Sri Lanka urged to stop shelling ‘no-fire zone’

April 10th, 2009 - 8:36 pm ICT by IANS  

New York, April 10 (IANS) The Sri Lankan government should stop firing heavy artillery into the “no-fire zone” where some 100,000 civilians are trapped by the Tamil Tigers, Human Rights Watch has said.
The rights group Thursday called upon the UN Security Council to take urgent measures, including by sending a special envoy to Sri Lanka, to end violations of humanitarian law by government forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

“Sri Lanka’s so-called ‘no-fire zone’ is now one of the most dangerous places in the world,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “The Security Council has quibbled over protocol when it should be acting to bring an end to this ghastly loss of life.”

People in the government-declared no-fire zone told Human Rights Watch that several areas have been subjected to heavy shelling since April 7, resulting in numerous civilian casualties.

The group called on Colombo and the LTTE to urgently facilitate the safe evacuation of civilians from the conflict area.

Approximately 100,000 civilians are believed to be trapped in the roughly 20 sq km area under LTTE control.

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