Red Cross worker killed in Sri Lanka shelling

May 13, 2009 § 2 Comments

Reuters : Red Cross worker killed in Sri Lanka shelling


Shelling killed a Red Cross worker inside Sri Lanka’s war zone on Wednesday, the aid agency said, while troops and the Tamil Tigers battled in an intensifying fight to the finish of Asia’s longest modern war.

AFP – Red Cross worker killed in Sri Lanka: ICRC

CNN International – Sri Lankan Red Cross worker killed in conflict zone

BBC – ICRC worker killed in Sri Lanka

Red Cross forced to abandon Sri Lankan aid mission

May 13, 2009 Comments Off on Red Cross forced to abandon Sri Lankan aid mission

ABC News : Red Cross forced to abandon Sri Lankan aid mission
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has been forced to abandon a mission to evacuate hundreds of injured civilians from northern Sri Lanka.

WATCH THE VIDEO
“The latest attack alleged targeted a makeshift hospital where wounded civilians were being treated. That was confirmed by a government health official initially but emphatically rejected later on by a senior minister.”

In today's media…

March 6, 2009 Comments Off on In today's media…

AP : Sri Lankan civilians starving under heavy shelling

Thousands of Sri Lankans crammed into a squalid coastal strip along with retreating Tamil rebels face relentless shelling that has killed dozens of civilians in the past two days and left many scrounging for food to survive, witnesses said Thursday.

Concern is growing for the trapped civilians as the Sri Lankan army seeks to deal a knockout blow to the Tamil Tiger rebels to end the island’s 25-year civil war.

International South Asia Forum : Lions Tigers, and the culling of Sri Lankan Tamils

Sri Lanka’s Lions (Sinhalese Buddhist nationalist government) and Tigers (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) continue their savage war that is now slaughtering thousands of innocent Tamil civilians caught in the crossfire. The government claims to go out of its way to minimize civilian casualties, despite having relied on a strategy of deliberately and indiscriminately bombing areas filled with Tamil civilians; the LTTE, which is branded a terrorist group by over thirty countries, claims it is fighting to liberate Tamils-even as it forcibly recruits civilians, including child soldiers, to fight government forces and uses these trapped Tamils as human shields; and the international community, which claims to care about the plight of innocent civilians, stands impotently on the sidelines as beleaguered Tamils are being murdered.

Times Now : India to send military aid to Sri Lanka

India will send a team of military doctors to Sri Lanka soon in its first open indulgence in the island nation’s fight against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) since the failure of a peace mission in 1987. Acceding to a popular demand from Tamil Nadu’s political parties, the Centre decided to base the medical team in Pulmodai in the island’s north-east, which was once under LTTE control.

AFP : Sri Lankan conflict due to ‘repressive’ govts: Canada

The 37-year conflict raging in Sri Lanka was borne out of “repressive” governments in Colombo, Canadian Minister of State for Foreign Affairs said Thursday.

UN : Sri Lanka: Ban deplores rising civilian death toll from ongoing fighting

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today strongly deplored the mounting civilian death toll in areas of fighting between Sri Lankan Government forces and Tamil rebels, and called for an immediate halt to the fighting.

Times : UN must protect civilians in Sri Lanka

Sir, We call upon the UK Government to press for an urgent Security Council resolution on the situation in northern Sri Lanka, with the view to dispatching a fact-finding mission there under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General, in furtherance of the Security Council’s primary responsibility under the Charter of the United Nations for the maintenance of international peace and security.

Business Standard : Sadanand Menon: A war without witnesses

In the past few days, Sri Lanka has been in the news across South Asia. In Pakistan, Lankan cricketers get sprayed with bullets. The attack leads to unprecedented traffic jams in Kathmandu, as Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse’s pilgrimage to Lumbini gets aborted and he returns home amidst high security. In New Delhi, Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee is getting used to making frequent statements on Lanka and one waits for the day when he might rightly pronounce the word, Puthukudiyiruppu, the current theatre of the longest-ranging civil war in Asia between the Sinhala Army and LTTE.

In today's media…

March 5, 2009 Comments Off on In today's media…

Reuters: Red Cross worker killed in Sri Lanka’s war zone
A Red Cross worker was killed by shrapnel inside Sri Lanka’s rapidly shrinking war zone, the international aid group said on Thursday.

The Guardian, UK: Stop Sri Lanka’s bloody civil war
Sri Lanka’s government has turned a blind eye to the mass killing of Tamils. The Commonwealth should threaten expulsion
We heard on a nightly basis about the events in Gaza earlier this year. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for what’s been happening in Tamil areas of Sri Lanka…There are also reports that particularly lethal cluster-bombs, banned white phosphorous and multi-barrelled rocket launchers have been fired on the civilian population. Hospitals have been bombed, as have places that the government has encouraged people to see as “safe zones”…In many cases, the killings have been what independent observers would define as genocide, with whole communities killed in a form of ethnic cleansing.

Associated Press: Court issues war crimes warrant for Sudan’s Bashir
The International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant Wednesday for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur. He is the first sitting head of state the court has ordered arrested.

In early February 2009, a 12-count indictment on charges for genocide was filed with Attorney General Eric Holder and the Department of Justice yesterday, against Sri Lankan government’s Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Sarath Fonseka.

The Japan Times: China fuels Sri Lankan war
Chinese military and financial support — as in Sudan, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Uzbekistan, North Korea, Burma and elsewhere — has directly aided government excesses and human rights abuses in Sri Lanka. But with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton publicly emphasizing that the global financial, climate and security crises are more pressing priorities for U.S. policy than China’s human rights record, which by her own department’s recent admission has “remained poor and worsened in some areas,” Beijing has little reason to stop facilitating overseas what it practices at home — repression.

A 'veteran international aid worker' exposes SL

March 3, 2009 Comments Off on A 'veteran international aid worker' exposes SL

Peter Foster of the Telegraph, UK unveils a communication that he received from a veteran international aid worker, which exposes the true inconsideration of the Sri Lankan government and army towards the Tamil civilians.

“This attitude towards the UN and its humanitarian mission has very serious implications – not just for the suffering displaced people on the ground who need an effective aid-operation – but because it gives the world another reason not to take at face value the ‘good intentions’ of the Sri Lankan government… The fear – fuelled by the repeated attacks on the Sri Lankan media (most recently the Tamil newspaper editor N Vithyatharan), the refusal to tolerate dissent in Sri Lanka and the often chauvinist rhetoric of key figures in the Sri Lankan government, including the army chief Sarath Fonseka – is that the final settlement will be so discriminatory and demanding of subservience from the Tamil minority that it will amount to a piece of ethnic suppression/cleansing in all but name…Not even in Kosovo in 1998 (before NATO came in) were the Serbs so disrespectful of international UN staff as is the Sri Lankan Army.”

List of 800 civilians injured due to Sri Lankan Army attack in Vanni Safety Zones – Source: Illankai Tamil Arasu Kadchi ( TNA )

February 23, 2009 § 1 Comment

We have received a list of civilians who have been transferred from Puthukudiyiruppu Hospital to the south. They may be in Vavuniya, Trincomalee or Mannar.

At this stage, we are unable to find out any more information and how you may locate where each one of these people are. However, we are working on it.

For a start you can contact Red Cross in Sri Lanka or the Sri Lankan HC in Canberra for help.

ICRC in Colombo :

Aleksandra Matijevic, ICRC Colombo , tel : + 94 11 250 33 46 or + 94 777 289 682

Sarasi Wijeratne, ICRC Colombo, tel : + 94 11 250 33 46 or + 94 773 158 844

SL HC in Canberra +61 2 6239 7041

As soon as we know how to attach lists to this blog we will do so.

Meanwhile, if you want a copy of this please post a comment with your email address.

Human Rights Watch Report

February 22, 2009 Comments Off on Human Rights Watch Report

Sri Lanka: End ‘War’ on Civilians

“This ‘war’ against civilians must stop. Sri Lankan forces are shelling hospitals and so-called safe zones and slaughtering the civilians there.”

James Ross, legal and policy director at Human Rights Watch

Report: War on the Displaced

After 25 years, the armed conflict between the Sri Lankan government and the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) may be nearing its conclusion. But for the quarter of a million civilians trapped or displaced by the fighting, the tragedy has intensified.

Australian Doctors prepare to leave for Vanni

February 19, 2009 Comments Off on Australian Doctors prepare to leave for Vanni

18 February 2009

Doctors from Australia prepare to leave for Vanni, Sri Lanka

The Australian Medical Aid Foundation (AMAF) announced today of its plan to send a convoy of doctors to the conflict zone in Vanni region, Sri Lanka’s north to provide medical services denied by the Government of Sri Lanka to over 250,000 Tamils in the region.

The convoy of Australian doctors will also be prepared to take medicines and equipment for emergency medical treatment that is vital for the care of the civilians in the region.

Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary-General, The United Nations (UN); Hon. Mr. Stephen Smith MP, Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs; and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) have been requested to secure urgent permission from Sri Lankan authorities to facilitate the safe passage of the convoy of doctors and medical supplies.

“When civilians are desperate for help and when the government of a country denies the basic of medical and aid relief to its people, it is the moral responsibility of the international community, especially those in the health profession to fill in the void,” said Dr. V. Manomohan, the President of AMAF.

AMAF’s decision comes after Director General of Health services, Dr. Alit Mendes, confirmed to the BBC on 11 February 2009 that the Sri Lankan Ministry of Health had issued orders to doctors and other health staff to leave Mullaitivu district immediately. This order comes despite repeated reports by the ICRC and the UN claiming their local health staff in the conflict zone are overwhelmed and desperate medicines and medical assistance are required in the region.

East Timor FM calls for mediation and negotiation

February 19, 2009 Comments Off on East Timor FM calls for mediation and negotiation

MINISTÉRIO DOS NEGÓCIOS ESTRANGEIROS
Divisão de Relações Públicas

Media Release

17 of February 2009

Press statement of the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste Dr Zacarias Albano da Costa on the Situation in Sri Lanka

The Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste is following closely the current situation in Sri Lanka where the government forces are trying to quell the Tamil Tiger, the separatist movement in the north of the country, and call upon the belligerent parties to respect the rules of engagement as set out in the Geneva Convention with regards to civilian protection in times of war.

It is with great sorrow that we in Timor-Leste hear the news of the civil situation in Sri Lanka where many Tamil civilians are reported killed and many more are living in fear of their lives as Government forces close in on the last Tamil Tiger strongholds.

Our hearts are heavy on two counts — we know the horrors of civil war all too well ourselves, we know the price those civilians are paying.

In this difficult time, we offer our support to finding a lasting resolution to this conflict and would welcome any opportunity through diplomacy to assist in protecting those who supported us from further suffering,” the Minister said .

H.E. Dr. Zacarias Albano da Costa also stated that “Timor-Leste government still believes in a peaceful solution of the conflict through mediation and negotiation”.

The government of Timor-Leste further appeals to both parties to allow the International Red Cross to provide humanitarian assistance to the civilians affected by the war.

Click here for press release by Nobel Laureate and President of Timor-Leste, Hon. Jose Ramos-Horta

In the media today…

February 17, 2009 Comments Off on In the media today…

British House of commons debate on situation in Vanni

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Save the Children launches emergency aid effort for Sri Lanka civil war victims

Save the Children has begun delivering life-saving aid to some of the thousands of civilians who have been able to flee the war zone in northern Sri Lanka.

Nearly 28,000 people – many of whom have lost everything – have arrived in the district of Vavuniya, approximately 100km south of the fighting, in the past few days and are completely dependent on aid from the Sri Lankan authorities, the UN and non-governmental organisations. Thousands more people are expected to arrive in the coming weeks.

Save the Children, in collaboration with the government and other agencies, has already given thousands of children and their families clothes, bedding, hygiene kits including soap and toothbrushes and other basic items.

Toward Freedom : Sri Lanka: Civilians Massacred in War Against Tamil People

Sri Lankan Air Force bombers destroyed the Ponnampalam Memorial Hospital in the town of Puthukkudiyiruppu in northern Sri Lanka on February 6. According to Tamilnet.com, 61 patients were killed in the attack. The hospital had previously been attacked twice before. Other hospitals have also been subject to aerial and artillery bombardment. These attacks are part of the Sri Lankan government’s war against the Tamil people.

BBC: Tamil Tigers target civilians

The United Nations says it has received reports that Tamil Tiger rebels are actively preventing civilians from leaving Sri Lanka’s war zone.

ICRC : ICRC carries on evacuation of sick and wounded by sea

A ferry flying the flag of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) left Putumattalan today for Trincomalee with over 400 passengers on board, including patients and accompanying family members.

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