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Sri Lanka's Genocidal War - '95 to '01
Jaffna Citizens Committee appeals to President Kumaratunga to end military terror
The Jaffna Citizens Committee appealed to President Kumaratunga to end the military terror. The following is full text of the letter dated 6 August 1995, sent to President Kumaratunga by the President of the Jaffna Citizens Committee, Professor K. Kunaratnam (Vice Chancellor of the Jaffna University) and the secretary Mr.R. Mahendran (Principal, Kokkuvil Hindu College):
We are deeply perturbed and concerned over the serious and grave situation that has developed as a consequence of the major military offensive code-named "Operation Leap Forward" undertaken by the government's armed forces.
We wish to bring to your kind attention that this military operation has caused a monumental human tragedy to the people of Jaffna.
This offensive has been characterised by blind, indiscriminate and excessive aerial bombardment and artillery shelling of densely populated residential areas and particularly the Churches and Temples.
As a consequence nearly three hundred (300) innocent civilians including women, children and in some instances entire families have been killed and more than five hundred (500) admitted to hospitals for treatment for serious injuries.
Furthermore nearly three hundred thousand (300,000) people have been uprooted from their homes and displaced and forced to live under subhuman conditions without proper sanitation, food and medical care.
We wish to point out that the ICRC delegation had already cautioned the Government regarding the acute shortage of drugs, medical personnel and facilities in Jaffna.
In this context we wish to say that your Excellency's recent statement that this war is aimed at creating conditions for peace and 'liberating' the Tamils of Jaffna from the LTTE is totally meaningless. Under the guise of liberating the people, conditions of oppression have been created causing tremendous suffering to the people.
For a people who expected from your Excellency a peaceful resolution to the long festering ethnic problem and had given you an overwhelming mandate to achieve peace, this sudden escalation of the conflict has hardened their feelings driving them to the inevitable conclusion that no justice and fair play could be expected from your government too.
This worsening situation can only make it more difficult to achieve a peaceful resolution to the ethnic problem.
Under these circumstances, we entreat you to review your decision to launch a military operation and stop immediately the the military offensive and withdraw the troops from the occupied areas so that the displaced people can return to their homes and resume their normal lives.
We also urge your Excellency to explore all possible avenues to find a peaceful political solution to the ethnic problem."