Sri Lanka: UNESCO chief condemns bombing of rebel radio station

Koïchiro Matsuura

3 December 2007 – The Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) today condemned a deadly attack on a radio station run by the rebel Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lankan army planes struck the Voice of Tigers radio station near Kilinochchi in the north of the country on the afternoon of 27 November, killing five of the station's staff and reportedly more than five other people, according to a news release from UNESCO.

“Regardless of the content of the broadcasts aired by the Voice of Tigers, there can be no excuse for military strikes on civilian media,” said Koïchiro Matsuura.

“Such action contravenes the Geneva Convention which requires the military to treat media workers as civilians.”

Mr. Matsuura stressed that “killing media personnel is not going to help reconciliation” and urged urge the authorities “to ensure respect for the basic human right of freedom of expression.”

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