“The Government of India views with grave concern the humanitarian concern that is building up with every passing day in Sri Lanka,” [ Indian External Affairs Minister] Mukherjee said in a statement.
Citing reports which suggest that over 70,000 civilians are trapped in the conflict zone in Sri Lanka, he said there is acute shortage of food, water and medicines and many innocent lives have been lost in the conflict zone.
“It is reported that the LTTE has offered a ceasefire. While this may fall short of a declaration of willingness to lay down arms, it is our view that the government of Sri Lanka should seize the opportunity presented by the offer to bring about a pause in the hostilities,” Mukherjee said.
“The government of India would, therefore, appeal to the government of Sri Lanka to immediately work out safe passage for trapped civilians to secure locations,” he said, adding this would require the cooperation of LTTE.
“I sincerely hope that the government of Sri Lanka and all others will respond to this sincere appeal that is made in the interest of all sections of the people of Sri Lanka,” the External Affairs Minister said.
He said the pause in hostilities must be utilised to facilitate the movement of Tamil population out of the war-affected areas to secure locations. (Indian Express)
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