Heavy fighting between government forces and Tamil separatists in Sri Lanka is having a tragic impact in New Zealand, with members of the Tamil community reporting their friends and relatives have been killed in the renewed conflict.
Sri Lankans living in Auckland have staged a 48-hour quiet protest this week, drawing attention to what many claim is genocide. The Wellington community is also holding a vigil.
One Tamil New Zealander, who wants to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals, says she has lost his father and two brothers. "I have no words to describe my feelings. The loss is so huge, and I can't put it into words," he told ONE News.
And Siva Naguleswaran of the Wellington Tamil Society says others are also grieving.
"Many Kiwi Tamils have got family trapped in the fighting in northern Sri Lanka. They don't know if they're alive or dead, they don't know if they're hurt or need medication, they don't even know if they have food and water to drink and eat."
Seventy thousand people have died in the 25-year civil war, many of them killed by the Tamil Tigers, a militant separatist organisation condemned around the world as terrorists.
Talking to the BBC, Brigadier Udaya Nanyakkara of the Sri Lankan Army has said that land conceded to the Tigers will be regained but he says all communities in Sri Lanka will be able to live peacefully afterwards.
Currently up to a quarter of a million civilians are reported to be trapped in the fighting, with Tamils claiming 300 have been killed.
A spokesman for Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully told ONE News that New Zealand's links to Sri Lanka are not strong enough to try to help resolve the conflict, but our government has joined the international community in urging that a ceasefire and solution be found.
Nevertheless, the NZ Tamil community is calling on the government to intervene and bring a peaceful situation to Sri Lanka's north-eastern region.
But for now, the offensive rolls inexorably on.