'Widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population' is described by the 'Rome Statute' of the International Criminal Court as a 'crime against humanity'. There is overwhelming evidence that the Sri Lankan armed forces have taken such actions.
Use of heavy weapons and Air Raids: By April 2009, according to United Nations internal documents, air raids and use of heavy weapons were resulting in the death of 116 people a day. British and French mainstream media reported that during final few weeks, 20,000 Tamil people had been killed. Assertions that heavy artillery was not used against the people in the densely populated, government designated 'no fire zones', was contradicted by satellite evidence. Several video clips are available that show air raids and artillery fire and the terror it causes on the civilian population. According to Human Rights Watch, between 08th of December 2008 and 02 of May 2009, hospitals were attacked 30 times by the government forces. On the 2nd of February, when asked by the Sky News television, the defence Secretary stated that anything located outside the government designated ‘safe zone’ will be considered as a legitimate target.
Following the relevant provisions of the Rome Statute on direct attacks against civilians:
Article 7 - Crimes against humanity
1. For the purpose of this Statute, "crime against humanity" means any of the following acts when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack:
(k) Other inhumane acts of a similar character intentionally causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health.
(h) Persecution against any identifiable group or collectivity on political, racial, national, ethnic, cultural, religious, gender as defined in paragraph 3, or other grounds that are universally recognized as impermissible under international law, in connection with any act referred to in this paragraph or any crime within the jurisdiction of the Court;
Article 8 - War Crimes
2.(e) (i) Intentionally directing attacks against the civilian population as such or against individual civilians not taking direct part in hostilities;
(ii) Intentionally directing attacks against buildings, material, medical units and transport, and personnel using the distinctive emblems of the Geneva Conventions in conformity with international law;
(iii) Intentionally directing attacks against personnel, installations, material, units or vehicles involved in a humanitarian assistance or peacekeeping mission in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, as long as they are entitled to the protection given to civilians or civilian objects under the international law of armed conflict;
(iv) Intentionally directing attacks against buildings dedicated to religion, education, art, science or charitable purposes, historic monuments, hospitals and places where the sick and wounded are collected, provided they are not military objectives;