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 Sri Lanka between the fighters of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) who have retreated into the jungles of The Vanni in the north of the Island.
This liberation war between the Tamil Tigers for self determination and the Sri Lankan Government has been going on for well over 27 years and has resulted in the deaths of hundreds and thousands of civilians from both sides of the conflict and much destruction in the country.
The continued conflict in Sri Lanka has been cited on the “human rights watch” international monitoring mechanisms as a conflict now reaching genocidal proportions.
The ANC urges all parties in the conflict, both the LTTE and the Sri lankan Government to call a halt, immediately institute a ceasefire and allow humanitarian aid to be brought to civilians caught in the conflict who are in dire need of assistance. The ANC calls on all political players to immediately return to the negotiating table and resume a peaceful process of finding a lasting political solution to the conflict.