India asks Lanka to work out evacuation of civilians

In the wake of reports that LTTE is ready to discuss allowing civilians to leave the conflict zone, India on Tuesday asked the Sri Lankan government and others to work out "appropriate and credible" procedures for their evacuation and expressed readiness to help in this direction.
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Updated on Feb 24, 2009 02:01 PM IST
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PTI | By, New Delhi

In the wake of reports that LTTE is ready to discuss allowing civilians to leave the conflict zone, India on Tuesday asked the Sri Lankan government and others to work out "appropriate and credible" procedures for their evacuation and expressed readiness to help in this direction.

"We have seen reports that the LTTE has declared its willingness to discuss international appeals to permit internally displaced persons (IDPs) caught in the zone of conflict to leave the area for safety," External Affairs Ministry spokesman Vishnu Prakash said here in a statement.

"In this context, India appeals to the Sri Lankan Government and to all concerned to work out appropriate and credible procedures for the evacuation of IDPs to safety, which would include the international agencies being able to oversee the movement of the IDPs," he said.

He said small numbers of medical evacuees have already been brought out of the conflict zone over the last few days by sea. "We would urge all concerned to make it possible for much larger numbers to be brought out both over land and by sea," Prakash said.

"India is ready to provide all necessary help to facilitate the process of bringing innocent civilians to safety and to meet their humanitarian needs for relief materials, medicines and medical care," the spokesman said.

He said India is working out modalities with Sri Lankan government to arrange for early dispatch of medical help and medicine to reach sick and injured civilians.

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