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UN Secretary General Deplores LTTE

UNITED NATIONS Secretary General Ban Ki Moon yesterday called upon the LTTE leadership to allow civilians to leave the conflict area of their own free will. He also criticized the severe restrictions of the LTTE on their freedom of movement that violate international law. The Secretary General also deplored the forced recruitment of civilians, particularly children.

A statement attributed to the Spokesperson for the Secretary General on Sri Lanka United Nation said:

 “The Secretary General is deeply distressed by continuing reports from the Vanni region of Sri Lanka that civilians are at extreme risk, with heavy casualties and that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) are keeping civilians in a very small area of active conflict against their will. While some have been able to leave or escape, reliable reports indicate that the LTTE have prevented others from leaving, including by firing at them.

The Secretary General calls upon the LTTE leadership to allow civilians to leave the conflict area of their own free will.

The severe restrictions of the LTTE on their freedom of movement violate international law. The Secretary General also deplores the forced recruitment of civilians, particularly children.

At the same time, the Secretary General again reminds the Government of Sri Lanka of its responsibility to protect civilians, and to avoid the use of heavy weapons in area where there are civilians, as promised.

The Government should receive and treat displaced persons in accordance with international law, and work closely with the United Nations in meeting the protection and physical needs of displaced persons.” (Courtesy : Daily News