It is correct that a large proportion of the civilian population of the Wanni region who live in locations still controlled by the terrorists of the LTTE are undergoing considerable hardship and suffering due to the rigid policies of the LTTE of preventing the free movement of civilians and making use of them as human shields against the advancing forces of humanitarian liberation of the Sri Lanka Government.
The Government is fully aware of the numbers of persons who need assistance and it is satisfied that the maximum assistance is being provided to these people, under the prevailing conditions, especially the difficulties caused by the intransigence and brutality of the LTTE, with regard to the very people it claims to represent and allegedly liberate.
Under the prevailing situation the Government sees no need for any international monitors to assess the needs of the affected Sri Lankan citizens or to carry out the effective distribution of relief already being done through the International Committee of the Red Cross, other identified relief agencies and the government machinery.
It is necessary to mention that there has been considerable credible evidence of non-government agencies that were engaged in relief work in the Wanni region, having provided both financial and material assistance to the LTTE, for the pursuit of its separatist goals against the sovereign state of Sri Lanka, through terrorism.
A more detailed response to the claims and allegations made by AI will follow the Presidential Secretariat states.
This web site publishes without comment the following excerpt of the Background to the conflict in Sri Lanka as stated by AI.
"The security situation for civilians including displaced people has worsened since May when conflict intensified in Wanni.
The LTTE has blocked freedom of movement for the displaced in the Wanni. The LTTE appears to have no capacity to provide safety, or food or shelter and yet prevent families from moving to safer areas.
The LTTE has a history of silencing dissent in Wanni and treating conscientious objectors badly. Recent reports highlight a large camp at Moonru-Murippu in which, following its takeover by government forces, it was revealed that conscripted people who refused to fight were locked into metal cages, with pointed wires extending inside. The pointed wires ensured that they had to stand in a bent position and were pricked if they tried to move. They were let out only when they agreed to the LTTE's demands."