Saturday, August 9, 2008

“Cut off NGOs’ aid to LTTE”

Sri Lanka on Thursday reasserted there was no question of holdings talks or declare a ceasefire unless the LTTE lays down its weapons and demonstrates its genuine interest to negotiate.

Minister and spokesperson Keheliya Rembukwella said at a news conference “rumours” were spread during the recent SAARC Summit that security forces had halted the offensive in the north. “There is not an iota of truth in these rumours. As a matter of policy, the government is determined to weaken the LTTE militarily.” He claimed the police and security forces were engaged in a “humanitarian mission with a great determination to liberate Kilinochchi and Mullathivu...”

“The government has taken a policy decision to continue this humanitarian mission until all the innocent Tamil civilians are liberated from the LTTE. Till that [goal is achieved], the government will never go for negotiations or accept the conditions put forward by the terrorists,” he said.

Military spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara claimed the forces are advancing into the LTTE’s remaining strongholds in the north. In multiple assaults on LTTE strongholds, at least 10 LTTE cadre and one soldier were killed, and 36 Tigers injured. Separately, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said “denying LTTE access to INGO [International NGO] and NGO material” is a critical element in Sri Lanka’s efforts to destroy the group. In an interview to an English daily, he referred to concerns over the “use of heavy vehicles belonging to the Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) by the LTTE for terror activities.”

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