B. Muralidhar Reddy

“Let it give a one-hour pause for civilians”

COLOMBO: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has said that those pressuring his government for a “humanitarian pause of few more days” should instead appeal to the LTTE to give freedom of movement “just for one hour” to innocent civilians stranded in the no-fire zone (NFZ). Mr. Rajapaksa did not name any country.

Addressing a gathering of practitioners of alternative medicine and agricultural unions from the Western Province at Temple Trees on Saturday evening, Mr. Rajapaksa asserted, “Let [the] LTTE give a one-hour pause and I am sure nothing would prevent the civilians from crossing over to the government-controlled areas.” The observations of Mr. Rajapaksa came even as the military said that over 2,800 civilians crossed over from the NFZ to the government-controlled territory on Saturday. This is the largest number of civilians to cross over from the war zone on a single day in the last few months.

Earlier on Friday, Mr. Rajapaksa maintained that his government took crucial decisions on the basis of national interests and expected support from the international community without any hindrance or disruption.

“Will meet Waterloo”

Addressing workers of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), Mr. Rajapaksa maintained that the LTTE leaders trapped within a few square kilometres of the NFZ would meet their Waterloo soon.

“They have only three alternatives. Either they have to surrender to our armed forces, eat the cyanide capsule and commit suicide, or plunge into the sea.” Mr. Rajapaksa claimed that when the people accepted his Mahinda Chintana policies and elected him as the President, they were not concerned about their hunger. “They were solely concerned about the future security of their country. They wanted their motherland to be free from terrorism, and fragmentation as per the agreements inked between the terrorists and the past governments.”

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