U.S. Tamil group urges Pacific Command not to abet Colombo's war on Tamils

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 03 March 2009, 01:53 GMT]
Citing "credible reports" from Colombo, a U.S. based activist group, People for Equality and Relief in Lanka (PEARL), on Monday said the U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM) was planning to lead an evacuation of nearly 200,000 Tamil civilians in Vanni. The plan would only serve to "exacerbate the crisis for these civilians and support ethnic cleansing in this region," the statement said and added: "Instead of an evacuation, the 'safe zones' these civilians are currently in should be strengthened, with full access for aid workers, journalists and human rights monitors."

Full text of the press statement issued by the PEARL follows:

U.S. Troops Plan Evacuation in Sri Lanka: Sign Death Warrants for Hundreds of Thousands, Support Ethnic Cleansing

March 2, 2009

Credible reports from Colombo, Sri Lanka reveal the U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM) is planning to lead an evacuation of nearly 200,000 Tamil civilians trapped in the war-torn northern region of Sri Lanka. We urge you to stop these plans immediately, which would only serve to exacerbate the crisis for these civilians and support ethnic cleansing in this region. Instead of an evacuation, the “safe zones” these civilians are currently in should be strengthened, with full access for aid workers, journalists and human rights monitors.

These civilians have been besieged by the Sri Lankan government’s military offensive, which has raged on since September, costing the lives of over 2,000 Tamil civilians and wounding another 7,000 Tamil civilians. Reports reveal that PACOM is planning to evacuate these civilians and deliver them to the Sri Lankan government – who would then imprison them in concentration-style internment camps. Human Rights Watch and other humanitarian agencies have criticized the Sri Lankan government for its treatment of refugees: forcibly keeping them in internment camps, separated from family and secluded from international aid agencies, as they are harshly interrogated and abused.

PACOM evacuating these civilians and delivering them to the Sri Lankan government signs the death warrants of thousands of civilians, who would “disappear” upon entry into government-run camps. The Sri Lankan government has the ignoble title of having the highest rate of state-sponsored abductions in the world, according to the United Nations Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances. The government frequently “disappears” civilians, journalists and even aid workers who they believe to be critical of their regime.

The Sri Lankan government currently estimates only 70,000 civilians inhabit the conflict area; most aid organizations including the ICRC, UN and HRW estimate 200,000 civilians. This discrepancy reflects a calculated attempt by the Sri Lankan government to underestimate the size of the population they would come to control, granting them adequate room to “disappear” thousands. These 200,000 civilians chose to live in area controlled by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, and will therefore be treated with suspicion and brutality by the Sri Lankan government.

PACOM launching an evacuation of Tamil civilians supports the Sri Lankan government’s campaign of ethnic cleansing of this region. Tamils have been under attack by the Sri Lankan government since last September; evacuating them from Vanni and delivering them to the Sri Lankan government is equivalent to being an accomplice to genocide. As American citizens, we implore you to put an immediate stop to PACOM plans to evacuate these civilians. We do not want their blood on our hands. Instead of an evacuation, we urge the U.S. government to expand the “safe zone” these civilians are in, and strengthen their security by allowing aid workers, journalists and human rights monitors full access to the region. We also ask the U.S. government to pressure the Sri Lankan government to accept a ceasefire to provide respite to these besieged civilians.


Latest 15 Reports
15.09.20 06:37   Photo
UN Rights Chief joins her predecessors in watering down collective rights of genocide affected people
04.09.20 22:13   Photo
Diaspora youth group re-aligns Tamil narrative on enforced disappearances
03.09.20 15:41   Photo
Jude Lal Fernando’s Sputnik interview exposes unfolding British duplicity on KMS ‘investigations’
02.09.20 22:03   Photo
Gotabaya's ‘Task Force’ monk threatens Tamils to stay away from their paddy fields in Thiriyaay
01.09.20 23:36  
Colombo extends genocidal land grab targeting farmlands of Tamils along NE border: Ravikaran
31.08.20 16:36   Photo
Families of war-disappeared send strong message braving SL restrictions on International Day
08.08.20 01:05   Photo
Sumanthiran alleged of exerting Colombo’s influence to tamper with preferential vote counts
07.08.20 10:08  
2020 election resembles 1970 polls that formed genocidal Sri Lanka
06.08.20 17:22  
Tamil nation-oriented parties challenged in East
05.08.20 23:41  
High voter turnout registered in North-East
04.08.20 20:57   Photo
Occupying Sinhala military reminds Eezham Tamils of whose elections they partake
03.08.20 21:05  
TMVP-linked operatives collaborate with SL Navy, suppress Tamil fishers in Vaakarai
02.08.20 18:29   Photo
Manifestos of TNA, TNPF and TMTK expose lacuna, hint areas for corrections of Tamil polity
01.08.20 21:17  
Unified Eezham Tamil national front, beyond electoral politics, is next step: Jothilingam
31.07.20 22:39  
Colombo isolates Tamil political prisoners within heavily fortified cells
Find this article at: