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The Hindu – US cautions SL on military end to ethnic conflict

April 27, 2009

US cautions SL on military end to ethnic conflict

Talking tough, the US on Friday told Sri Lanka and LTTE to immediately end the war in the island’s north and cautioned Colombo that its unity and reconciliation could be at stake if it continued with its current endeavours to end the ethnic c onflict “militarily”.

The White House, in its first statement on the Sri Lankan conflict after President Mr Barack Obama assumed office on January 20, said it was taking “very seriously” the allegations of violations of international humanitarian law by both sides.

“Further continuation of the present situation would compound the tragedy as the military end of the conflict only breeds further enmity and ends hopes for reconciliation and a unified Sri Lanka in the future,” the White House said.

It said the US is deeply concerned about the plight of innocent civilians caught up in the conflict between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Tamil Tigers, who are confined to a 10 sq.km swathe of coastal land in Mullaitivu in Wanni region, and the mou nting death toll.

“We call on both sides to stop fighting immediately and allow civilians to safely leave the combat zone,” it said. The White House asked Sri Lanka to stop shelling the ‘safe zone’ and asked it to allow international aid groups and media from accessing ci vilians who have managed to escape from the clutches of LTTE. – PTI

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