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Lanka virtually rejects India's appeal for ceasefire with LTTE
TV Sriram in Colombo | March 01, 2009 19:46 IST
Virtually rejecting India's appeal to pause hostilities with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam, the Sri Lankan government on Sunday said the conflict will "stop immediately" when the Tamil rebels lay down their arms.
Colombo also said it had not received any formal communication so far from New Delhi [Images] in this regard.
"We have not received any communication from India. Our position is that the Tigers should lay down weapons and violence will not be there," Sri Lankan Foreign Secretary Palitha Kohona told PTI when asked about his reaction to Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee's [Images] appeal.
"It is reported that the LTTE [Images] has offered a ceasefire. While this may fall short of a declaration of willingness to lay down arms, it is our view that the government of Sri Lanka [Images] should seize the opportunity presented by the offer to bring about a pause in the hostilities," Mukherjee had said in a statement in New Delhi on Saturday.
"We have no formal communication from India. When the Tigers lay down arms, there will be no fighting. Then the firing will stop immediately," Kohona said when asked to react to the Indian Minister's observations.
Noting with grave concern the deteriorating humanitarian crisis in Sri Lanka, Mukherjee had urged the Sri Lankan government to bring about a pause in hostilities and work for safe passage for trapped civilians.