The Humanitarian Genocide

Decent Essays

Humans tend to feel morally compelled to help others in times of tragedy and chaos; however, there are limitations on the force of compassion. During recent and historical genocides, many outsiders’ universes of obligation have narrowed due to social and political factors, turning them into bystanders of ethnic crisis. Similarly, the world was unresponsive to the ethnic eradication of Tamils in Sri Lanka since 1983. For twenty-six years, tens of thousands of helpless Tamils suffered as human shields for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and were caught in the crossfire of a civil war between the extremist group and the national government. The collective desire for the United States, UN, and Sri Lankan government to maintain …show more content…

This conflict of personal versus moral obligations caused the officials to disregard the Tamils and delay their liberation. The weakness of the UN’s management also permitted this, as there was no decisive authority figure or clear command to guide them toward intervention (Bhalla). Without true leadership, the workers were allowed to make decisions for themselves, fostering a selfish mentality as their responsibilities to the world were forgotten and ethnic obliteration persisted.
To this day, the Sri Lankan government acts as a perpetrator for the ongoing tensions by seeking vengeance from the LTTE and attempting to conceal their crimes. It was found in 2013 that there was an “absence of first-person newspaper reports and independent television footage” and that the government “repeatedly alleged that there were no civilian casualties during the war” in order to cover up the atrocities they committed against the Tamils (Nelson; Legal). By making media coverage of Sri Lanka unavailable, the government tried to put up a respectable image for the world to lessen the international backlash. The reality of the genocide was hidden from the world public and left them as an unknowing bystander since individuals weren’t informed enough to protest against the brutality. This prevented the Tamils from receiving the international help they needed and prolonged the ethnic extermination.

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