Sri Lankan Defence Secretary rejects ceasefire, calls it a 'joke'

[TamilNet, Sunday, 26 April 2009, 11:52 GMT]
Sri Lankan defence secretary and the brother of SL president, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who responded to the LTTE's unilateral announcement of a ceasefire, announced Sunday has called it a 'joke' and said there was "no need of a ceasefire and that the LTTE must surrender," reported Sky's Asia correspondent Alex Crawford.

Gotabaya Rajapaksa was quoted as saying: "they [the LTTE] were not fighting with us, they were running from us."

The response from Mr. Gotabaya comes within two hours of the unilateral announcement by the LTTE.

Many international actors have been calling to stop attacks.

A statement from the White House on Saturday called upon the Government of Sri Lanka to stop shelling the "safe zone" and blocking international aid groups and media from accessing those civilians who have managed to escape.

"It would compound the current tragedy if the military end of the conflict only breeds further enmity and ends hopes for reconciliation and a unified Sri Lanka in the future," said the statement.

However, the Sri Lankan government intensified air-strikes on the safety zone on Sunday, targeting it more than 39 times in six sorties of air raids.


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