Think-tank calls on LTTE to negotiate surrender

March 10th, 2009 - 11:32 am ICT by IANS  

Brussels, March 10 (IANS) The humanitarian crisis in Sri Lanka’s northern Wanni region is rapidly becoming a catastrophe, the International Crisis Group (ICG) has warned and called on the Tamil rebels to surrender, EuAsiaNews reported Tuesday.
In a report Monday, the ICG said an estimated 150,000 civilians were trapped in an ever shrinking space, forcibly held back by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and exposed to indiscriminate attacks by the Sri Lankan military.

“The Sri Lankan military has already achieved its military objectives and essentially won the war. It must not pursue a strategy of annihilation,” the Brussels-based think-tank said.

“The Sri Lankan government must hold off on the final assault to allow adequate supplies of food, water and medical aid to reach the civilian population and to let those civilians who wish to leave to do so.”

“The LTTE has been defeated and must surrender,” the ICG said, adding that the group’s current actions demonstrated its “utter disregard for the Tamil people”.

“The international community should send its strongest possible messages to the LTTE that it must negotiate a surrender. In exchange, key international parties should commit to supervise the surrender and to guarantee the physical protection of any surrendered fighters.”

On the other hand, if the LTTE continues to use civilians as a human shield and forcibly recruit children and adults, the report suggests that its leadership should face international justice for its serious war crimes.

International leaders, in particular the UN secretary-general, Indian prime minister and the president of the US, must press for these actions immediately, the ICG stressed.

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