Posts Tagged ‘rebels’

Refugee stream from Sri Lanka’s war zone picks up

Friday, January 16th, 2009

[Reuters]

Increasing numbers of refugees are fleeing Sri Lanka’s war zone, which is rapidly shrinking as the military bears down on the Tamil Tiger rebels’ last remaining territory, the military and the Red Cross said on Friday. “Families heading westward in search of safety are encountering other families moving eastward with the same aim,” ICRC’s Sri Lanka delegation head Paul Castella said.There has been no negotiation of safe passage between the army and Tigers in a week, which has put at risk the lives of patients who cannot receive proper treatment in rebel-held areas and need to go to a hospital in army territory, the ICRC said.

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Sri Lanka Army Corners Rebels

Friday, January 16th, 2009

[Wall Street Journal]

Sri Lankan armed forces have surrounded a shrinking number of Tamil Tiger rebels in the northeastern part of the country in a bid to crush the separatist movement and end Asia’s longest-running civil war. On Thursday, the army built on recent advances, taking control of a makeshift airstrip used by Tamil Tiger aircraft in recent bombing raids. The military also captured a village about 12 miles from the remaining rebel stronghold Mullaittivu, said Brig. V.U.B. Nanayakkara, a spokesman for the Sri Lankan military.

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Civilians fleeing Sri Lanka fighting have no safe passage: ICRC

Friday, January 16th, 2009

[AFP]

Tens of thousands of people are on the run because of fighting between troops and Tamil rebels in northern Sri Lanka where civilians have no safe passage, the Red Cross said Friday. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said it was “extremely concerned” that the warring parties had not agreed on a safe route for civilians since January 9. “This has put at risk the lives of patients who cannot receive suitable treatment on the spot and therefore need to be transferred to Vavuniya Hospital, in government-controlled territory,” the ICRC said in a statement. It said there had been a “massive displacement” of civilians — many of them having already been forced to move numerous times — who were increasingly seeking the safety of government-controlled areas.

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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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Sri Lankan govt under fire as murdered editor buried

Monday, January 12th, 2009

[AFP]

The funeral of a Sri Lankan newspaper editor and staunch critic of the war on Tamil rebels was underway Monday with the island’s hawkish government facing allegations of being behind his killing. Security was tight as thousands of mourners attended a Christian service for Lasantha Wickrematunga at the Assembly of God church in Colombo ahead of a burial ceremony at the Colombo General Cemetery. Wickrematunga’s Sunday Leader newspaper has been virulently anti-establishment and regularly savaged the government for waging its costly and bloody war against the Tamil Tigers. Last Thursday he was shot at close range near the capital Colombo by unidentified gunmen.

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Thousands mourn Sri Lanka editor

Monday, January 12th, 2009

[BBC]

Thousands of mourners have attended the funeral of a leading Sri Lankan newspaper editor and fierce government critic who was shot dead last week. Security was tight in Colombo as crowds paid their last respects to Sunday Leader editor Lasantha Wickramatunga. Reports say some 10,000 people attended a Christian service ahead of a burial ceremony at Colombo’s main cemetery. Journalists in Sri Lanka have suffered a string of attacks as the war with Tamil Tiger rebels has intensified.

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Bomber targets Sri Lankan capital

Sunday, December 28th, 2008

[BBC]

A suicide bombing in Sri Lanka’s capital, Colombo, has killed at least five members of the paramilitary civil defence force, military officials said. The bomber hit a checkpoint near a market in Wattala, a suburb of Colombo, the officials said. No group has claimed to have carried out the attack, but it follows heavy fighting between Tamil Tiger rebels and the army in the north of Sri Lanka. The Sri Lankan navy says it has sunk a boat carrying supplies to the rebels.

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Bodies exchanged as fighting continues

Friday, December 19th, 2008

[BBC Sinhala]

The International Committee of the Red Cross in Sri Lanka says it’s handed over to the Sri Lankan army the bodies of twenty-five of their soldiers. Tamil Tiger rebels said the soldiers were killed over the past two days in clashes near the northern town of Kilinochchi. A spokesman for the ICRC said they had also handed over to the Tigers a body of a rebel killed in the fighting.

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