Permanent ceasefire call – by Tamil Tigers

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LIBERATION Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) Political Head, B Nadesan, yesterday blamed the Colombo regime for the stepped up genocidal artillery attacks on civilian targets, reports TamilNet.

This was ‘after committing a war crime by issuing ultimatums to civilians to move against their will into the hands of the genocidal military.

‘Most of the civilians are continuously forced to live inside the bunkers, and civilian casualties are mounting in Udaiyaarkaddu, Thearaavil and other areas,’ Mr Nadesan charged.

‘Only a permanent ceasefire, on the insistence of the international community, followed by negotiations would resolve the conflict, as envisaged by the Tamil people and the LTTE,’ Mr Nadesan said.

At least 28 civilians have been killed since last Friday morning and more than 60 have sustained injuries, he said.

The humanitarian food store of the Human Development Centre (HUDEC-Caritas), the social arm of the Catholic Church of Jaffna, located in Udaiyaarkaddu, has also been targeted by the Sri Lankan Army artillery barrage.

‘Giving an impression of a ceasefire to the outside world the Sri Lankan government has embarked on destroying humanitarian supplies to civilians in the safety zone,’ the LTTE Political Head claimed.

‘The indiscriminate artillery and Multi-Barrel Rocket Launcher (MBRL) fire is targeting the vicinity of Puthukkudiyiruppu hospital, violating International Humanitarian Law,’ Nadesan further charged.

The environs of the ICRC (Red Cross) in Puthukkudiyiruppu had also come under artillery barrage.

Mr Nadesan said: ‘Medical staff and the patients at Puthukkudiyiruppu hospital are in a pathetic state due to the artillery barrage by the Sri Lankan forces.’

The announcement by the Sri Lankan government was aimed at ‘deceiving the international community and suppressing the uprising of the 70 million Tamils in Tamil Nadu’, Mr Nadesan accused.

l The South African Government yesterday, 30 January 2009, expressed deep concern for the safety and well-being of the 250,000 civilians, including humanitarian aid workers, reportedly caught up in the conflict between the military forces of the government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the North-East region of Sri-Lanka.

The South African statement said: ‘South Africa is saddened by the loss of life and expresses its condolences to all those in mourning.

‘Furthermore, South Africa will continue to support any efforts aimed at bringing about peace and reconciliation.

‘We believe that a lasting and sustainable political solution will be best achieved through broad consultation and peaceful dialogue amongst all the people of Sri Lanka.

‘We therefore urge both parties to return to the negotiating table as soon as possible.

‘The announced ceasefire should be permanent and thus create conditions for parties to consult their respective constituencies freely and regularly.’