Monday, June 22, 2009

Sri Lanka Crimininalizes and Punishes its Own internally displaced persons

The Sri Lanka Govt. has blocked entry of a ship carrying relief supplies for its own internally displaced persons. Shame on Rajapaksa and his crew for this inhumane act.

Sri Lanka is masquerading that it is a democracy. It is also making a mockery of Buddhist principles. Successive SL govts. have long treated Tamils as second class citizens denying them basic rights. Now it has decided that these hapless refugees who were caught in the crossfire of a govt vs. LTTE military showdown, should be punished by denying them essential relief supplies. Women, children and men are suffering daily in refugee camps, to which media organizations have been denied access.

Chithra KarunaKaran
Ethical Democracy as Lived Practice

Times of India copyright
MV Captain Ali — a ship on a mercy mission to Vanni in Sri Lanka has been anchored of the coast of Chennai. The ship carrying 884 ton of food,
medicine and other relief materials for internally displaced Sri Lankan Tamils was turned away by Lankan Navy.

Relief laden — MV Captain Ali was sent to Vanni by an NGO called 'ACT Now' a strong representative of the Tamil diaspora. However, the Lankan government has accused the NGO of aiding LTTE and hence has snubbed the relief ship.

The in charge of the ship, Kristjan Guomontsson spoke exclusively to TIMES NOW and said that he has no clue as to why the aid was turned down.

Guomontsson, an Iceland national, was a part of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) which includes Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Finland and Sweden. The SLMM was set up in 2002 under the terms of cease fore agreement. Guomantsson was one of the monitors- and the SLMM was slammed by the Lankan government to be sympathetic to LTTE.

According to the Lankan Navy, the ship was turned away on the ground that it violated internationally accepted formalities followed by merchant ships seeking to enter Lankan waters and that it did not conform to the International Ships Port Facility Security (ISPS) code.