Press Statement

The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement:

The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) expresses serious concern at the continuing reports of casualties among the Tamil civilian population who are trapped in the war zone in Mullaithivu district of Sri Lanka. The latest report from the United Nations representative confirmed that 52 people were killed and 80 wounded in the fighting in a day. There are incidents of two hospitals being shelled or bombed.

There are over two lakh civilians who are trapped in the areas where the fighting is going on. Both the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE have to ensure that the civilians are given safe passage into areas where there are no hostilities or safe zones.

The CPI(M) is also disappointed that the Sri Lankan government is not making any progress in working out a political settlement on the Tamil question, despite assurances.

The government of India should seek the assistance of the United Nations to ensure the safety of the Tamil civilian population in the northern province. It should also step up its diplomatic and political efforts to ensure that the Sri Lankan government immediately take up the provision of genuine autonomy for the Tamil-speaking areas within a united Sri Lanka as promised during the visit of the External Affairs Minister to Colombo.