UN demands LTTE to lay down arms and free civilians immediately
The United Nations Security Council has demanded LTTE
terrorists to renounce violence, lay down arms and to stop using
civilians as human shield immediately.
"The LTTE is a terrorist organization and should be
condemned for its use of civilian as a human shield. The LTTE should
immediately lay down arms and renounce its terror tactics", said
Ambassador Claude Heller, the President of the UN Security Council
summing up the views expressed by the Members of the Security Council at
an informal briefing on Wednesday (April 22).
According to defence observers this is a strong
message to the LTTE terrorists and a denial of any breather what so ever
expected by its sympathizers and its paid henchmen.
The informal briefing to the Council was a follow-up
to the visit of UN Under-Secretary General Vijey Nambiar to Sri Lanka
earlier this week. The Security Council unanimously agreed that the
LTTE's holding civilians hostage was unacceptable and welcomed the
movement of large numbers of civilians out of harms way. They called on
the international community to extend all assistance to the Sri Lankan
Government to deal with the influx of civilians who are fleeing from the
Significantly, the Security Council did not call for a
ceasefire or a humanitarian pause believing that this would only provide
a breathing space for the LTTE and prolong the civilian suffering. They
concluded that the quickest way to end this conflict was for LTTE to lay
down arms, surrender and let the political process proceed as there was
no military solution.
At this informal interactive session held yesterday,
the members also urged the government to be cautious about the civilians
when taking military action to secure a safe passage for civilians. They
also called on the Government to work closely with the UN in providing
humanitarian assistance to the displaced civilians including those in
Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to UN, Ambassador
Palihakkara gave assurances to the Council Members that the military was
not planning any final assault that could endanger the lives of
civilians. He also recalled the assurances given by the Government that
it was not firing heavy weapons into the safe zone
Declared by the government and stated that if these
allegations were true the civilians would not have left in such large
numbers seeking safety from the Government. He gave a detailed account
of the steps taken by the Government to address the humanitarian
situation in close collaboration with the UN and other humanitarian
agencies on the Ground.
Meanwhile, China, Russia and other countries view that
Sri Lanka's fight against terrorism as an internal problem rather than a
situation for any international intervention.