Sunday, April 26, 2009
White House Statement Accuses GOSL, No Mention of LTTE Hostages
Sri Lanka Express
The Obama White House, commenting for the first time on the Sri Lankan situation, has accused the Sri Lankan government of shelling safe zones and ‘blocking’ international aid. The statement issued on April 25 makes no mention of the civilians being held hostage by the Tamil Tigers. Full text of the White House statement on continuing conflict in Sri Lanka follows:
The United States is deeply concerned about the plight of innocent civilians caught up in the conflict between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Tamil Tigers, and the mounting death toll. We call on both sides to stop fighting immediately and allow civilians to safely leave the combat zone.
We call upon the Government of Sri Lanka to stop shelling the “safe zone” and blocking international aid groups and media from accessing those civilians who have managed to escape. International aid workers should have access to all sites where internally displaced persons are being registered and sheltered. The United States is working with international partners to attempt to care for those civilians who can be reached.
We call on both sides to strictly adhere to their obligations under international humanitarian law. We are very concerned about reports of violations, and take these allegations very seriously.
It would compound the current tragedy if the military end of the conflict only breeds further enmity and ends hopes for reconciliation and a unified Sri Lanka in the future.
Posted by Hassina Leelarathna at 11:47 AM