Sri Lanka rejects Canada’s call for ceasefire: ministry

May 4, 2009 (AFP) – Sri Lanka on Monday rejected a Canadian call for a ceasefire in the military campaign against cornered Tamil Tiger guerrillas in the island’s northeast, the foreign ministry said. Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama told the visiting Canadian Minister for International Cooperation Beverly Oda that a previous unilateral truce by the government last month ended in failure.

“Responding to a call by the Canadian minister for a ceasefire, the Foreign Minister noted that the last unilateral humanitarian pause… was a failure,” the ministry said in a statement.

Oda did not travel out of the capital to visit the camps for civilians who managed to escape the fighting in the island’s north. She met with President Mahinda Rajapakse before leaving the island later Monday.

Her call for a ceasefire came after the government rejected a similar request by the British and French foreign ministers who visited Sri Lanka last week to press for the safety of civilians caught in the conflict zone.

Sri Lanka believes it is on the threshold of defeating Tamil Tigers after 37 years of fighting and has resisted international calls, including those by the G8 and the Unite

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