Sri Lanka civilians tell of war ordeal

The BBC reports today that civilians fleeing the area of northeast Sri Lanka where Tamil Tiger rebels and government forces are in fierce conflict have been sharing stories of the ordeal of life under almost constant gunfire.

The BBC says civilians have confirmed accusations by human rights groups that the rebels are forcefully recruiting young children and are stopping people from moving out to government-controlled areas.

Estimates of the number of civilians trapped in the rebel-controlled area of only 20 square kilometers vary from 50,000 to 200,000.

The Sri Lankan government and international organizations have repeatedly urged the rebels to free civilians in the conflict zone, but the rebels claim the civilians are choosing to stay of their own free will.

An elderly woman broke down while speaking to the BBC:

“There is fighting everywhere, bombing and deaths… Oh God how much we have suffered… What we did to endure this… Nobody is there to save us. No-one is helping us,” she said.

Read the BBC story here.

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