Historical archive

The Norwegian Government: “Unacceptable suffering among civilians in Sri Lanka”

Historical archive

Published under: Stoltenberg's 2nd Government

Publisher Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The Government is very concerned about the situation of the civilian population in the war-affected areas of Sri Lanka.

The Government is very concerned about the situation of the civilian population in the war-affected areas of Sri Lanka.

”Norway condemns the current conduct of hostilities in Sri Lanka causing unacceptable suffering to civilians in the country,” said Minister of Foreign Affairs Jonas Gahr Støre.

“I am deeply concerned about the situation of the civilians who are trapped in the areas where the fighting is going on in the north of Sri Lanka,” said Minister of the Environment and International Development Erik Solheim.

“Every effort must now be made to bring the suffering of the civilian population to an end,” he continued. “We are receiving reports that the number of civilian victims is increasing rapidly, and that refugees are getting caught in the crossfire between the parties. This is very serious. Both the Government of Sri Lanka and the Tamil Tigers (LTTE) have a responsibility to protect the civilian population and prevent more civilian deaths.”

The Sri Lankan security forces are close to recapturing the territory controlled in recent years by the LTTE. The fighting is intense in a small area in the district of Mullaitivu, in the north of the country, where there is a large number of displaced civilians.

“Freedom of movement must be allowed for all civilians in the conflict area. This must be respected by both parties. Civilians fleeing the fighting must be given decent conditions and treated with respect, under the supervision of UN and other international observers.  We urge the parties to ensure that food and other humanitarian assistance reach the population.  The sick and wounded must be given access to treatment, and ambulances need to freely enter and leave the conflict area,” said Mr Solheim. 

“We have presented these demands to both parties to the conflict and will continue to do so,” said Mr Solheim.

Press contacts:
Press Duty Officer (for Minister Støre), mobile phone: +47 950 43 000
Head of Information Trond Viken (for Minister Solheim), mobile phone:  +47 992 18 303

 


 

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