South Asia: SANGAT statement on Lebanon

SANGAT members from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka condemn Israel's unwarranted agression on Lebanon.
We, the members of SANGAT, from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, meeting in Colombo, condemn in the strongest possible terms Israel's unwarranted aggression on Lebanon, which has led to large scale bloodshed, the displacement of hundreds of thousands of civilians from their homes, and the wilful destruction of the country's infrastructure, including airports, bridges, power plants and transmission towers.
Israeli air, sea and land blockades have virtually cut off Lebanon from the rest of the world; Israeli forces have systematically prevented the opening of a humanitarian corridor to deliver aid and assistance to the Lebanese.

We note with concern that Lebanon is the third country in the region to have been attacked since the so-called War on Terror was launched. We are deeply concerned about the long term and far reaching consequences of yet another war on the stability of the region.

We are appalled by Israel's flagrant violation of international laws as it pursues its destructive agenda in Lebanon and in the Gaza Strip. We denounce the efforts of the United States in justifying Israel's murderous actions and in actively resisting international calls for an immediate ceasefire. We are outraged that the US has expedited arms shipments to Israel at this critical juncture. We protest the US veto at the Security Council of the resolution condemning Israeli actions. We also condemn the UN Security Council's inability to take meaningful action in the face of Israel's relentless aerial assaults on civilian populations and humanitarian crisis that is escalating in Lebanon by the day.

We denounce the international community including the member states of the Organisation of Islamic Countries, for their indifference and complicity in this war.

As South Asian feminists, we are also deeply concerned about the safety of migrant workers from our region who have been stranded in Lebanon. Some workers have already lost their lives during the bombardment. We strongly feel that it is the responsibility of all our states and their local Embassies to ensure the safety and retrieval of their citizens. We also demand compensation from the state of Israel for the loss of lives and livelihoods suffered by all those caught in the war.

We demand an immediate, unilateral and unconditional withdrawal of Israeli forces from Lebanese territory. We also express our deepest solidarity with the people of Lebanon during this dark chapter in their history.

July 29th 2006, Colombo