Canada calls for cease-fire
TORONTO (AP) - Canada’s foreign minister called Wednesday for a cease-fire in Sri Lanka to allow civilians to escape the fighting between the government and the separatist Tamil Tigers.
Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon said in a statement that Canada strongly condemns recent shelling attacks on the hospital in Puthukkudiyiruppu and firing into the government-designated safe area. Cannon said all efforts must be made to avoid civilian casualties.
The greater Toronto area is home to 200,000 Tamils, one of the largest Tamil population outside Sri Lanka and the Indian subcontinent. A number of protests have been staged in recent weeks.
The Tamil Tigers were declared a terrorist organization by the U.S. in 1997 and by Canada in 2006.
"Canada calls for the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to declare and honor an immediate cease-fire to allow full, safe and unhindered access; the evacuation of the sick and wounded; and the delivery of much-needed humanitarian assistance to civilians," Cannon said.
Canada endorsed peace proposals by the members of the Tokyo Donor Conference on Reconstruction and Development of Sri Lanka, of which Norway, Japan, the United States and the European Union are part.