Sri Lanka: Statement on the Execution of Two Sri Lanka Red Cross Workers

General June 8, 2007

The National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka (NCEASL) strongly condemns the abduction and execution of two volunteer staff members of the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society on 1st June 2007.

Sinnarasa Shanmugalingam (32) and Karthekesu Chandramohan (26) were abducted in the heart of Colombo, at the Fort Railway station, while returning to Batticaloa after attending a training workshop in Colombo. The Civil Monitoring Committee in a local news report published names and details of 117 persons who remain missing after abduction in 2006 and 2007. It is inexcusable that, in a democracy, civilians continue to be abducted and executed in this manner.

Norms of International law require all parties in a given conflict to refrain from any act that may jeopardize humanitarian activities and the lives of humanitarian workers. We note with great dismay that Sri Lanka now holds the dubious reputation of being a nation that executes humanitarian workers. The shameful incident of the murder of 17 aid workers from Action Against Hunger in 2006 in Muthur still remains unsolved.

We call upon the government of Sri Lanka for an immediate, transparent investigation in to the murders of the Red Cross workers and bring the perpetrators of this crime to justice.

We also call upon all parties to end this vicious cycle of abductions, violence and cold blooded murder.

We call upon the government and the LTTE to a negotiated settlement and bring to an end this senseless violence which is destroying the very heart of our beloved country.