Ilankai Tamil Sangam

24th Year on the Web

Association of Tamils of Sri Lanka in the USA

Recent Quotes VI

by Nadodi

Quotes I

1. Daily Mirror, Colombo   Jan 17, 2009

Chennai: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Mr. M. Karunanidhi asked the center to initiative steps for an amicable solution to stop the Sri Lankan military’s offensive in northern parts of the island.

2. Sunday Times, Colombo   Jan 18, 2009

Dictatorship in the guise of Democracy?

Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa’s strident outburst this week against dissenters in the media underscores the fact that we now live in a dictatorship cloaked in an exceedingly thin guise of a democracy. Objectively evaluating the interview conducted on national television, one would conclude that the Defense Secretary did both himself and his brother President Mahinda Rajapaksa considerably more harm than good.  The Defense secretary’s largely measured tones when discussing about the war and military victories gave way to a shrill and even hysterical denunciation of the media at a point, freely categorizing anyone who pointed the finger at the government in regard to media repression as being a terrorist.

3. Times SA  Jan 18, 2009

British Tamil support group lobbies SA networks for peace in Sri Lanka.

British Tamil group is rallying support from South African religious and political organizations in a bid to help end the ongoing conflict in Sri Lanka.  The British Tamils Forum met with the South African Tamil Federation and the South African –based solidarity group of Peace and Justice in Sri Lanka to talk about the plight of Tamil Sri Lankans.  The British Tamils Forum, an umbrella body which raises awareness about the humanitarian crisis amoing mainly Tamil people around the world , also met with the ANC members at the manifesto rally in  East London.  Meanwhile the U.S. based organization Tamils for Obama , have petitioned the White House to act on the conflict in Sri Lanka.

4. International Press Institute, Vienna   Jan 19, 2009

International Press Institute calls impunity a “Dark Stain” on Sri Lankan Government.

The IPI joined leading media rights organizations today in condemning a “Culture of impunity and indifference” over attacks on journalists in Sri Lanka.  IPI has pushed for action by highlighting in its Justice Denied Campaign the case of SriKantharajan , a journalist shot dead in the eastern city of Trincomalee by assailants on a motocycle on 24th Jan 2006. “ A hostile environment of intolerance by the top political leadership has created a culture of impunity and indifference making every day hunting season for attacks on media staff” the IPI said in the report.

 5. Associated Press, New York Jan 28, 2009

By Ravi Nessman

UN: Staff came under fire in Sri Lanka “Safe Zone”

Dozens of UN workers and their relatives spent a terrfying night huddling in hastily built bunkers as artillery fire pounded a civilian “Safe Zone” in Sri Lanka War – Wracked North, according to an internal UN Memo.  The Memo obtained by the AP said the artillery shells killed nine civilians in a nearby bunker and were apparently fired by government forces.

As concern mounted for the estimated 250.000 civilians in the  war zone Dr. T. Varatharajah  the top health official in the area said at least 1,140 civilians – 248 younger than 15 – were wounded in the fighting and brought to three local hospitals.

 

6. BBC Sinhala Service  Jan 28, 2009

End Sri Lanka Killings – UK by Saroj Pathirana.

Sri Lanka should go for a political solution that safeguard the rights of the Tamil Community , British Foreign  Secretary David Milliband has said.  Both Mr. Milliband and his deputy Lord Mark Malloch-Brown reiterated British government  serious concerns of the plight of the civilians caught in the conflict in Sri Lanka North. “We are calling for every right of the Tamil people: political cultural and religious rights are respected.  We are serious in our attempts.  We also call for open access for journalists.  But first step is to stop killings.  We will use every possible tool available to us to stop killings” Mr. Milliband said.

7. International Herald Tribune   Jan 28, 2009

By Bernard Kouchner, a co-founder of Medicine San Frontiers (MSF), the foreign minister of France

From Sri Lanka to Darfur: Funeral procession of massacred  innocents  “Modern “ war disgusts us in the tragic consequences it has for civilians.  Somalia, Congo, Rwanda, SRI LANKA, Darfur, Gaza: this depressing litany of conflicts with their multitude of innocent civilians, victories swept away by the storms of war must not however leave us indifferent.

The international community and in particular France and the European Union for which human rights are a core value , the very foundation of their sense of identity  -  cannot stand silently by in the face of such a situation. 

8. UN News Centre  Jan 29, 2009

UN Rights Chief deplores conditions for civilian trapped in Sri Lanka fighting.  Reports of the rapidly deteriorating conditions for some 250,000 civilians trapped in war-torn northernSri Lanka have sparked concern from United Nations Human Rights Chief, who is also alarmed by alleged human rights abuses, civilians casualties and massive displacement in the area. “The perilous situation of civilians after many months of fighting multiple displacements and heavy rains and flooding is extremely worrying” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights  Ms. Navi Pillay said in a news release.

9. European Union Business  Jan 29, 2009

(Brussels) EU Humanitarian Aid Commissioner Louise Michel called for a ceasefire between Sri Lankan forces and Tamil rebels to allow trapped civilians to flee the combat zone.  “This is an escalating humanitarian catastrophe.  We are extremely worried about the terrible situation facing people trapped in the fighting” in the combat zone in the northeast of the island, Michel said in a statement.  He said that “many civilians have died and hundreds wounded people are deprived of adequate medical care”.  The trapped civilians have no place of refuge and no way of escaping. Ambulances and hospitals have been hit by shelling, and aid workers have been injured trying to bring vital assistance to the victims.” Said Michel.

10. Agence-France Press  Jan 29, 2009

Canada “Deeply Concerned” by Sri Lanka Unrest.

Ottawa (AFP)  The government is “deeply concerned” by the  ongoing unrest in northeast Sri Lanka, where Sri Lanka troops and Tamil rebels are locked in a fierce conflict, Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon said.  “Recent developments underline the urgent need for progress toward a meaningful and durable political solution” said Cannon. “Canada calls on all parties to allow full, safe and unhindered access for humanitarian workers, and ensure the safe and voluntary movement of civilian from combat zones,” said Cannon. Cannon also expressed concern over the increasingly violent attacks levied at media workers in Sri Lanka.  “Canada strongly urges the parties to the conflict to uphold democracy by preventing the intimidation of the media,” he said

11. Greenleft Online, Australia   Jan 30,  2009

Sri Lanka: A War on Tamils by Dr. Brian Senewiratne

 The “WAR” that is going on in Sri Lanka is a LIBERATION STRUGGLE of the Tamil people for their right to self determination, which would enable them to exist with equality dignity and safety in the area of historic habitation of the Tamil people – the north and east of Sri Lanka.

International human rights monitors must be admitted into Sri Lanka now. Tomorrow might be too late for the Tamils. Violations of human rights can no longer be considered an “internal affair” of that country.  That is why the world got involved in the issue of apartheid in South Africa. (indisputably an “internal affair of that country”.

12. Associated Press, New York Jan 31, 2009

By Vijay Joshi

Watchdog urges media access to Sri Lankan War Zone. 

An international media watchdog has urged Sri Lanka’s government to give journalists access to northern districts where fighting between the military and Tamil Tiger rebels has reportedly left hundreds of civilians dead and injured.  “Like the Israel army in Gaza, the authorities in Colombo have decided to prevent media and humanitarian organizations from working freely” in the North , Paris-based Reporters Without Borders said in a statement.

Quotes V