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Posts Tagged ‘IMF’

CNN

By MONI BASU

The Sri Lankan government should immediately release more than 280,000 displaced Tamil civilians living in detention camps, a leading human rights group said Wednesday.

Human Rights Watch said the displaced Sri Lankans were already victims of a protracted and bloody civil war. Now they are victims again, confined against their will, like criminals, the global watchdog group said.

“Keeping several hundred thousand civilians who had been caught in the middle of a war penned in these camps is outrageous,” said Brad Adams, Asia director for Human Right Watch. “Haven’t they been through enough?” (more…)

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COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — One of the highest-level European delegations to visit this war-torn country in years has failed to persuade the Sri Lankan government to declare a temporary truce with ethnic Tamil rebels.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa emphatically rejected the appeal Thursday and told Western governments to stop lecturing him, news agencies reported.

“The government is not ready to enter into any kind of cease-fire with the terrorists,” he said. “It is my duty to protect the people of this country. I don’t need lectures from Western representatives,” he said in a speech distributed by his office and quoted by the agencies.

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By The United Nations Department of Public Information

Representatives of four non-governmental organizations today called on the United Nations to speak out on the situation in northern Sri Lanka and urged the Security Council to take up the matter under the concept of “responsibility to protect”.

Speaking at a Headquarters press conference where they discussed the situation in and around the “no-fire zone” in northern Sri Lanka -– where Government forces are poised to overrun positions held by rebel fighters of the Liberation of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) -– were Joseph Cornelius Donnelly of Caritas Internationalis; Anna Neistat of Human Rights Watch; Robert Templer of the International Crisis Group; and Nimmi Gowrinathan of Operation USA. James Traub of the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect was available to answer questions. The press conference was sponsored by the Permanent Mission of Denmark to the United Nations.

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By International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI)

The Sri Lankan military announced on Sunday the capture of Puthukkudiyiruppu, the last remaining town controlled by the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The battle is the latest in a string of defeats that have brought the LTTE to the brink of military collapse. The remaining LTTE fighters are now cornered in a government-declared no-fire zone—a strip of coastal land of about 17 square kilometres that is still under LTTE control.

Tens of thousands of civilian refugees are also crowded into the area, which, despite, government claims to the contrary, has been repeatedly subjected to army bombardment. Conditions inside the “no-fire zone” are appalling, with acute shortages of food, shelter and medicine. The military has allowed in only limited relief supplies.

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By Eleven Afghanistan-operating NGOs: ActionAid; Afghanaid; CARE; Christian Aid; Cordaid; Interchurch Organisation for Development Co-operation (ICCO); International Rescue Committee (IRC); Oxfam; Save the Children Alliance

Summary

1 Protection of civilians

The intensification and spread of the conflict in Afghanistan is increasingly affecting civilians. In 2008 there were over 2,100 civilian casualties, 55% of which were caused by militants. Despite steps to reduce civilian casualties, international military forces (IMF) caused 552 civilian deaths through airstrikes in 2008, which is up by 72% on 2007. IMF have also carried out or supported raids and search operations, a large number of which have involved an excessive use of force, including loss of life, physical assault, damage to property and theft, as well as aggressive and improper treatment of women. Such conduct not only generates anger and mistrust towards foreign troops, but is steadily eroding popular support for the international presence in the country. Furthermore, many individuals detained by Afghan and US forces are held for long periods without charge or trial, and there are allegations of mistreatment and torture.

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By: Human Rights Watch

Tamil Tigers Unwilling to Release Their Hold on 150,000 People

(New York) – The Sri Lankan army, despite government denials, is indiscriminately shelling the “no-fire zone” in northern Sri Lanka where thousands of civilians are trapped by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), Human Rights Watch said today, citing new information from the region. More than 2,700 civilians have reportedly been killed over the last two months, and the number of casualties rises daily.

“We receive reports of civilians being killed and wounded daily in the ‘no-fire zone, while the Sri Lankan government continues to deny the attacks,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “The Tamil Tigers’ use of civilians as human shields adds to the bloodshed.”

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