Sri Lanka combatants must declare truce, evacuate civilians: Canada

Feb 05, 2009 (LBO) – Canada has called for the warring parties in Sri Lanka to declare a truce to evacuate the wounded civilians and for the Tigers to lay down arms.

Meanwhile several hundred civilians have crossed over to government controlled areas in recent days.

“We continue to believe that the conflict cannot be resolved militarily and can only be settled through a durable political solution that meets the legitimate aspirations of all the people of Sri Lanka,” the statement said.

Lawrence Cannon, Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, said in a statement a truce was needed to allow safe and unhindered access to civilians, evacuate the wounded and deliver much-needed humanitarian assistance to civilians.

“Canada endorses the statement released yesterday by the co-chairs of the Tokyo Donor Conference on Reconstruction and Development of Sri Lanka (Norway, Japan, the United States and the European Union),” it said.

“The statement proposes conditions to prevent further civilian casualties and human suffering and to achieve a just and lasting political solution.”

It said Canada strongly condemns recent shelling attacks on a hospital in th