Sri Lanka: The Vakarai Massacre

General November 10, 2006

Sri Lanka is fast turning into a killing field with hundreds of civilians being killed day
after day.

8th November 2006

The latest attack by the Sri Lankan armed forces left 60 civilians dead and over 600
injured. Heavy artillery bombs landed on a school in which internally displaced persons
(IDPs) were taking refuge. Rescue workers claim that 40 bodies have been recovered
including 6 babies between the ages of 3-6 months.

Amnesty International has called for an inquiry into the incident stating, “Killing and
injuring civilians can never be justified. The government must investigate this terrible
attack as a matter of urgency.” The statement goes on to say, “It is appalling that the
military should attack a camp for displaced people - these are civilians who have already
been forced from their homes because of the conflict.” The Bishop of Colombo, Rt. Rev.
Duleep Chickera says the incident which killed scores and injured several hundred
civilians has sent shock waves through the nation.

9th November

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarians protested on the 9th of November in
front of the United Nations (UN) office in Colombo urging the UN to urgently intervene
to stop “the genocide against Sri Lankan Tamils.”

10th November

One of the leaders of this protest, TNA Member of Parliament Mr. Raviraj, a lawyer was
gunned down brutally on the 10th November at 8.00 A.M in the very heart of Colombo
city. He paid with his life for his outspoken voice which was raised against the systematic
killing of resourceful Tamil politicians, journalists, activists and civilians. Yet another
democratic voice of Tamils has been silenced in Sri Lanka’s high security capital today.
All this is in the background of a complete breakdown of law and order where
assassinations, extortion, abductions, extra-judicial killings are taking place with
impunity.

A recent report compiled by a Human Rights group reveals that more than 1,500 civilians
have been killed in Sri Lanka during this year alone.

In total, 80,000 people have lost their lives in this 23 year old on going conflict which has
left 800,000 IDPs, homeless.

We urge the international community to intervene in this fast deteriorating situation of
human misery and tragedy, so that justice will prevail.