In the past two months, there has been a dramatic upturn of Tamil refugees arriving on south Indian shores in desperate and dangerous circumstances. Over 2000 people have arrived at Rameswaram and another 10 000 people are waiting at Mannar to risk high seas and naval interdiction to flee the island. They are fleeing systematic attacks by both Government of Sri Lankan forces and the LTTE, as well as paramilitary and proxy forces on both sides. The Ceasefire Agreement seems incapable of preventing this low-intensity conflict, which is deeply destabilising peace prospects and causing casualties which are 90% civilian.
As a co-chair in the peace process, what is the Commission doing to ensure the safety and security of civilians in North-East Sri Lanka and to provide safe passage and accommodation to those determined to seek refuge in India? Has the Commission pushed both sides to establish 'safe zones', such as the former Open Relief Centre at Madhu, where military actors would be forbidden from acting, thus saving hundreds of innocent lives?