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We follow zero civilian casualty doctrine: Lanka

T V Sriram in Colombo | October 16, 2008 14:34 IST

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The Sri Lankan government on Thursday sought to assure India that its ongoing offensives on the Tamil Tiger stronghold of Kilinochchi was being carried out by following zero civilian casualty doctrine and all assistance was being provided to displaced Tamil civilians.

"We have put in a zero civilian doctrine in place in the areas bordering the government-controlled and the Liberation Ttigers of Tamil Eelam-held areas in the north," a foreign ministry spokesman said in Colombo on Wednesday night.

He said the civilian casualty had been minimal and the displaced persons were being provided relief on an emergency basis. The comments came hours after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images] conveyed India's concern over the losses and hardships faced by the civilians in the war between the LTTE [Images] and the defence forces.

However, a junior minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena ruled out any suspension of the ongoing operations against the LTTE.

"The government will not be able to suspend the ongoing operations against the LTTE terrorists merely because of protests launched by the certain people in Tamil Nadu," Abeywardena said.

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and its top military brass are claiming that their forces are on the outskirts of the crucial town of Kilinochchi and city could fall to its troops any moment.

Kilinochchi is stated to be the nerve centre and administrative headquarters of the Tamil Tigers and is only one of the two towns still being held by LTTE cadres.

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