Sri Lanka rejects Canada’s call for ceasefireMay 4th, 2009 - 11:31 pm ICT by IANS
Colombo, May 4 (IANS) Sri Lanka Monday rejected a call by Canada for a ceasefire in the island’s north, where the army has cornered Tamil Tigers in its ongoing fight-to-finish military campaign.
Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama conveyed his government’s position when he was met by Canada’s Minister for International Co-operation Beverley J. Oda, who is on a brief official visit to Colombo.
Responding to the ceasefire call by Canada, Colombo “noted that the last unilateral humanitarian pause in military action by the government April 12, in the expectation that the (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) LTTE will release the civilians, was a failure”, a foreign ministry statement here said Monday.
“In fact, the LTTE had used the pause to strengthen its fortifications in the NFZ (No Fire Zone) and actively prevented civilians from leaving,” the statement said.
Bogollagama pointed out that it was only after the Sri Lankan security forces breached the embankments and bunds of the rebels and released the civilians “from LTTE captivity in their thousands”.
The Sri Lankan military says the LTTE, which had been fighting to carve out a separate state over a quarter century, has now been cornered into a small coastal land strip of less than 10 sq km and is “facing an inevitable defeat”.
According to statistics, nearly 200,000 people have fled the war-zone and come to the government-held areas since the beginning of this year. They have been temporarily housed at refugee camps and welfare centers in the northern Vavuniya town.
A group of all party parliamentarians of Britain also arrived in Sri Lanka Monday aiming to take stock of the humanitarian situation as a result of the military operation against Tamil Tiger rebels in the country’s north.
The group includes the Labour party parliamentarian Des Browne who was recently rejected by Colombo to be appointed as Britain’s special envoy on the Sri Lankan conflict.
Officials here said the parliamentarians are visiting the country at the invitation of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and is scheduled to visit the IDP camps northern town of Vavuniya.
- Sri Lanka releases 100 LTTE rebels held in military-run camps - Dec 26, 2010
- 'Sri Lanka's ties with China no threat to India' - Dec 29, 2011
- Will get Sri Lankan Tamils their rights: Jayalalithaa - Aug 11, 2011
- Tamil Tigers on last leg declare truce, Sri lanka wants surrender (Roundup) - Apr 26, 2009
- British, French foreign ministers arrive in Colombo (Lead) - Apr 29, 2009
- British parliamentarians visit Sri Lanka to review crisis - May 04, 2009
- Miliband meets Sri Lankan counterpart, calls for cease-fire - Apr 29, 2009
- UN concerned over civilians trapped in Sri Lanka war (Lead) - Apr 07, 2009
- British, French ministers to visit Sri Lanka battle zone - Apr 29, 2009
- Sri Lanka admits civilian deaths during separatist war - Aug 02, 2011
- Mathai raises issue of Tamil fishermen with Sri Lanka - Oct 10, 2011
- India votes for US resolution on Sri Lanka (Lead) - Mar 22, 2012
- Sri Lanka, Singapore sign trade agreement - Feb 16, 2012
- Sri Lanka launches 'world's largest mission' to rescue civilians - Apr 10, 2009
- Demining: US official in Sri Lanka (With Image) - May 02, 2012
Tags: bunds, ceasefire, coastal land, embankments, humanitarian pause, humanitarian situation, labour party, liberation tigers of tamil eelam, liberation tigers of tamil eelam ltte, military campaign, military operation, ministry statement, refugee camps, sri lankan conflict, sri lankan military, sri lankan security, tamil tiger rebels, tamil tigers, vavuniya town, welfare centers