Amnesty condemns rally attacks

[TamilNet, Monday, 20 December 1999, 20:22 GMT]
Amnesty International, the London based human rights group Monday condemned last Saturday's attacks on two political rallies in and near Colombo in which at least 25 civilians were killed. The attacks, within hours of each other, took place at the rally of the ruling People’s Alliance (PA) and that of the opposition United National Party (UNP).

"The attack on a rally organized by the People's Alliance killed at least 14 civilians and injured numerous others, including President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga and four ministers. It was reported to have been carried out by a female suicide bomber suspected of being a member of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)," said Amnesty.

"In the other attack, a bomb was thrown at a rally organized by the United National Party in which at least 11 civilians were killed. The attack was also suspected to have been carried out by the LTTE," Amnesty said.

UNP officials in Colombo Sunday told journalists they held supporters of the ruling PA responsible for the attack on the UNP rally, but said they could not comment on who was responsible for the attack at the PA's election rally.

Amnesty International said in today’s statement that it "opposes killings by armed opposition groups which violate fundamental principles of international humanitarian law, specifically these requiring civilians be protected at all times."

The organization said it has written today to representatives of the LTTE in London "condemning these attacks and appealing again to the LTTE to desist from such abuses."

 

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