Act responsibly or be chased out: SL tells foreigners

Sri Lanka on Sunday warned foreign diplomats,western journalists and international aid agencies that they would be ‘chased away’ from the island if they attempt to side with the LTTE.

Written by Agencies | Colombo | Published: February 1, 2009 5:27:51 pm

Sri Lanka on Sunday warned foreign diplomats,western journalists and international aid agencies that they would be ‘chased away’ from the island if they attempt to side with the beleaguered Tamil Tigers.

“They will be chased away (if they try) to give a second wind to the LTTE terrorists at a time the security forces,at heavy cost,are dealing them the final death blow,” Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa said.

His remarks came as the aid agencies and western media accused the Government of not doing enough to rescue civilians trapped in the fighting between the Army and LTTE.

Rajapakse also turned the heat on international media like CNN,Al-Jazeera and ‘especially’ the BBC,accusing them of trying to sensationalise civilian hardships by telecasting video clips from websites owning allegiance to LTTE.

“These video clips do not indicate bombings or explosions,” Rajapakse,who is also the brother of President Mahinda Rajapakse,was quoted as saying in the ‘Sunday Island’ newspaper.

The Defence Secretary urged the international community,including UN agencies,ICRC and media,to exert maximum pressure on the Tigers and make them release civilians trapped in the war zone and stop using them as human shields.

This is the last chance that the LTTE has of sincerely minimising civilian casualties by giving them safe passage out of the conflict zone,Rajapakse said.

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