Rae asks Canadian government to re-engage in Sri Lanka

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Toronto, Feb. 6 (ANI): Liberal foreign affairs critic Bob Rea has asked the Canadian government to re-engage in Sri Lanka amid growing concern for nearly 300,000 civilians trapped in the war zone.

The Global Mail quoted Bob Rea as saying that Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government had been slow to get involved.

"We've had a long history of engagement in Sri Lanka but more recently, under the Harper government, much less so," he said.

Rae urged Ottawa to "re-engage" in Sri Lanka by talking with like-minded countries, trying to get the Lanka government and the LTTE back to the negotiating table to secure a truce.

Rae said that military was not the solution to the problem.

"It's very clear right now that if the military effort continues in the way in which it's been set out there will be enormous civilian casualties and tremendous loss of life," he said.

Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon also called for an immediate ceasefire to provide urgent humanitarian aid for civilians caught in the war zone.

The government has also pledged to give 3 million dollars emergency aid to Sri Lanka.

But the Sri Lankan government has rejected all the truce calls by saying that it is on the verge of a military victory in the 25-year-old war, and has demanded unconditional surrender by the rebels.

On Thursday, the Lankan military claimed another victory by capturing LTTE's biggest sea base, cutting off their main supply point. (ANI)

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