Sri Lanka: Amnesty International condemns deliberate attacks on civilians

Amnesty International today condemns the killing of more than 10 civilians and two homeguards in the southern village of Thanamalwila. The shootings were allegedly carried out by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

It is the latest in a series of alleged attacks by the LTTE targeting civilians. On 16 January, a bomb followed by shooting on a bus at Buttala, about 150 miles south east of the capital, Colombo, killed over 30 people.

“There is no excuse for the deliberate targeting of civilians”, said Javier Zuniga, Special Advisor at Amnesty International. “Targeting civilians and carrying out indiscriminate attacks by any party to the conflict violates international humanitarian law and constitutes war crimes”.   The situation in Sri Lanka remains extremely tense. Daily aerial bombardments have been reported in the Vanni in the North, including on 17 January when two humanitarian workers were reportedly injured.

Amnesty International continues to call on both parties to the conflict to return to a genuine implementation of the ceasefire agreement and, in particular, to comply with the rules of international humanitarian law and uphold the protection of civilians at all times.