India asks Sri Lanka, LTTE to stop fighting

February 5th, 2009 - 4:41 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 5 (IANS) The Indian government Thursday voiced “deep concern” over the situation in Sri Lanka and called upon both Colombo and the Tamil Tigers to end their hostilities.Speaking to reporters after a cabinet meeting earlier in the day, Home Minister P. Chidambaram said both the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) “should heed our appeal”.

“The central government is deeply concerned over the situation in Sri Lanka,” said Chidambaram.

He said India was “able to prevail on the Sri Lankan government to pause the (military) operations for 48 hours”. But he pointed out that there was no response from the LTTE.

“The operations have resumed. Even today, there is no response from the LTTE.

“Both sides should heed our appeal. The LTTE must lay down their arms. Similarly, Sri Lanka must suspend the hostilities. Only when both hands come together can you clap.

“All of us are deeply anguished when lives are lost. We will do and will do what is in our capacity to do (to restore peace).”

Asked if LTTE cadres could slip into Tamil Nadu along with Tamil refugees, he replied: “We have sensitised the state government. The LTTE is a banned organisation in India.”

Chidambaram’s comments came as Sri Lanka said it was poised to crush the LTTE in Mullaitivu district, where the last of the Tamil Tiger guerrillas have been cornered in an area measuring less than 300 sq km.

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