The forgotten conflict
- Friends: Please consider signing the petition below. The situation in Sri Lanka is very bad and we need to take some action.max
In Sri Lanka, Asia's longest-running and often forgotten civil war is coming to a bloody climax, with 250,000 desperate civilians trapped in the crossfire.
250,000 desperate civilians are caught in the crossfire of Sri Lanka's civil war. U.S. Secretary of State Clinton will be briefed on the number of messages sent by Avaaz members urging protection for civilians -- click below to easily send one now:
The US government, Sri Lanka's biggest trade partner and one of its biggest development and military aid donors, has the most influence. The US has called for safe zones to protect civilians, but needs to use real diplomatic pressure to persuade both sides to agree to this, making clear that aid and trade deals as well as international legal consequences could be at stake.
Senior US diplomats have agreed to brief Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the number of messages sent by Avaaz members over the next few days -- and to respond to our messages in writing. This is a real chance to persuade the Obama team to play a constructive role in this serious crisis. Click here to easily send a pre-written or personalized message now:
There have been atrocities and tragedies on both sides of Sri Lanka's long war -- most of them unrecorded and hidden from the world, due to the government's brutal campaign against independent journalism. The end of the fighting won't, by itself, resolve the injustices that ultimately caused it; after the guns are silenced, the legitimate concerns of the Tamil and other minority groups must be addressed throughout the political dialogue and reconstruction that will follow.
But right now, in these final weeks or days of fighting, the quarter-million trapped Tamil civilians must not become the war's final casualties.
Let's add our voices to those activists and human rights advocates who throughout the years have fought against the marginalisation of minority groups and the deterioration of basic rights across Sri Lanka.
Click here to urge U.S. Secretary of State Clinton -- Obama's top diplomat -- to support the threatened civilians in Sri Lanka:
Luis, Ben, Graziela, Ricken, Paula, Alice, Iain, Pascal, Paul, Milena, and the rest of the Avaaz team
Press Release by Human Rights Watch on appalling situation of civilians in Sri Lanka
United States and United Kingdom Joint Statement on the Humanitarian Situation in Sri Lanka, 3 February 2009
"Sri Lanka Rebuffs Pleas for Truce, Says Rebellion Near End" - New York Times, 5 February 2009
Joint Statement by the so-called Tokyo Co-Chairs (Norway, Japan, US and EU) expressing great concern about the plight of Sri Lankan civilians
News release by the International Committee of the Red Cross on repeated shelling and evacuation of hospital in the conflict zone
Q&A: Sri Lanka crisis, by BBC News
Global media rights groups condemn "culture of impunity and indifference" in Sri Lanka
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"There can be no winners in this war, only more broken hearts. We must stop the method of revenge, and look for new solutions which do not involve killing. Surely with all of the great minds in this area, we can come up with a peaceful way to live with some dignity." - Robi Damelin whose son was killed in Israel in 2002