On 19 May 2009, declaring victory over the LTTE, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa (2009a) told the parliament that no one had to tell his government how to look after the internally displaced persons (IDPs) from the Vanni region: ‘We who are schooled in the Buddhist tradition of loving kindness and compassion, and nurtured in the Hindu, Islam and Christian traditions, do not need to be taught how we should treat and care for the innocent and helpless.’ Having already subjected tens of thousands of Tamil civilians to merciless shelling and airstrikes, in the post-LTTE period, one would have expected the Rajapaksa regime to treat the Tamil IDPs in a compassionate manner. As the LTTE had already been vanquished, there would have seemed no reason why it should mistreat the Tamils.