Posts Tagged ‘The Times’

Britain sold weapons to help Sri Lankan army defeat Tamil Tigers

Monday, June 1st, 2009

[The Times]

Britain and other EU countries sold military equipment worth millions of pounds to the Sri Lankan Government in the last three years of its bloody civil war with the Tamil Tigers, The Times has learnt. Britain approved commercial sales of more than £13.6 million of equipment including armoured vehicles, machinegun components and semiautomatic pistols, according to official records. Slovakia provided 10,000 rockets worth £1.1 million, while Bulgaria approved sales of guns and ammunition worth £1.75 million, according to EU documents and officials.

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Time for Witness

Monday, June 1st, 2009

[The Times]

Ban Ki Moon the Secretary-General of the United Nations, visited Sri Lanka last week. He knew from his officials that at least 20,000 civilians had been killed by Sri Lankan troops in the offensive against the Tamil Tigers. Mr Ban never mentioned this figure to his Sri Lankan interlocutors. He saw, while travelling by air over a supposed “no-fire” zone, the evidence of a massacre of thousands of Tamil civilians caught between the army and the insurgents. Yet he has still not confirmed the authenticity of photographs taken from the same helicopter setting out that scene of carnage and mass makeshift graves.

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India accused of complicity in deaths of Sri Lankan Tamils

Sunday, May 31st, 2009

[ The Times ]

India was accused yesterday of complicity in the killing of an estimated 20,000 civilians in the last stages of Sri Lanka’s 26-year war against the Tamil Tigers. Major-General Ashok Mehta, a former commander of Indian peacekeeping forces in Sri Lanka, said that India’s role was “distressing and disturbing”. Two international human rights groups said that India had failed to do enough to protect civilian lives. “We were complicit in this last phase of the offensive when a great number of civilians were killed,” General Mehta, who is now retired, told The Times.

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Tamil refugees beg to learn fate of relatives held as terrorists

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

[The Times]

The Tamil Tigers came for Rajibalan in February during a rare pause in the shelling. Every family in his village, Palamattalan, inside the besieged no-fire zone, was to give a son or daughter for the fight — taken by force, if necessary. There would be three more months of fighting until the war was over and 18-year-old Rajibalan and his family would wade together across the Nanthikadal lagoon in surrender. When they did, they were met by government troops at the Omanthai checkpoint. “The soldiers announced that all the LTTE people would have to register separately from the civilians,” his sister, Sentura, recalled. “They said if they did so, they would be released, but if they did not, they would get 15 years in jail.”

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How I was barred from reporting Tamil Tiger conflict

Friday, April 17th, 2009

[Times Online]

The Sri Lankan immigration officer’s eyes narrowed as soon as she swiped my passport at Colombo’s international airport last week. “Come this way,” she said, leading me into a side room, where a colleague typed my details into a computer. A message flashed up on his screen: “DO NOT ALLOW TO ENTER THE COUNTRY”. With that, my passport was confiscated, I was escorted to an airport detention room, locked up for the night, and deported the next day.

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