Kevin Rudd must up the ante on Sri Lanka

[Human Rights Watch] As nations such as Canada and Britain weigh in on accountability for war crimes in Sri Lanka, it’s time for Australia to add its voice. After all, promoting human rights is a crucial part of foreign policy, as Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd is keen to say. [Full Story]

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Sri Lanka ‘counting civilian war deaths’

[BBC] Sri Lanka is close to completing a census of the number of civilians who died in the final phase of the civil war, the defence secretary has said. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said the count proves the number of people killed as a result of government action was “far too small” to constitute war crimes. [Full […]

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Channel 4 commissions second Sri Lanka war crimes investigation

[Channel 4 News] Channel 4’s Head of News & Current Affairs Dorothy Byrne has commissioned ITN Productions to make a follow-up film to Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields, Jon Snow’s critically-acclaimed investigation into the final weeks of the war between the government and Tamil Tigers. [Full Story]

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Sri Lanka patients tell of shooting, shelling and trapped relatives

[Doctors Without Borders] As heavy fighting continues in northern Sri Lanka, over 200,000 civilians remain trapped in the conflict in the Vanni region. But, over the past few weeks, some 35,000 people have managed to flee to the city of Vavuniya, 80 km south of the conflict zone. They tell of a beleaguered population living […]

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Children trapped in Sri Lanka’s conflict

[UNICEF] Sennappu had a split second, a moment, literally a heartbeat to throw her body around her 18-month-old daughter before the bomb landed. Her reactions were enough time to save the life of her baby girl. Sennappu was killed instantly. As Sri Lanka’s conflict has grown in intensity, so too has the number of civilians […]

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Concerns raised over civilian deaths in Sri Lanka violence

[Los Angeles Times] The number of civilian deaths in Sri Lanka has risen sharply in the last month, Human Rights Watch said Friday, calling on both sides in the protracted civil war to stop firing at civilians or shelling areas where they are concentrated. The government has been battling the Tamil Tiger rebel group, which […]

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Trapped Sri Lankans ‘dying in makeshift hospital’

[The Observer] Doctors say wounded Sri Lankan civilians are dying for want of proper medical treatment as they lie trapped in a makeshift hospital in the last rebel-held pocket in the north-east of the island. This weekend, hundreds of injured civilians poured in to the improvised medical facility in Putumattalan village, which has been repeatedly […]

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Official: 40 civilians die daily in Sri Lanka war

[AP] Artillery shelling and gunbattles between government forces and Tamil Tiger rebels are killing about 40 civilians every day and wounding more than 100 others inside Sri Lanka’s war zone, the top health official in the region said Friday. Aid groups have estimated more than 200,000 civilians were trapped in a tiny strip of land […]

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S Lanka civilian attacks denied

[BBC] The Sri Lankan government and Tamil Tiger rebels have both denied accusations of inflicting civilian casualties in the north-east. The army said it was not responsible for the shelling of a makeshift hospital which the Red Cross (ICRC) said had killed 16 people on Monday. The Tamil Tigers denied shooting dead 19 fleeing civilians. […]

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Sri Lanka: ICRC evacuates over 240 wounded and sick from the Vanni by sea

[ICRC] A ferry flying the flag of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is currently evacuating about 240 patients from Putumattalan to Trincomalee. They had fled Puthukkudiyiruppu Hospital in the northern Vanni region on 4 February after it sustained repeated shelling. The patients are expected to arrive in Trincomalee this evening and receive […]

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