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Last updated: 15 September, 2008 - Published 12:23 GMT
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Living in fear
IDPs in the north (Library photo)
Civilians say they are under pressure from both parties
Civilians living in Sri Lanka's rebel-held territory say they are under increasing pressure by both parties as fighting intensifies.

Residents in Kilinochchi told BBC Sandeshaya that the Tamil Tigers are increasing pressure on families with two children to hand over one child to the movement to fight against the government forces.

"The Tigers come and take the children by force. Forcible recruitment of children has been worsened since about a year ago. It wasn't that bad until recently," the resident said.

The LTTE are desperately seeking more recruits as the government forces are advancing to the Vanni, the residents who did not want to be identified told BBC Sandeshaya.

 The Tigers come and take the children by force. Forcible recruitment of children has been worsened since about a year ago. It wasn't that bad until recently
A resident in Kilinochchi

Many civilians are however not leaving the rebel-held areas but moving inside Vanni as fighting intensifies as they are afraid of the government forces, another person living in Kilinochchi said.

People could hear continuing shell attacks as close as from 15 miles as the government forces are advancing, another person who wished to be anonymous said.

The residents fear that the situation could worsen when UN and other aid agencies pullout from Vanni. "We need someone we can trust." a resident said.

 When people leave an area, shell attacks continue to that area. People are even afraid to go to toilets
Another Kilinochchi resident

"Nearly 300,000 people were made homeless", she said, and many people are living under trees, huts and temporary shelters.

"When people leave an area, shell attacks continue to that area. People are even afraid to go to toilets," she added.

A selection of your comments:

"After a long time some unbiased reporting from BBC" Totally agree, otherwise it is just a reflection of "tamilnet". Current BBC may be trying to achieve popularity by cheap, spicy and biased information. BBC better check its news sources if they are interested in credibility and reputation. They better be reporters rather than opinion makers.
Chintaka, Melbourne, Australia

It is indeed sad times for SriLanka. I still carry with me those nostalgic memories of a beautiful SriLanka. I think it is time we united in the name of peace and love, guided by the precepts of Buddha and the great religions that SriLanka is home to.
Sangita Ravendran, Canberra, Australia

LTTE is alive and still exit because of Singalese and their leaders. Have they solved ethnic problem with tamil leadres very long time back this problem will not exit and no war.
Raja Bala, pretoria, South Africa

Santhush Fernando Says"99% sinhalese army going into 100% tamil areas"Does he know that 50% of Tamils live in the South and Central Province among Sinhalese.
Anurudhdha Liyanage, Perth, Australia

The LTTE are desperately seeking more recruits as the government forces are advancing to the Vanni. LTTE's days are numbered.
Shamal Jayakody, Sydney, Australia

No one will win the war. Government might be stronger this time and defeat the battle this time. But it will never end. What assurance would be possible when innocent civilians are targeted. Mahinda will lead the country into abysmal.
Prageeth Alewidner, Colombo, Sri Lanka

If all comunities living in other parts of the country with peace people in the nort also can live in peace if V Pirabahan and his group accept to negotiate. Unfortunately they left the negotiation table with highlighting minor issues.
Chandra Bandara, Colombo, Sri Lanka

In western countries, their busines is war and in our countries the war is a business. Both are just two side of the same coins. So,it will go on until both parties will be getting benefit.
Malinga Panaluwa, Toronto, Canada

Thank you BBC for publishing the truth about Sri Lanka. The LTTE has done more damage and destruction to Tamils than the Sinhalese government. The international image of all Tamil people has been tarnished by the actions of the LTTE.
Ganesh, Toronto, Canada

Poeple have to leave the area soon they will be better look after by the government as they did to east It is better than terists this is going to be over soon they can live peacefully without fear.
Sulakshani Hewakapuge, Colombo

Because of terrorism, all Sri Lankans are living in fear. The LTTE have been killing their own Tamil people and conscripting Tamil children for decades. It will stop only when they are no more.Faced with terrorism many countries are doing their utmost to defeat the terrorists.
Ira de Silva, Canada

BBC at last say some truth. I am supprised to see that BBC saying LTTE is using people as a human shield and they recruit childern forcibaly. This is good improvement compared to past in which naked BBC tried to protect LTTE.
Manik, Colombo

LTTE are freedom fighters. The government of Sri Lanka is not willing to give even a basic level of autonomy to tamils. If people are afraid of LTTE, then why are they moving deeper in to tiger territory? That tells that they fear the SLA worst.
Melikandan, Toronto, Canada

Helpless civilian Tamils are caught up between GOSL and LTTE. Independent journalists should visit wanni and report the true situation and bring it to the attention of the world. This should be done even if GoSL does not agree.
Nathan, london, UK

Why is the 99% sinhalese army going into 100% tamil areas.. Is srilanka trying to go on with its plan of ethinic cleansing of taking over tamils who have diffrent langauge and religion to the sinhalese ?
Santhush Fernando, Rotterdam, Netherlands

Both innocent tamils , sinhaleaseMuslims and every one is suffring because of ruthless terrorists. Sri Lankan Goverment must provide the best protection and sheltor for those fleeing form LTTE held areas.
Rajan Sellathurai, Sydney, Australia

With all these problems by LTTE people still want to be with LTTE rather than GOSL and its forces.People had too many bad experiances to trust GOSL,I know this as I have come a cross this predicament in 1995 fleeing Jaffna.
Kanthasamy, UK

It is evidently clear that neither side is genuinely interested in a negotiated solution.The bloodthirsty war mongers are in charge,most of the moderates have either been killed or silenced.This appears to be the case all over the world. I fear for humanity.
Rajesh Kumar, London, UK

UN Staff and lots of other INGOs who reside in these areas are fully aware of, approve of and silent about abduction of children by the LTTE for fighting. Therefor there is nothing for SL government to worry about until the area is liberated. In the mean time Interested parties should question UN, Redcross and other well known NGOs.
Purohitha Bandara, Kandy

Civilians in Tiger held areas should stand against LTTE jungle law soon.If they stand today their next generation can live peacefully in the future.
Priyanga Samarasinghe, Australia

Now it is good time for mediation . why india is silent -i do not know,if sri lanken government losses or cannot compleate the war in next 06 months this exercise is a compleate failure no tamil should not respect to sinhalese for this hiler type of situation.
Ruwan Siriwardene, Melbourne, Australia

Why cant the LTTE create a safe passage for the civilians to leave. There are unconfirmed reports of LTTE shooting those wishing to leave.GOSL mandate extends to the north, regardless what the LTTE does they need to ensure security of those living in uncleard areas!
Akram Farook, London, UK

The Media should also go and look how civilian are targeted by Air Force. Remember the Army in East forcefully with help of "Pilliyan" recruited Tamils. It is a State Terrorism even called by JVP and UNP.
Randy, Edmonton, Canada

Agreed , Innocent civilians are getting affected. But as a legitimate government, GOSL has to make sure the whole country's security and safety of the people are taken care of. I think had the INGOs worked in an impartial manner without handing over their assets for LTTE use, GOSL wouldn't have to ask them to leave.
Tharaka Abeywickrama, Colombo, Sri Lanka

In the past 2 years of this government offensive, the Kilinochchi regional hospital was bombed twice, ambulances have been targeted at least 2-3 times by claymores, and 4 pro-Tamil MPs have been assassinated. Now, civilians are told to "flee or else". That's not the "LTTE" "using human shields".
Gogol, Toronto, Canada

After a long time some unbiased reporting from BBC.
Darshana Abeykoon

The only country in world that made their own citizens IDPs. Why don't write the indiscriminate bombing and shelling by Govt forces. It is easy to keep blaming the LTTE all the time, but what political devolution has the Govt provided till date. Nothing but hollow words and robbing the state coffers and expousing communalism. According to Govt sources they are fighting a beautiful war no one gets hurt no civilian is injured therefore they now wants the UN expelled.
Dave Wijesooriya, Colombo

I wonder why the so called "sole representative of tamils"(LTTE) grab children from helpless tamil people. I think prabha loves his children too.
Rodney Gunapala, Katunayake, Sri Lanka

They indeed need someone they can trust.Neither government nor LTTE. Can people of Sinhala, Muslim, Tamil, Malay and Burger communities provide these innocent Tamil civilians with new lease of life out of war zone. That would be the day which Sri Lankan celebrate the dawn of respectful pease of one nation, two communities torn apart.
Athukorala, Darford, UK

Mervyn Mendis:See what the terrorists are doing to the innocent civilians. I agree with you, because in this case the terrorists are SL goverment and its army.
Chel Soma, Sweden

Will you dare send or share this article with cnn,nbc,abc,cbs and other news agencies. See what the terrorists are doing to the innocent civilians.
Mervyn Mendis, Toronto, Canada

Evidently, for these poor civilians, it's a situation akin to being caught up between the devil and the deep blue sea.
Gitanjali Marcelline, Colombo, Sri Lanka

What a stupid war!! As a government Sri Lanka did all it can to get the LTTE to negotiation. but unfortunately, efforts have gone in the drain. Preba needs no other than ELLAM . which is a dream. So everyone in the country is suffering for that.
Chamila Garusinghe, London

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