Rights group says many Sri Lankan civilians killed
New York-based right organization Human Rights Watch has slammed both sides in the ongoing conflict in Sri Lanka in its latest report. The group demanded to stop the war on civilians in Sri Lanka. The report quotes James Ross, legal and policy director at HRW as saying This war against civilians must stop. Sri Lankan forces are shelling hospitals and so-called safe zones and slaughtering the civilians there."
The right group also accused ethnic Tamil fighters of “numerous violations of international law” during fierce fighting in recent weeks, charging that both sides “appear to be engaged in a perverse competition to demonstrate the greatest disregard for the civilian population.”
The Sri Lankan government should immediately cease its indiscriminate artillery attacks on civilians in the northern Vanni region and its policy of detaining displaced persons in internment camps, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Since early January 2009, civilian casualties have skyrocketed in the fighting between the Sri Lankan armed forces and the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
The 45-page report, "War on the Displaced: Sri Lankan Army and LTTE Abuses against Civilians in the Vanni," is based on a two-week fact-finding mission to northern Sri Lanka in February. The government has prohibited journalists and human rights monitors from going to the battle zone in the Vanni, making access to information difficult.
"This ‘war' against civilians must stop," said James Ross, legal and policy director at Human Rights Watch. "Sri Lankan forces are shelling hospitals and so-called safe zones and slaughtering the civilians there."
Human Rights Watch also called on the LTTE to allow civilians to leave the war zone, stop shooting at those who try to flee to government-controlled territory, and cease deploying forces near populated areas.