Masthead graphic based on a painting by Gudrun Thriemer.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Andrew Stroehlein, "Media: If you are not covering Sri Lanka right now, why not?" AlertNet blog, April 21, 2009.

"A mass slaughter of civilians will take place Tuesday at noon. And everyone knows it." These are the words my colleague used to describe what is happening in Sri Lanka today in his new article for Foreign Policy's online magazine. It is not an exaggeration: what's happening in Sri Lanka is a massacre in progress.

There are over 100,000 civilians trapped in a tiny area, squeezed between the Sri Lankan government forces, who are shelling them, and the LTTE (Tamil Tigers) who shoot them if they try to escape. The Army is advancing, and the death toll is rising rapidly. The situation has been compared to Srebrenica -- which many journalists reading this will remember first hand -- but the number of dead already exceeds that Balkan tragedy.

Just because journalists are not allowed into the Sri Lankan conflict zone doesn't mean we don't know what's going on there. We have satellite imagery showing large concentrations of people caught in the fighting, and we have information from reliable sources on the ground. Recent reports that significant numbers of civilians have escaped have not changed the overall figures: independent sources on the ground continue to report 100,000 people or more remain trapped, exhausted, with limited access to food and medicines, and many under fire.

  What can be done? Crisis Group outlined a number of specific steps for the international community in a statement yesterday.

Read the rest, with links, here =>Recommend this Post

Sphere: Related Content