Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Sri Lanka Declares Victory in its 26-Year Long Battle with the Tamil Tigers Even as Hundreds of Thousands of Refugees Suffer the War's Terrible Legacy

May 19, 2009,  12:22pm, Manila time

Airing live now at CNN is the President of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapaksa, speaking before his country's parliament declaring victory in its 26-year battle with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, also known as the Tamil Tigers.  The government has claimed that Tamil Tigers founder and leader Velupillai Prabhakaran perished in the final moments of yesterday's historic confrontation.

The Tamil Tigers who are mostly Hindus have fought a quarter-century long battle with the Sri Lankan government to establish an independent ethnic homeland. The Sinhalese who dominate Sri Lanka are mostly Buddhists.  This CCN article, The Tamil Tigers' long fight explained, provide a historic overview of the Tamil people's struggle. 

CNN reports the United Nations as saying that "over the past few days, some 65,000 people had fled what had been the fighting zone in northeast Sri Lanka, bringing to 265,000 the number of internally displaced people, which it refers to as IDPs." 

Even as aid agencies mobilize to meet the humanitarian crisis, the Tamil Tiger website is claiming that rebel leader Prabhakaran is "alive and well," something that cannot be said for many of the innocent refugees who were caught in the horrible crossfire and the terrible carnage. 

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