ICRC, UNHCR urged over ceasefire for civilians
[TamilNet, Friday, 09 June 2000, 16:29 GMT]
The Liberation Tigers said Friday they had urged the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to help arrange a temporary ceasefire between the LTTE and the Sri Lankan armed forces to facilitate the evacuation of civilians trapped in the battle zones of the thenmaradchi division in the Jaffna peninsula. The civilians are unable to leave as the Sri Lankan armed forces are pounding the possible routes of evacuation, the Tigers said in a statement from their London offices.
Following if the full text of the press release:
"The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has urged the resident representatives of the UNHCR and the ICRC to help to arrange a temporary cessation of armed hostilities between Sri Lankan armed forces and the LTTE combat formations in the Thenmarachchi division of the Jaffna peninsula to facilitate the evacuation of Tamil civilians stranded in the fighting zone.
"The LTTE has made this appeal to these non-governmental humanitarian organisations following large scale civilian casualties sustained in the fighting zones of Thenmarachchi as a consequence of indiscriminate barrage of artillery shelling, multi-barrel rocket fire and heavy aerial bombardment by Israeli made Kifir combat aircrafts. Already a large section of the stranded population has moved to safe area in Valigamam, Vadamarachchi and Vanni sector. Yet thousands are still caught up in the crossfire unable to move to areas of safety. The Sri Lankan armed forces are pounding the possible routes of evacuation to prevent civilian movement.
"The LTTE has also requested the ICRC and the UNHCR to visit the battle zones to take stock of the tragic and dangerous situation the civilians are exposed to."