Tamil people seek UN secretary-general's help to stop genocide

Place: Vanni | Courtesy: TamilNet
| Date: 19980327

Tamil people from Mullaitivu, Kilinochchi, Mannar and Vavuniya districts have forwarded a memorandum to the UN Secretary General seeking his help to stop the Sri Lankan government's ethnic cleansing of Tamils in these districts.

Copies of the appeal have also been forwarded to the UN Commission on Human Rights and Amnesty International. The memorandum in clear terms states that the Sri Lankan government is engaged in the genocide of Tamils in Vanni by purposefully imposing a medical and economic blockade and unleashing military repression in the region. The government, it says, is using denial of food and medicine as a weapon of war against the Tamil people in Vanni, as a result of which 80% of them are living in poverty and 60% of babies are born unhealthy and underweight. The government, by deliberately limiting refugee-aid to only half of the displaced population, has pushed the remaining 50% of Tamils into a condition of starvation, the letter says.

It adds that because of the government-imposed medical blockade, potentially life-threatening diseases like malaria, septicaemia and typhoid are going untreated and are rampant, while malnutrition is rife because of the ongoing food embargo.

The letter also states that the government is purposefully hampering education in Vanni by holding back essential teaching facilities and accessories. Mass displacements caused by the government's military offensives have also led to school buildings being converted into refugee centres. In addition to all this, thousands of Tamil homes have been destroyed and thousands of Tamils have been killed by the Sri Lankan armed forces, the letter states.