Submitted by Anonymous on Thu, 04/07/2011 - 23:06
(By Conor Foley) - Two years ago I was working in Sri Lanka when the army finally stormed the last stronghold of the LTTE. Hundreds of thousands of civilians were blockaded into an area the size of New York Central Park, where at least 20,000 were killed over a three month period. The area was shelled incessantly and hospitals and food-distribution points appear to have been deliberately targeted. Many more died from starvation and disease because the government blocked humanitarian access. Others were summarily executed during the final assault. When a staff member for the agency that I was working for was killed, the Ministry of Defence released a false statement saying that he was a terrorist.
There was never even the remotest prospect of a ‘humanitarian intervention’ in Sri Lanka and I only include it in the discussion to show that the option of doing nothing also has moral consequences. On balance I am in favour of the current intervention in Libya. As I said in my previous post, I think that the UN resolution authorizing it puts the protection of civilians at the centre of its mandate and sends a clear signal to governments of the world that they cannot massacre their own people with impunity.