Australian Government to pressure the Sri Lankan Government to cease its military offensive sign now

Dear Foreign Minister

We the undersigned call upon the Australian Government to pressure the Sri Lankan Government to cease its military offensive in the northern Vanni region where some 250,000 Tamil civilians are trapped by the advancing Sri Lankan army.

Since January, more than 4000 civilians are believed to have died in the fighting with 7,000 more wounded. The Sri Lankan armed forces have indiscriminately shelled densely populated areas, including hospitals, in violation of the laws of war.

Disturbingly, news filtering out from the heavily censored war zone indicates that the militarys offensive has included the use of banned chemical weapons. The Sri Lankan government continues to prevent the media and other independent observers from travelling to the war-affected Vanni region to report on the situation.

Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch recently claimed Sri Lankas so-called no-fire zone is now one of the most dangerous places in the world.

Many of the 45,000 Tamils who now call Australia home have family and friends who are caught up in the humanitarian crisis caused by Sri Lankas racist war.

We as Australian citizens call on the Government to pressure Sri Lanka:

* To agree to an immediate ceasefire;
* Allow medical and food aid to reach civilians in the northern Vanni region; and
* Enter into an internationally sponsored peace process with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam to bring about a lasting peace to all people on the island.



Although the Sri Lankan Government has displayed a blatant disregard towards the international communitys wishes, we urge you to act, as the ongoing suffering of the tamils is a source of grave emotional distress to our community.

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Lawrence LaraBy:
Politics and GovernmentIn:
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Australian Government to pressure the Sri Lankan Government to cease its military offensive

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