Tokyo co-chair asks LTTE to lay down arms | world | Hindustan Times
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Tokyo co-chair asks LTTE to lay down arms

world Updated: Feb 05, 2009 04:46 IST
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Worried over the worsening conditions of civilians in Sri Lanka's northern region, the donor countries led by Japan have called upon the LTTE to lay down arms and accept the government's amnesty.

The "co-chairs" of the Tokyo Donor Conference on Reconstruction and Development of Sri Lanka also called on both the Sri Lankan Government and the LTTE to observe a temporary no–fire period.

The Tokyo Co-Chairs (Norway, Japan, US and the EU) yesterday admitted to their failure to persuade the LTTE to allow civilians freedom of movement in the areas held by them.

"International efforts to persuade the LTTE to allow the civilians freedom of movement have failed. There remains probably only a short period of time before the LTTE loses control of all areas in the North", the Tokyo co-chairs said in a release.

The co-chairs also called on the LTTE to discuss with the Government of Sri Lanka the modalities for ending hostilities, including the laying down of arms, renunciation of violence, acceptance of the Government of Sri Lanka's offer of amnesty and participating as a political party in a process to achieve a just and lasting political solution.

They also asked the Government the LTTE to declare a temporary no-fire period to allow for evacuation of sick and wounded, and provision of aid to civilians.

"The co-chairs call on the LTTE and the Government of Sri Lanka not to fire out of or into the no-fire zone established by the Government or in the vicinity of the PTK hospital in the Wanni (or any other medical structure), where more than 500 patients are receiving care and many hundreds more have sought refuge," the statement said.