Posts Tagged ‘Aid agencies’

Sri Lanka rules out outside probe

Sunday, May 31st, 2009

[ BBC ]

Sri Lanka has dismissed calls for an independent inquiry into claims of human rights abuses by the military, saying its own courts will investigate. Foreign minister Rohita Bogollagama said the claims were being used to boost accusations of genocide against the country’s Tamil minority. Aid agencies and the United Nations have called for an inquiry. The exact number of civilians killed in the final weeks of the long-running war has not been established, but one report put it as high as 20,000.

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Tamil Americans to hold rally in Washington

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

[The Hindu]

Tamils in the US will hold a demonstration in front of the State Department and the White House here on Friday protesting against the “genocide” against their community in Sri Lanka. ‘Tamils Against Genocide’, a pro-Tamils organisation, will organise a rally and hunger strike to urge US President Mr Barack Obama to bring an end to the “genocide” in northern Sri Lanka, where the Army and LTTE are engaged in a war.

“Tamils have been systematically attacked and brutalised since the government ordered international aid agencies out of the region last September,” the group said in a statement.

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Sri Lanka: Pillay deplores deteriorating situation for civilians

Thursday, January 29th, 2009

[OHCHR]

GENEVA — The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said Thursday she was deeply concerned by reports of the rapidly deteriorating conditions facing a quarter of a million civilians trapped in the conflict zone in northern Sri Lanka, and of alleged human rights abuses and a significant number of civilian casualties, as well as the huge displacement. Pillay also expressed concern at the highly restricted access to the Vanni region for aid agencies and impartial outside observers, including journalists and human rights monitors.

“The perilous situation of civilians after many months of fighting, multiple displacements and heavy rains and flooding is extremely worrying,” Pillay said. “The lack of access for independent monitors, humanitarian workers and the media only adds to concerns that the situation may be even worse than we realize,” she added.

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Fears grow for trapped civilians as army advances on Tamil Tigers

Sunday, January 18th, 2009

[Guardian]

International concern is intensifying over the fate of around 350,000 civilians trapped in a rapidly shrinking rebel-controlled pocket of land in Sri Lanka’s north east, as the military steps up its campaign to end the civil war by crushing the Tamil Tiger forces.

The Sri Lankan army this week announced that it had seized new swathes of territory from the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), forcing the dwindling guerrilla forces to retreat to their last remaining stronghold, the small coastal town of Mullaitivu.

Aid agencies believe that hundreds of thousands of people made homeless by the latest offensive have been pushed back, along with the guerrilla fighters, and are now crowded into a densely forested patch of land around 30km wide. Most of these civilians are thought to be sheltering with locals, or beneath shelters roughly thrown together from palm leaves, and food supplies are very restricted.

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