Sri Lanka: Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and Government endangering tens of thousands of lives
Posted: 14 August 2008
Thousands of families who fled the recent fighting between Sri Lankan forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) must be allowed to move to safer areas and to receive necessary humanitarian assistance, Amnesty International said today (14 August 2008).
'These people are running out of places to go and basic necessities,' said Yolanda Foster, Amnesty International's Sri Lanka researcher. 'The Tigers are keeping them in harm's way and the government is not doing enough to ensure they receive essential assistance.'
Government aerial bombardment and artillery shelling since May has forced more than 70,000 people to flee their homes, primarily in Kilinochchi and Mulaitivu districts.
Amnesty International has established that around a third of these families are living in the open air with no shelter. Many cannot receive food, tarpaulin for temporary shelters and fuel because of a lack of access into LTTE-controlled areas and restrictions on goods going through Omanthai - the crossing point between government-controlled territory and that held by the LTTE. Some families have been forced to move several times.