US-led quartet asks LTTE to lay down arms
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Author:  Guest [ Wed Feb 04, 2009 12:15 pm ]
Post subject:  US-led quartet asks LTTE to lay down arms

US-led quartet asks LTTE to lay down arms

Wednesday, February 4, 2009
@ The Hindu

Colombo (PTI): The US-led group of countries that have backed the peace process in Sri Lanka on Tuesday asked the beleaguered Tamil Tigers to lay down arms, warning that Army was just a "short period" away from routing the rebels completely.

Voicing concern over the plight of thousands of civilians trapped in the fighting zone in the North, the "Co-Chairs" of the Tokyo Conference on Reconstruction and Development of Sri Lanka jointly asked the LTTE to disarm in order to avoid further bloodshed, the Daily Mirror online reported.

The "Co-chairs" that consist of Norway, Japan, US and EU, who have backed the Oslo-led peace talks between the government and the LTTE, asked both parties in a statement to not to fire into the "safe zones," the paper said.

"There remains probably only a short period of time before the LTTE loses control of all areas in the North. The LTTE and the Government of Sri Lanka should recognise that further loss of life – of civilians and combatants – will serve no cause," a statement by the Co-Chairs said.

The group asked the LTTE to discuss with the government the modalities for ending hostilities, including laying down of arms and renunciation of violence.

They also call on both sides to allow food and medical assistance to reach those trapped by fighting, cooperate with ICRC to facilitate the evacuation of urgent medical cases, and ensure the safety of aid and medical workers, the paper said.

The appeal came as the Red Cross said that a hospital treating wounded civilians was hit by artillery shells in Mullaittivu in the embattled north, killing at least 12 people and injuring 30.

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