Sri Lanka: Army lay siege to the Tamils after the exodus of civilians

Source : https://dofollownet.com

The Sri Lanka Army has accelerated their offensive against Tamil Tigers guerrillas, entrenched in about 17 square kilometers in the northeast of the country.

The country's president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, gave a 24 hours ultimatum, now expired, to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to lay down their arms. According to sources from the Ministry of Defense, 49,000 civilians have fled yesterday from the conflict area dominated by Tamils. A record number if confirmed, reached after the downing of a defensive sand wall built by the LTTE and opened a corridor to allow the departure of the civilians.

Tamils accuse the army of massacres.

The presence of these civilians has been the main stumbling block for the Army's final offensive against the rebels. According to UN data, about 100,000 civilians are still trapped in the combat zone. The LTTE has claimed today that the military offensive, led by a brother of the president (as minister of war), Rajapaksa Gotobaya, has caused the death of 1,000 civilians in the last few hours.

The war between the rebel Tamil minority (Hindu religion) and central government is the oldest in Asia but appears to be nearing completion after 25 years of hostilities and the death of some 70,000 people.

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