No Place To Seek Shelter

As the Sri Lanka government refuses to allow international press into the war zone, reports leak out that civilians are trapped, little aid is getting through and that a hospital was hit by mortar fire.

BBC correspondant Adam Mynott passes on the U.N. position:

The UN estimates that about 50,000 civilians are trapped by the conflict, in a three-sq-km strip of land. Most of this area has been designated by the government as a safe zone which will not be attacked by air or by heavy weapons.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said on Monday he was appalled by the killings and called for an immediate halt to the fighting

Both the Sri Lankan military and the Tamil Tigers are blaming the other for any civilian deaths and injuries, but it is the government that is refusing media access to the area.

Sri Lankan government forces have shelled a hospital inside the conflict zone killing at least 45 people, Tamil Tiger rebel and hospital sources say.

The rebels said the makeshift hospital in Mullivaikal was hit early in the morning, but a government spokesman denied knowledge of the incident.

Meanwhile Sri Lanka’s army said it had pierced rebel defences and advanced along a coastal strip to the south.

The claims are impossible to verify as reporters are banned from the area.

More than 400 people were killed and over 1,000 injured over the weekend in what the UN has described as a bloodbath

 The Tamil Tigers have fought for an independent homeland for Sri Lanka’s Tamil minority since 1983.

More than 70,000 people have been killed in the war.

Until there are independent observers on the ground, we have no choice but to assume that the Sri Lankan government is hiding the truth of its actions.

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