A fervent appeal by Catholic and Anglican bishops for a ceasefire with the LTTE during the Christmas and New Year season has failed to evoke a positive response from the Sri Lankan government, which vowed to continue with the offensive against the Tamil Tigers.
The government on Thursday said it would not go in for a truce despite an appeal made by the Catholic and Anglican bishops.
It would declare a ceasefire only if the LTTE laid down its arms and agreed to a political discussion to settle the issue, Media Centre for National Security (MCNS) Director Lakshman Hulugalla told ‘Daily Mirror’.
"The government has categorically said that it will go in for a ceasefire only if the Tigers lay down their arms. Till then there will be no decision of a ceasefire," he said.
Catholic and Anglican bishops on Thursday called for a truce between the government and the LTTE during the Christmas and New Year period.
The bishops from Colombo, Kurunegala and the conflict areas in the North requested a period free from military action that would in turn benefit the civilians, the ‘Daily Mirror’ said.
The move was aimed at depicting a politically mature image of Sri Lanka to the international community, the bishops had contended in a statement.
They said they believed the season would be an ideal time for restoration of severed ties between the races, when people from all faiths would be brought together in celebrating a holiday that inspires giving, sharing and forgiveness.