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Share power with Tamils: US tells Lanka – rediff

[MISC, Saturday, 14 March 2009 08:27 No Comment]

Clinton Knoll Memorial Service US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton [Images] has asked Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa to devise a political solution to the ongoing ethnic conflict in the country.

During a telephonic talk with the Sri Lankan President, Hillary also urged him to make sure that the Army does not fire into the civilian areas of the conflict zone.

 

"The Secretary stated that the Sri Lankan Army should not fire into the civilian areas of the conflict zone," the State Department Acting Deputy spokesman, Gordon Duguid, said in a statement. This was the first high-level contact between leaders of the two countries under the Obama [Images] Administration.

 

Expressing deep concern over the deteriorating conditions and increasing loss of life due to the civil war in the northern parts of the country, Hillary offered immediate and post-conflict reconstruction assistance.

She also extended condolences to the victims of the March 10 bombing outside a mosque in southern Sri Lanka [Images].

 

Hillary condemned the actions of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE [Images]) who are reported to be holding civilians as human shields, and to have shot at civilians leaving LTTE areas of control.

The Secretary of State also asked Rajapaksa to give international humanitarian relief organizations full access to the conflict area and displaced persons camps, including screening centers.

 

"The United States believes that a durable and lasting peace will only be achieved through a political solution that addresses the legitimate aspirations of all of Sri Lankas communities," Duguid said in a statement after the telephone call between the two leaders.

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