Another chapter in the long civil war in Sri Lanka

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Today, Tamil separatist fighters ignored an ultimatum issued by the Sri Lankan government. Despite potentially risking the lives of tens of thousands of civilians, the Tamil rebels refused to surrender, trapping the civilians who are unable to flee the city. Fierce fighting continues now. Joining us with details of the ignored ultimatum is Somini Sengupta, South Asia Bureau Chief for the New York Times .


Somini Sengupta


Sitara Nieves

Comments [18]

Niranjan Saravanapavan

NPR must find repoters who do their homework. Somini, did not look into the recent reports even on CNN, that the LTTE wanted to extend the cease fire; and was refused by the Govt. NYtimes must send her to Sri-lanka to report on the Genocide.

Apr. 24 2009 09:41 AM
chitta thia

Somini, you are being fed wth Srilankan government's version.Why don't you ask for international monitoring and access to press?. If Tigers surrender the SL govt govt will finish off the rest of the Tamils. Genocide is their goal.It is a pity you are unable or unwilling to see that.

Apr. 23 2009 11:32 AM

It is strange that while Somini Sengupta is admitting that she has no direct or indirect independent knowledge of what is going on with Sri Lankan war, she felt comfortable stating the Sri Lankan government statements and number of civilians involved as her own.
Questions for Ms Sengupta:
- So you didn't get to speak with any of the refugees. But, have you spoken with any of the thousands of Tamil protesters in Washington DC, NY, Toronto, London, etc.?
- Is it possible that civilians will run towards area where no bombs are falling, regardless of their affiliation?
- Why are all the 'escaping' civilians immediately put into detention camps with inhumane living conditions?
- Have you done any research on the issue, beyond reading the Sri Lankan Government statements?

Your depth of knowledge says a lot about the qualifications required to report for NY Times as 'South Asian Bureau Chief'.

Apr. 22 2009 05:52 PM

Only way to solve the problem through understanding. People from world do not know the history of the problem. Tamil people in Sri Lanka around 20 million. World may not worry about them because they are very small by number. One thing need to be understand that it is another revelation time for the world to shape itself. Sri Lankan Government will pay the price for what that doing now. The question here is whether world also want to support for Sri Lankan government for its GENOCIDE. If that is the case people who support also will pay the price for their wrong doing.

Apr. 22 2009 01:56 PM
Muthu Raj

Ms.Sengupta! Your report is not in anyway different from the propaganda dished out to the gullible public by the Lankan Defence establishment.A person of your calibre should have made an independent investigation before repeating the SL government's fabricated stories to cover up their atrocities perpetrated on Tamil civilians in the name of eliminating terrorism. What is happening in SL is the gradual extermination of the Tamil race.If the SL Govt's hands are clean, why do they fear to allow media personnel, UN humanitarian agencies and other independent persons to visit the war zone?

Apr. 22 2009 11:55 AM

Somini, Do you think 4000 plus Togers can threaten their own 200,000 people? Do you think people want to stay with Tigers if they can stay safer in "Safe Zone"? Do you think Tamils have forgotten their past, how they were treated by racist Lanka Government?

If you think tigers keep people Tamils as shield, why Lanka Government is not allowing any reporters to the war field to bring this "truth" to world?

Apr. 22 2009 10:55 AM

Ms. Sengupta,

Please I beg you to go to the Conflict Zone and findout for yourself as to what's going on.Get the firsthand information.

WHY DO YOU THINK THE GOVERNMENT Of SRilanka DID NOT ALLOW ANY FOREGIN JOURNALISTS INTO THE CONFLICT ZONE.PLEASE DO NOT JUST PUT ANY INFORMATION that YOU GOT FROM ONE SIDE.IT'S a disgrace to the Jounalist Profession to publish something without seeing the real situation with your own Eyes.


Peace Lover,

Apr. 22 2009 10:06 AM
Shan Sundar

Somini is absolutely wrong. She ever mention how brutal the Sri lankan army is, that is the reason majority of the people do not want to go to army side. Somini need to do some homework on this issue before she come on the air. I am very disappointed that public radio like yours airing this kind of story with out hearing other side of the stories. Please you have to check with Human Rights Watch or other right groups to get the balance point of view.

Apr. 22 2009 08:40 AM

Ms.Somini Sengupta obviously does not understand the history of the issue. She is just repeating what Srilankan Goverment is announcing.

Apr. 22 2009 08:30 AM

somini is wrong . she probab;y read sri lankan govt web site and told the same.
she says there are no independent media. there are only 500 tamil tigers as reported by govt. these 500 people are controlling 200,000 tamil civilains.
is it not insane?. Somini! do you make any sense?.

Apr. 22 2009 03:03 AM

Dear Somini Sengupta,
I have many relatives who are in currently Mulaitivu district, some are dead already. Srilankan government soldiers are committing mass murders and this is nothing sort of genocide. In a way, I feel gas chambers are better. Relentless carpet bombing by government forces, use of chemical weopons are real inhuman atrocities. Hope you can get some real stories from there.

Apr. 22 2009 02:25 AM

Sri Lankan government committed a holocaust in Sri Lanka against Tamil people, which has been going on since 1951 on and off,to wipe out Tamils from the island. There is a clear picture of how much Sri Lankan government care about Tamils, during the Black July, Government did nothing to control the pogrom that was carried out by some sinhalese faction. We need a immediate ceasefire and a separate state for Tamils.

Apr. 22 2009 01:54 AM

What an unbalanced report from Somini Sengupta!!!. What is happening in SL is Tamil Genocide and this is clearly vindicated by HRW and other international aid organizations. Yesterday more than 1500 Tamil civilians were killed in the "Safe Zone" by Sri Lankan army shelling. I guess this is the new meaning of "Safe Zone".
Somini herself mentioned in her report that there are no independent reporters in the area and Sri Lanka is not allowing any reporters. Such being the case, her report bears no credibility. She simply sounds like the mouth piece of Sri Lankan government propaganda machine.

No body has forgotten the tragic death of the Sunday Leader editor Lasantha Wickramatunga which clearly depicts the sorry state of free speech and freedom of press in Sri Lanka.

Apr. 22 2009 12:08 AM

This reporter says LTTE retain the people from fleeing. This is wrong. She is from Delhi collecting the news from SL defence website. Why dont you guys ask Sri Lankan goverment to give access to LTTE control-area? Then you know the fact. I lived under LTTE control area Since I am born to 2006 July. We Tamils feel safe from SL sytermatic genocide when we are under LTTE conrol. You must note that war started 2 years back. There was more then 140 km defernce front line. If those people in Vanni now intended to flee that time, No one can keep them. They feel safe as I did, and moved with LTTE. If you want, go and ask scores of Tamil in UN. They have some numbers which is still an underestimation. You reportes are working in Gaza, Iraq and Afhanistan? Why can not you go in LTTE control area? You dont like? or you dont like to bring the fact out to internation community. Tamils like to lives in thier own home land. Not in Internmant camps designed in the singalese area.

Apr. 21 2009 11:54 PM

When the SL government does not allow reporters to get a first hand view of the situation, on what basis your reporter writes this report. Is there an international monitoring agency that can guarentee for the civilians who return to govt controlled camps? If your reporter cannot give answers to these questions then don't demean your own reputation in publishing such reports.

Apr. 21 2009 10:39 PM

What going on in Sri Lanka is planned systamatic genocide. Here is what J.R.Jayawardene, Former President of Sri Lanka said to - Daily Telegraph, 11th July 1983

"I am not worried about the opinion of the Tamil people... now we cannot think of them, not about their lives or their opinion... the more you put pressure in the north, the happier the Sinhala people will be here... Really if I starve the Tamils out, the Sinhala people will be happy."


Apr. 21 2009 10:09 PM
David G

Option for the Tamils are internment camps set up by the Government of Sri lanka. What Somini Sengupta says here is total Government of Sri Lanka view of what is happening. I hope you will do more to cover this in-depth.

Apr. 21 2009 10:03 PM

The war is not going to over. Sri Lanka’s government lies and manipulated news. I do not know why international communities refuse to react for humanitarian crisis. US went inside of Iraq to explore chemical weapons But Sri Lanka’s government is obviously using chemical weapons and silence of US authorities directly supports Sri Lanka’s government. Where is US justice?

Apr. 21 2009 10:00 PM

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