Amnesty condemns Amparai killings

[TamilNet, Monday, 20 September 1999, 21:24 GMT]
Amnesty International Monday condemned the killing of more than 50 Sinhalese civilians in a predawn raid on three villages in the Amparai district. In a statement issued today, Amnesty said the Liberation Tigers might have carried out the attack in retaliation for the deaths of 22 Tamil civilians at Puthukkudiyiruppu, Mullaitivu district, in a bombing raid by the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) on 15 September.

"The killings appear to represent a return to the large-scale deliberate attacks on civilians belonging to the Sinhala and Muslim communities," said Amnesty.

"In the past, hundreds of civilians have been deliberately killed in these areas by the LTTE, but for the last three years no such large- scale atrocities have been reported," Amnesty said.

Amnesty International called on the leadership of the LTTE "to bring an immediate halt to all attacks on civilians and to instruct its members to comply at all times with international humanitarian law which clearly prohibits such attacks."

On 16 September, Amnesty International wrote to President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga expressing concern about the SLAF bombing raid in which 22 Tamil civilians were killed, and which is said to have provoked the retaliation against the Sinhalese villages.

The organization has questioned the Sri Lankan government on rules of engagement and other instructions given to combatants to avoid civilian casualties.

 

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