Link: UN expert on genocide prevention calls for end to conflict [TheHindu.com]
Link: Still time for Sri Lanka and Tamil Tigers to reconcile says advisor [BruneiNews]
It does not matter which side you are supporting or what you opinion of the LTTE is but a human catastrophe is in the process of happening in Sri Lanka. UN genocide prevention expert and special advisor to Ban Ki-moon, Francis Deng has called for an immediate end to the conflict and he has specifically made mention of the ethnic nature of the conflict.
There is still time for the Government and the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to halt their fighting and “pursue a reconciliatory and peaceful path with the ethnic Tamil population,” Francis Deng said in a statement.
“This polarizing conflict is identity-related with ethnicity and religion as deeply divisive factors,” he said. “It will not end with winners and losers and it cannot be ended solely through a military victory that may not be sustainable in the long-run unless legitimate grievances are addressed.”
Mr. Deng underscored that women and girls are particularly vulnerable to “excesses of conflict,” stressing that the Government is legally obligated to give them special protection. He called on authorities to allow the UN and other agencies “full and unfettered access to all civilians and detainees.”
The Special Advisor also called on the LTTE, for its part, to “immediately cease holding human shields and let civilians leave the conflict area,” a shrinking pocket of land on Sri Lanka’s northern coastline where the UN estimates that at least 50,000 people are still trapped - BruneiNews
Also commenting was Walter Kälin, the Secretary-General’s Representative for the Human Rights of Displaced Persons. He drew attention to the fact that the LTTE is preventing civilians from leaving the area in which they are trapped and setting up military installations around them but that the Sri Lankan government is heaving shelling the areas. This is resulting in an unacceptably high level of civilian casualties.
Given the Gaza conflict a couple of months ago, why is the world not being more vocal about this? It is the same action – a government shelling an area they believe to contain military installations but killing civilians instead.