Posts Tagged ‘AP’

« Older Entries

Many Sri Lankan Tamils giving up on country

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009

[AP]

The assailants broke in after the fighting between ethnic rebels and the military erupted again into full-scale war, storming through his family’s home and calling his name. Thanabalasingham Surendran, a member of Sri Lanka’s Tamil ethnic minority, fled to the capital, Colombo. But unknown “messengers from military intelligence” kept calling and demanding extortion money. So the shop owner paid a smuggler to get him out of Sri Lanka. As the government claims it is coming close to winning a quarter-century war with the Tamil Tiger separatists, many ordinary Tamils are giving up on their country.

[Full Story]

Sri Lankans who escaped war zone now fenced in

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

[AP]

Devi Segaram kept on the run for two years, forced to move time and again to stay ahead of the civil war sweeping across northern Sri Lanka. Then there was nowhere left to shelter. So, two weeks ago, the teacher and her daughter joined hundreds of other ethnic Tamils to make a dash for safety just before dawn, sprinting across open fields and braving rebel gunfire to reach government lines. They joined more than 30,000 other civilians who have fled the war zone and are now living in camps, penned in by razor wire and watched over by soldiers of the Sinhalese-dominated government.

[Full Story]

Tamil MPs say Sri Lanka ignoring civilian safety

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

[Associated Press]

The pro-rebel Tamil National Alliance political party said it had managed to compile a list of the civilians killed using the Tamil media, witness accounts and reports from medical authorities in the war zone. According to its count, more than 2,000 civilians were killed since December and more than 4,500 were wounded, said Rajavarothayam Sambanthan, a lawmaker from the party. “The situation is getting worse by the day. More and more people are killed and wounded,” he said.

[Full Story]

Official: 40 civilians die daily in Sri Lanka war

Friday, February 13th, 2009

[AP]

Artillery shelling and gunbattles between government forces and Tamil Tiger rebels are killing about 40 civilians every day and wounding more than 100 others inside Sri Lanka’s war zone, the top health official in the region said Friday.

Aid groups have estimated more than 200,000 civilians were trapped in a tiny strip of land still controlled by the rebels along the northeastern coast. The military and the rebels deny attacking civilians, but reports from aid workers, health officials and evacuees implicate both sides.

[Full Story]

Sri Lanka: 16 patients killed in hospital shelling

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009

[AP]

At least 16 patients being treated at a makeshift hospital in the northern Sri Lankan war zone were killed by shelling, the Red Cross said Tuesday, as the military accused rebel fighters of killing 19 other civilians fleeing theĀ area.

The United Nations, meanwhile, said it was outraged by the “unnecessary” deaths of hundreds of people inside rebel territory and urged both sides to avoid fighting in civilianĀ areas.

[Full Story]

UN: 250K civilians facing food crisis in Sri Lanka

Friday, February 6th, 2009

[AP]

The United Nations warned that civilians caught in the shrinking sliver of territory still controlled by the rebels are facing a massive food crisis, and convoys may not be able to deliver supplies until late next week. Concern for the fate of civilians - hundreds of whom observers say have died in the latest fighting - has grown recently, and several Western countries have pressed the government to declare a cease-fire to allow noncombatants to flee.

[Full Story]

Sri Lanka war near end, but ethnic tension remains

Friday, February 6th, 2009

[AP]

The Sri Lankan government is poised to crush the Tamil Tiger rebels and end a quarter-century civil war that has killed tens of thousands. But it still faces a major challenge beyond the battlefield: resolving the ethnic conflict that fueled the uprising. President Mahinda Rajapaksa has consistently expressed support for a deal to give the ethnic Tamil minority on this South Asian island nation more say in a government long dominated by the Sinhalese majority. “The sowing of discord belongs to the past. The future belongs to those who sow the seeds of unity,” he said in a speech Wednesday marking Independence Day.

[Full Story]

UN: Cluster bombs hit hospital in Sri Lanka

Wednesday, February 4th, 2009

[AP]

Cluster bombs struck the last functioning hospital in Sri Lanka’s northern war zone Wednesday, the U.N. said, as the country’s president declared that the military has nearly crushed a 25-year Tamil rebellion for a separate homeland. U.N. spokesman Gordon Weiss said 15 U.N. staffers and 81 family members are trapped in the Puthukkudiyiruppu area, where the hospital was hit by cluster bombs. He said 90 percent of patients have been evacuated to the north including critically injured patients and the medical staff. “The last remaining medical facility inside the Vanni pocket has been effectively closed,” he said. Vanni is the area where the remaining fighting is taking place.

[Full Story]

Last hospital in Sri Lanka war zone evacuated

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009

[ AP ]

Patients are fleeing a hospital that was hit four times by artillery shells in the war between the Tamil Tiger rebels and government forces in northern Sri Lanka this week, the Red Cross said Tuesday. Also Tuesday, the military said it had captured the rebels’ seventh and final airstrip, effectively grounding their tiny air force as troops pushed ahead with their offensive to crush the guerrilla group and end Asia’s longest-running civil war. On Monday, independent observers handed The Associated Press dramatic pictures and video, showing scores of civilians killed or maimed.

[Full Story]

Sri Lankan official warns diplomats, CNN, BBC

Sunday, February 1st, 2009

[AP]

Sri Lanka warned Western diplomats, foreign journalists and aid groups Sunday that they would be “chased” out of the country if they appear to favor the Tamil Tiger rebels. Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa singled out the ambassadors of Switzerland and Germany, and television networks CNN, BBC and Al-Jazeera in his criticism of foreigners, accusing them of being biased. Rajapaksa said certain foreign media reports were damaging the security forces at a time they were “dealing the final death blow” to the Tigers.

[Full Story]

« Older Entries