India urges Sri Lanka to end hostilities, LTTE to come give up arms

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New Delhi, Feb.5 (ANI): Expressing India's concern over the loss of lives in embattled Sri Lanka, the Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Thursday urged Colombo to suspend its resumed hostilities and also asked the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to lay down arms and come to the negotiating table while. "We are deeply anguished at the loss of lives. We are not happy that the Sri Lankan government has resumed hostilities. It is for both sides to cease hostilities," Union Home Minister P Chidambaram told reporters at New Delhi on Thursday.

Chidambaram in response to question here said that the Sri Lankan government must suspend hostilities and the LTTE must lay down arms. "This must happen simultaneously. It requires both hands to clap," he said.

"Unfortunately, we are not able to prevail over the LTTE to lay down arms and not able to prevail over the Sri Lankan government beyond a point. We once again appeal to both sides to give up hostilities and come to the negotiating table," Chidambaram said.

Stating that the Central government was "very deeply concerned" about the goings on in Sri Lanka, Chidambaram said External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon had visited Colombo.

"We were able to prevail upon Sri Lanka to pause (hostilities) for 48 hours. We were disappointed that there was no response from the LTTE. Even today there is no response from the LTTE," Chidambaram said.

To a question about the possibility of LTTE cadres sneaking into the Indian territory, Chidambaram said the Centre has sensitised the Tamil Nadu Government on the matter and the LTTE was a banned organisation in India.

Replying to another query asking for his reaction over some political parties in Tamil Nadu on the ongoing conflict in Sri Lanka, Chidambaram said the Centre and the state government "have done, are doing and will continue to do whatever is in our capacity". (ANI)

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