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"Act responsibly or be chased out,’’ Gota tells BBC & envoys

Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday warned ambassadors, news agencies and INGOs acting irresponsibly of "dire consequences" if they attempt to give the LTTE terrorists a second breath of life.

"They will be chased away (if they try) to give a second wind to the LTTE terrorists at a time the security forces, at heavy cost, are dealing them the final death blow," he said.

Rajapaksa did not mince his words when he said that some ambassadors, specially the German and Swiss ambassadors, and some news agencies were behaving irresponsibly.

He named, CNN, Al-Jazeera and specially the BBC of trying to sensationalize civilian hardships by telecasting video clips from LTTE websites.

"These video clips do not indicate bombings or explosions," Rajapakse said.

He urged that what the international community including UN agencies and the ICRC should do is to maximize pressure to bear on the Tigers and make them release civilians trapped in the war zone and used as human shields.

"This is the last chance that the LTTE has of sincerely minimizing civilian casualties by giving them safe passage out of the conflict zone," Rajapakse said.

It was irresponsible not to talk about civilians held in the war zone by the LTTE while making comments that only helped the Tigers, he said accusing BBC Anchor Chris Morris of being known for partisan support to the LTTE terrorists from the 1990s.

"If he does not act responsibly and attempts to create panic, I will have to chase him out of the country," Rajapakse said.

He warned that members of the international community, specifically the German and Swiss ambassadors, who are trying to create panic will be similarly treated.

Rajapaks said that all democratic countries, organizations and news agencies must act responsibly and bring pressure on the LTTE terrorists to free the civilians trapped in the war zone.

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