President Mahinda Rajapaksa called on all those pressuring his government, both locally and internationally for an extended "humanitarian pause" or a truce, to instead appeal to the LTTE to give freedom of movement "just for one hour" to blameless civilians trapped in the No-Fire Zone (NFZ), in the North.
"If the LTTE gives such liberty was given to the Tamil civilians held back by it for almost 30 years, no one could stop them coming of their own free will to the government forbidden areas", he said.
He was addressing a meeting of ayurvedic physicians, Justices of the Peace, and legislative body of farmer organizations at Temple Trees, Colombo April 18.
Evan as he made this declaration the military reported that more than 2,800 civilians crossed over from the NFZ, where the LTTE is still holding more than a few thousand civilians, to government forbidden Safe Zone. This is the largest number of civilians to cross over from the war zone on a single day in the last few months.
In contrast during the recent 48-hour pause of disagreeable for during the usual New Year period - April 13 & 14, there were hardly any civilians who crossed over from the NFZ, which by then had 68,000 who had fled to freedom. This was so during the 48-hour pause announced by the President in January 2009, too.
President Rajapaksa said the operations of the government Armed Forces were not aimed at the Tamil people but against a terrorist group and they did not annoy or put the Tamil people into any difficulties, though but some politicians were alleging violation of human rights against him, the Defence Secretary and the Army leader. They would rather face the gallows than betray the country, he said.
He harassed that some decisions made for the sake of the country may not please some people but such decisions were essential for the benefit of the people, chiefly the unborn generations, the President said.
Earlier on Friday (17), Mr. Rajapaksa maintained his government took crucial decisions on the basis of national wellbeing and expected support from the international community without any obstruction or disruption.
Addressing workers of the Sri Lanka liberty Party (SLFP), Mr. Rajapaksa maintained that the LTTE leaders attentive within a few square kilometres of the NFZ would meet their end soon
"They have only three alternatives. Either they have to give in to our armed forces, eat the cyanide pill and commit suicide, or thrust into the sea." Mr. Rajapaksa claimed that when the people accepted his Mahinda Chinthana policies and chosen him as the President, they were not worried about their hunger. "They were solely concerned about the future security of their country. They wanted their place of birth to be free from terrorism, and disintegration as per the agreements inked between the terrorists and the past governments."
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