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Lanka volte-face: No ceasefire offered

April 27, 2009 16:20 IST

Calling the reports of ceasefire as a media illusion, the Sri Lankan government said it has offered no such statement.

Coming down heavily on the media,  the Sri Lankan defence forces website said, "This is a crude and an unethical way of media 'reportash', a blatant twist of the original statement, perpetrated to motivate the hell-bent terrorist sympathizers cum political clouts" the official said describing the logic behind the Government decision an exhibit of its grave concern to avoid any form of collateral-damage while surging into the remaining swathe of coast, South of Valayarmadam and Vellamullivaikkal.

"This is the same and an extension of what the security forces have been continuing since the fall of Mullaittivu, as terrorists resorted to taking thousands of civilians as hostage", the website quoted an official as saying.
But it said, "Sri Lankan security forces will continue with the humanitarian operations to rescue the remaining 15,000 -20,000 people held hostage by LTTE while avoiding the use of heavy caliber weaponary as a strict measure coinciding with its 'Zero civilian casualty policy (ZCC)', a defence official stated refuting some immediate media jargons made misinterpreting the government declaration as a 'cession of hostilities' cum 'ceasefire'."

The earlier report:

The Sri Lankan government on Monday said the combat operations in the northern parts of the island have concluded and security forces have been instructed to end the use of heavy calibre guns, combat aircraft and aerial fire.

"The Government of Sri Lanka has decided that combat operations have reached their conclusion. Our security forces have been instructed to end the use of heavy calibre guns, combat aircraft and aerial fire which could cause civilian casualties.

"Our security forces will confine their attempts to rescuing civilians who are held hostage and give foremost priority to saving the civilians," a statement from the President Mahinda Rajapaksa's Office said.

A Correspondent in New Delhi