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SL to prevent 'collateral' damage to Tamil civilians

world Updated: Feb 27, 2009 16:16 IST

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Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has said his government was committed towards preventing "collateral" damages to Tamil civilians as the war to crush the LTTE reaches the final stages.

"It is the Sri Lankan government’s consistent stand to prevent collateral damage being caused to civilians in the final phase of the current military operations to defeat terrorism in the country," Rajapaksa told the Nepalese Foreign Affairs Minister Upendra Yadav on Thursday during a meeting.

Replying a query the President also explained that the Lankan security forces were adopting a cautious approach in pursuing their operations against the terrorists in order to avoid civilian casualties, a Sri Lankan government release said.

The Nepalese Foreign Affairs Minister, who is in Colombo to attend the SAARC meeting, held discussions with his Sri Lankan counterpart, Rohitha Bogollagama and reviewed the relations between the two nations.

Both the ministers recalled the centuries old cultural and religious bond between the two countries due to the common thread of Buddhism.

About 45,000 Sri Lankan Buddhist pilgrims annually visit Nepal to pay homage to the sacred sites with footprints of Lord Buddha.