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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Tamil atrocity like Srebrenica, Darfur

May 29, 2009

Slaughter in Sri Lanka

Evidence gathered by The Times has revealed that at least 20,000 Tamils were killed on the beach by shelling as the army closed in on the Tigers

“Deeply disappointing” was how a human rights group yesterday described the vote in the United Nations Human Rights Council hailing the victory of the Sri Lankan Government. This is a breathtaking understatement. It was an utter disgrace. The 47-member body, set up in 2006 to replace the previous corrupt and ineffectual UN Commission on Human Rights, has abjectly failed one of its first and most important tests.

It was asked by its European members to investigate widespread reports of atrocities and war crimes committed by both government troops and the Tamil Tigers in the final weeks of the conflict. The council chose instead to debate a one-sided, mendacious and self-serving motion put forward by the Sri Lankans. This welcomed the “liberation” of tens of thousands of the island's citizens, condemned the defeated Tigers, made no mention of the shelling of civilians and kept silent on the desperate need to allow the Red Cross and other humanitarian groups into the camps where some 270,000 Tamil civilians have been interned.

Support for this deeply flawed resolution came from the usual suspects - China, Russia, India, Pakistan and a clutch of Asian and Islamic nations determined to prevent the council ever investigating human rights violations in their own or any country.

To her credit, Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, insisted that there needed still to be an inquiry into “very serious abuses”. Those abuses, it now emerges, are far, far worse than the outside world imagined. The UN estimated that 7,000 people were killed in the first four months of this year; the figure now appears to be at least 20,000. Thousands of these victims died as a result of the shelling by the Sri Lankan Army of the strip of coastline where the final remnants of Tiger resistance were trapped, along with at least 100,000 civilians

Photographs taken by The Times present clear evidence of an atrocity that comes close to matching Srebrenica, Darfur and other massacres of civilians. In the sandy so-called no-fire zone where the trapped Tamil civilians were told to go to escape the brutal army bombardment, there are hundreds of fresh graves as well as craters and debris where tents once stood. This was no safe zone. This was where terrified civilians buried their dead as the shells landed - after the Government had declared an end to the use of heavy weapons on April 27.

Some civilians were probably killed by the Tigers, whose brutality and ruthlessness over the past 28 years has fully justified their depiction as terrorists. Finding out what happened, however, is impossible: the army has barred entry to all outsiders. Food is short, sanitation appalling; wounded and traumatised civilians are in desperate need of help. That much is clear from those who have been able to escape. More sinister reports are now circulating of systematic “disappearances”, of families separ- ated and young men taken away. But until the Government allows in aid workers, the presumption must be that it wants nothing to be heard or seen of what is going on.

This tactic was used in the final push to beat the Tigers. The army wanted no witness to the onslaught, no journalists to alert the world to human rights violations, no photographers to record the suffering. Sri Lanka, now basking in its victory, may set the pattern for other nations battling against insurgencies. For them, victory is all that matters. Most of Sri Lanka may rejoice at the end of a bloody civil war. But the UN has no right to collude in suppressing the appalling evidence of the cost. The truth must be told.

Tamils protest switzerland

Mangled bodies, torn limbs litter Safe Zone - medical official

[TamilNet, Sunday, 05 April 2009, 22:29 GMT]
"Death in most brutal form has become common within the Safety Zone. The area littered with mangled bodies, torn limbs, and blood soaked soil appears more horrific than what one finds inside a butchers shop," a lady medical staff working out of a school-building converted into the temporary primary surgical care centre at Puthumaaththa'lan, told TamilNet Sunday. She also pointed out that a great number of small children have died in the last few days because of the SLA's ceaseless shelling and firing.

Indiscriminate firing of artillery shells

The number of people coming to the hospital with bullet injuries has dramatically increased in the past few days, she said, and noted that a similar increase has also occured of civilians who are admitted with shrapnel and shell injuries.

Voice: Medical staff talking to TamilNet

MP3 AudioDirect Link (mp3)
Even as the Tamil civilians in the safe zone go about their routine daily activities, they are hit by bullets. By the time they are brought to the hospital, they die, she observed.

The lady medical staff at the makeshift hospital pointed out that the casualties were highest on Sunday morning as continuous shelling on the roads near the hospital had prevented the injured from being taken to the hospital sooner.

"We were directed to drive to the injury site and bring the wounded to the hospital in our vehicles, but we simply couldn't leave because of the continuous shelling," she said and added that as a result of the delay several children had succumbed to their injuries.

In one incident, children of two families survived, but their parents were killed by shells, the medical staffer said.

The injured are laid out on tarpaulin sheets and given medication that cannot often save them. "We watch them die in great pain," she said.

Indiscriminate firing of artillery shells
Indiscriminate firing of artillery shells
Indiscriminate firing of artillery shells

Sri Lanka: Bloodbath begins, nearly 1000 Tamils killed as shelling intensifies

Tamil National, April 20: Sri Lanka army on full fire is pounding the safe zone with heavy weapons from today early morning. 985 were killed and another 1300 or more were injured in the onslaught. The severely wounded are expected to succumb to injuries due to no medical assistance, reports Tamil National Reporter today at 12:00 noon.
Sri Lanka Army’s move to take on safe zone has created catastrophe inside safe zone. The massive onslaught continues and Sri Lanka Army is using the people got trapped in Pokkanai as human shields. More bloodshed expected, if international community does not get in to action immediately.

Tamil National Reporter said in addition to the raining of shells, grenades rockets and cluster bombs, the news on army using civilians as human shields have created a havoc among civilians. The hospital also was hit and panics everywhere. The reporter said even at the last moment of life, people only have hope on Tamil Diaspora.
Meanwhile, the government side report said that around 5,000 civilians fell into the hands of the SLA and a suicide bomber among fleeing civilians set off a blast that killed at least 17 people. It is to be reminded, in a previous incident many people who moved in to government controlled area were shot and killed and a similar news was spread.
Where is Nambiar? is a question raised by Tamil Diaspora. People power of the Tamil Diaspora is the only thing that can bring an end to the bloodbath.

Source: Tamil National

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