Posts Tagged ‘cease-fire’
Monday, May 11th, 2009
[ Inner City Press ]
In Colombo, UN spokesman Gordon Weiss has acknowledged that at least 400 civilians were killed over the weekend in northern Sri Lanka. Weiss claimed that Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has been doing everything possible. But when asked, repeatedly, if he was calling for a cease-fire, Ban Ki-moon did not. Ban was invited, how ever cynically, to visit the country, and his spokesperson claimed that if he thought his visit could save civilian lives he would go. But he didn’t go, nor announce that he would. And over the weekend, the government shelled the conflict zone and killed 400 civilians.
Wednesday, April 15th, 2009
[ Inner City Press ]
As military action recommences in northern Sri Lanka, the UN’s top humanitarian John Holmes on Wednesday repeated government assurances that it would be in “siege mode.” Inner City Press asked Holmes, given his estimate of 100,000 civilians trapped in 17 square kilometers, if the UN is asking for a cease-fire. Holmes said that “a cease-fire is not available, we are trying to achieve something realistic.” Video here, from Minute 23:14. Holmes acknowledged that UN staff members — who he pointed out are “local” or “Sri Lankan national” staff — are held without freedom of movement in the camps set up by the government.
Tuesday, March 17th, 2009
In Sri Lanka, the government has rejected an appeal by the European Union for a cease-fire with Tamil Tiger rebels. Intense fighting is under way in the northeast, where the military is trying to capture the last strip of territory held by the rebels. The government’s outright rejection for a truce with Tamil Tiger rebels came a day after the European Union said the situation of civilians trapped in the war zone is dangerous and called for a cease-fire to allow humanitarian aid into the region.
Thursday, February 12th, 2009
Britain named a special envoy to Sri Lanka Thursday to try to ease hardship caused by the country’s long-running civil war and to help in the search for a political solution. Prime Minister Gordon Brown said the priorities were to achieve a cease-fire and to get a political settlement in Sri Lanka, where tens of thousands of civilians are trapped in a small area held by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).”I’ve asked Des Browne, our former defence secretary, to be an envoy for Sri Lanka,” Brown told a parliamentary committee. “I want him to be involved in seeing whether there is scope for political progress in Sri Lanka as well as looking at the issues of humanitarian aid.”
Friday, February 6th, 2009
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.
Wednesday, February 4th, 2009
The United States and Britain urged a temporary cease-fire in Sri Lanka to evacuate casualties and allow relief into the war zone as the Island nation celebrates independence from colonial ruler Britain on Wednesday. President Mahinda Rajapaksa was due to preside at a parade of military might in the capital on Wednesday morning that will include fighter jets flying overhead and attack boats sailing by to mark the 61st independence anniversary. The military was on high alert as troops surround the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in a 300-sq-km (115 sq- mile) slice of jungle in the Indian Ocean island’s northeast, aiming to end a war that started in 1983.
Thursday, March 6th, 2008
The Sri Lankan government is responsible for widespread abductions and ‘disappearances’ that are a national crisis, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released today. Human Rights Watch urged the government to reveal the whereabouts of the ‘disappeared,’ immediately end the practice, and hold the perpetrators accountable. “President Mahinda Rajapaksa, once a rights advocate, has now led his government to become one of the world’s worst perpetrators of enforced disappearances,” said Elaine Pearson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “The end of the ceasefire means this crisis will continue until the government starts taking serious measures.”
Wednesday, February 20th, 2008
Sri Lanka is in civil war again, and there are no prospects of a peace process resuming soon. On 2 January 2008, the government announced its withdrawal from a ceasefire agreement with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). This formalised a return to conflict that has been underway since 2006 but also presaged worse to come. The humanitarian crisis is deepening, abuses of human rights by both sides are increasing, and those calling for peace are being silenced. There is no present chance of a new ceasefire or negotiations since the government, despite pro forma statements in favour of a political solution, is dependent on hardliners and appears intent on a military decision.
Friday, January 11th, 2008
The Sri Lanka government has formally ended its ceasefire agreement signed in 2002 with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). It only regularises an existing state of war that had been going on since December 2005. It is a sad development because it shuts the door on the peace process sponsored by the Tokyo Donors Conference. While the four co-chairs of the Tokyo Conference — the EU, Japan, Norway and the US, can walk out of the peace process, India as a close strategic neighbour of Sri Lanka, India cannot afford to ignore the development. It will also face the fall out of yet another round of full scale war in Sri Lanka in some ways, because India-Sri Lanka relations have become closer than ever before.
Wednesday, January 9th, 2008
On 8 January 2008, the Sri Lankan Minister for Nation Building, DM Dassanayake was killed when his convoy was hit by a powerful roadside bomb blast allegedly planted by Liberation Tigers of Tami Eelam (LTTE) near the capital, Colombo. This killing follows the killing of LTTE’s Political wing chief S P Tamilselvam and Intelligence wing chief “Colonel” Charles by the Sri Lankan security forces. These deaths bring Sri Lanka’s escalating conflict into sharp focus. On 2 January 2008, the government of Sri Lanka formally withdrew from the Norwegian brokered Cease Fire Agreement (CFA).