THE SLAF has started air-dropping leaflets requesting civillians in the Wanni areas to move to safety behind government areas, ostensibly as a prelude to a final drive to liquidate the remaining LTTE forces in their last stronghold.
Even though the leaflets are air-dropped, there will be little evidence whether the helpless civillian population would be either able to access the literature, and even if they did, act according to the government's instructions. It takes little or no imagination to understand how easy it would be for the LTTE to order the civillian population not to access the papers falling from the skies.
The SLG has so far failed to utilize all available resources that must be put to test in this moment of truth. One such resource that has not only been wasted, but has even turned hostile occasionally when not managed properly, are the International non-governmental organizations, or more infamously known as INGOs. Given the open bias shown by some of them towards the LTTE and its activities, it is no secret that to the SLG and majority of the population the title INGO itself is a dirty word.
Nevertheless it must be boune in mind that some of these organizations are bound by charters that hold their officials accountable for the activities entrusted to them. Similarly there are some which are independent of funding from any government/s, and sustain themselves through donations recieved from individuals and organizations for their genuinely charitable activities.
The time has come for the Sri Lankan government to approach or even coax some of these more dependable INGOs and specialist entities such as the International Committe of the Red Cross [ICRC] to intervene and provide safe passage to the Tamil civillians in the Wanni to move into designated areas until the LTTE is disarmed. There is no necessity for any discussion of Government writ and/or objectives of its counter-terrorism operations.
Having taken such an action, the Government could deny responsibility subsequently for any potential charges for possible civillian casualties that may result from planned future combat operations.