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UNSC demands LTTE to lay down arms

Recognizing the legitimate right of the Sri Lankan Government to fight terrorism, the UN Security Council (UNSC) yesterday demanded the LTTE to lay down arms and allow civilians, still trapped in the war zone, to leave.

Reading out an official statement following a 'closed-door talk' between the members, the Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, said "Members of the Council strongly condemn the LTTE for its acts of terrorism over many years and for its continued use of civilians as human shield". The statement also stated that the Council acknowledges the right of the Government of Sri Lanka to combat terrorism'.

Russia holds the 15 member body's rotating presidency for May.

Expressing grave concern of the plight of civilians in the shrinking pocket of coastal stretch in the North East where LTTE hold them hostage, the Security Council called on the Government 'to take further steps to facilitate the evacuation of trapped civilians and urgent delivery of humanitarian assistance'.

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