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Stop the Attacks on the Tamil People

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(From the Canadian Peace Alliance) The Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) has unilaterally abandoned the internationally mediated ceasefire agreement and has engaged in aerial bombings and artillery shelling of civilians in an intense war on the Tamil minority in the country. This war, which has killed as many as 70,000 Tamil civilians has become more brutal. In 2008 alone, thousands of civilians were killed.

According to former UN Human Rights Commissioner, Louise Arbour, “The most fundamental rights of people to be secure in their persons and homes are being violated almost daily…. There is an urgent need for the international community to monitor the unfolding human rights situation, as these are not merely cease-fire violations, but grave breaches of international human rights and humanitarian law”. She went on to say that the “weakness of the rule of law and prevalence of impunity is alarming.”

This devastating war has internally displaced over 500,000 Tamils and the Government of Sri Lanka has expelled all local and international NGO’s from the war affected areas in the North. They have also placed an economic embargo on all food, medicine, fuel and other essential items reaching the civilians in the affected areas, creating a humanitarian disaster.

The Government of Sri Lanka has banned all reporters from the affected areas and has led a campaign of persecution against journalists. Reporters Without Borders has expressed outrage at the Sri Lankan government after they censored the BBC World Service reporters in the country and after the murder of prominent editor of the Sunday Times, Lasantha Wickrematunga. Wickrematunga, in his last editorial, published after his death said he knew that he was being targeted by the government. “When finally I am killed, it will be the government that kills me”, he wrote. The lack of access to international monitors is making it impossible to know exactly how many innocent civilians are being killed.

The Canadian Peace Alliance calls on the government of Canada to: » Condemn the Government of Sri Lanka and call for an end to all attacks on Tamils » Call on the Government of Sri Lanka to immediately allow international aid organizations and NGO’s to bring emergency assistance to the civilians affected and to support the internally displaced Tamils » Call on the Government of Sri Lanka to support the right to a free press and allow journalists into the affected areas. » We also call upon the United Nations to condemn the Sri Lankan government’s human rights violations and apply pressure on the Sri Lankan government to stop its genocidal war on the Tamil people.

Stop the Attacks on Tamils

On February 4th there will be events all over Canada calling for an end to the attacks on Tamils. The Canadian Peace Alliance stands in solidarity with the Tamil people and demands that the Government of Canada immediately call on the Sri Lankan government to end its attacks on civilians. For more information please see: http://www.canadiantamilcongress.ca/

Events Listings

Montreal

Candle Light Vigil 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm UNHRC Building 200 boulevard Rene Levesque, Montreal

Ottawa

Vigil 1-4 PM Parliament Hill Lawn

Candle Light Vigil 5:30-7:30 Sri Lankan Embassy 333 Laurier Ave

Toronto

Candle Light Vigil Wednesday, February 4 from 5:30pm to 7:00pm Sri Lankan Consulate 40 St. Clair Avenue West Toronto TTC: St. Clair For more information please see: www.nowar.ca Download the Leaflet Download the Poster

Vancouver

Candle Light Vigil 5:00 pm - 7:30 pm The Vancouver Art Gallery 750 Hornby Street, Vancouver

Winnipeg

Candlelight Vigil Date: Wed., Feb. 4, 2009 Time: 4:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. Where: 303 Main Street (Water Avenue and Main Street), Winnipeg For more information see: http://www.peacealliancewinnipeg.ca/

Pressure the Government of Sri Lanka to end immediately the genocidal campaign launched on Tamil civilians in the Northern regions!

On January 26 alone, over 300 Tamils were killed in indiscriminate artillery attacks by the Sri Lankan Army (SLA) on a village in the Northern district of Mullaithivu in Sri Lanka. These brutal attacks have left thousands seriously injured; many injured have bled to death on the streets as there are no emergency medical supplies and treatment facilities in these government-declared so-called “Safety Zones”.

New reports indicate that civilians have been left to die as the army continues to engage in artillery attacks, including on hospitals.

“In a scene of carnage of untold proportion on civilian targets hit by hundreds of Sri Lanka Army-fired artillery shells, more than 300 people have died and several hundreds are bleeding to death within the last 24 hours, amidst pouring rain inside the ‘Safety Zone’ declared by the Colombo government. Houses and vehicles burn for a stretch of three kilometers between Va’l’lipunam Kaa’li temple and Moongkilaa’ru towards Paranthan road, reports from Vanni said on Monday. Unattended bodies and injured people unable to move are lying around everywhere, while a remaining doctor fled and helpless ICRC officials virtually cried at the scene from their bunkers”

  • TamilNet.com, January 26, 2009

For more information on the humanitarian crisis facing Tamils please see: http://www.tamilidpcrisis.org/http://www.tamilidpcrisis.org/

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