The situation in Sri Lanka continues to unfold in interesting ways. With the visit of the U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator, John Holmes, the government announced that it would not use heavy weapons and airstrikes against Tamil Tiger rebels and civilians trapped in a small sliver of territory in the north of the country. The government was, however, also quick to reject a unilateral ceasefire from the Tigers, dismissing it as a “joke.” It wants full surrender from the Tigers in the enclave. The government is trying to be on marginally better behavior this week not only with the visit of Holmes, but also with the foreign ministers of France and Sweden as well as the British foreign secretary traveling to Sri Lanka. Over the weekend, the ruling party won big in a local provincial election, and the government may well read that as a very public endorsement of its strategy to smash the Tigers conclusively. I fear that fundamental calculation may weigh more heavily on the minds of the Sri Lanka government than the entreaties of the foreign diplomats now passing through Colombo.