jump to navigation

Bishops plead with Tamil Tigers to let aid through: CEN 4.03.09 p 7. April 6, 2009

Posted by geoconger in Church of Ceylon, Church of England Newspaper.
trackback

Ceylon’s Anglican and Catholic Bishops have released an open letter to the government and the rebel Tamil Tigers pleading for them to permit aid to reach the estimated 250,000 civilians displaced in the fighting in the Vanni region of Northern Sri Lanka.

The bishops urged the two sides to act now. “This is a very critical humanitarian crisis faced by fellow Sri Lankans. The needs of food, water, health, sanitation, shelter and, above all, physical security of these our sisters and brothers and children need to be addressed without delay.”

Last month the World Food Program (WFP) warned that the government’s military campaign to end the thirty year old civil war had left civilians “facing a terrible situation with many deaths, injuries and lack of food, shelter, safety and medicine.”

Food assistance and relief work to the region was halted by the government at the start of its ground offensive in September. While the fighting had left the government in control of the region, the Red Cross reported that civilians, “most of whom have been displaced,” were no “completely dependent” on humanitarian support.

The March 25 appeal was endorsed by the Anglican Bishops Duleep de Chickera of Colombo and Kumara Illangasinghe of Kurunagala, and Roman Catholic Bishops Thomas Savundranayagam of Jaffna, Rayappu Joseph of Mannar, and Norbert Andradi of Anuradhapura.

The bishops stated the “plight of these trapped civilians has become absolutely desperate,” and urged “all sides” to “recognize the helplessness and powerlessness of these desperate Sri Lankans.”

The bishops commended the government for creating a “seven mile long strip” along the coast as a “no-fire zone” and would allow civilians to flee, but urged both sides to avoid using artillery and in “areas where civilians reside.”

All sides should have the “humility and the courage” to agree to allow aid through the WFP to reach civilians, and to allow the Red Cross to transport the sick and wounded of the battlefield and to allow humanitarian organizations to oversee the evacuation of civilians, the bishops said.

Comments

1. p.selvaratnam - December 30, 2009

The title, Bishops plead with Tamil Tigers to let aid through doesn’t really reflect the content , ”Ceylon’s Anglican and Catholic Bishops have released an open letter to the government and the rebel Tamil Tigers pleading for them to permit aid to reach the estimated 250,000 civilians displaced in the fighting in the Vanni region of Northern Sri Lanka.”

Please remember that in September 2008 the UN and other aid agencies were ordered out of Vanni, though the iad agencies decide when they leave a war zone. Afer the UN and aid agencies left Vanni, there has been intense and arbitrary aerial bombing.
Journalists have been barred from the whole of Northeast for more than two years before September 2008. Obviously things that have to be hidden from outsiders have been happening in the Northeast.

Some were prevented from leaving the area by the LTTE. Some were reluctant to leave because they knew they were going to be compulsorily hed in camps – people who left Vanni in March 2008 have been reported to be still held in camps in August 2009. What is most unacceptable is that aid agencies were severely restricted from helping the detainees.
Aid agencies have been restricted from the open prison of Northeast and harassed in the Northeast by the occupation army.

Journalists are still not allowed free access. ICRC has been denied access to the final battle zone where the Army is alleged to be removing all evidence of war crimes. the world will never know what really happened in the final days of the war. The rest of Vanni too is still out of bounds for journalists. The army soldiers have been found to be selling the valuables left behind by the fleeing Vannians.

The fact that the Tamils are being done injustice even after the Tigers were finished off must tell the world something about the utter despise the government has towards Tamils.


Sorry comments are closed for this entry

%d bloggers like this: