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The fog of war in Sri Lanka

The fog of war in Sri Lanka
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First Published: Tue, Apr 21 2009. 11 40 PM IST
Updated: Tue, Apr 21 2009. 11 40 PM IST
The situation in north- eastern Sri Lanka increasingly looks like a case of severe humanitarian distress. Both sides, the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), are to be blamed in equal measure.
On Tuesday, BBC reported LTTE alleging that government forces had killed 1,000 civilians and injured 2,300 in its continuing offensive against the Tigers.
The situation would not have arisen if the Sri Lankan government had allowed journalists access to the war zone, now a thin stretch of territory beyond the town of Puthukkudiyiruppu.
At the same time, the LTTE has often used the massive 50,000-100,000 Tamil population trapped in the no-fire zone as a shield against the military onslaught.
More darkly, lack of access to the media has been very useful to both sides, their denials notwithstanding. It has allowed them to pursue military goals. That gain has come at the cost of poor, unarmed and innocent civilians who have nowhere left to run.
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First Published: Tue, Apr 21 2009. 11 40 PM IST