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Sri Lanka: Amnesty International condemns end of ceasefire

Move puts civilian population back at risk

Amnesty International today condemned the Sri Lankan government’s withdrawal from the ceasefire with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), commonly known as the Tamil Tigers.

The human rights organisation is gravely concerned that an increase in hostilities will lead to a dramatic rise in indiscriminate attacks against the civilian population.

Catherine Baber, Amnesty International's programme director for Asia-Pacific, said:

“The end to the ceasefire could unleash fresh violence that will lead to serious human rights violations, including arbitrary detentions and mass displacement of civilians. We call on the Sri Lanka government to uphold the CFA ceasefire agreement and enter into immediate talks with the LTTE.

“The termination of the ceasefire will also lead to the removal of the Norwegian ceasefire monitors, making it impossible to independently investigate and verify the violence and the number of civilian deaths.

“A negotiated settlement and long-lasting peace will now be much harder to achieve. A peaceful political solution is the only way to avoid escalating violence and to protect the lives of innocent civilians.”

Amnesty International urges all parties in the conflict to comply with their obligations under international law to protect civilians.

Catherine Barber said:

“To address the intensifying violations of international human rights and humanitarian law, a United Nations field operation with a strong monitoring mandate is urgently required.”

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