Norway breaks silence, condemns war

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 27 January 2009, 10:21 GMT]
The Norwegian Foreign Minister, Jonas Gahr Støre, in a statement issued on Tuesday said his government condemned the ongoing war in Sri Lanka, which has caused "unacceptable sufferings to the civilians," in the country. Meanwhile, International Development Minister Erik Solheim has called on the parties stressing that all the people in conflict area should be able to move freely and that the civilians who flee the war must be assured a dignified and respectful treatment under the supervision and monitoring of UN and international observers. "The sick and the wounded must be given access for treatment and ambulances must be able to travel unhindered, in and out of the conflict area," Mr. Solheim has demanded.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement to this effect in Norwegian language on Tuesday.

Jonas Gahr Støre [R] and Erik Solheim [L]
Erik Solheim [L] and Jonas Gahr Støre [R]
The Norwegian Minister for International Develoment, Erik Solheim, who re-established his position in the Norwegian politics following his active engagement in the Sri Lankan peace process, said: "I am deeply distressed to learn the situation of the civilians who are trapped inside the conflict area in the North of Sri Lanka."

He called on all efforts to be focused on stopping the sufferings of the civilians.

"We are receiving information that the number of civilian casualties are ever- increasing and that the civilians are caught up in the crossfire between the parties. This is very serious. Both the Government of Sri Lanka and the Tamil Tigers (LTTE) have a responsibility to protect the civilians and to avoid further civilians getting killed."

"All the people in conflict area should be able to move freely. Both the parties must respect this. Civilians who flee the war must be assured a dignified and respectful treatment under the supervision and monitoring of UN and international monitors," he said.

"In addition, both the parties must ensure that food and other humanitarian supplies reach the civilians in need. The sick and the wounded must be given access for treatment and ambulances must be able to travel unhindered, in and out of the conflict area," Mr. Solheim further demanded.


External Links:
Norwegian Foreign Ministry: Regjeringen: - Uakseptable lidelser for sivile i Sri Lanka


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