Posts Tagged ‘government forces’

Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields: War Crimes Unpunished

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

[Channel 4 News]

Last year Channel 4 broadcast Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields, a critically-acclaimed and RTS Award winning forensic investigation into the events of the last few weeks of the decades-long war between the government of Sri Lanka and the rebel forces of the Tamil Tigers (LTTE), presented by Jon Snow. It featured devastating video evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity captured on mobile phones by both victims and perpetrators - some of the most horrific footage Channel 4 has ever broadcast.

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Testimony of Elaine Pearson before the House of Commons of Canada regarding Human Rights in Sri Lanka

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

[Human Rights Watch]

Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, thank you for inviting Human Rights Watch to testify at this timely and important hearing. Over the last two decades, my organization, Human Rights Watch, has documented human rights violations in Sri Lanka, especially violations committed by security forces and the Liberation Tamil Tigers of Eelam (LTTE) during the conflict which ended in May 2009. Today I will talk about the lack of accountability for alleged war crimes, particularly in its final stages, and also about the current human rights situation in the country.

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Timor president offers help for Sri Lanka peace

Monday, February 9th, 2009

[AP]

East Timor’s president warned Monday that a military solution in Sri Lanka will not bring peace unless it is accompanied by dialogue between the government and Tamil Tiger insurgents. Jose Ramos-Horta, who shared the 1996 Nobel Peace Prize with Bishop Carlos Belo for leading a nonviolent struggle against the Indonesian occupation, offered to help the country achieve a settlement. Sri Lanka’s 25-year-old conflict has cost tens of thousands of lives. Battles intensified in recent months and government forces claim they are near to defeating Tamil Tigers rebels after taking all but a tiny portion of their de facto state.

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Sri Lankan hospital closes after being shelled

Wednesday, February 4th, 2009

[CNN]

A hospital caught in the middle of fierce fighting between government forces and Tamil rebels in northern Sri Lanka has been closed down after being shelled for a ninth time in four days. A U.N. official says the facility, the last functioning hospital in the area, was fully evacuated Wednesday morning in the midst of the onslaught. “Our staff has been dug down into bunkers for the past 18 hours under sustained artillery fire, which included cluster munitions this morning,” said U.N. spokesman Gordon Weiss. “We hold grave fears for the safety of these [workers]. It also includes 81 staff members who are dug down in these bunkers.”

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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.

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UN: staff came under fire in Sri Lanka ’safe zone’

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

[ AP ]

Dozens of U.N. workers and their relatives spent a terrifying night huddling in hastily built bunkers as artillery fire pounded a civilian “safe zone” in Sri Lanka’s war-wracked north, according to an internal U.N. memo. The memo, obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press, said the artillery shells killed nine civilians in a nearby bunker and were apparently fired by government forces. The military denied the charge and President Mahinda Rajapaksa renewed the government’s pledge not to launch attacks in the refuge as it fought to crush the Tamil Tiger rebels and end the country’s 25-year-old civil war.

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Sri Lanka: continuing conflict sparks UN concern over fate of children

Wednesday, January 21st, 2009

[UN News Centre]

A senior United Nations official today expressed concern over the fate of thousands of children caught up in the conflict in Sri Lanka pitting Government forces against the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Radhika Coomaraswamy, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, said in a press release that she is worried about children who are internally displaced persons (IDPs) and child combatants used by the LTTE.

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Sri Lankan journalist predicted own execution

Friday, January 16th, 2009

[CNN]

A crusading Sri Lankan journalist shot dead last week knew he would be killed — he said so in a dramatic, posthumously published column touching a raw nerve in his war-torn island nation. Lasantha Wickrematunga, editor-in-chief of The Sunday Leader, was gunned down execution-style January 8 but spoke from the grave three days later when the newspaper published “And Then They Came For Me.” That posthumous column anticipated his slaying by government forces and defended the craft of journalism in his country, a profession under fire during its bitter civil war.

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Civilians face increasing risk amid Sri Lanka fighting, warns UN humanitarian chief

Friday, January 16th, 2009

[UN News Centre]

The United Nations is increasingly concerned for the well-being of tens of thousands of civilians caught up in the conflict raging in the northern Vanni area of Sri Lanka pitting Government forces against the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), the world body’s humanitarian chief said today.

“As fighting surrounds the areas towards which families have been displaced, and with few choices about where to move, they are increasingly susceptible to harm due to the fighting,” Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs John Holmes said in a statement.

“While they have had access to basic food, in large part due to the Government and the UN assistance transported through the lines of fighting,” he said, “they have few, if any, reserves and the conditions of their basic shelter, water and sanitation are increasingly inadequate as many have been displaced multiple times over the last months, weeks and days.”

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Fears grow for Sri Lanka Civilians

Wednesday, January 14th, 2009

[Al Jazeera]

Aid organisations say a major humanitarian crisis is unfolding in northern Sri Lanka where government forces are engaged in fierce fighting with Tamil Tiger rebels. Around 350,000 Tamil civilians are crammed into the area where fighting is taking place, forcing them to endure heavy bombardments and acute food shortages. Foreign journalists are prevented from entering the conflict zone, but Al Jazeera has obtained exclusive pictures showing civilians fleeing the fighting as buildings burn and craters from heavy shelling pockmark the earth.

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