South African group condemns Sri Lanka for killing Tamil civilians

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 21 April 2009, 14:02 GMT]
South Africa based Solidarity Group for Peace and Justice in Sri Lanka, which comprises of members from African National Congress (ANC), Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), South African Communist Party (SACP) and Tamil activist groups, on Tuesday condemned the Government of Sri Lanka for the killing of thousands of Tamil civilians by Sri Lankan armed forces. "The pursuit of a military solution not in favour of a viable political framework addressing the legitimate grievances of the Tamil people and their aspirations for self determination remains the fundamental barrier between permanent peace amid an unfolding humanitarian disaster," the statement further said.

Full text of the statement issued by he Solidarity Group for Peace and Justice follows:

The Solidarity Group for Peace and Justice in Sri Lanka strongly condemns the killing of thousands of Tamil civilians by Sri Lankan armed forces in the North East region.

Indiscriminate attacks on densely populated civilian areas, including the use of cluster bombs and chemical weaponry illustrates a defiance of international rules of engagement by the Sri Lankan Government.

Breaking developments regarding intensified attacks by the military on regions populated by Tamil civilians are a cause for concern, amid reports by the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) that over 200,000 civilians have been cornered within an 18 square km area by advancing government troops.

The Government of Sri Lanka continues to defy conventions of democracy by blocking all independent media and denying humanitarian aid organizations and NGO’s access to the war zone, exacerbating the humanitarian crisis through the threat of starvation, malnutrition and disease.

The pursuit of a military solution not in favour of a viable political framework addressing the legitimate grievances of the Tamil people and their aspirations for self determination remains the fundamental barrier between permanent peace amid an unfolding humanitarian disaster.

The Solidarity Group urges the Sri Lankan Government to accept an immediate ceasefire as advocated by the international community and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

If a policy of ethnic cleansing continues to be pursued by the Sri Lankan administration, the Solidarity Group and its affiliates will be poised to take stronger measures in pressuring the state to accept an unconditional ceasefire.

The Solidarity Group for Peace and Justice in Sri Lanka is an activist group comprising members of the African National Congress (ANC), Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), South African Communist Party (SACP), the Tamil Coordinating Committee of S.A (TCC SA) and the South African Tamil Federation.


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