Sri Lanka: UN expert calls for ‘humanitarian pause’ to save trapped civilians

[UN News Centre] “I am deeply concerned for the lives of over 100,000 civilians trapped in the 14-square kilometre area of the Vanni declared by the Government of Sri Lanka as a no-fire zone, Walter Kälin, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Representative for the Human Rights of Displaced Persons said following a four-day visit to the island […]

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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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Sri Lanka: End ‘War’ on Civilians

[Human Rights Watch] The Sri Lankan government should immediately cease its indiscriminate artillery attacks on civilians in the northern Vanni region and its policy of detaining displaced persons in internment camps, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Since early January 2009, civilian casualties have skyrocketed in the fighting between the Sri Lankan […]

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Tamil journalist killed in bombardment amounting to “war crime”

[Reporters Without Borders] Reporters Without Borders today expressed revulsion at the death of a Tamil journalist in a Sri Lankan Army bombardment on the north of the country, which it described as a “war crime”. Punniyamurthy Sathyamurthy was killed during an air raid on 12 February on Thevipuram, Mullaithivu district in the region of Vanni, […]

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Calls for temporary truce and humanitarian corridors in Sri Lanka

[Amnesty International] Amnesty International has called on the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to immediately declare a temporary humanitarian truce and create humanitarian corridors. This would allow more than a quarter of a million civilians trapped in the Wanni region to escape the ongoing war and also let food, […]

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UN: Cluster bombs hit hospital in Sri Lanka

[AP] Cluster bombs struck the last functioning hospital in Sri Lanka’s northern war zone Wednesday, the U.N. said, as the country’s president declared that the military has nearly crushed a 25-year Tamil rebellion for a separate homeland. U.N. spokesman Gordon Weiss said 15 U.N. staffers and 81 family members are trapped in the Puthukkudiyiruppu area, […]

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ANC media statement on the crisis in Sri Lanka

[ANC] The African National Congress (ANC) expresses its very serious concern at the unfolding humanitarian crisis that is emerging on the Island of Sri Lanka. The United Nations International Red Cross Committee has reported that over 300 000 civilians of Tamil origin are caught in the crossfire in the war that is currently raging in […]

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Natalie Samarasinghe: Rulers in Colombo must reach out to the whole island

[ The Independent ] “People throughout the country are brimming with patriotic fervour,” read the front page of yesterday’s Sri Lanka Daily News. It is unlikely that any of them are located in the Wanni region, where an estimated 250,000 civilians are trapped as the government advances on the Liberation Tigers of Tamileelam (LTTE), otherwise […]

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Displaced Priests, Nuns In Battle Zone Appeal To United Nations To Stop The Fighting

[UCAN] Catholic clergy and Religious, fearing a “great human tragedy” in northern Sri Lanka, have asked U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to call on their government to stop the war and put an end to the suffering of civilians. In a letter titled “SOS – Agonizing Cry of the People of Vanni,” Father James Pathinathar […]

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War at what Cost?

[CNN] An Excerpt from this Blog entry by M.I.A. on the genocidal conflict going on in Sri Lanka: “Just last month, the New York-based Genocide Prevention Project released a report that listed Sri Lanka among the top eight “red alert” countries currently experiencing genocide conflicts. And Human Rights Watch estimates that between 230,000 to 300,000 […]

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