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Canada calls for political solution in Sri Lanka

[AFP, Wednesday, 4 February 2009 18:21 No Comment]

capt.photo_1233768171592-1-0 Canada’s top diplomat on Wednesday pressed for a ceasefire in Sri Lanka to allow civilians to escape fighting between government forces and rebels.

 

"Canada calls for the government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to declare and honor an immediate ceasefire to allow full, safe and unhindered access; the evacuation of the sick and wounded; and the delivery of much-needed humanitarian assistance to civilians," Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon said in a statement.

 

As well, Ottawa endorsed peace proposals by the co-chairs of the Tokyo Donor Conference on Reconstruction and Development of Sri Lanka — Norway, Japan, the United States and the European Union.

Sri Lanka’s government, which pulled out of a Norwegian-brokered truce a year ago, has so far rejected a new ceasefire, vowing instead to crush the Tigers.

 

"All efforts must be made to avoid civilian casualties," said Cannon, adding Canada "strongly condemns" the recent shelling of a hospital in Puthukkudiyiruppu and firing into the government-designated safe area.

"We continue to believe that the conflict cannot be resolved militarily and can only be settled through a durable political solution that meets the legitimate aspirations of all the people of Sri Lanka," he said.

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