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Humanitarian situation is dire in Sri Lanka: US

world Updated: Apr 21, 2009 08:10 IST
Humanitarian situation is dire in Sri Lanka: US

As Sri Lankan Army prepares for a final assault against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), the United States on Tuesday expressed its deep concern over humanitarian situation in the conflict zones there saying "it is in terrible condition".

"We are very concerned about humanitarian situation there. It is dire," State Department Acting Spokesman, Robert Wood, told reporters in response to a question.

He called on both the parties in Sri Lanka to cease their violent activity and protect the civilians in the safe zones.

Observing that the US was working with a number of interested parties with regard to see the end of this conflict, he said the US would continue trying in this regard.

"But it's important that both sides minimize, to the greatest possible extent, any civilian casualties, protect civilians, allow humanitarian organizations to get food to the people who need it," the Obama administration official said.

Stating the ground conditions there as "very serious" Wood said, "the US would continue to work with others in the international community to try to see what can be done to stop it."

As of now the immediate concern for the US and the international community is to ensure safety of innocent civilians is trapped in the middle of this conflict, he added.

"We want to try to do everything that we can to protect them and make sure that they get the assistance that they need," Wood said.

Responding to a question, he said the US does not has a "magic formula" in terms of how to deal with it. "But we are going to continue - the US and others who are interested in seeing this conflict end immediately - to work to try to convince both sides in the interest of their people to try to minimize any harm to civilians," Wood said.