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News update

May 1, 2009

CNN – Red Cross: Thousands still trapped in Sri Lanka

Thousands of civilians remain trapped and at risk in a small area of the conflict zone along the northeastern Sri Lankan coast, the International Committee of the Red Cross said Thursday.

The civilians include women, children, and elderly, and many are wounded and sick, the ICRC said in a statement.

“The parties must do more to protect them and must allow more food and medicine into the area,” said Monica Zanarelli, the ICRC’s deputy head of operations for south Asia.

CNN – Devastation on the Sri Lankan Front

Adnkronos –  Sri Lanka: Women and children at risk from army attacks

Thousands of civilians, including sick and wounded women and children, remain trapped in a small area of northern Sri Lanka as the army advances in a “no-fire zone” against Tamil separatists, the Red Cross said on Thursday. The Red Cross issued a statement as a website linked to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam predicted more casualties in the so-called safety zone.

The Independent – Tamils fear retribution as war reaches its climax

LTTE ‘will still operate’ despite military defeat

In a shop in Colombo’s Bambalapitiya neighbourhood, the man stretched out on a sofa suddenly woke with a start. “They’re not terrorists,” he declared, correcting his friend’s use of the word. “They’re freedom fighters – 99.99 per cent of Tamil people support them but they are not in a position to show it.”

As Sri Lanka’s army squeezes the last remnants of the once potent Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), such sentiments voiced within the Tamil community represent one crucial reason why this operation might not mark the end of the insurgency.

The Star  – Not just a Tamil problem but an international one

As the humanitarian crisis in Sri Lanka deteriorates by the day, so is the morale of the international Tamil diaspora.

Tamils living abroad in the comfort and safety of their new homes find themselves at a loss. They fail to understand the belligerent response of the government of Sri Lanka to reciprocate the unilateral ceasefire called by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

The decades of bitter fighting between the Sri Lankan army and Tamil rebels has left a beautiful country bereft and thousands caught in the crossfire. Novelist Romesh Gunesekera mourns his island’s fate.

Reuters – WITNESS: A fleeting glimpse of Sri Lanka’s hidden war zone

The Independent – Miliband meeting ends in sharp exchange

By all accounts, Foreign Secretary David Miliband’s meeting with Sri Lanka’s powerful Defence Minister was not the smoothest encounter.

In Colombo on Wednesday to call for a ceasefire, Mr Miliband’s comments did not please Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.

Times Online – Parameswaran Subramanyam ends hunger strike on Tamil conflict

A Tamil man who has spent the past 24 days without food today ended his hunger strike in Parliament Square.

Parameswaran Subramanyam, 28, ended his fast shortly after midday, minutes before David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, addressed MPs in the Commons. Mr Miliband returned from Sri Lanka earlier today, where his calls for ceasefire and humanitarian access were rejected by the President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Independent – Day 23 London: Hunger Striker in critical condition

Politics – Should we Publicise Hungerstrikers?

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