Sri Lankan gov't says civilians held by rebels against their wishes 2008-10-25 19:33:55   Print

    COLOMBO, Oct. 25 (Xinhua) -- Some 200,000 civilians were being held against their wishes in Tamil Tiger rebels held territory, the Sri Lankan government said on Saturday.

    "We are aware that nearly 200,000 civilians are being held by the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) without allowing them to come over to the government controlled areas," Rajiva Wijesinghe, the head of the government Peace Secretariat said on aprivate television channel.

    "As a government we are sending all humanitarian assistance to the civilians," Wijesinghe stressed.

    Government troops say they are making an advance into the last two of the rebels held areas in the north, Kilinochchi and Mullaithivu districts.

    Civilians are unable to arrive in the government held areas as they are prevented by the LTTE, the government said.

    A large civilian population is believed to be in the eastern part of Kilinochchi district in temporary shelters.

    They continue to live in the area despite the government declaring a demilitarized zone covering three areas where safety is to be provided for them.

    International humanitarian agencies have expressed concern over the plight of the civilians.

    A. C. M. Razik, the secretary of the Ministry of Resettlement and Rehabilitation, said that some 29 lorries with humanitarian supplies left the northern town of Vavuniya for the rebels held areas on Friday.

    The Commissioner General of Essential Services, S. B. Divaratnesaid over 3000 metric tons of supplies had been despatched to be used by the internally displaced people since Oct. 2.

    The military operations currently going on would soon reach the decisive stage, analysts said.

    The military say it will only be a matter of time before both districts are made free of rebels.

Editor: Du Guodong
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