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Colombo assures U.S. of civilian safety

[Hindu, Friday, 13 March 2009 19:45 No Comment]

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa assured U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Friday that his government would ensure safety of civilians stranded in the last remaining area under the control of the LTTE.

 

According to a press statement issued by the President’s Secretariat, Ms. Clinton telephoned Mr. Rajapaksa and discussed the situation. It said she acknowledged that Sri Lanka was on the verge of defeating terrorism, and that this presented a great opportunity to restore peace, leading to reconstruction and rehabilitation.

 

Separately, Mr. Rajapaksa told visiting British Shadow Defence Secretary Liam Fox that his government was committed to eradication of terrorism and addressing the grievances of the minorities through dialogue.

A statement issued by the Presidential Secretariat here quoted Dr. Fox as telling Mr. Rajapaksa that the LTTE leader Velupillai Prabakaran was not interested in a political solution, but only in establishing a personal fiefdom for himself. Foreign Minister, Rohitha Minister Bogollagama explained that the envisaged political process was moving positively leading to the implementation of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.

 

Separately, the military claimed that troops had entered the final phase of the counter-terrorist offensive against the LTTE.

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