Concerned over increasing number of civilian casualties in the shrinking combat zone in Sri Lanka, the US and Britain today asked Colombo and the LTTE to immediately end hostilities and allow humanitarian aid to flow in the area where thousands of civilians are trapped.
In a joint statement, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and visiting British Foreign Secretary David Miliband called on all sides to end hostilities immediately and allow for the safe evacuation of the tens of thousands of civilians trapped within the safe zone.
"Secretary Clinton and Foreign Secretary Miliband call for a political solution that reconciles all Sri Lankans, and establishes a meaningful role for Tamil and other minorities in national political life," the statement said.
"The LTTE must lay down their arms and allow civilians free passage out of the conflict zone. The government of Sri Lanka must abide by its commitment of April 27 to end major combat operations and the use of heavy weapons," it said.
The statement asked the Sri Lankan Government and LTTE to allow a UN humanitarian team to visit the conflict zone to facilitate the safe evacuation of civilians.
The two leaders urged both sides to allow food and medical assistance to reach those trapped by fighting, facilitate the evacuation of urgent medical cases, to ensure the safety of aid workers, and permit humanitarian access to all sites where displaced persons are being provided shelter.