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May 12, 2009
Posted: 1834 GMT

Hello everyone,

First of all, the response to our question on whether the international community should intervene to stop the bloodshed in Sri Lanka was so overwhelming that we set a cnn.com record for blog hits.

So far, over 300,000 people have clicked on the blog since yesterday and we have received over 3,000 comments on our poll. Because of the sheer volume of comments, we have had to close the comment section of yesterday's Idesk poll. We thank you whole-heartedly for your participation.

Today, we will be once again circling the globe to bring you the day's top news. We will start in Afghanistan, where the Taliban have launched an offensive on one of their strongholds near the Pakistan border.

We will be going to the Pentagon, where Barbara Starr will tell us about the crucial change in command in Afghanistan.

Also today, we will bring you the latest on that US soldier suspected of killing five people in a stress clinic at a US military base in Iraq. Turns out, like so many of his colleagues, Army Sgt John Russell was on his third tour of duty in Iraq. The tragic shooting is reigniting the debate about post-traumatic stress and mental illness in the military.

We'll also speak with Vatican analyst John Allen about Pope Benedict's past during World War II and whether the Pontiff was a (reluctant) member of the Hitler Youth.

Don't forget to vote in today's Idesk poll on the Demjanjuk deportation.

Plus the rest of the day's news as always.

See you on TV!

Hala

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Filed under: Today At The I-Desk


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sasikaran   May 12th, 2009 6:54 pm ET

Sri lankan gouverment must stop to kill tamil people and olso they have to allo media and una .01/10/2009 to 10/5/2009 they killed morthan 10000 thousand people.

sivananthan jeevaratnam   May 12th, 2009 6:55 pm ET

ple help the sri lankan tamils in north vanni bring the justice and are thing un help

tamilnaduvar   May 12th, 2009 7:12 pm ET

Hi,

Please stop the war in Srilanka. Free tamils and provide an opportunity for them to lead a free and fair life. Srilankan government is just lying on the genocide program. Which government in the world will bomb their own civilians? this is the craziest thing that has ever happened.

KARTHIK   May 12th, 2009 7:21 pm ET

YES

KARTHIK   May 12th, 2009 7:22 pm ET

help the sri lankan tamils in north vanni bring the justice and are thing un help

sutha   May 12th, 2009 7:23 pm ET

please help our sri lankan tamil people. please...... please.......

Santhia   May 12th, 2009 7:28 pm ET

Dear oh Dear! What is happening to Tamils in Srilanka- GENOCIDE... why isn't there anyone who is stopping this? What is the world doing? Shutting their eyes and say that they don't know anything about it? PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE help tamils. Why do they have done to be punished like this? So please help tamils by giving them their freedom which they have lost for years and years and years. Thank you.

Gihan Fernando   May 12th, 2009 7:30 pm ET

Dear Hala,

Great to hear that you broke records after putting up a controversial poll. You must be thrilled and must be waiting to continue report on the war in Sri Lanka (and wishing it would never end).

I don't think you have have right to say
'whether the international community should intervene to stop the bloodshed in Sri Lanka'

In your poll, it never mentioned anything about 'bloodshed' so why are you being so unprofessional in your approach.

I don't think you would put this up, but its more of a message to you. Think about what you are causing to the people who are really in Sri Lanka. Maybe its true, the western world hates to see a so-called 'third world' country like Sri Lanka rise up and play a key role in the development of day to day activities.

You should be ashamed of your biased reporting. But then again you must be saying, 'hey, I am only here for the money'

Do visit Sri Lanka if you can get off your high profile job. No matter how much disregard you will show to our people, they will still welcome you with warm hearts and a pleasant smile. Maybe thats why people in the western world are taking the opportunity to mess with our lives, cause no matter what wrong you do, we will still forgive you.

I truely hope that you can open your eyes and avoid quoting from 'banned terrorists groups' sources, its making a bad impact on CNN.

Warm regards,

Gihan Fernando

Fernando_Silva   May 12th, 2009 11:33 pm ET

Dear Hala.

I am ashamed to see what’s happening to my Tamil brothers in Sri Lanka. We should all live in peace but because of the racist government and the previous pro-Singhalese politicians and their very hateful speeches and propagandas against Tamils things get worse.
In government schools the Sinhalese children are told that Tamil people are not human. We should be ashamed of what Sri Lanka is going now!

Kiaya   May 12th, 2009 11:35 pm ET

Dear Hala,

The fact that 300,000 people voted to express whether or not we should intervene in SL and the fact that it broke a record on your website should illustrate how important this issue is to all of us. I am disappointed to see that after acknowledging this, there was no mention of any coverage you were going to do on Sri Lanka. I hope that this poll along with the daily massacre of civilians will give you more of an incentive to cover this unfolding story.

Bill S   May 12th, 2009 11:49 pm ET

Remember cnn reports the news they don't make it.Hala's reports and storys are fair and clear.Hala takes her job reporting to the heart not to the bank.
Bill S

selva kumar   May 13th, 2009 3:12 pm ET

I support cnn news very much and I believe cnn is one of the key to stop fighting in Sri langka, I aggree what ever cnn doing to stop fighting in Sri langka, because many inocent children , man and women die in the war, please stop the war!!!!!!

Howthaman   May 13th, 2009 3:17 pm ET

The crisis in sri lanka is a genocide. No matter how many times people say it its not a genocide, the fact is that the sri lankan goverment and the S.L.A are brutally murdering innocent people, raping women and girls, starving children, and blocking the entire world from seeing this. The money they spend on propaganda is similar to the Nazi's. STOP making the Liberation Tigers Of Tamil Eelam look like terrorists. STOP making the tamils look like evil people. If the Sri lankan government is telling the truth, then why do they spend money on propaganda? Why do they block media from entering Sri Lanka? Why are innocent people being put into concentration camps? It doesn't look like the world moves forward at all. It is in a constant loop. Only the people and the places change, the story and the plot remain the same. Remember guys history repeats itself. My people are stripped of everything, food, shelter, water, clothes, and freedom. But one thing you can never ever take away from my Tamils is our will to FIGHT.

Alfred   May 14th, 2009 2:07 pm ET

Hello,

Americans speak much about freedom. Once George Bush stated" freedom which was given by God to Americans, and now Americans giving freedom to the World". I am totally ashamed of Americans, the whole world looks up to You, but you are letting the world down. Americans are nothing but empty words. Our time will come, we Tamils will become powerfull and strong. Then no one can stop us, and we will get our freedom.

Thomas Franklin   May 14th, 2009 5:21 pm ET

Thank you CNN for this Poll.
Thank you Hala.
Yes we need a free Tamil Eelam.
Cause we can't live in a country where there is no press freedom and where the government are killing innocent Tamil people.
This is not a Democratic country for me, this is a country which has Fascist and Nazi idea.
CNN is wrong, Al jazeera is wrong, Channel 4 is wrong...everybody is wrong except those who are with the Government???
What kind of image are they trying to show us with that?? Is this the nice side of Sri Lanka??
I will show you another one not in Mulleithivu in the "War Zone", but in Vavuniya in the Detention Camps where girls are raped even if they are underage, young boys disappear and old people get no food and die without food and water. They say that the LTTE has Child soldiers...what about the 16 year old Sri Lankan army soldiers we saw on the battlefront?? They can use 16 year old soldiers and it is patriotism, but when the LTTE uses 16 year old soldiers it`s terrorism???
How can we live in a country where the Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa says that after the Tigers are defeated, the Tamil women will be the sex slaves for the victorious Army and all the Tamil men should flow in the blood river. Of course the Tourist in Sri Lanka are treated very nicely because the country needs money from tourism...money the government put in the Army and for the President and his family's luxury (The Presidents son has an Aston Martin...).So how do you want to make this country a rich country??
If we get Our free Eelam they will be no need for LTTE...there will be no LTTE. People are saying that the LTTE is violent etc., but you are only looking at the past 30 years...before that more than 30 years we fight peacefully against Singhalese chauvinism but at the end the only result we got was Tamils getting killed, raped and disappear. Only after all this the Youth took the Arms...the struggle is for more than 60 years...and it should finish now. Enough!!! We have enough of all this "fairy tale" the Sri Lankan Government is telling us and the World.

Albert Brown   May 15th, 2009 11:30 am ET

This type of poll where any one can go on voting without identifying oneself does not befit CNN. The perceived credibility of CNN is now eroded owing to such devices as this. Two Tamils known to me told me that the voted innumerable times!

I think journalists, aid workers, "peace brokers" & other such are not allowed in the war zone because anyone can be taken hostage. Then the country to which the hostage belongs can intervene or interfere. The Nowergians in particular have left a poor record of supporting the Tigers against the very Government that permitted them to come in.

SInce the Singhalese are a very small global minority of about 13 to 14 million, as against some 65 million Tamils plus the Diaspora, genocide of Tamils is impossible. Perhaps the Singhalese see the situation as a planned genocide of the Singhalese. The US & all NATO countries engage in brutalizing those whom they see as terrorists & their enemies. Therefore no country is entitled to preach to or intervene in the Sri Lanka issue, just as much they should not go into Afghanistan, Pakistan, Palestine etc.

At any rate the kind of poll you set up is -pardon me – a sham.

Md. Aseer Jubair Khan Majlish.   May 16th, 2009 1:53 pm ET

Brown, I completely agree with you. But, I am finding no other way. Do you have any suggestion?

Sivakumaran Sivakumaran, Toronto   May 18th, 2009 1:03 pm ET

The decision of Tamil ealam was taken by Mr.S.J.V.Selvanayagam farther of Tamil nation and a scholar,This mandate was given with the full majority of Tamil people, If Mr.Perapakaran goes against the will of the Tamil people he will be punished, this is history. One must understand Sinhalese will massacre the whole ancient Tamil civilization in srilanka. 90% of sinhalese people are ruthless and pitless. The international community must understand you are dealing with the useless people in this world. It is not the death of Rajive Ghandi or the will of Soniya Ghandi. This is the innocent tamils who is getting killed day by day. This not the matter of child soldiers or the terroist tatics of LTTE worse srilankan Govt. It is matter of existance of historical owners of Srilanka. THE TAMILS. We must trust ADMK why not if we have trusted Karunathi family owned DMK for long period of time.sivakumaran sivaguru

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