An organisation representing Tamil doctors in New Zealand says it plans to work with international aid agencies to smuggle aid and personnel into Sri Lanka to help the sick and injured among the 50,000 civilians said to be trapped in the conflict zone.

"This is a desperate attempt, but it could be the only way to get medical help to the victims," said Dr Nagalingam Rasalingam, president of the New Zealand Tamil Medical Association.

"Many of the Tamils living here have family stuck in the conflict, and they are being told that even in the so-called free zones, people are being deprived of the basic necessities of life. People in these free zones also face daily shelling, resulting in injury and deaths of many innocent civilians."

The association had planned to work with hospitals in Sri Lanka, but Dr Rasalingam said the plan was shelved after the hospitals were bombed, and members will meet this weekend to decide on how to get aid to the victims.

He said doctors in Sri Lanka were feeling helpless, and victims were being treated under tents and trees now that the hospitals had been reduced to rubble.

The Sri Lankan Government continues to reject international calls to halt the fighting and allow aid to reach the estimated 160,000 people who have fled the fighting and those who remain in the conflict zone.

Sri Lanka believes it is close to defeating the Tamil Tigers after 37 years of fighting.