Using science and medicine to stop human rights violations
Sri Lankan Government Coaching Burmese Junta?
Remember the calamitous end to Sri Lanka’s 26-year-long civil war back in May?? Some 16,700 non-combatants were wounded and several thousand more were killed during the final onslaught. Fighting between the 150,000-strong Sri Lankan Army (SLA) and the 7,000-strong Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) armed forces resulted in 300,000 displaced minority Tamils.Although both sides committed mass atrocities, recent video footage of apparent executions (warning: this video contains graphic images) of 9 Tamil?POWs supports widespread allegations of war crimes by the SLA.But the international community, most notably the UN Security Council, remains idle while it should be launching a commission of inquiry.Now shift your attention to Burma where eerily similar events are taking place. Murder, torture, forcible displacement, enslavement and rape comprise the military’s arsenal of abuses inflicted against minority populations. Last week, in a Washington Post op-ed, Chris Beyrer, MD, and I described such recent attacks?that resulted?in?the flight of some?30,000 Kokang (an ethnic Chinese minority group in Burma) to Yunnan Province, China.Though it can't be confirmed, it seems as if the Burmese junta is reading the SLA's play book on how to?pull off a swift and murderous end to its own decades-long civil war. Curiously,?following?the military victory over the Tamil Tigers, the President of Sri Lanka, General Mahinda Rajapaksa, made a state visit to Burma to meet with President Than Shwe. Perhaps the two military dictators?met only to discuss a bilateral agreement on tourism. But I doubt it.