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Japan to LTTE:

Allow civilians to free movement

Calling upon the LTTE to allow the freedom of movement of civilians, Japan welcomed the Government's announcement of restricted operations for 48 hours during New Year to allow civilians to be released from the 'No fire Zone', a media release from the Director General for Press, Japanese Foreign Affairs Ministry said.

It said: "Japan is concerned that a large number of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) are in a difficult situation in the northern part of Sri Lanka. In this regard it welcomed the move by the Government to announce the pause in operations on April 12."

The Foreign Ministry release stated that Japan continue to strongly work on the concerned parties, including President Mahinda Rajapaksa, to ensure the safety of IDPs. Japanese Special Envoy Yasushi Akashi was dispatched to Colombo in January and a series of Co-Chair meetings were held in this regard.

"Japan continues our endeavour to bring progress in the political process towards a permanent solution."

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