Sri Lankan PM rules out ceasefire with rebels 2009-03-04 23:57:41   Print

    COLOMBO, March 4 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake on Wednesday ruled out the possibility of a truce with Tamil Tiger rebels amid ceasefire call from India and the international community.

    "We will not trust the terrorist group and go for a ceasefire," Wickramanayake told parliament.

    The prime minister's response was the first government reaction to a statement by Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee that the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE) must negotiate a ceasefire to provide for safety of civilians trapped in the war zone.

    "We have neared the end of our campaign against terrorism so there is no need for a ceasefire," Wickramanayake said.

    The government accuses the LTTE of holding about 70,000 civilians as a human shield and the international community has stressed on the need to allow them free passage out of the battle zone.

    The military said the military offensive against the LTTE is at final stage as they have been limited to just 40 sq km of territory in the northern Mullaittivu district.

    The reclusive LTTE leader Velupillai Prabakaran is believed to be conducting operations from the area.

    The LTTE sought to set up a separate homeland for the minority Tamil community in the north and east claiming discrimination at the hands of the Sinhalese majority ruling community.

    More than 70,000 people have been killed in the country since the LTTE launched their armed campaign in the mid-1980s. 

Editor: Mu Xuequan
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