25 April, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile






mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 04/20/2009
SRI LANKA
Colombo army: tens of thousands of civilians fleeing war zone
The military says that it has broken through the defense line of the Tamil rebels, allowing the population to flee. Sources for the army say 30,000 people are on the move. The government is issuing an ultimatum to the guerrillas: a surrender within 24 hours. According to the UN, over the last three months the war has caused at least 4,500 deaths among civilians.

Colombo (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Thousands of civilians are leaving the war zone in the lagoon of Nanthi Kadal. The statement comes from the Defense Ministry of Colombo, which is releasing information on military operations in the areas of Puthumathalan and Amplalavanpokkani. According to official army sources, the 58th division has made a breach in the earthworks erected by the Tamil rebels on the eastern border of the no fire zone, to block the advance of the army and prevent the population from leaving.

The Colombo government has called the fighting this morning "the largest hostage rescue operation ever conducted." Brigadier General Udaya Nanayakkara, a spokesman for the army, says that the operation is still in progress, and the advance of the military continues. Defense minister Keheliya Rambukkwella has issued an ultimatum to the LTTE, giving the rebels 24 hours to surrender, beginning at noon today.

According to government sources, while the civilians were leaving the area of the lagoon, three Tamil guerrillas blew themselves up among the people, killing 17 and injuring 22. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) instead claim that the army invaded the no fire zone, opening fire on the civilians and launching bombs, including cluster bombs. The ban on entering  the area that the government of Colombo has imposed on the media and on international observers is making it impossible to verify the real situation in the area of the fighting. The state television channel shows thousands of refugees on the move, dragging their few belongings with them (in the photo, one of the images from the broadcasts).

The government and the rebels say there is "great confusion" in the area, where there are still at least 100,000 civilians trapped in the 20 square kilometers in which the two sides are fighting. The UN has estimated that over the past three months, at least 4,500 civilians have been killed, and tens of thousands have been injured. Humanitarian organizations to continue to accuse the rebels of using the population as human shields, and the army of opening fire indiscriminately on civilians.

In spite of the repeated requests for a cease-fire made by the international community, civil society in the country, and the Church of Sri Lanka, the military operations continue. The UN and humanitarian organizations have long been saying that the north of the country is in the grips of a severe humanitarian crisis.


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
03/26/2009 SRI LANKA
Catholic and Anglican bishops: civilians desperate in Vanni, aid needed immediately
by Melani Manel Perera
04/10/2009 SRI LANKA
Army says civilians rebelling against Tamil Tigers in security zone
by Melani Manel Perera
03/19/2009 SRI LANKA
Religious visit the refugees, prisoners in the camps
by Melani Manel Perera
09/24/2008 SRI LANKA
Appeal from Sri Lanka bishops on behalf of war victims
by Melani Manel Perera
02/07/2009 SRI LANKA
Situation worsens for civilians in Wanni
by Melani Manel Perera

Editor's choices
VATICAN
Pope remembers and prays for "latest tragedy" of migrants, "our brothers and sisters" who "are seeking happiness"At the Regina Caeli, Pope Francis says he is praying for the hundreds of victims in a sinking off the coast of Libya. An appeal to the international community to "act decisively and promptly." "Every baptized person is called to witness in word and deed, that Jesus is risen, He is alive and present in our midst." The Christian message "is not a theory, an ideology or a complex system of precepts and prohibitions, or moralism, but a message of salvation, a concrete event, even a person: the Risen Christ, the living and only Savior of all" . The Pope will be in Turin on June 21 to honor the Shroud, the exposition of which begins today.
SAUDI ARABIA – YEMEN
Saudi war in Yemen masks widening domestic tensions
by Afshin ShahiSaudi Arabia is using the conflict in Yemen to control domestic problems, especially social inequalities and religious sectarianism. However, whilst the royal family flaunts its wealth, some 20 per cent of the population lives in poverty. Many disgruntled young Saudis end up becoming "foreign fighters" for the Islamic state (IS). Some 15 per cent of the Saudi population is Shia, under the heavy thumb of the Sunni-dominated state. Afshin Shahi, director of the Centre for the Study of Political Islam and lecturer in International Relations and Middle East Politics at University of Bradford, provides the following lucid analysis.
VATICAN
Pope: on the persecution of Christians, the international community should "not stand by mute and inactive” and “look away”For the sixth time in a week, Pope Francis mentioned the martyrdom of Christians in today’s Regina Caeli (the Marian prayer at Easter), slamming the indifference of the international community towards this "alarming failure to protect basic human rights.” Today’s martyrs "are many, and we can say that they are more numerous than in the first centuries." In addition, “Faith in the resurrection of Jesus and the hope He has brought to us is the most beautiful gift that a Christian can and must offer his brothers and sisters. To one and all, therefore, do not tire of repeating: Christ is Risen!”

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.