'SLA advances behind human shield, act fast to rescue civilians,' Puleedevan urges UN

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 21 April 2009, 08:20 GMT]
Director of Liberation Tigers of Tamileelam (LTTE) Peace Secretariat S. Puleedevan on Tuesday told TamilNet that the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) has started to move on two fronts at Valaignar-madam and at Maaththa'lan using a section of the civilians who were caught by the SLA on Monday as human shields. When asked how the SLA was advancing, Mr. Puleedevan said the Sri Lankan military has forced hundreds of civilians to walk through LTTE defece line at gun point and was moving its troops under the cover of the civilians. "These are serious war crimes and the Sri Lankan government and the head of the armed forces are direct responsible for this carnage," Puleedevan said in a statement.

S. Puleedevan, Director of LTTE's Peace Secretariat
S. Puleedevan, Director of LTTE's Peace Secretariat
More than 1,000 civilians were killed and 2,300 wounded Monday when SLA fired internationally banned cluster shells, napalm and Phosphorus munitions boxing the same area and forcing the civilians to move into the hands of the SLA.

"The situation is different today," Puleedevan said adding that several of the remaining civilians and the civilian infrastructure, including the Puthumaaththa'lan hospital have moved to Mu'l'li-vaaykkaal. But, there are still civilians in the northern part of the so-called safety zone. He also confirmed that LTTE and SLA was clashing at the FDL in Chaalai.

However, on other fronts, the SLA is using civilians as human shields in its attempt to bifurcate the zone on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, in a statement issued on Tuesday, the LTTE Peace Secretariat has requested the ICRC to provide medical supplies and evacuation for 2000 civilians at Mu'l'li-vaaykkaal.

The media release issued by the LTTE Peace Secretariat follows:

Media Release
21st April 2009


Urgent:  Rescue Tamil civilians  from the war crimes  of the Sri Lankan armed forces

The LTTE is calling  the attention of the UN and international community to the situation unfolding at  Vanni /Mullitivu region.  Since last 48hours, the  Sri Lankan armed forces are  using Tamil civilians as human shields to move into this territory through two fronts, Puthumathalan and Valiynarmadam.    The Sri Lankan armed forces are trying to weaken the resistance of the LTTE by  using  the Tamil civilians as human shields.  And also using these trapped  civilians to clear landmines at the frontal areas. The initial reports suggesting hundreds of civilians are killed in these operations, including the people who tried to resist were shot dead  by the Sri Lankan soldiers.

Yesterday, 20.04.2009, over 1000 civilians were killed and near 2300 civilians were injured. And today, a situation of bloodbath is prevailing.

LTTE request the ICRC to provide medical supplies and evacuate by ship the 2000 people injured and facing imminent danger. Immediate food is required as several are faced with starvation. The LTTE has  provided coordinates for the ICRC ships to land at a new port as Puthumathalan is now under Sri Lankan military occupation.

These are serious war crimes and the Sri Lankan government and the head of the armed forces are direct responsible for this carnage.

The LTTE urges  the International community including UN to act faster to rescue those trapped Tamil civilians. The LTTE consider these war crimes are very serious and need urgent international actions to stop it.

The LTTE urges  diplomatic community in Colombo to act at this time of serious humanitarian crisis where tens of thousands of people are facing serious war crimes.

"Pulikalin Thaham Tamileela Thayaham"


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