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Sri Lanka Tigers urged to end war

[BBC, Tuesday, 3 February 2009 15:47 No Comment]

_45440985_2abfff00-a947-43a7-a016-5c392df4be85 The US, EU, Japan and Norway have urged Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tiger rebels to lay down their arms and discuss ending hostilities with the government.

The nations said there only remained a short time before the Tigers lost the territory still under their control.

Both sides "should recognise that further loss of life – of civilians and combatants – will serve no cause", the nations said.

 

The Sri Lankan government says it is close to defeating the rebels.

 

Up to 250,000 civilians may be trapped by the fighting.

 

‘Sovereignty’

Norway, Japan, the US and the EU are described as the Tokyo Co-Chairs, who sat at the Tokyo Conference on Reconstruction and Development of Sri Lanka in 2003.

 

In a joint statement, they expressed "great concern" for the plight of civilians.

 

They urged the rebels to "discuss with the government of Sri Lanka the modalities for ending hostilities, including the laying down of arms, renunciation of violence, acceptance of the government of Sri Lanka’s offer of amnesty; and participating as a political party in a process to achieve a just and lasting political solution".

 

The nations also urged both sides to "declare a temporary no-fire period to allow for evacuation of sick and wounded, and provision of aid to civilians".

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