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Rajapaksa asks Tamil civilians to come over to 'cleared areas'

Source: PTI
May 01, 2009 20:43 IST
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Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Friday appealed to the Tamil civilians, still trapped in the No-fire Zone, to come over to the "cleared areas" and assured that the government will ensure their safety.

"I appeal to every one of you to come over to the cleared areas," Rajapaksa said in a Tamil language appeal, which was airdropped in the small patch of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam-controlled area.

"I am aware of the tremendous difficulties faced by the civilians who are unfortunately still being held hostage by the LTTE in the "no-fire zone", he said, adding "your suffering is prolonged by this action of the Tamil Tigers who are holding you as a human shield for their own safety and security."

Appealing them to come over to the government-controlled area, the Lankan president said, "My government will continue to give utmost priority to ensure the safety and welfare of each and every one of you."

Meanwhile addressing the Lankan working class in his May Day message, Rajapaksa said, "We fearlessly stood up to a brand of terrorism that the entire world believed was invincible. As a result we have been able to step boldly into the Year of Freedom."

Expressing his gratitude to the people, the Rajapaksa said, "I will always remember how the working people of our country offered me every support in the endeavour to chart national development in the correct direction."

 "It is with great pleasure that I salute this day all the working people of Sri Lanka who stand together in solidarity on the occasion of the International Workers' Day," he said.

On the economic slowdown, Rajapaksa said even in the face of a global financial crisis, the country had succeeded in safeguarding its resources and ensure the prosperity of our people.

"We are today on the threshold of a time where successes are transformed into victories and victories into unprecedented triumphs," he stated.

"This is a time when we have won for ourselves an opportunity to further strengthen the nation. The working people of this country have come together in a manner that makes all divisions, including separatism untenable," Rajapaksa said.

The president said the nation has embarked along a road that disregards party colour and is only concerned with the nation's triumph. "I am convinced that the strengthening of the working people is an inevitable outcome of this process," he said.

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