[The Sunday Times]
MORE than 250,000 terrified Tamil men, women and children were trapped between rebel Tamil forces and the army in no man’s land in northern Sri Lanka last night as the 25-year civil war appeared to be nearing a violent conclusion. A 48-hour ceasefire was due to end after the government promised to eliminate terrorism once and for all. Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Sri Lankan president, vowed that there would be no let-up in the army’s offensive. The International Committee of the Red Cross said a humanitarian crisis was unfolding and described horrific conditions in the conflict zone… Although the government has issued statements saying that it will not injure civilians, I know how hollow they sound to those caught up in the fighting because I have encountered the Sri Lankan army.