RIGHTS-SRI LANKA: ‘Plight of Tamils Similar to Gaza Civilians’

[IPS] While the Sri Lankan army has announced the capture of Mullaitivu, the last bastion of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), the plight of more than 250,000 civilians caught in the fighting continues to be as grim as that of civilians in Gaza, say those involved in humanitarian work. Peter Balleis, international director…

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‘Civilians die’ in S Lanka battle

[BBC] The UN in Sri Lanka says dozens of civilians have been killed or injured in fighting between troops and rebels in the north-east in the past few days. Senior UN spokesman Gordon Weiss told the BBC shells exploded very close to civilian areas in Mullaitivu district. Mr Weiss said: “The shells landed on the…

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Germany Calls for Aid to Refugees Caught in Sri Lankan Conflict

[DPA] German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier called Thursday, Jan. 22, for humanitarian assistance to be delivered to civilians cut off by government and rebel clashes in the north-eastern region of Sri Lanka. Steinmeier expressed concern for more than 300,000 refugees on a coastal 30-kilometer strip of land, in the area held by the Liberation Tigers…

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Civilians ‘trapped’ in Tiger battle

[Al Jazeera] At least 67 civilians have been killed as Sri Lankan government troops push further into rebel Tamil Tiger territory, according to local health workers. Doctors claim around 30 people were killed on Thursday alone, after soldiers shelled a village and makeshift hospital in a government-declared “safe zone” on the edge of rebel-held territory…

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In Sri Lanka, Fear of Being ‘Disappeared’

[Washington Post] Under a recent military offensive to wipe out those rebels, government forces have abducted hundreds of members of the Tamil minority group, including civilians, according to human rights groups. Many of the “disappeared” never turn up again. Rights activists say Sri Lanka’s growing ties with Iran, China and Russia have emboldened the government…

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