Truce not a ceasefire
Disaster Management Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe yesterday said the
48-hour truce period granted by President Mahinda Rajapaksa to free
civilians out of LTTE bondage was in no way a ceasefire.
Addressing a press conference, following a meeting and a presentation
by the Army Commander Sarath Fonseka to the Diplomatic community in Sri
Lanka, at the Presidential Secretariat in Colombo Minister Samarasinghe
told journalists that bilateral and multilateral discussions had been
held with the diplomatic community pertaining to the current situation
in the conflict region in the north.
“The talks centred on the performance of our war heroes in the north,
were open, frank and transparent. They were also very comprehensive,
informative and positive,” Minister Samarasinghe said.
Responding to queries from journalists, Minister Samarasinghe
categorically stated that the Government is determined not to have a
This special measure had been taken to ensure the welfare and the
security of the civilians in the north, he said.
The Government in this context, was urging the LTTE to let go
innocent civilians, men, women and children within the next 48-hour, to
the declared ‘Safe Zone’, the Minister said.
Armed Forces have detected that the LTTE were keeping heavy weaponry
near to the ‘Ceasefire Zone’. However, the Armed Forces would make sure
that they strictly refrain from targeting the civilians, he said.
In relation to the ambiguity of civilian figures in Mullaitivu, the
Minister said that according to statistics received from the Mullaitivu
Government Ajent, there seems to be around 20,000 families.
Nevertheless, the Nation Building Ministry figures reveal that there has
been a duplication in the said lists.