April 30, 2009 (AFP) – Sri Lanka’s president on Thursday ruled out halting the military’s offensive against the Tamil Tigers, and warned the rebels that they must give up or be killed. “We have no plans to go for a ceasefire with the Tigers, but they have a little time left to drop their weapons and surrender even though our military operation is at a final stage,” President Mahinda Rajapakse said.
The comments came a day after the foreign ministers of Britain and France, David Miliband and Bernard Kouchner, visited the island to push for an end to the fighting as well as for aid agency access to trapped civilians.
The president said he would not bow to the international pressure, and promised instead to “rescue” Tamil civilians. He also accused Western governments of being hypocrites.
“They are trying to preach to us about civilians. I tell them to go and see what they are doing in Iraq and Afghanistan,” he said in a speech in the southern town of Embilipitiya.
“If I say we don’t use heavy weapons, that means we don’t. But these foreign envoys are prepared to believe the propaganda of a terrorist organisation,” the president added, without naming specific peop