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Lanka asks LTTE to surrender for safe exit of Tamil civilians
T V Sriram in Colombo
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March 01, 2009 18:07 IST
Buoyed by the string of recent military success against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, Sri Lanka [Images] has once again asked the beleaguered rebels to surrender to facilitate the safe exit of the Tamil civilians.

Sri Lanka has appreciated the stand of the world community including the United Nations for asking the LTTE [Images] to lay down arms.

Lankan Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama has said laying down of arms by the Tigers will enable the government to open highways to bring in the distraught Tamil civilians into the government held areas.

"The LTTE must lay down arms so that there is no need for us to launch attacks on them. You can then have an open highway in terms of getting the civilians out of the clutches of the LTTE," Bogollagama told media persons.

"This is what we have been telling the international community and the international community's call has now come on the LTTE to lay down arms," he told the UN Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs Sir John Holmes during his recent visit to Sri Lanka.

The minister said, "Visit of Holmes has benefited Sri Lanka heavily because we were able to get the UN to speak in terms of what they saw in the country and that will be shared with the distinguished member-states of the Security Council."

"This is the major step that we have achieved and we must be grateful to the UN system and also to the members of the Security Council who have had the opportunity to discuss the matter though not on the agenda, as an informal discussion," he added.

"Human corridors have been opened by us almost every day in order to see that the civilians would come," he said.

"Because we were able to maintain that response in terms of human corridors that we were able to register over 32,000 IDPs coming from the LTTE areas during the last month through the government controlled areas," Bogollagama added.

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