US, UK want UN to facilitate 'safe evacuation' of civilians

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 12 May 2009, 23:37 GMT]
The United States and Britain on Tuesday jointly called on the government of Sri Lanka and the Tamil Tigers to end fighting to allow a UN humanitarian team to visit the conflict zone to facilitate safe evacuation of civilians. However, the statement, which failed to stress ceasefire, was interpreted by Tamil circles as providing tacit approval for Colombo to continue its deployment of infantry support weapons. While asking the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam to lay down their arms, the joint statement has urged Colombo to abide by its commitment of April 27 to end major combat operations and the use of heavy weapons.

The statement would be interpreted by Colombo as approving the use of 'light weapons', a term considered to include infantry support weapons such as light and medium machine guns, infantry mortars with calibers of less than 120 mm and RPGs.

Several civilians, including children, have been killed in Sri Lanka Army gunfire throughout the past 3 days.

In the statement following their meeting in Washington, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband urged both sides to allow food and medical assistance to the civilians, cooperate with the ICRC to facilitate the evacuation of the wounded, ensure the safety of aid and medical workers, and permit humanitarian access to all sites where displaced persons are being registered and sheltered.

The statement comes after Colombo deployed heavy weaponry to cause carnage at the makeshift hospital.

49 civilians, including patients and a committed worker, K. Tharmakulasingam, were killed Tuesday morning inside the makeshift hospital at Mu'lli-vaaykkaal.

Full text of the joint statement by US and UK follows:

During their meeting today, Secretary Clinton and U.K. Foreign Secretary Miliband expressed their profound concern about the humanitarian crisis in northern Sri Lanka caused by the ongoing hostilities. They expressed alarm at the large number of reported civilian causalities over the past several days in the designated 'safe' zone.

Secretary Clinton and Foreign Secretary Miliband call on all sides to end hostilities immediately and allow for the safe evacuation of the tens of thousands of civilians trapped within the safe zone. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam must lay down their arms and allow civilians free passage out of the conflict zone. The government of Sri Lanka must abide by its commitment of April 27 to end major combat operations and the use of heavy weapons.

Secretary Clinton and Foreign Secretary Miliband express their appreciation for the continued efforts of the United Nations and their staff on the ground in Sri Lanka. They call on the government of Sri Lanka and the Tamil Tigers to allow a UN humanitarian team to visit the conflict zone to facilitate the safe evacuation of civilians. They urge both sides to allow food and medical assistance to reach those trapped by fighting, cooperate with the ICRC to facilitate the evacuation of urgent medical cases, ensure the safety of aid and medical workers, and permit humanitarian access to all sites where displaced persons are being registered or being provided shelter.

Secretary Clinton and Foreign Secretary Miliband call for a political solution that reconciles all Sri Lankans, and establishes a meaningful role for Tamil and other minorities in national political life.


Chronology:

 

Latest 15 Reports
17.05.21 19:23   Photo
Ananthi blames war criminal Silva for blocking collective memorial at Mu'l'livaaykkaal
23.03.21 12:41   Photo
No focus on Tamil genocide, geopolitics gets played out in Geneva in favour of QUAD formation
21.03.21 13:34   Photo
Navi Pillay explains ‘human rights’ limitations in Geneva on Tamil genocide
15.03.21 20:36   Photo
Deceived Tamil activists in UK falsely claimed ‘substantial changes’ to Zero draft
09.03.21 21:34   Photo
UK repeatedly wronged Tamils says hunger-striker, demands genocide justice
26.02.21 11:53   Photo
Tamils witness false dilemma in Geneva as geopolitical formations pit against each other
19.02.21 14:02   Photo
UK not prepared to push for ICC option in new UNHRC Resolution
07.02.21 23:16   Photo
Unprecedented P2P uprising paves the way for rights-oriented politics of Tamils and Muslims
22.01.21 08:01   Photo
Gotabaya sets up deceptive COI citing ‘sovereignty’ and ‘non-aligned’ foreign policy
18.01.21 23:44   Photo
Tamil activists resisted three sources of outside influence while drafting demands to UNHRC
16.01.21 11:03  
Tamil national parties demand UN to inquire into crime of genocide and set up IIIM
09.01.21 09:37   Photo
Demolition of Tamil genocide monument, fourth emblematic trauma since 1974: Rev Fr Sakthivel
08.01.21 23:51   Photo
Colombo destroys Mu'l'livaaykkaal memorial monument at Jaffna University
07.01.21 11:22   Photo
With emphasis on genocide, Suresh calls for ICC-referral, IIIM and referendum
07.01.21 00:04   Photo
Boyle prefers IIIM demand over ICC-referral, says specific reference to genocide essential
 
Find this article at:
http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=29343