1000 people have died and more than 1300 people have been wounded. The Sri Lankan Army spokesperson arrogantly calls this genocidal attack on the Tamil civilians as  ‘the world’s biggest hostage rescue.”

The Australasian Federation of Tamil Associations (AFTA), the peak body representing the Australian Tamils Condemn in the strongest possible terms the inhumane way the Sri Lankan Security Forces have yesterday entered the narrow strip of land that was designated as a “no-fire zone” by the Government itself.

According to sources from the “no-fire zone”, Sri Lanka Army (SLA) has been firing shells fitted with cluster-munitions into civilian areas inside the northern part of the so-called ‘safety zone’, blocking the people who were attempting to re-locate within the zone and forcing them to get out into their hands. These attacks directed against the civilians despite the repeated call by the UN and the international community for a longer humanitarian pause in the fighting is in blatant violation of the Geneva Conventions.

Reliable sources from the conflict zone have revealed that the advancing Sri Lankan forces were using the previously fled Tamil civilians and also the ones being rounded up as human shields. The Sri Lankan Army Spokesperson arrogantly calls this genocidal attack on the Tamil civilians as ‘the world’s biggest hostage rescue.”

Sri Lankan government claims that 35,000 civilians have come out of the “no-fire zone” into the government controlled area. However, speaking in the Sri Lankan parliament, Mr. Solomon S. Syril, a member of parliament representing these people has said that 1000 people have died and more than 1300 people have been wounded.

Human Rights Watch warned Monday that the world had only hours to prevent a potential “bloodbath” in Sri Lanka. We are concerned that it is going to be a bloodbath, said Anna Neistat, a senior researcher at New York-based Human Rights Watch. She said the international community had a matter of hours “to make it crystal clear to both sides of this conflict – both the LTTE and the government of Sri Lanka – that they will not get away with it. “

The world should say” that unnecessary and unlawful loss of civilian lives would be considered war crimes and people responsible for that – including commanders – will be held responsible,” she said at the Brookings Institution, a Washington think-tank.

“A humanitarian tragedy is unfolding in Sri Lanka involving the possible deaths of tens of thousands of civilians trapped between government and insurgent LTTE (Tamil Tiger) forces in a tiny strip of land not much bigger than Central Park in Manhattan” said the Board of Trustees of the International Crisis Group in a statement released after a meeting over the weekend in Washington DC.

AFTA appeals to the UN Security Council to invoke the “Responsibility to Protect (R2P)” doctrine and save these innocent civilians without further delay. AFTA appeals to the Australian government to use its influence in the UN Security Council to make this happen sooner than later.

Categories: GENERAL News

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