithar, Sri Lanka

What Sri Lanka desperately needs is an intelligent matured leader

Kolaan Aswar, Sri Lanka
What Sri Lanka desperately need is an intelligent matured leader from any race. A leader who respects the Sri Lankan nation. A leader people can proudly call "our king". Obviously the world cannot help!
For several decades people are taken for a ride. They are dying to see the rule of law in the country. One day when this vacuum is filled, peace will start to emerge no doubt. More time it takes, more destruction of the country and society is inevitable.
Kolaan Aswar, Sri Lanka

State terrorism is the problem in Sri Lanka. The UN should set up a war crime tribunal to inquire against Tamil atrocities carried out by the present and past governments.
Joseph Kannan, Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka government always called the Tamil Problem an "internal matter". Arms have failed the government, in fact, they have fallen into the hands of Tigers . Let Chandrika come to her senses and start talking of granting a separate Tamil Eelam before it is too late even for that.
Samuel Selva, South Africa

Looks like Tamils want the best of both worlds... they want to live in safety and prosperity of the south, and have the Ealam in the North!

Arumugam, Sri Lanka
Why aren't any Tamils in Sri Lanka voicing their opinion. Do they want to be ruled by a LTTE. Are they prepared to relocate to North? I am for Ealam, if all the Tamils are prepared to go to North, to be ruled by LTTE, and to be treated as second class people by Indian Tamils! Looks like Tamils want the best of both worlds... they want to live in safety and prosperity of the south, and have the Ealam in the North!
Arumugam, Sri Lanka

Tamil Eelam is our nation. We were discriminated by Singala government in many ways for last 5 decades, Including education and employment. We have got the full rights and full power to get Tamil Eelam on our own. We don't want any foreign intervention in Sri Lankan ethnic conflict. Some foreign countries interested in provide humanitarian assistance to Sri Lankan government and its forces. But humanitarian help only should provide to people who are respecting humans.
Babuji Markandu, UK

Foreign battalions should be sent in ... battalions yes ... but battalions of impartial journalists, armed with cameras and a hatred for war.

Alex, France/Sri Lanka
The only way to stop the war would be to get the international community's concentrated attention. To do this, foreign battalions should be sent in ... battalions yes ... but battalions of impartial journalists, armed with cameras and a hatred for war, determined to show the world the impact of this conflict on the civilians caught up in the turmoil.
But, as foreign journalists are not allowed anywhere near the battle front, neither on the Sri Lanka army's side nor in LTTE encampments, I believe that this conflict is doomed to go on forever.
Alex, France/Sri Lanka

No country should interfere in this war. The Buddhist monks burnt the Norwegian flag, objecting to their peace initiative. The Sri Lankan government has rejected the offer for a cease-fire put forward by LTTE. This clearly shows the real motive of the Sinhalese.
Now they want other countries to step in and offer MILITARY help. For shame. If they want real peace, they should try calling in the UN. But wait, maybe they are scared that it may suggest a referendum for the Tamils. And, as we all know, such a concept is totally foreign to the Sri Lankan government and the monks would have to resort to burning the Sri Lankan flag.
Thirumagal, Canada

Let's solve this problem by dialog and not with blood.

Mark Stedman, Australia
I think this conflict has to be stopped for the good of the people of Sri Lanka. Whilst I can see the issue behind the fighting I am lead to believe that the Government of Sri Lanka has very little control of the situation and from what I can see the religious majority of the nation seem to be steering the country. I am sure that God peace, so please let's solve this problem by dialog and not with blood.
Mark Stedman, Australia

Western governments protected Kurdish from Iraq, East Timorians from Indonesia and Kosovars from Serbia. The same governments haven't made any positive actions to protect the Tamils from Sri Lankan government!
Why? Is it because there is no Oil involved or is it because the Tamils have got dark skin! I guess we only have the Tamil Tigers to protect us, they should be sufficient enough as long as the Sri Lankan government doesn't get any help from foreign countries.
We Tamils are much less headache for UN and international community because we have a strong Tamil Army - Tamil Tigers.
Aussie Tamil, Australia

Yes, I think it's high time the US and some other strong international communities stepped-out and gave the Sri Lankan Government some support for a peaceful solution. And, if the LTTE leader thinks that what he's doing is right in the sight of God and Man, then let him come out and talk peace and put forward his proposal and not hide like a coward in the jungle and then call himself a liberator of the Tamil people. He sits comfortable in a place with no harm coming to him or his family and I personally think this is cowardly.
DD, Austria

You cannot quench the thirst for justice and freedom with carrots.

Balakumar, Canada
The Tamils are behind the LTTE forever. They represent the hunger for Freedom which the Tamils feel. If the Sri Lankan government thinks it can bomb us into silence, it is living in a dream world still. We will ensure that our dream of independence is realised. If not by us, then by our sons...And if not by our sons, then by our grandsons. For you cannot quench the thirst for justice and freedom with carrots.
Balakumar, Canada

This is internal problem for Sri Lanka. No other country should take part if they are not pretty sure that they could settle this issue. To invite India as the middleman also is not a very intelligent idea thus creates more problems even issue with Pakistan never ending story.
Muhammad Amat Juhari, Malaysia

It's amazing to read so much passion being written from as diverse a forum as above. I am a Malaysian of Sri Lankan descent who really has no right to have the passion shown by my fellow descendants, I have never been to Sri Lanka nor can I barely speak my mother tongue. However, if only we can admit to ourselves that human life in whatever form, be it Tamil or Singhala, Hindu or Buddhist, freedom fighter or terrorist, suicide bomber or martyr; is more important than pride, greed, power and revenge; we might get somewhere on the path towards a solution.
Dushyan, Malaysia

Yes some other country should intervene and bring about peace and teach other two parties to go for a negotiated settlement. I am sure that the people in Jaffna want peace and no more regime of iron hands.
Christo Roberts, Australia

If the Western Countries are serious about combating global terrorism they should assist Sri Lanka in its time of need.

Harsha, Sri Lanka/Australia
This is not a battle between the Tamil people and the Sinhalese people as some pro-LTTE propagandist would like others to believe.
This is a battle between Sri Lankans (Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, Burghers, Malays or any other group) and the TERRORISTS of the LTTE.
If the Western Countries are serious about combating global terrorism they should assist Sri Lanka in its time of need.
Harsha, Sri Lanka/Australia

I don't think people who are living outside Sri Lanka are capable of judging what is best for Sri Lanka. It's not your country anymore, if it was you would be living there. Please let Sri Lankans who lives there implement the best solution, militarily or otherwise.
V, USA

Fourteen-year-old children who should be in a safe home are fighting with a cyanide capsule hanging around their necks!

Avanthi, Sri Lanka
Fourteen-year-old children who should be in a safe home are fighting with a cyanide capsule hanging around their necks! Do any of the people who say that there should be no foreign interference in this matter have the slightest idea what is being done to these innocent lives?!
You may preach about peace and condemn any efforts of eliminating the LTTE, when your children are safe, your homes are safe and your lives are happy. In Sri Lanka, the only happiness a Tamil enjoys is in the government controlled areas!
This is not a war to benefit the minority. It is a war created by one man's limitless thirst for power! It is the duty of all persons (specially the Tamils) to retrain the terrorists who destroy thousands of innocent children.
Avanthi, Sri Lanka

The time has come to isolate the LTTE and cut off all sources of their funding. Once that is done, they will become more reasonable, and may even decide to rebel against the more fanatical of their leaders.
Uday, USA

Both LTTE and Sri Lanka Govt believe in the path of violent methods and hatred to settle their issues. Historically Sri Lanka was ruled by different kingdoms. If they can't co-exist they should work out a method to separate. Innocent lives are lost in the past 20 years due to the arrogance of some leaders.
Joseph Vijayakumar, Singapore

I believe that no country would like to burn their hands by intervening in Sri Lanka.

Dilip, India
A peaceful solution to the conflict seems to be a remote possibility. I believe that no country would like to burn their hands by intervening in Sri Lanka if they could remember the embarrassing situation India faced.
I think Sri Lankan's made a terrible mistake by sending back the IPKF for which they paid a heavy price and are still paying for it.
At the same time Terrorism of any kind should be discouraged. Nobody should be allowed to threaten a country's sovereignty by a group of terrorists who follow no ideology. There seems to be no way out for the Sri Lankan government but to keep on fighting this endless war.
Dilip, India

The problem is corruption in Sri Lanka and no accountability. The present situation is mainly due to corrupted arm deals by politicians and their henchmen. The result LTTE defeated a much larger "ill equipped" army. This is a good lesson for others. LTTE should rule Sri Lanka not Eeelam
Anuk Manawadu, Sri Lanka

Civil unrest in Sri Lanka will not end until illegal LTTE activities overseas are stopped.

S Jayasinghe, Australia
International intervention? In a perfect world this would be the perfect solution. Unfortunately, we live in a world whose values are based on greed, wealth and power. Thus... no... Sri Lanka does not need international intervention.
HOWEVER... I am sure that our country and our government would dearly appreciate the assistance of foreign governments with regards to activities of Tamil terrorists overseas. The fact is, the civil unrest in Sri Lanka will not end until illegal LTTE activities overseas are stopped... and stopped immediately.
S Jayasinghe, Australia

First of all what are we fighting for - Tamils want a homeland, Sinhalese want to save their country, because they have no where to go. In every developed country there are thousands of Tamil economic refugees funding the LTTE terrorists, only US and few other countries take any action against these ruthless band of killers, what can a small peace loving country can do but ask for help.
If the Tamils want a homeland there is one waiting for them in INDIA, I hope they will stop the propaganda and stop trying to fool others. GOOD LUCK SRI LANKA, WE WILL FIGHT TO THE LAST PERSON.
E De Zoysa, Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka does not need any foreign help to fight the war with Tamil Terrorists. What it needs from foreign countries is for them to live up-to their international obligations by not harbouring terrorists in their countries and not allowing them to raise funds, which are ultimately funding this terrorist war.
Lakith, Sri Lanka

I don't understand why a nation cannot be divided if it could lead to the peaceful living of both the Tamils and the Sinhalese. After all the national boundaries are man made and not divine. I hope and wish better sense will prevail upon the Sinhalese Brethren and allow the Tamils to have their country and live as good neighbours.
Sundar Durairaj, India

Take the cease-fire and let the two distinct parts of the country develop and progress.

Kalaiselvan, Malaysia
No country should participate. Sri Lankan armies must move out. There has been enough bloodshed. Life is to enhance knowledge to reach God not to shed blood. Sri Lanka had always been two distinct countries. The British made it into one and they should have left it as two. That is the source of the problem.
The Tamils(not terrorists at all) are doing their best to rebuild their identity first lost to the British and then to the Sinhalese. The Sinhalese Leaders should follow the footsteps of Tunku who approved the independence of Singapore. Now see where the two countries are. Instead of bloodshed there is progress. This can be easily achieved by both the Tamils and the Sinhalese. Take the cease-fire and let the two distinct parts of the country develop and progress.
Kalaiselvan, Malaysia

Yes - To bring both parties to negotiation.
No - For military aid to either party.
K. Perinpanathan, USA

India is certainly not a neutral party capable of heading mediation efforts in Sri Lanka. No one in their right mind should even dream of getting India into the picture. Haven't we learnt anything from the 80's experience?
Ashna Mathema, India

The Sri Lankan government arrogantly says it wants to defend Jaffna. Defend Jaffna against whom and for whom?

Shanti Balakumar, Canada
The news that the Sri Lankan government has rejected outright the temporary truce offered by the LTTE has helped to unmask Sri Lankan government's hypocrisy that it stands for peace and that the Tigers have refused to enter into peace talks despite invitation.
The Sri Lankan government arrogantly says it wants to defend Jaffna. Defend Jaffna against whom and for whom? Jaffna is the cultural and political capital city of the Tamil people and how can the Sri Lankan occupation army, which is 99% Sinhalese and hated by the Tamils, defend it? At least for now the world should know who stands for the peaceful resolution of the conflict and who are beating the war-drums!
Shanti Balakumar, Canada

This war has taken a heavy toll in human lives. I think rather than India, Pakistan or Israel getting involved and pumping the war machine it would be best if the UN comes in and brokers a lasting peace. This gives the government of Sri Lanka after the military defeats, a face saving way out and an opportunity for the Tigers as they are in a better bargaining position now.
Tuan, Australia

The LTTE are Terrorist organisation and yet the are able to fundraise with impunity in the UK Why does the Government not follow America's lead and outlaw fundraising? Without money the group would not be able to launch attacks on civilian and military targets alike, anything is better than the current situation.
Sam De Zoysa, UK

The Buddhist monks who are the followers of non-violence should ask the government to take away the army from Jaffna.

Joseph, UK
For crisis in Sri Lanka, the Buddhist monks who are the followers of non-violence should ask the government to take away the army from Jaffna. So that LTTE will not have an enemy to fight there. Then the Government could get the foreign country to mediate the PEACE talks.
This will end the blood flow of violence that goes on for last 25 years and show the world that Sri Lanka follows the TRUE religion of non-violence of Grate leader Buddha to the world. Can the MONKS take this mission of compassion at this late stage to save the beautiful country of theirs as they call it.
Joseph, UK

Sri Lanka in effect is at a stalemate. This is probably the best time for an independent third party like Norway or even the EU to push both sides to the negotiating table. India being the regional power should be kept informed.
Ranjan, Australia

How can Sri Lanka expect help from the international community when the headquarters of the LTTE is based in London? It would be a great step forward if the British government banned the LTTE and stopped their activity in the UK.
Student, Sri Lanka

I am very much happy with the Indian Government's decision to provide Logistical Support on Humanitarian grounds to the Sri Lankan Govt. instead of the military support.

Naresh, India
I don't know why the UN is keeping mum on this issue. I am very much happy with the Indian Government's decision to provide Logistical Support on Humanitarian grounds to the Sri Lankan Govt. instead of the military support. There is a strong opposition in India going for a military aid looking at the past experiences it had. And the country which is tackling with its own terrorism problems from a hostile neighbour won't be in a situation to provide military support to Sri Lanka.
Naresh, India

In the past there were two agreements signed between the Tamils and the Government. Both were aborted by the Government. Unless an outside government ensures that agreements will be fulfilled an agreement between the Tigers and the Government (including the Opposition) will not be worth the paper on which it is written.
Noel, Singapore

It is solely the responsibility of the Sri Lankan government to maintain the territorial integrity of Sri Lanka.

Thiruchelvam, Malaysia
This is totally an internal problem of Sri Lankan government and no other country should get involved. It is solely the responsibility of the Sri Lankan government to maintain the territorial integrity of Sri Lanka. The LTTE movement should not be regarded as a terrorist. They are Tamil freedom fighters fighting for an independent homeland and freedom from Sinhala Government.
Thiruchelvam, Malaysia

Any country that upholds the rule of law and democratic form of government should by all means lend support to the legally and democratically elected Government of Sri Lanka in the present crisis. It is imperative that terrorism and autocratic methods adopted by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) or other terrorist group elsewhere should not succeed against the legitimately elected governments, be it Sri Lanka or other nation.
Mahinda Gunasekera, Canada

Peaceful negotiation is the only solution. The UN and International community must become involved to help end the cycle of violence in Sri Lanka. The bloodshed cannot continue. Solutions can be made and peace will eventually return to the region. Negotiate or both sides will perish.
Matthew, US

The self-determination of Tamils should be accepted for a reasonable solution. It is the only ground for an acceptable international involvement. Because the conflict is for Tamils rights. LTTE is only the expression of Tamil uprising.
Jeya Murthy, France

Do any of you ever wonder what it feels like when a blood thirsty group of armed bandits come knocking on your door?

Lakshitha D, Sri Lanka
Just to let all you people know, that it's easier for everybody to make such comments from the comforts of your living room. Seems like everyone here and others are trying to analyse the ground situation from the other side of the globe. Do any of you ever wonder what it feels like when a blood thirsty group of armed bandits come knocking on your door?
Lakshitha D, Sri Lanka

I am a Muslim from Sri Lanka and we Muslims have never asked for a separate Homeland as we believe that in a Globalisation process we must co exist. If Tamils want a homeland in the North, what about the other Tamils, about 50% of the Total Tamils living peacefully with Sinhalese in other areas? Should they also go to the North or will they leave other areas and go to the North and live in the clutches of LTTE.
Aneis, Norway

It's important that the international community does something about this situation now without waiting for another 17 years of dying and suffering!

Surinie Hettihewa, South Africa
I do believe it's time other countries stepped into this unending war. How much longer and how many more people should die before this comes to an end and finally the people of Sri Lanka can live in peace. It's important that the international community does something about this situation now without waiting for another 17 years of dying and suffering!
Surinie Hettihewa, South Africa

It would be hypocritical if any foreign governments get involved in this. Sri Lankan government has lost its moral authority to call north and east as a part of Sri Lanka when it introduced bans on travel, supply of power and food items to the general public. What did the so-called civilised world do to help the suffering civilians? NOTHING. I can not see any reason to change their stand now.
To Sri Lankan government what you reap is what you have harvested. Instead of going for foreign help go to the Tigers. Remember what happened when Kandyan kings asked for foreign help.
Kana Sresutharsan, Australia

The foreign community can help by not harbouring destructive elements on their soil.

Kavan, USA
Why not ask the people who live there whether they want another country to "help" them? Neither the currently elected leadership nor the LTTE supremo Prabahkaran, can bring peace to the people they are supposed to be serving. Add to that the involvement of a foreign power, and things will go from bad to worse. If at all, the foreign community can help by not harbouring destructive elements on their soil.
Kavan, USA

No one "wins" in a war. In my opinion, military intervention by India or any other country is not going to resolve the long-drawn conflict in Sri Lanka. What is needed is a serious effort on part of the government of Sri Lanka to involve a neutral third party of professional mediators to develop a conflict resolution strategy.
I know this might be easier said than done, but it would a good first step in the right direction. This is a value-based conflict, and the war will not end until each party is convinced that it can benefit from a peaceful outcome. In order to achieve this, serious mediation efforts are a must. Military intervention will only aggravate the current situation.
Ashna Mathema, India

It is important to understand the history and work sensibly towards a solution. If the modern society accepts divorce as a way of keeping human sanity, human right and liberty, why not practice it. Tamils and Sinhalese came from two independent kingdoms which were brought together for administrative convenience by the colonial regime. It is an arranged marriage and is not at all working. Why not let them go back to where they started?
Velummylum, Australia

Is it not a disgrace that Sri Lanka is asking for help? Does the state of Sri Lanka have any self-respect? After using foreign aid ($1 billion / year) it receives to arm its military and not helping its people. And then turning the military on the Tamils. It now has the audacity to go with the begging bowl and ask the international community to save this very military. Do Sri Lankans have no shame?
Madhavan, Australia

Asking for external help shows how weak is Sri Lanken arm forces are right now. It was a big mistake to ask other countries for help without negotiating with Eelam's military force (LTTE).
Senthan Nadarajan, Canada

Let the Sri Lankans fight their own dirty wars, or, even better, let them find the political wisdom to reach a negotiated settlement.

Dushyanth Narayanan, India
I don't think a military intervention is a good idea, certainly not an Indian one. We've burnt our fingers once, and I hope we learn from the experience.
Let the Sri Lankans fight their own dirty wars, or, even better, let them find the political wisdom to reach a negotiated settlement. I hold no brief for the LTTE - they are a ruthless terrorist organisation - but I see no reason for a military bailout of a repressive Sri Lankan regime, either.
Dushyanth Narayanan, India

Suppress the rights, dignity and identity of a group and you will get a backlash. Thats what the Sri Lankan Government is facing now. They sowed and nurtured the hatred that the Tamils have against them over several decades. It will take a miracle to wash that hatred away now.
Guna, Malaysia

I went to Sri Lanka last December and visited the family and friends of my Sinhalese fiancÚ. I completely fell in love with the country especially the coral reefs down in Hickadowa (forgive the spelling!). It is such a shame that this problem has not been solved and that no one seems to be outright committed to peace. I am not for either side in this conflict. Bad things have been committed by both sides and innocent people have been caught in the middle and paid the price of the 'search for peace'.
Matt, UK

Why aren't many Sri Lankan (Sinhalese) people commenting on this case?
Nitesh Kumar Singh, India

The Sri Lankan government should realise that politics and religion do not mix. The president and her colleges seek advice from Buddhist monks all the time. Sri Lanka should look to the US as an example to make constitutional changes. As an elected government it must look after the welfare of all people and make decisions that favours Tamils as well as Sinhalese. I believe Sri Lanka can prosper as a united country.
Mark Balasundram, New Zealand

I believe that apart from the UN, no other country should interfere with our ongoing war.

Thamby, USA
I believe that apart from the UN, no other country should interfere with our ongoing war. I was in Jaffna when the army took control of our holy land. I felt pain when I heard that the government and majority people of Sri Lanka celebrated that event as a victory.
Thamby, USA

The innocent Sinhalese have sent their sons and daughters to fight a war for the Bandaranake's, Ratwatte's, Senanayake's and their relatives of the political elite. Racism in Sri Lanka started soon after the British left. Senanayakes started colonisation in the east under the pretext of development with aid from western countries and the World Bank. This still continues today.
Sam, USA

India has given a safe haven and helped train one of the most ruthless terrorist organisations in the world. If they were sincere about wanting to combat terrorism, even at this late stage, they should help Sri Lanka fight this war. However, nothing in politics is "sincere" and no one believes that India can afford to go against Tamil Nadu which still openly continues to support the terrorism in Sri Lanka. Even countries such as Britain still continue to entertain the LTTE and its deeply rooted propaganda machine.
Nandi Fernando, Sri Lanka

Since Sri Lanka said it was an internal affair, no other country should intervene now.
Ananda Satha, USA

Foreign intervention will take the problem back to square one.

Suresh Perera, Canada
Foreign intervention will take the problem back to square one. If the international community wants peace in the island "please" don't intervene. This is the right time for the government to seriously negotiate rather than playing corrupted political games for their own benefits. Sri Lankan politicians never had any vision regarding this problem.
Suresh Perera, Canada

Sri Lankan government and the Sinhalese people always called this problem an internal matter even recently when they burnt the Norwegian flag. But now with their backs against the wall they want external help. It is ludicrous let the fittest survive.
Kumaresh, Canada

I am sorry to seem harsh, but if the Sri Lankan army cannot defeat the Tiger's by their own, they do not deserve to keep Jaffna. The time you ask outsiders for help to settle your internal conflicts, means that you have lost faith in your own soldiers to defend your country. To ask for help from any other nation means bargaining your sovereignty; nobody helps for free!
Narayan Krishnamurthy, India/USA

The only Homeland Of Sinhalese people is Sri Lanka. Tamil Nadu is Tamil Homeland why don't they declare that State independent instead of spreading terrorism and disaster to a peace loving country like Sri Lanka. The LTTE is only trying to get a State in Sri Lanka as the first step to take over the whole country. That's why they claim so much of the coastal area.
Eric Brandoff, Norway

I believe that time has come for the UN to intervene in Sri Lanka to bring about a quick and amicable resolution to the ethnic conflict.

Nayagam, Canada
I believe that time has come for the UN to intervene in Sri Lanka to bring about a quick and amicable resolution to the ethnic conflict. The negotiations between the government and the Tigers will not produce tangible results because of the lack trust pervasive between the two communities. Besides there are many other forces in the country that will not permit a solution that is fair and acceptable to all. We need some international force to prevent the division of the country, stop the slaughter of the innocent civilians and implement a devolution package in all sincerity.
Nayagam, Canada

A foreign intervention would be wise. But only a non-military intervention can put an end to this ethnic conflict. A gentleman correctly pointed out that majority of people voicing their concerns do not live in Sri Lanka. But I beg to ask him to consider why exactly majority of people talking here do not live in Sri Lanka?
Thas Yuwaraj, Canada

The UN should send in a peacekeeping force. What people forget is that in the South of Sri Lanka - Colombo, Dehiwela, Mt Lavinia etc, Tamil and Sinhalease people live in peace. So what does it mean that when the Tamils get their own homeland - that all the Tamils in the South are going to go and live there?
Sinhalaya, London

Even if they get a independent homeland in Jaffna, the terrorist problem will never finish.

Rohan, UK
It is sad to see that 99% of the comments are written by Tamil people who are pro-LTTE. Many of them suggest that India should not be involved in this, as this is an internal problem of Sri Lanka. Then why did India help LTTE to train their Army by letting them have training camps in India. This is a well known fact. Most others have mentioned that the Singhalese people mistreated the Tamil people. This is something that can not be accepted. The Sinhalese and Tamil's lived peacefully for a long time. Believe me, Even if they get a independent homeland in Jaffna, their problems will not be finished and also the terrorist problem will never finish. One day, the Tamil people will have to take arms against the LTTE.
Rohan, UK

Sri Lanka needs help to end the war. The war has killed thousands of Sinhalese and Tamil and made the country poor. This is typical of all third world countries. Give peace to Sri Lanka and no aid is more effective than that. Get involved in facilitating a just peaceful solution to this troubled Island and All Sri Lankans will be grateful.
Siva Balasingham, Canada

I think, before the Sri Lankan Government seeks any help externally, the government should seek help internally. The Government should ask all civilians to join the armed forces to fight against Tamil Tigers.
Chelvan, Australia

As far as the Sri Lankan Government were concerned until last week Sri Lanka's ethnic problem was an internal matter, no other country or the NGOs need not have to worry about it. Now it is the home coming for the Tamils. The million dollar question is, "If Sri Lankan soldiers are to be evacuated will they leave all their arms, armoury and the ammunition intact for the Tamils?"
Sivasambu Brabaakaran, Australia

I think that the UN should step in as a mediator and bring this long-standing conflict to a peaceful settlement sooner before things get worse.

Ran, London
No doubt the problem in Sri Lanka is serious. I think that the UN should step in as a mediator and bring this long-standing conflict to a peaceful settlement sooner before things get worse. I suppose if outside powers other than UN get involved then it might be for the sake carrying out field trials of their new armoury and ammunitions on the expense of an innocent civilian population.
Ran, London

Involvement of India in the Sri Lankan crisis may cause another violence in Sri Lanka, and in India too. This sort of involvement would only cause more blood to be shed and more lives ruined. So India should be involved to enhance the peace talks in Sri Lanka not for creating another war.
Govinda Raj Poudel, Nepal

Firstly, most of the people who are making these comments do not even live in Sri Lanka. Secondly, most of them are under the impression that the Tamil Tigers (I am not talking about the Tamil race here) are the saints having done nothing.
May I bring to your attention that the conflict was started by the Tamil Tigers in 1983, when they attacked an Sri Lankan army post. After which they have been hell-bent on ethnic cleansing in the North and East.
I have Tamil friends, and I respect them for who they are and most people feel the same. It's the handful of Tamil Tigers who believe that they are fighting for all Tamils. The Tamil Tigers were trained and armed by the Indians in the 1980s, they had a very strong base in Tamil Nadu (India) until, they decided to eliminate Rajiv Gandhi, but no one would even consider helping Sri Lanka against the Tigers.
Gayaan, Sri Lanka

India trained the LTTE and came to their rescue by sending their jets and later their troops when the Tigers were cornered. By this action it is clear that they have been aiding and abetting the tigers and if they do not help the Sri Lankan Government now it is no surprise.
Tuan, Australia

Tamils in Sri Lanka are only 12.5%, Sinhalese are 79%. Yet the LTTE wants one third of the land mass and two thirds or the coastal belt. The Tamils enjoy the economic lead and are well placed in top positions in the country. Isn't it an unjust cause, with so much of bloodshed? Innocent civilians are massacred on both sides. A peaceful resolution is vital.
S. Jamal, Sri Lanka

The LTTE should not be branded as a terrorist group. They are freedom fighters fighting for an independent homeland for the Tamils in northern Sri Lanka. Yes there should be foreign intervention to help the innocent Tamils being massacred by the Sinhala government.
Robin Burma, United Kingdom

The Tamils in Sri Lanka have been crying out for foreign help against Sinhalese atrocities ever since the British left in 1948. No country effectively responded to their cry.

Sri Coomaraswamy, USA
Sri Lanka should seek help only if they want to do a mass evacuation, which will save lives in both sides. If it's a trick to bring alien forces into the country the consequences will be unimaginable. The LTTE is ten times better equipped and organised than it was in 1987. India won't make the same mistake again.
Ramana, Canada

Yes. India should intervene and release the Tamils from the murderous Sinhalese regime. Tamils should have their own country and they can look after themselves. Tamils and the Sinhalese can never live together. As long as the Buddhist monks are involved in politics, Sri Lanka will never develop.
Thevarajah, USA

When 500,000 civilians were driven out of Jaffna in 1995, the international community was silent. Now, we are coming back with our strength of will to retake our own homes. It is our fundamental right. We will break any barriers, because truth is in our side and we want peace.
Pathipan Sivarasa, Canada

The Tamils in Sri Lanka have been crying out for foreign help against Sinhalese atrocities ever since the British left in 1948. No country effectively responded to their cry. Why should any country respond to the Sinhalese cry now? After all it is the Sinhalese army that is in Tamil land and committing atrocities against Tamil civilians. I believe the Sinhalese army should withdraw from all Tamil land, not only the Jaffna peninsula but also Mannar, Vavunia, Trincomalee, Batticalo and Ampari in order for there to be lasting peace in Sri Lanka.
Sri Coomaraswamy, USA

The opportunities for peaceful resolution of this conflict have long passed due to the government's intransigence.

Ali Tahiri, USA
The Indian army is not some kind of service that can be called in and ordered out whenever the Sri Lankans want it. I have no sympathy for the LTTE, which is ruthless and murderous. However, evacuations should only be done for civilians, not for military personnel of another country. Why interfere like a super-hero? Let them settle it themselves.
Naveen, India/Canada

It would be catastrophic for any foreign countries to fight the Sri Lankan government's genocidal war against the Tamil people and LTTE. I think many countries know that even if they were to fight on behalf of Sri Lanka, it will be impossible for them to beat the Tigers, because the Tamil people, both inside and outside the Island, will unite behind the LTTE.
S. Pio, Toronto, Canada

The opportunities for peaceful resolution of this conflict have long passed due to the government's intransigence. Too much blood has been shed and both sides have committed too many atrocities. Sadly when it's by the government it is more serious and leads to greater repercussions. It is time to allow the Tamils their own state and hope with time that the two sides can live together as equal partners with mutual respect and rebuild on the historical ties and cultural links that bind them together over the centuries.
Ali Tahiri, USA

India should immediately press both sides to stop the war and help resolve the problem in peaceful way.
Mahen, India

India should help the Tamils get a homeland.

Kumar, London
As far as I am concerned, the crisis in Sri Lanka looks like a clear-cut copy of East Timor. But for a change, the downtrodden are winning and the majority is screaming for peace and justice. Aren't the Sri Lankans hypocrites??? Well, this war serves them well. Yes, the UN should intervene on the side of the Tamils fighting for their lives and homeland.
David McCain, USA

India should help the Tamils get a homeland.
Kumar, London

The Sri Lankan government should seek help in evacuating soldiers trapped in Jaffna. It is purely humanitarian help. It will be foolish for any other nation to help the Sri Lankans fight the Tamils. Up till this point the government has not come out with any proposal that would be suitable for the people in the north & east of the country. We have ask to ourselves who has been the biggest stumbling block for peace?
Sree, Canada

I think the majority has created the problems since the British left the country. The Buddhist monks and the Sinhala nationalists should admit the other minorities exist. Then the problem will be almost solved
Dan Jensen, Denmark

From what I have read about the Tamils, they seem to be a martial race. They were ancient colonisers even before Britain, Portugal, Netherlands even existed. They reached many parts of South East Asia and that effect is still seen now. If you look at the upper classes of Indonesia, Java, Sumatra, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, and Burma, they will have Tamil antecedents. Now, they seem to fighting for their survival in one of their ancient motherlands, and they are winning. I know that in this age, these kind of conflicts should be resolved by talks. But let the Darwin theory work here. Let the fittest survive.
Richard Dudley, USA

I think other countries should stay away from getting involved in Sri Lanka. Why can't the Sri Lankan government resolve this issue with the Tamils on their own?

Mohan Marette, India & USA
The Sri Lankan crisis is purely internal so there is no question of any outside military assistance to resolve the crisis. If at all it should be in the form of neutral mediators.
K. Ravi, India

The problem of prolonged civil war in Sri Lanka is of utmost importance for that country as well as for the whole South Asian region. I think that it is quite necessary that the SAARC countries help Sri Lanka to resolve this affair through mediation.
Bakht Baidar, France

I think other countries should stay away from getting involved in Sri Lanka. Why can't the Sri Lankan government resolve this issue with the Tamils on their own? Trying to browbeat the Tamils into submission obviously didn't work in the past and it will not work in the future. If others get involved, things could even get uglier.
Mohan Marette, Kerala (India) & USA

No doubt the situation in Sri Lanka is very serious, prompting some third party intervention. The question is what form that intervention will take. Placing ground forces directly on Sri Lankan soil could prove disastrous for any country. The Tamil Tigers have a natural military advantage because this is their home territory. From the perspective of a third party nation, the best bet is probably to provide the Sri Lankan Government with arms and to provide air and sea support.
Abhay Dhir, USA

I see no reason why India should be involved at this point in time. Unless it affects India, India should stay away.

Subramanya, USA
I see no reason why India should be involved at this point in time. Unless it affects India, India should stay away.
Subramanya, USA

Outside assistance would have to be military and would complicate the crisis as it is an internal matter. The Sri Lankan government should call a ceasefire and begin honest negotiations with the militants.
Lucky de Silva, Japan

Yes, Sri Lanka needs help and this should come from other nations. The UN should form a peacekeeping force to tackle such problems when democracies such as Sri Lanka are threatened by rebel forces.
Dr. A Bhardwaj, USA

I think it is the internal problem of Sri Lanka and no other country should get involved. It is the responsibility of the army of that very country to maintain the territorial integrity of the country. The Sri Lankan Army cannot just escape its own responsibility and place it on the shoulder of the army of some other country. As an Indian, I believe that the Indian army should not get involved on its own.
B. Dasgupta, India

The Government of Sri Lanka should recognise the legitimate difficulties and injustice it has done to the Tamils. The majority Sinhalese should realise that they should use common sense and not be intimidated by the Buddhist monks who should be left to preach religion and not bring harm on other human beings.
Maravan, Canada

Foreign involvement is required to divide the country and put a strong iron fence across Tamil Eelam and Sri Lanka. International observers required to be there now in north and east to see how the Singala majority governments were destroyed Tamil's home land from the day of independence from Britain. The International community now has to understand how 'children' are forcing a well-equipped military into disaster. The representatives of the International community in Colombo believes whatever the government says. The government even banned independent media going to the north and east. NOW the international community can help to solve the problem in Sri Lanka by recognising the rights of the Tamil people.
Kodees, UK

Sri Lankan ethnics problem is an internal problem. We will solve our problem ourselves.

Mathanan R, Canada
Sri Lankan ethnics problem is an internal problem. We will solve our problem ourselves. Tamils and Singhalese did fight each other through out history and they happily coexisted together during the rest of the time. There is nothing to be alarmed about the fighting. The foreign states must ensure the international rules of engagement are followed in this fighting and non-combatants are kept away from the war zone. Perhaps help find ways to seek peace and involve in humanitarian aids to civilians. If foreign country like India gets involved, the problem will start again as it happened in the 1980s.
Mathanan R, Canada

Yes other countries should help Sri Lankan government against terrorists or tiger movements. Innocent civilians on both sides should not effect by this long lasting conflict. Sinhalese are concentrated in Sri Lanka. Sinhalese are not accepted as refugees in anywhere in the world. They do not have any way of collecting money for helping their own military therefore it is important that other western countries know of this. WE should not wait and see people are dying. If we could help either by peace talk or if not that works should help the government to fight back terrorism. nation nobody accept as refugees
Liyana Galappathi, Norway

Why it is so serious only at this time? Where were all these people when the innocent Tamils were killed and looted and raped by the Sinhalese? What did the Indians and the rest of the world do then? More than 65,00 Tamils were massacred and more than 1,50,000 fled to other countries as refugees.
Daniel, Australia

If the UN can intervene and send peacekeepers to Sierra Leone, then why not to Sri Lanka?

Naveen Leekha, USA
It is beyond any doubt that the situation in Sri Lanka is serious and the government is not able to handle it. If the UN can intervene and send peacekeepers to Sierra Leone, then why not to Sri Lanka? Other countries must help Sri Lanka to maintain peace and may broker negotiations with The Tigers. It is important to convince the Tigers that a solution can't be found on any battlefield.
Naveen Leekha, USA

Sri Lankan situation is so serious but you don't need foreign governmental assistance. The Tigers will let the army go as long as arms and war criminals remain in Jaffna. Tigers have let army to leave in elephant pass. They will do the same in Jaffna with agreement. Any country get involved in Sri Lanka has to think twice. You are going to face highly motivated group and has charismatic leader. In any case Sri Lanka can't be trusted. It asked India to come and asked them to leave.
Thurairatnam Somasundaram, Canada

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03 May 00 | South Asia
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