'SLA used civilians as human shield'
[TamilNet, Thursday, 29 July 1999, 18:16 GMT]
The Liberation Tigers in a statement issued today said that they had thwarted an attempt yesterday by the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) to advance using civilians as a human shield through the SLA forward defence lines at Moondumurippu-Nattaangkandal.
The statement, issued by the Political wing of the LTTE, was quoted in the Voice of Tigers (VoT) night news transmission.
It said the Liberation Tigers are not against attempts to open a safe route to the Vanni as has been clearly indicated by them earlier.
The SLA action of sending the civilians stranded in Vavuniya through the militarised area of Moondrumurippu put their lives and limbs at risk, the statement said.
"This action of the government and the SLA is a clear violation of international human rights" the statement said further.
The statement accused the SLA of giving false information that the Tigers had granted permission for civilians to cross and that the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) was escorting the crossing civilians.
Earlier today the ICRC told TamilNet that it was neither approached by the Government Agent of Vavuniya, K. Ganesh or by the SLA for organising or escorting the convoy of buses that took about 2200 residents of the Vanni to the Forward Defence Line at Moondumurippu-Nattaangkandal.