Sri Lankan government not protecting civilians

1 post / 0 new
Pride for Red D...
Sri Lankan government not protecting civilians

The Sri Lankan government in its fight against the Tamil Tigers has not been protecting civilians, allowing a free press- see here for context :

http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2009/02/03/sri-lanka-disregard-civilian-safet...

 My AI group received the follwing message from a contact we have in SrI Lanka, a Tamil human rights worker. Please write your MP :

PLEASE SEE THIS VIDEO - TAMIL CIVILIANS IN THE NORTH OF SRI LANKA LAST WEEK.     http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7y0_e1fhKaM

HAVE YOU SEEN THIS VIDEO? THIS IS ONLY ONE.THRE ARE HUNDREDS.PLEASE HELP US BY FORWARDING THIS EMAIL TO ALL YOUR CONTACTS , INCLUDING MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT . MINISTERS , PRESIDENTS,UN OFFICIALS , NGO'S AND ANYONE WHOM YOU THINK COULD HELP SAVE THE TAMILS IN SRI LANKA .

  URGENT APPEAL TO THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY
The civilian death toll in the North of Sri Lanka has escalated catastrophically .An estimated quarter of a million people are trapped in the latest round of fighting.   The Tamil Tigers are cornered in a tiny strip of land in the north western town of Mullaitivu . The Sri Lankan military, which is fighting to take over the small remaining territory under Tigers control, is continuing its military operations, including shelling, despite the civilian presence. The Sri Lankan military are carrying on fighting despite the presence of hundreds of thousands of civilians; if urgent measures are not taken to protect civilians thousands could perish.   This is another Gaza in the making. It is unfortunate that the situation in Sri Lanka does not get the same level of international attention - it is extremely dire. At least 300 people are believed to have been killed in the latest fighting and several hundred injured. Grassroots organizations in northern Sri Lanka say that hospitals in the north are unable to cope with the large numbers of injured that are coming in. Some of the injured have reported seeing the roadsides lined with dead bodies as they were being transported to other hospitals. According to the aid agencies some 400,000 people have been displaced in the last two months alone. Food convoys have also not been able to reach people caught up in the fighting in the last two weeks. Mullaitivu, where the fighting is taking place, is a Tamil ethnic minority populous area. The Sri Lankan state is under obligation to protect the lives and safeguard the rights of all its people irrespective of their ethnic background. The International Community has repeatedly asked the Sri Lankan Government to honour international humanitarian law and do their utmost to guarantee civilian protection.  International human rights organizations reminds the Sri Lanka Govenrment that deliberately targeting areas with dense civilian populations and blocking civilians from leaving a war-zone could constitute war crimes. The UN office in Colombo said earlier this week that some of its staff working in the government declared 'safe zone' had faced military shelling.