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Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers warn of 'genocide' as UN agencies pullout

Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers Tamil Tigers
 or Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)

Guerrilla organization seeking to establish an independent Tamil state in northern and eastern Sri Lanka.
 on Saturday accused the government of planning a genocidal campaign against Tamils as UN agencies began pulling out of the rebel-held Wanni regions in the island's north.

UN agencies began pulling out of the region on Friday after Colombo said it could not guarantee the safety of aid workers as troops pushed towards the Wanni region, which comprises Kilinochchi and Mullattivu districts.

People in Kilinochchi have protested the departure of UN agencies from the Wanni region, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam Noun 1. Tamil Eelam - the independent state that the Tamil Tigers have fought for
Eelam

Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka, Ceylon - a republic on the island of Ceylon; became independent of the United Kingdom in 1948
 (LTTE) said in statement through its peace secretariat.

Residents had gathered outside the offices of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR UNHCR n abbr (= United Nations High Commission for Refugees) → ACNUR m

UNHCR n abbr (= United Nations High Commission for Refugees) → HCR m 
) and the World Food Programme from early Friday, said the rebels, who are fighting for autonomy in the island's north and east since 1972.

They were "demanding that the agencies should stay behind and continue their humanitarian work for the Wanni people facing a humanitarian crisis A humanitarian crisis (or "humanitarian disaster") is an event or series of events which represents a critical threat to the health, safety, security or wellbeing of a community or other large group of people, usually over a wide area. ," the rebels said of the protesting residents.

While protesters tried to block traffic to prevent UN vehicles from leaving the area, resident representatives had discussions with the two agencies, which had promised to raise the issue at the UN, the release said.

"The appeals (from resident representatives) mostly said that the Sri Lankan government is ordering the international agencies out as it readies for the final stage of the genocide of the Tamils," the rebels said.

UN agencies say at least 160,000 people have been displaced in the past few months in the districts of Mullaittivu and Kilinochchi. Some 70,000 people have fled due to fighting in the past two months alone.

According to according to
prep.
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.

2. In keeping with: according to instructions.

3.
 the Consortium of Humanitarian Agencies Consortium of Humanitarian Agencies(CHA) was established in Sri Lanka in April 1997 to serve a membership and has since become a national service provider in the non-profit sector. CHA's field offices are located in 12 districts in the North, South and East in Sri Lanka. , 11 UN and other agencies have been working in the rebel-held Wanni area.

Colombo wants to avoid troops being accused of killing aid workers in a repeat of the August 2006 massacre of 17 local employees of the French aid agency Action Against Hunger Action Against Hunger (known internationally as Action Contre la Faim, or ACF) is an international relief and development organization committed to saving the lives of malnourished children and families while seeking long-term, sustainable solutions to hunger.  in the east of the island.

Tens of thousands have died on both sides during more than three decades of bloodshed.
Copyright 2008 AFP South Asian Edition
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright (c) Mochila, Inc.

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Author:AFP
Publication:AFP South Asian Edition
Date:Sep 13, 2008
Words:336
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