Rajapakse at UN: Government ready to implement “political and constitutional solutions;” Rajapakse requests Norway to assist in relief efforts in the North; Co-Chairs focus on human rights in Sri Lanka; Troops on outskirts of LTTE HQ: Army Chief
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Email
  • Whatsapp
  • Linkedin
  • Print
  • President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the 63rd session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in New York stated that his government was ready to implement “political and constitutional solutions” to redress the grievances of all communities. He also asserted that his government would not let the LTTE hold the Tamils of the north hostage to terror. Mr. Rajapaksa reiterated that his government would talk to the “illegal armed group” (LTTE) only when it was ready to commit itself to the decommissioning of its illicit weapons, dismantle its military capability, and return to the democratic fold1. At the sidelines of the UNGA meeting, President Rajapaksa also requested the Norwegian Minister of Environment and International Development, Erik Solheim, to assist in the government’s humanitarian efforts in the north, instead of “through other organizations2.”

    In another significant development, the Sri Lanka Co-Chairs, a representative body of donors to the nation, in a statement issued at the end of a conference in New York, stressed that emphasis on the protection of human rights and humanitarian access for civilians caught in the crossfire was important3. Representatives of the US, Norway, EU, and Japan took part in the two-hour meeting.

    The Sri Lankan Air Force claimed that it launched a night-time air assault at an LTTE radar point located along the coast of Nagavanthurai, Poonaryn in the north4. It was not immediately clear if the radar was meant to monitor Sri Lankan aerial or troop movements. The Defence Ministry meanwhile stated that troops in Kilinochchi and Vavuniya battlefronts were further pushing towards Jaffna-Kandy (A-9) Road from Wanni. In particular, the troops of the 57th Division were edging closer to Kokavil and troops of Task Force 2 were heading towards Mankulam. Army Chief Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka stated that his forces were “around four kilometres (2.5 miles) from Kilinochchi town” and that LTTE leader Prabhakaran was “now a caged animal5.”

    In other developments, Thambi Anna, in-charge of the Narcotic Substance Prevention Wing of the LTTE stated that the organisation was making all efforts to prevent narcotic drugs from reaching the Tamil-inhabited areas of Sri Lanka. Reports indicated that Thambi Anna, who was taken into custody, had told the police that contrary to the popular perception, the LTTE was not encouraging smuggling of drugs6.