|India Offers To Help In Evacuating Civilians Trapped In Sri Lanka Conflict Zone|
|Thursday, 19 February 2009|
(RTTNews) - Indian government on Wednesday offered to help in evacuating the thousands of civilians trapped in the fighting between the government forces and the Tamil Tiger rebels in the north of the Island nation.
Addressing the Indian parliament on Wednesday, Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee urged the Tamil Tiger rebels to lay down their arms, saying that they have already "done much damage" to the Tamil community in Sri Lanka.
He said that the hardships facing the 70,000 civilians estimated to be trapped in the conflict zone a "serious source of concern" to New Delhi, adding that India was "actively engaged to prevent a further deterioration of humanitarian conditions" and had sent relief supplies to civilians.
"The government of India is ready to facilitate the evacuation of civilians trapped in the area of conflict, working with the government of Sri Lanka and the International Committee of the Red Cross, who would take responsibility for the security, screening and rehabilitation," he told lawmakers.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka's defense spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella said that his country welcomed India's offer, "provided it is done within the framework the we have set up already".
|Last Updated ( Friday, 09 October 2009 )|
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