As Sri Lankan forces step up attacks to take control of a key Tamil Tigers' stronghold, the government has ruled out any ceasefire and asked the Liberation Tigers of the Tamil Eelam to lay down arms and surrender.
Lankan Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake informed the parliament on Wednesday that the government has no intention to go for a ceasefire with the LTTE [Images]. "Every time when the LTTE faced a severe set back, they spoke about a ceasefire. But the LTTE cannot mislead this government through such traps," he said.
"Our Armed Forces have been able to reveal to the country how the LTTE terrorists were strengthened during the ceasefire period. If that trend continued, the entire country would have been in danger," Wickramanaye told the House.
Meanwhile, the an LTTE Spokesman Thileepan has told an Australian radio network that the outfit was willing to enter into ceasefire with the Sri Lankan government, but would not agree to surrender. Wickramanayake said the best opportunity has now been created to eradicate LTTE terrorism which threatened the country for the last three decades.
The Premier participating in the Emergency debate said the day to eliminate terrorism may be "tomorrow, the day after or after some days." "The international observers have pointed out on many occasions that the LTTE had violated the ceasefire agreement. In this situation, how can we go for a ceasefire with the LTTE by further placing confidence on them?" the Premier queried.
The Premier said that at present the people have understood the actual situation and people living in uncleared areas in the North are returning to government controlled areas even risking their lives. He underlined that terrorists even in the face of their total annihilation, attempt to cause maximum damage to the civilians and the Armed Forces and the government has clearly understood this situation.
Meanwhile, the Tamil rebels in Sri Lanka [Images] have rejected a call by the International Committee of the Red Cross for a mass evacuation of tens-of-thousands of civilians trapped with them amid fierce fighting against government forces.
In an exclusive interview to the Australian government funded SBS Radio, a spokesman for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, identifying himself as Thileepan, said the civilians did not want to leave the LTTE-controlled area. Thileepan said this was despite a looming humanitarian disaster which he alleged were caused by government restrictions on food and medical supplies in the area. Thileepan claimed that more than 350,000 people were living with the LTTE and right now about four villages were under their control - Mattalam, Pokkarnai, Mulliyavaikal and Puthmattalam.