Defensive action only during New Year

–   Srilanka President to Armed Services
President Mahinda Rajapaksa has directed the Armed Forces of the State to restrict their operations during the New Year to those of a defensive nature, says a statement from the President’s Office.

In the true spirit of the season, it is timely for the LTTE to acknowledge its military defeat and lay down its weapons and surrender. The LTTE must also renounce terrorism and violence permanently, it adds,

Here is the text of the Statement from the President’s Office:

As the nation celebrates the traditional Sinhala and Tamil New Year, His Excellency the President is deeply conscious of the need to give the civilian population entrapped as hostages by the ruthless actions of the LTTE, the opportunity to celebrate these festivities in a suitable atmosphere and to have uninhibited freedom of movement from the No Fire Zone to the cleared areas,

With this objective in view, His Excellency has directed the Armed Forces of the State to restrict their operations during the New Year to those of a defensive nature.

The Sinhala & Tamil New Year is symbolic of the amity prevailing amongst all communities in Sri Lanka. In the true spirit of the season, it is timely for the LTTE to acknowledge its military defeat and lay down its weapons and surrender. The LTTE must also renounce terrorism and violence permanently.

April 12, 2009

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