April 07, 2009 (LBO) – Britain has renewed its call for a humanitarian ceasefire in Sri Lanka and urged Tamil Tiger rebels to release civilians being held as a human shield. Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, has commented on the situation in Sri Lanka following worrying reports of fighting in civilian concentrated areas within the country, the British Foreign Office said in a statement.
“Recent reports suggesting that the Sri Lankan military have now captured all the territory outside the so-called ‘no fire zone’ and that fighting is now going on inside the zone, where the civilian population is concentrated, are deeply worrying,” Miliband said.
The British government remains very concerned at the plight of civilians caught up in the fighting between the government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels, he said.
“The need for a humanitarian ceasefire is now even more urgent.”
Miliband said it is vital that civilians are able to move away from danger to safety.
“Nothing excuses the reported use of civilians by the LTTE as a human shield.
“But nor does the LTTE’s behaviour excuse any failings by the Sri Lankan government to meet