Road to ruin

THERE is no respite for Sri Lanka from war. Since the bloody clashes in Muttur last month, violence has only increased, with government forces and the LTTE guerrillas intensifying their attacks on rival positions. The present conflict is centred on Trincomalee, the strategic port town for which both sides have been waging seesaw battles for over a decade.

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Published: Wed 30 Aug 2006, 8:29 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 4:59 PM

But what differentiates the ongoing heavy exchange of artillery fire from controlling the key port is the military thrust towards Tigers-held Sampoor, another important town, for both the government and rebels in the Jaffna peninsula as it lies on the supply route. It’s a decisive battle that can change the course of future combat in the conflict zone.

Notwithstanding the casualties ordinary Sri Lankans are suffering, besides huge damage to their property, the new round of battles has virtually cut off the war-torn zone from the rest of the country. The plight of thousands of displaced civilians and sufferers compels us to ask what the government and international community are doing to halt this senseless ethnic conflict. As recently as last week, President Mahinda Rajapaksa appealed to the rebels to return to peace talks. But his plea sounds perfunctory.

Probably, he might be thinking that all roads to peace had been explored and there is nothing left for his government to act except using extra force to fight the rebels out. But does it solve the real problem? Clearly, there is a need to think over some other solutions both for the Sri Lankan government and other countries involved in the cessation of hostilities. Otherwise, the protracted fighting will ruin one of the most beautiful island nations further.

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