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Sri Lanka's Undeclared War on Eelam Tamils
...in the Shadow of a Ceasefire
This is an urgent appeal from the International Federation of Tamils
(IFT) to the International Community (IC) to take early and firm
diplomatic measures to arrest the alarming situation caused by
government armed forces indiscriminately attacking Tamil villages
from air, sea and land resulting in deaths of civilians and a mass
exodus in which more than 40,000 civilian Tamils and Muslims have
abandoned all their belongings and fled into deep jungles and LTTE
controlled areas seeking protection from their own government as
pointed out by the BBC.
Although Dr Palitha Kohonna, the Director-General of government peace secretariat claims the combined war-act of Air Force's carpet bombing, navy's close-range shelling and army's artillery shelling as a retaliatory measure and not violation of the Cease Fire Agreement -CFA-, it is a clear violation of the CFA implemented with Norway as facilitator.
Sri Lanka government has blocked roads leading to affected areas in Trincomalee and Batticaloa preventing humanitarian help reaching the internally displaced people who have sought refuge in school buildings and deep jungles in LTTE controlled areas. Food, shelter and clothing plucked away from them suddenly by government attacks need to be urgently replenished. They need medical care. Those injured in the bombing need immediate attention. The ICRC is unable to reach them because the government forces have not ceased attacking.
Closing down of the A9 Highway connecting Jaffna peninsula with Colombo by the Sri Lanka government without intimating to the LTTE through SLMM is highhanded and a breach of the CFA. The sudden closure has prevented daily travellers including office workers reaching home and the unprepared wait outside the checkpoints is causing misery. Transport vehicles with perishable goods are stalled on either side of the barrier. Supply of essential goods has also been cut off as a result.
The retaliatory attack the Director-General of the government peace secretariat claims as justified is a war crime perpetrated against civilians. Unarmed innocent civilians have been the target of attack by an armed terrorist state. The government has violated the CFA arranged by the IC. It has violated human and humanitarian rights of individuals and civilians enshrined in the UN charters.
IFT appeals to the International Community to censure the war crimes of Sri Lanka and its gross breach of the humanitarian laws of armed conflict. IFT calls upon the International Community to afford civilian Tamils in their traditional homeland in the island of Sri Lanka their rightful place as citizens of the world, enjoying equal human and humanitarian rights and to live with the dignity they deserve.