The External Affairs Minister said that the Government of India is extremely concerned about the safety of Tamil civilians in Sri Lanka and sought to ensure safe passage to secure zones for the civilian population which has suffered a heavy toll in the ongoing conflict.
Saying that the Government of India was impressed with the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse for ceasing the hostilities for the Tamil and Sinhala New Year; he said that the Sri Lankan government must extend this pause in hostilities to prevent further casualties and enable trapped civilians to leave the area to secure locations. He added that the continuation of the military actions which may cause further civilian casualties would be totally unacceptable.
The Government of India has extended humanitarian assistance, including medicines, food and other supplies to the civilian population trapped in the conflict zone. A 62- member emergency medical unit from India has treated more than 1500 serious medical cases among civilians in Pulmoddai in Sri Lanka. India will soon send another consignment of 40,000 family packs to the affected civilians in Northern Sri Lanka, Mukherjee promised.
Speaking for the Government of India, Mukherjee expressed hope that the Sri Lankan Government will respond to this positively.