India should apply pressure on Sri Lanka: CPI-M (Lead)

April 24th, 2009 - 8:06 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, April 24 (IANS) India should mobilise international opinion and apply pressure on Sri Lanka to end the humanitarian crisis in the island nation, Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) general secretary Prakash Karat said here Friday.
“India should rally international opinion and use pressure on Sri Lanka,” Karat told reporters here.

“Though we have sent our foreign secretary (Shivshankar Menon) and national security advisor (M.K. Narayanan) to Colombo, Sri Lanka should be pressurised to stop military action. LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) should be asked to surrender,” he said.

The CPI-M politburo also called upon the LTTE to give up “its futile resistance”.

The politburo expressed “deep concern” over the plight of tens of thousands of Tamil civilians trapped in the war zone in northern Sri Lanka. More than 100,000 ailing and wounded Tamils have already fled from the conflict zone to to government-held areas.

“The Sri Lankan government should heed the call of the UN Security Council and take urgent measures, including cessation of hostilities, to rescue civilians who are being forcibly held by the LTTE,” it said.

“The Sri Lankan government should allow relief agencies, including the Red Cross, to access the war zone. The CPI-M considers the saving of the lives of the civilian population as of paramount concern. The LTTE should stop its futile resistance.”

The party urged the Indian government to impress upon Sri Lanka “that it cannot carry on military hostilities in a situation where the lives of thousands of people are at stake”.

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