Killing of Civilians and Ethnic Cleansing

Place: Sri lanka | Courtesy: TCHR
| Date: 20000530

Despite our Urgent Appeal of 04/05/2000 (Ref. No. AC/07/05 - Imminent danger in the Island of Sri Lanka), some countries have supplied large quantities of sophisticated arms and ammunition to the Sri Lanka government.

With the latest arrival of arms the Sri Lankan security forces have started their callous attacks on areas densely populated with civilians, in the Jaffna Peninsula, utterly oblivious to the loss of civilian lives. UN Secretary General Mr. Kofi Annan has expressed his concern twice (Press Releases: SG/SM/7385 - 9 May 2000 and SG/SM/7416 - 24 May 2000) regarding the escalation of fighting in Sri Lanka and has appealed to all parties to avoid placing civilian lives at risk.

The ICRC, MSF, UNHCR, UNICEF, Amnesty international and other organisations have expressed their concern over the safety of the civilians, including children, caught up in the escalating conflict in the Jaffna peninsula.

According to aid agencies, a home for the age in Kaithaddy in the eastern part of Jaffna peninsula was hit by artillery shells on 19 May 2000, killin g 15 elderly people and wounding 32 people. The wounded could not receive proper medical treatment because of the shortage of medical facilities due to the Economic embargo to this area.

In the meantime a bomb exploded on 17 May, near Mangalaramaya Vihara in Batticaloa in the eastern province resulting in 23 Tamil civilians being killed and forty-five others wounded. According to eyewitnesses most of the

civilians were killed due to the firing of the security forces which took place soon after the bomb explosion.

According to our sources in Jaffna, within the last ten days 96 more than a 100 civilians have been killed and 400 wounded in the Jaffna peninsula, du e to Kfir aerial bombing and artillery shelling. Included in these were the killing of four civilians when the Sri Lankan army shelled the village of Kallikaadu on 21st May and a young mother and her infant son killed in thei r home by army shelling on 26th May.

The ratio of Tamil people killed in the island of Sri Lanka is very high compared to its total population. This abhorrent ethnic cleansing by the government of Sri Lanka should be taken seriously and the earliest possible action should be taken to stop it.

We request every individual and organisation to send appeals to the President of Sri Lanka to demand her to stop the killing of Tamil people an d the ethnic cleansing in the island. Also request the President to find a lasting and peaceful negotiated solution to the island's bloody ethnic conflict.

Thank you.

The address of the President of Sri Lanka :

Her Excellency President Chandrika B. Kumaratunga, Presidential Residence, Colombo 3, Sri Lanka