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Amnesty urges India to raise concerns with Sri Lanka

[TOI, Thursday, 15 January 2009 17:52 No Comment]

Amnesty International called on India’s foreign minister on Wednesday to raise concerns over rights violations and the safety of the civilian population in upcoming talks with his Sri Lankan counterpart.
In an open letter the human rights group said Shivshankar Menon should press the Colombo government over recent attacks on the media, and discuss the issue of civilian protection during the ongoing conflict with Tamil rebels.

Amnesty added that Menon should call for international monitors to assess the humanitarian situation in the contested Wanni region, of which Kilinochchi is the political centre for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

"On the occasion of your upcoming visit to Sri Lanka, Amnesty International calls on you to raise, with your Sri Lankan counterparts, concerns about the safety of civilians trapped in the Wanni," said the London-based group.

"More than a quarter of a million people, mostly Tamils, face immense hardship and are running out of safe space in the face of intensified fighting between the two sides," Amnesty said.

"Away from the front lines, the general human rights situation in government-controlled areas has deteriorated," it added.

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