Sri Lanka pledges safe passage to trapped Tamil civilians

January 30th, 2009 - 12:39 pm ICT by ANI  

New Delhi, Jan 30 (ANI): Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has pledged to give safe passage to thousands of trapped Tamil civilians during the offensive between the security forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
He also confirmed to India that he has urged the LTTE to free the civilians within the next two days.
Briefing the media here on Thursday, Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon said that Sri Lanka would ensure that no harm is done to any civilian in the conflict region.
He said that India hopes that the action would give civilians safe passage to move to a secure place.
“We are happy to see the steps that are being taken by Sri Lanka. We hope that all these civilians will now be able to move to safety,” he added.
President Rajapaksa has announced that for the next 48 hours, he would urge the LTTE to allow free movement of civilians to ensure their safety and security.
Assuring a secure environment for all people and also to those living in the Northern and conflict areas in particular, he said vacating LTTE-held areas would ensure their physical security and enable peace, freedom and rights for all citizens of the country.
Amid rising international outcry over the fate of civilians, President Rajapaksa challenged the LTTE to let people leave the 300 square km of jungle where the separatist rebels are now cornered. (ANI)

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