CCI-India is a founder member of the People's Network for Sustainable Social Harmony (People for Harmony).
People for Harmony's appeal to the President of Sri Lanka is reproduced below.
People for Harmony
People's Network to Promote Sustainable Social Harmony
58, Chinna Kulandai Main Street, Maduma Nagar, Perambur, Chennai-600 011, India
February 3, 2009
Respected President of Sri Lanka
Appeal to the President of Sri Lanka to protect civilians at all costs
On behalf of all peace loving citizens of India, we appreciate the statement issued by the government of Sri Lanka guaranteeing protection to all its civilians in the Safety Zone. However, we are disturbed and distressed to hear news reports that hospitals and civilian areas are being shelled by the security forces resulting in loss of lives of medical staff and civilians.
Through this appeal, we request the President of Sri Lanka to take all necessary steps to protect civilians at all costs, wherever they are. We need not emphasize the fact that it is the responsibility of the government to protect its people. After all the Tamil population are also the citizens of the country.
No civilized society can accept targeting civilian areas who have no say or control of the conflict between warring factions and more so, it is unethical to target hospitals where the injured and afflicted are being treated. Only terrorists resort to such inhuman acts. We hope these reports are not true. Even if they had taken place, we assume that these calamities take place without the active consent and knowledge of the President of Sri Lanka and do hope and pray that he will issue immediate orders ensuring the safety of the innocent people of his own country.
In a normal situation the citizens will try to save their life by going to the Safety Zone but if they are not able to go, it could be only due to reasons beyond their control. We therefore appeal to the President of Sri Lanka to protect the lives of his own people at all cost. We make this appeal since it is a humanitarian problem needing immediate attention.
We hope that peace will return to Sri Lanka soon. We appeal to all concerned to approach the issue on the basis of humanism and find amicable solution to restore harmony in the country between all sections of the people. We appeal to the President to initiate steps to end hostilities and avoid loss of precious lives.
Yours in Harmony,
All the members and organisations
affiliated to People for Harmony.