High Casualties From Use of Banned Arms

Sri Lankan government forces killed or injured 25,000 to 30,000 civilians in the span of just a few days during its final offensive against Tamil militants, say humanitarian workers. One worker said that the high number of casualties was caused by “a generous use” of weapons, such as cluster and chemical bombs, which are banned by international treaties. Today the conflict zone of Vanni “is like a burial ground, nothing left behind, no buildings, no churches, utter destruction,” he said. The aid worker said he could speak only on condition of anonymity because he was an eyewitness to numerous atrocities carried out against civilians in the battle zone. He worked for an international humanitarian organization and had been serving in Sri Lanka’s Vanni district for more than a decade until he fled in mid-May at the height of the Sri Lankan military assault against the last Tamil-held areas in northeastern Sri Lanka.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

Indigenous people walk past Pope Francis after presenting offertory gifts during the pope's celebration of Mass at the Maquehue Airport near Temuco, Chile, Jan. 17. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
Pope Francis appealed to the Mapuche, who have suffered “great injustices,” to totally reject violence “which can make a just cause turn into a lie.”
Gerard O’ConnellJanuary 17, 2018
Dolores O'Riordan, former lead singer of The Cranberries, performs on stage during a concert in 2007 in Tirana, Albania (CNS photo/Arben Celi, Reuters).
She was Dickensian, if Dickens had written a Gaelic warrior-waif, a hero with a voice that could thrill and comfort.
Cameron Dezen HammonJanuary 17, 2018
The Persistence of Memory, Salvador Dalí, 1931.
The God who is coming is the God who is already here.
Terrance KleinJanuary 17, 2018
Pope Francis dove head-first into Chile's sex abuse scandal on his first full day in Santiago.