Ilankai Tamil Sangam

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Association of Tamils of Sri Lanka in the USA

Killing of Civilians Must Stop

by Tamil Information Centre, London, April 28, 2008

The targeting of civilians is barbaric and short-sighted, and contributes to the ruination of the legitimacy of any cause, irrespective of who carries out the acts. It is also a measure by which the political and military activities of the parties to the conflict may be judged. No civilian deserves to be bombed, forcibly ejected from their homes, or terrorized in their homes.

TIC PRESS RELEASE

DATE: 28 April 2008

 

The killing of civilians must stop on both sides of the border

The Tamil Information Centre (TIC) is deeply distressed over the deaths and injuries caused by a bomb in a passenger bus during rush hour in Piliyandala, a suburb of the Capital, Colombo on 25 April 2008. The bomb killed 26 civilians and wounded 62. In recent times, there have been a number of incidents in which civilians travelling in public buses have been targeted.

The TIC condemns these reprehensible acts. The targeting of civilians is barbaric and short-sighted, and contributes to the ruination of the legitimacy of any cause, irrespective of who carries out the acts. It is also a measure by which the political and military activities of the parties to the conflict may be judged. No civilian deserves to be bombed, forcibly ejected from their homes, or terrorized in their homes. As common sense dictates, killing innocent people to satisfy grievances or to counter oppression would not contribute to a solution but aggravate and deepen any conflict as the communities become entrapped in a cycle of vengeance.

The intense aerial bombing and multi-barrel shelling campaigns in the north-east Tamil Homeland have caused unbearable trauma to the people, death and destruction of urban and village homes and vital infrastructure such as bridges, places of worships, electricity and water supplies, communication systems and roads. The retaliatory attacks carried out with similar intensity in southern Sri Lanka, while causing the deaths of ordinary people and destruction of property, have also had profound impact on people living in these areas. They have also affected passengers, school children, bus drivers, vendors and business establishments. In the case of suicide bomb attacks, the bomber’s families, friends and co-cadres are also subjected to trauma.

The number of  civilian deaths has dramatically increased in the last two years. The TIC is very concerned that continued fighting between the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) will cause more civilian casualties, increase hatred and destroy attempts to bring about peace in the island. We urge the parties to the conflict to act in accordance with the international rules of war and refrain from indiscriminate attacks and forced displacement of the civilian population. We call upon the parties to end the military conflict and return to the negotiating table. We also call upon the international community to intensify its efforts in facilitating the peace process.

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