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'Impose economic sanctions on Sri Lanka'

world Updated: Apr 28, 2009 10:11 IST

Alleging that the Sri Lankan Government is responsible for the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the island's conflict zone, a Washington-based advocacy group has asked to the Obama Administration to impose economic sanctions on Sri Lanka.

In a statement, People for Equality and Relief in Lanka (PEARL) urged the United States to take strong leadership in condemning Sri Lanka for continuing to violate international law and attack Tamil civilians in the "safe zone".

"PEARL urges the US to impose economic and diplomatic sanctions against Sri Lanka to demonstrate its concern for the plight of Tamils," said Tasha Manorajan, of the PEARL.

The organisation also urged the UN to bring Sri Lanka to its Security Council agenda and "invoke the Responsibility to Protect" to allow UN humanitarian team to enter the war zone and provide international monitoring of refugee camps in the North.

It referred to a statement by John Holmes, UN Coordinator for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief, who during his visit to the country said he was unable to persuade the Sri Lankan government to allow a "humanitarian pause" in its military offensive.

The Sri Lankan government also rejected a UN proposal to send a humanitarian relief team to the war zone, where 60,000 to 100,000 Tamil civilians are at risk, PEARL alleged.