April 30, 2009

Stop the attacks on the Tamil people


Solidarity statement by the Canadian Peace Alliance

The Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) has unilaterally abandoned the internationally mediated ceasefire agreement and has engaged in aerial bombings and artillery shelling of civilians in an intense war on the Tamil minority in the country. This war, which has killed as many as 70,000 Tamil civilians, has become more brutal. In 2008 alone, thousands of civilians were killed.

According to former UN Human Rights Commissioner, Louise Arbour, "The most fundamental rights of people to be secure in their persons and homes are being violated almost daily... There is an urgent need for the international community to monitor the unfolding human rights situation, as these are not merely ceasefire violations, but grave breaches of international human rights and humanitarian law." She went on to say that the "weakness of the rule of law and prevalence of impunity is alarming."

This devastating war has internally displaced over 500,000 Tamils, and the Government of Sri Lanka has expelled all local and international NGOs from the war-affected areas in the North. They have also placed an economic embargo on all food, medicine, fuel and other essential items reaching the civilians in the affected areas, creating a humanitarian disaster.

The Government of Sri Lanka has banned all reporters from the affected areas and has led a campaign of persecution against journalists. Reporters Without Borders has expressed outrage at the Sri Lankan government after they censored the BBC World Service reporters in the country and after the murder of prominent editor of the Sunday Times, Lasantha Wickrematunga. Wickrematunga, in his last editorial, published after his death, said he knew that he was being targeted by the government: "When finally I am killed, it will be the government that kills me," he wrote. The lack of access to international monitors is making it impossible to know exactly how many innocent civilians are being killed.

We call on the government of Canada to:
» Condemn the Government of Sri Lanka and call for an end to all attacks on Tamils
» Call on the Government of Sri Lanka to immediately allow international aid organizations and NGOs to bring emergency assistance to the civilians affected and to support the internally displaced Tamils
» Call on the Government of Sri Lanka to support the right to a free press and allow journalists into the affected areas

We also call upon the United Nations to condemn the Sri Lankan government's human rights violations and apply pressure on the Sri Lankan government to stop its genocidal war on the Tamil people.

Statement online: http://www.acp-cpa.ca/en/HART.html
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TAKE ACTION NOW

Contact your Member of Parliament

The Canadian Peace Alliance has produced a sample letter that you can send to your Member of Parliament. Download the letter here: http://www.acp-cpa.ca/en/TamilSolidarityletter.pdf

Please copy the letter and circulate to family, friends, co-workers, etc. Remember that no postage is required to send a letter to your Member of Parliament. Just mail your letter to the following address, and it's free of charge:

Member of Paliament (add your MP's name)
House of Commons
Parliament Buildings
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A6
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Write letters to the editor

Please take a moment to send a short letter to the editor in response to any articles you see in the media about the situation of Tamils in Sri Lanka or about the ongoing solidarity protests in Toronto and elsewhere.

Even if your letter isn't published, it sends a message to the editorial board that this is an important issue and that support is growing for the Tamil cause.

Please keep your letters short (under 200 words) and concise.
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Get informed

Hospital attacked, SLN naval crafts fire artillery pieces
By online staff
Tamilnet
April 29, 2009

Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) attack crafts fitted with 100 mm cannon began firing artillery pieces along the shore of Mu'l'li-vaaykkaal Wednesday around 4:00pm. Meanwhile, the makeshift hospital in Mu'l'li-vaaykkaal was hit by artillery shells. Nine patients were killed and 15 sustained injuries as many of the remaining patients had to seek shelter elsewhere, according to initial details...

http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=29215
(If you can't click on the link directly, please cut-and-paste the URL into your address line)
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Sri Lanka's war on the Tigers won't bring peace

Why battering the Tamil Tigers won't bring peace
By Mitu Sengupta
Counterpunch
April 27, 2009

Over the course of a long and brutal war with Sri Lanka's armed forces, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (the LTTE) emerged as one of the world's most formidable insurgent groups. Besides engaging the Sri Lankan government in a bloody battle for more than 25 years, the LTTE (or, more informally, the 'Tamil Tigers') managed to seize substantial chunks of government territory, and operated these as a quasi-state for well over a decade. Today, however, the mighty Tigers are on the verge of  total military defeat. Will their demise bring peace to Sri Lanka?

http://www.counterpunch.org/sengupta04272009.html
(If you can't click on the link directly, please cut-and-paste the URL into your address line)
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Reports on civilian deaths from "safe zone"

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
18.30 hrs 
27 April 2009
Mullivaikal, Mullaitivu

ALL OUT ATTACK ON 'SAFE ZONE' - HEAVY WEAPON USAGE CONTINUES

At 3:45 am, 27 April 2009 the Sri Lanka Armed Forces commenced their attack on the so called Ĺ’safe zone¹ with heavy land based artillery shelling followed by ariel bombardment and shelling from off-shore ships.

The SL Armed Forces continue to shell and bomb the civilians in the so-called 'safe zone' / 'no fire zone' in contradiction of statements to the international media by the Government of Sri Lanka on 27 April 2009 (today) that they would no longer use ariel bombardment or heavy artillery.

The fact of the matter is that government spokespersons have been denying that they were using these weapons for the past one month. How is it that they are stopping the usage of weapons that they had previously stated there were not using anyway?

So far today there are reports of 500 civilian casualties with approximately 100 of those having died or are dying due to a lack of treatment. The true numbers are likely to be higher, but due to the continuous shelling from the direction of Puthukudiyiruppu, Ianaipalai and Oddusuddan and aerial bombardment by the K-FIR jets, which re-started at 15.00 - 16.00, on two of the sorties "delay bombs" were dropped in the Rattai Vaikal area, it is difficult for TRO volunteers and medical staff to collect the injured and dying.

The shells are still raining down on us as these words are being written in a bunker in the so called 'safe zone'. The government is keeping the eyes of the world off of the genocide they are committing here. Will it be too late for the Tamil civilians when the world finally awakes to the atrocity that they allowed the Government of Sri Lanka to commit in their "war on terror" while they international community willfully looked the other way. Is this President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton's Rwanda or Srebrenica?

We, the civilians in the 'safe zone', implore the international community and the Tamil Diaspora to push the government of Sri Lanka to enter into a ceasefire. The government has silenced our voice, we have no voice, you must be our voice.

Laurence Christy
Head of Field Office
'Safe zone' / 'no fire zone'
Mullivaikal, Mullaitivu
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10) Read up-to-date reports on Tamilnet and other useful sites

TamilNet
http://tamilnet.com/

LankaSri News
http://www.lankasrinews.com/

Tamil National
http://tamilnational.com/

Tamil Canadian
http://www.tamilcanadian.com/news/

Tamil Eelam News
http://www.tamileelamnews.com/

EuroLive TV (WARNING: Raw unedited footage)
http://eurotvlive.com/

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