Star­va­tion now a tac­tic of war?

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - EDITORIAL -

While the first few fam­i­lies of refugees have ar­rived in P.E.I. and I know they are glad to be here in a safe place to be­gin to put their lives back to­gether. I can only try to imag­ine the con­flict they have had to deal with as well as the risk in tak­ing to boats and flee­ing their home­land.

And more will come to our prov­ince and our coun­try in the next sev­eral weeks. I, for one, am glad we have a com­pas­sion­ate, car­ing and rich govern­ment, as well as gen­er­ous Is­lan­ders who fund-raise for th­ese ef­forts al­low­ing us to be able to reach out to th­ese many dis­placed peo­ple.

And while th­ese new­com­ers are set­tling into their new life in P.E.I., we, the peo­ple of this Is­land and coun­try, where we live in free­dom, are see­ing dev­as­tat­ing pic­tures on our late news shows of starv­ing chil­dren and adults in Ma­daya, and it seems, for what­ever rea­sons, star­va­tion has been used as a tac­tic of war.

My ques­tion now is, why can we not of­fer food aid and some sense of safety to th­ese many hun­dreds of thou­sands of peo­ple who are cut off by govern­ment forces and have no al­ter­na­tives?

Thus far, some 23 starv­ing peo­ple died at a health fa­cil­ity sup­ported by Doc­tors With­out Bor­ders.

Here in Canada, we are able to do so much for so many in a short time, thanks to a new govern­ment that has taken on this ma­jor task. And while I’m grate­ful and happy we are able to bring refugees from camps to start a new life here, can we not help the worst of the worst? Let’s find a way. Kathy Birt, Mount Ste­wart

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