Media outlets are reporting today that clashes in northern Sri Lanka between the government and the Tamil Tigers have recently escalated in the wake of government advances and violent Tiger counter attacks. The government claims to have surrounded Tiger fighters and cut off key Tiger supply routes, however details remain extremely difficult to come by given that journalists are banned from the theater of war. Any escalation of conflict in the region is threatening to the hundreds of thousands of civilians caught in the cross fire without means of escape.
Civilians continue to bear the brunt of the suffering throughout Sri Lanka. United Nations officials arrive in Sri Lanka today to assess the situation for those internally displaced persons living in government controlled camps recently criticized by Human Rights Watch. The Tigers are notorious for using civilians as human shields and mounting suicide attacks, while the government has been castigated for the use of indiscriminate violence in the north and the east.