A not entirely dissimilar situation to Gaza and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict may be nearing a violent end in Sri Lanka. The parallels with the Palestinians are interesting, including the fact that it was the Tamil Tigers (apparently on the verge of defeat today) who invented the tactic of suicide bombing — specifically use of the suicide belt. As in Gaza, UN and international aid personnel are being caught up with numerous civlians in the combat zone.
And as the Israelis have with Hamas, Sri Lankan government forces are charging the Tamil Tigers with hiding behind “human shields” and then proceed to attack civilian areas anyway. An estimated 70,000 people have died in this conflict since it began in 1983. But since most of the world doesn’t have a dog in this fight, the atrocities and human rights abuses committed by both sides are mostly ignored. We should not expect a movement to boycott Sri Lanka any time soon.
But please do not read this as endorsing Israel’s ground operation in Gaza. This posting is meant to provide perspective, as well as to make a wry observation.