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International Statement: Call for Access to Populations Trapped by War And Respect of Humanitarian Aid Workers in Sri Lanka

17 employees of humanitarian non governmental organization (NGO) Action Against Hunger/Action Contre la Faim (ACF) were deliberately massacred in Muttur (East Sri Lanka) on 4th of August, 2006. This act represents an escalation of violence targeting humanitarian actors, and as such is unprecedented in Sri Lanka. We are appalled by this war crime.

Over the several months in Sri Lanka, access to populations has been severely curtailed by parties to the conflict, thus violating International Humanitarian Law. Humanitarian organizations have been denied access to civilians affected by this conflict. As a result, approximately 200,000 displaced people do not receive regular or sufficient assistance.

Therefore, the under-signed humanitarian NGOs appeal:

  • to the Government of Sri Lanka to undertake every measure to ensure that this war crime of Muttur does not stay unpunished and thus guard against impunity, in close collaboration with declared international experts, so that those responsible for the massacre of the 17 humanitarian workers of Action Contre la Faim be identified and tried;
  • to the parties to the conflict to respect International Humanitarian Law, including respect of humanitarian principles, in particular to facilitate unimpeded access to all victims and protection of all civilian populations;
  • to the government ant the United Nations, in particular the members of the UN Security Council—but also the Special Representative of the Secretary General for Sr Lanka and the UN High Commission for Human Rights - to use all possible means of diplomatic pressure on all concerned parties to demand that they respect International Humanitarian Law.

Under-signed humanitarian NGOs:

  1. Action contre la Faim
  2. Acted
  3. Architectes de l’urgence
  4. Aide Médicale Internationale Foundation
  5. Cooperazione e Sviluppo (CESVI)
  6. Comitato Internazionale per lo Sviluppo dei Popoli (CISP)
  7. Concern
  8. DanChurchAid
  9. Diakonie Emergency Aid
  10. FinnChurchAid
  11. German Agro Action
  12. Health Unlimited
  13. Ingenieros Sin Fronteras
  14. Islamic Relief
  15. Johanniter International Assistance
  16. Lutheran World Federation - World Service
  17. Médecins du Monde
  18. Médecins Sans Frontières
  19. Mensajeros de la Paz
  20. Mission East
  21. Muslim Aid
  22. Plan – UK
  23. PMU InterLife
  24. Première Urgence
  25. Solidarités
  26. Solidaridad Internacional
  27. Tearfund
  28. World Vision
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