Russian arms accused of ‘escalating conflict’ Syria
Tamil Guardian 13 June 2012
The United States has charged Russia with continuing to supply weapons to the Syrian government which have been used in the country’s ongoing conflict, with more weapons set to be delivered.
Speaking on information that a shipment of attack helicopters are being sent from Russia to Syria, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said,
"We have confronted the Russians about stopping their continued arms shipments to Syria.”
“They have from time to time said that we shouldn't worry, everything they're shipping is unrelated to [Syrian] actions internally. That's patently untrue and we are concerned about the latest information we have that there are attack helicopters on the way from Russia to Syria which will escalate the conflict quite dramatically.”
Her comments come as Hervé Ladsous, the head of UN peacekeeping operations, stated that the conflict was now becoming “large scale”, telling reporters,
“Clearly what is happening is that the government of Syria lost some large chunks of territory in several cities to the opposition and wants to retake control of these areas”
“Now we have confirmed reports not only of the use of tanks and artillery but also attack helicopters.”
Russia meanwhile defended the sales, stating that the Russian export firm Rosoboronexport "does not supply weapons and military technology in contradiction with UN Security Council security requirements and other international agreements."
Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov stated last month that "it would be wrong to leave the Syrian government without the means for self-defence", and insisted that weapons would continue to be sold to Syria, with contracts currently worth around $1billion per year.
The mother of Suntharalingam Gajatheeban, also known as Theiveegan, who was killed by the Sri Lankan military in April, was prevented from leaving Sri Lanka on Tuesday, despite being in possession of a valid visa, the Daily Mirror reports.
The European Union has defended the annulment of the measures in place against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in a statement released on Tuesday, saying the moves were of a legal nature and not political.
The recent European Court of Justice ruling to lift restrictions placed on individuals and organisations allegedly linked to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) is a result of “pro-LTTE” diaspora and opposition parties attempting to oust the current presidency said the Sri Lankan president on Monday.
"European Union has lifted the ban on the LTTE. It happened within two weeks of certain opposition leaders having talks with the pro-LTTE diaspora. They are working with foreign forces to oust me. They have gone and met them in Europe. They have promised action to fulfil pro-LTTE diaspora demands,
Travel restrictions have been placed on the North to prevent foreign elements funding another war against the Sri Lankan government, said the ruling United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) coalition party's general secretary on Monday.
The Sri Lankan government's re-introduction of travel restrictions to the North, preventing all foreign citizens from entering the region without prior written permission from the Ministry of Defence,