Posts Tagged ‘AFP’

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Children killed in Sri Lanka ‘bloodbath’: UN

Monday, May 11th, 2009

[ AFP ]

More than 100 children were among a large number of Tamil civilians killed in a weekend “bloodbath” in Sri Lanka, the United Nations’ spokesman in Colombo, Gordon Weiss, said Monday. He said the UN had been warning of a bloodbath as tens of thousands of civilians have been trapped in a narrow patch of coastline where the Tamil Tigers are fighting to hold back a massive military assault. “The large scale killing of civilians, including the death of over 100 children, over the weekend shows that the bloodbath scenario has become a reality,” Weiss told AFP.

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Australian Tamils call off hunger strike

Saturday, April 18th, 2009

[AFP]

Tamil protesters who staged a seven-day hunger strike outside the Australian prime minister’s home have announced the end of their protest following assurances their demands had been heard. The five men called off their fast late Friday after a mass demonstration involving up to 8,000 people outside the foreign affairs department in Canberra, a spokeswoman for the protest movement said. Sam Pari said the men ended their hunger strike as a department representative “had been receptive to their calls and had assured them the Australian government would do what it could to pressure Sri Lanka.”

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Tamil hunger striker ‘prepared to die’ in London

Friday, April 17th, 2009

[AFP]

A Sri Lankan hunger striker in London who has gone ten days without food said Thursday he was prepared to starve himself death to highlight the plight of Tamils, as hundreds of people protested. Paramesweran Subramaniyam, 28, is surviving on sips of water and his condition could soon become critical, doctors say. But he says death is a price he would pay to force the British government to intervene in the conflict.

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Disease risk in Sri Lanka war zone: Red Cross

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

[AFP]

Tens of thousands of people trapped by fighting in Sri Lanka’s north are facing serious risks of disease due to shortages of clean water and sanitation, the Red Cross said Tuesday. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said the humanitarian situation was deteriorating fast as civilians still living in the rebel-held territory endured daily attacks and an increased danger of epidemics. “The area is affected by shelling every day, and the cramped conditions and the lack of water and proper sanitation are putting people at risk,” it said in a statement.

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After Fighting, Sri Lanka Needs Devolution - India

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

[AFP]

Sri Lanka needs true devolution of power to minority Tamils if it wants to permanently end its long-running ethnic war, Indian Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon said Wednesday. Menon, who was in Washington for talks, said the U.S. and the Sri Lankan government itself both agreed with regional power India on the need to quickly restore daily life in war-torn areas. The Colombo government says it is on the verge of crushing the Tamil Tigers, who have been waging a campaign since 1972 to create a separate Tamil homeland on the Sinhalese-majority island.

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Sri Lankan conflict due to ‘repressive’ govts: Canada

Friday, March 6th, 2009

[AFP]

The 37-year conflict raging in Sri Lanka was borne out of “repressive” governments in Colombo, Canadian Minister of State for Foreign Affairs said Thursday. “I am sure all Canadians share the government’s revulsion at the continuing humanitarian catastrophe in Sri Lanka, a civil conflict born of a succession of repressive Sri Lankan governments, which in turn spawned the terrorist organization known as the Tamil Tigers,” Kent told the House of Commons.

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Tamils march in Paris to protest Sri Lankan offensive

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

[AFP]

Thousands of Tamils marched in Paris on Saturday to denounce what they termed the Sri Lankan government’s genocide of the island’s ethnic minority in its bid to wipe out Tamil Tiger rebels. Police put the number of marchers at 2,500 while organisers said some 3,000 participated in the demonstration. The marchers shouted slogans such “EU impose a truce”, and “The Sri Lankan president is a murderer”, and “Stop the Tamil genocide”.

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‘Great danger’ for civilians in Sri Lanka conflict: UN

Saturday, February 28th, 2009

[AFP]

Tens of thousands of Sri Lankan civilians face “great danger” after being caught in fighting between Tamil rebels and the advancing military, a senior UN diplomat warned on Friday. “Estimates vary of the number of civilians trapped, from 70,000 according to the government, through around 200,000 according to UN estimates, up to 300,000 or more according to Tamil groups,” said UN Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs John Holmes told Security Council members. The civilians were stuck in a no-man’s land spanning around 14 square kilometers (five square miles), as expectations grew that government forces would move in on Tamil positions in short order.

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Sri Lanka rejects Tigers’ ceasefire calls

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

[AFP]

Sri Lanka’s military on has demanded the complete surrender of the Tamil Tigers, rejecting rebel calls for an immediate ceasefire. Military spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara said the Government could not accept a conditional truce from the cornered Tamil Tigers and insisted that the guerrillas should unconditionally lay down arms first. Earlier, the rebels announced in a statement they were ready to comply with international calls for a ceasefire but said they would not lay down their arms.

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Thousands of Tamils rally at White House

Friday, February 20th, 2009

[AFP]

Thousands of members of the Tamil diaspora rallied Friday outside the White House to demand US pressure on the Sri Lankan government as it pursues a major offensive against Tiger rebels. The rally was met by a smaller counter-demonstration, mostly by members of Sri Lanka’s majority Sinhalese community, who called for the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to end their trademark suicide attacks. The protests came just as the LTTE carried out a kamikaze-style air attack on Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo, bombing the main tax building and killing two people.

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