Civilian casualties top 20,000 in Vanni: Leaked UN document

[TamilNet, Friday, 24 April 2009, 09:31 GMT]
A new document originating from the UN and circulated among the diplomatic missions in Colombo this week has put the figures of the civilians killed in Vanni since January as at least 6,432 and 13,946 wounded, according to a news report by the Associated Press Friday. "The casualties were reported as 'verified data' in the document," the AP said. The Sri Lanka Army (SLA) has been firing thousands of artillery and mortar shells, including internationally banned cluster munitions and chemical warheads, into the so-called no-fire zone or 'safety zone' killing and maiming thousands of Tamil civilians, constituting a grave war crime and crime against humanity.

Tamil activists worldwide have blamed the International Community, including the UN, for silently abetting and indirectly approving the killing of Tamil civilians being carried out by the Sri Lankan shelling and starvation, leading to their capture.

The stand taken by the UN Security Council, and also echoed by the US state department Wednesday, welcoming the capture and detention of tens of thousands of Tamil civilians by the Sri Lanka Army is the first step of direct approval for the genocide, Tamil circles commented Thursday.

Earlier, a leaked document by the UN had put civilian death toll at 2,683 as of 07 March. More than 3,700 civilian have been killed within a period of 40 days in March and April.

It is not known whether the document includes the civilian casualties from this week when the figures crossed 1,000 on a single day alone as SLA entered the safety zone to capture the civilians. The LTTE has blamed the Sri Lanka Army for killing at least 1,500 civilians in the beginning of this week.

"The U.N. has declined to publicly release its casualty figures and had no immediate comment on the document," the AP reported.


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