Govt welcomes EU call
EU Troika visit awaited:
The Government of Sri Lanka welcomes the European Union’s (EU) call
to the LTTE to lay down its arms and renounce terrorism and violence
once and for all, as contained in the European Union’s Council
Conclusions on Sri Lanka of 23 February 2009, said a statement issued by
the Foreign Affairs Ministry yesterday.
If the LTTE heeds this call, the requirement of an immediate
ceasefire as urged by the EU will not arise, the statement further
The Government of Sri Lanka considers it important to be closely
engaged with the EU in its efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to
the civilians displaced in the conflict.
In this context, the Government looks forward to a visit of the EU-TROIKA
at an early date, the modalities for which are being discussed,” the
It also said:
It may be noted that the Government of Sri Lanka did suspend
hostilities for a 48 hour period and designated no-fire zones, to allow
safe passage of the civilian population fleeing the conflict areas. The
LTTE’s only response was to continue with its armed hostilities,
endangering the lives of civilians.
It should be emphasized that the objective of the present military
engagement is to defeat terrorism and create an environment conducive
for democratic pluralism.
In this regard President Mahinda Rajapaksa has consistently
reiterated his firm commitment to a negotiated settlement through an
inclusive political process to address the legitimate concerns of all
communities, which has already been initiated.
The Government of Sri Lanka is deeply committed to ensuring the
safety and well-being of the innocent civilians who are being used as
human shields by the LTTE in the rapidly shrinking uncleared area in the
Amidst extremely hazardous circumstances, the Government is
continuing to keep the civilians supplied with food, medicine, and other
essential services, which underscores the duty and concern towards its
own citizens, thus also fulfilling its obligations under International
Humanitarian Law and the principles of the laws of war.