Another carnage imminent as the two Indian mandarins return

[TamilNet, Saturday, 25 April 2009, 03:27 GMT]
In lines of precedence with Colombo, which escalates war immediately following consultations with India, another carnage is anticipated with the return of the two Indian mandarins, Menon and Narayanan, from Sri Lanka on Friday, Tamil circles in Colombo said. Earlier, on Thursday, the Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee accused the LTTE of "barbaric" attempts. Meanwhile, US State Department Friday asked the LTTE to consider surrendering to a 'third party'. Diplomatic and military preparations are set for another bout of Colombo's genocidal onslaught, observers said.

IDPs in Mu'l'li-vaaykkaal
Civilians displacing towards LTTE held Mu'l'li-vaaykkaal following SLA offensive earlier this week

IDPs in Mu'l'li-vaaykkaal
Civilians flee towards LTTE side amidst clashes in the background
IDPs in Mu'l'li-vaaykkaal
Smoke from explosions in Pokka'nai area as civililans flee southwards to Mu'l'li-vaaykkaal
IDPs in Mu'l'li-vaaykkaal
Civilians moving towards LTTE held Mu'l'li-vaaykkaal
IDPs in Mu'l'li-vaaykkaal
Mu'l'li-vaaykkaal on Thursday
IDPs in Mu'l'li-vaaykkaal
Strong Sri Lanka Army (SLA) buildup was reported at Pachchaip-pulmoaddai and Pokka'nai in the northern areas of the so-called safety zone on Friday.

Two sorties of aerial attacks were reported both on Thursday and Friday inside the safety zone.

LTTE officials Friday blamed SLA for using captured Tamil women as human shields in Pokka'nai area to advance into the remaining part of the safety zone.

Casualty at the rate of more than 100 per day due to SLA firing arrive at the only makeshift hospital at Mu'l'li-vaaykkaal, medical source said. The dead are not brought to the hospital and exact figures are not known.

People are moving from Valaignar-madam towards Mu'l'li-vaaykkaal in the south, in anticipation of another bout of carnage, but the elderly who are unable to move are left behind, TamilNet correspondent in Vanni said.

Colombo puts the number of the civilians it captured this week at more than 100,000. Colombo's claims have been quoted and welcomed by UN and the US statement on Thursday.

Until last week, Colombo has been insisting that there were only 70,000 civilians altogether inside the safety zone.

The Indian Establishment and its Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee were adamantly sticking to the figure of 70,000 supporting Colombo's claims.

Now, as Colombo itself put even the fraction of civilians it captured at more than 100,000, the credibility of the Indian Establishment in its claimed concern about the civilians is questioned with evidence in the Tamil circles.

The number was deliberately put to 70,000 in order to reduce the food supply and to starve the civilians, the Tamil circles said.

On Friday, the LTTE said around 165,000 civilians remain in the safety zone and there is severe starvation which nobody is taking care of.

Colombo chooses the timings of its attacks after making people desperately hungry.

"It is a disgrace to entire humanity that the UN on Friday had to 'leak out' its estimate of more than 20,000 civilian casualties in the safety zone since January," an editor of a newspaper in Colombo said.

IDPs in Mu'l'li-vaaykkaal
Civilians moving towards Mu'l'li-vaaykkaal from Valaignarmadam on Wednesday

Transcript of the press brief on Sri Lanka, published by the US State Department on Friday, follows:

MR. WOOD: Yeah. Let me give you the latest details that I have on Sri Lanka. You know, again, we remain extremely concerned for the safety of the remaining civilians in the no-fire zone. Although tens of thousands of people have fled the area, numerous people have been killed, and tens of thousands of additional civilians remain in the conflict area. We call on the Government of Sri Lanka and the Tamil Tigers to end hostilities. We understand that two Indian Government special emissaries arrived in Sri Lanka today. They are there to convey their government’s concerns about the conflict to the Government of Sri Lanka. We support Indian efforts to stop the fighting.

The co-chair countries in the G-8 are working together closely to find a way to end the fighting. The Tamil Tigers must stop holding civilians and stop putting them in harm’s way. We call on the Tamil Tigers to lay down their arms and surrender to a third party. The international community needs to provide assistance to a large number of displaced persons. The international community should be prepared to play a role to end the fighting.

I just want to add a couple of points. We fully support the UN Secretary General’s decision to send a UN humanitarian team to the no-fire zone, as the Secretary General’s envoy Vijay Nambiar and President Rajapaksa discussed and agreed to last week.

We urge the Government of Sri Lanka to allow the team into the no-fire zone as soon as possible. We also urge the Government of Sri Lanka to allow critical supplies to pass more rapidly through military checkpoints, share its registration information of internally displaced persons with the UN, identify additional shelter sites, and authorize continued medical evacuations from the no-fire zone.

Assistant Secretary Boucher and Ambassador Blake participated in a conference with the Tokyo co-chair yesterday. And the co-chairs are the U.S., EU, Japan, and Norway.

So that’s the latest readout I have.

QUESTION: And is the State Department in touch with officials with the Sri Lankan Government?
MR. WOOD: Yes, we are routinely in discussions with the Government of Sri Lanka.
QUESTION: And the Indian Government, too? And with the Indian Government, too?
MR. WOOD: Well, the – I’d have to refer you to the Indian Government for their specific conversation. I gave you just --
QUESTION: No, you are in touch with the Government of India?
MR. WOOD: Yes, yes.
QUESTION: And are you sending any team, any officials to Colombo as –
MR. WOOD: At this point, no.



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