Sri Lankan Tamil leaders seek Indian help to stop military strikes

April 17th, 2009 - 10:58 pm ICT by ANI  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, Apr 17 (ANI): A delegation of Sri Lankan Tamil leaders on Friday met Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh in the national capital and sought India’s intervention to end military strikes in the No Fire Zone in the Island nation.

The Sri Lankan Tamil leaders also met Indian National Security Adviser and the Foreign Secretary.

The Tamil leaders appealed Manmohan Singh to ensure the right to life of Tamils living in the no fire zone.

“We request to Manmohan Singh that there must be a cessation of all military attacks in the No Fire Zone, as the only definite way to ensure the right to life of the substantial number of Tamil civilians living in the no fire zone. We also stated that these people within the no fire zone should just not be deprived of their right to life only for the reason that they are Tamils,” said R. Sampanthan, a Member of Parliament, Sri Lanka.

Over 2,50,000 Tamil civilians have been compelled to seek refuge in a small territory about 20 square kilometers, along the coast of Mullaitheevy District of Sri Lanka, the delegation told mediapersons here.

On Friday, India asked Sri Lanka to extend a pause in war hostilities to enable civilians trapped in the conflict to leave for secure areas, saying the fate of Tamils could not be ignored.

Indian politicians face pressure to protect Sri Lankan Tamils, who are closely linked to about 60 million Tamils in Tamil Nadu.

Sri Lanka’s two-day humanitarian truce ended on Wednesday and the military announced it was now free to begin a final assault to end the 25-year war against the rebel Tamil Tigers.

In less than three years, the Sri Lankan military has retaken 15,000 square km (5,790 square mile) from the separatists and pushed them into 17 square km (6.6 square mile) of coastal coconut groves, where commanders expect to end a war that began in 1983. (ANI)

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