No sympathy for terrorists, only concerned about civilians in Sri Lanka

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Kolkata, Apr 22 (ANI): External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday said that India does not pity the terrorists in Sri Lanka, and is only concerned about the thousands of civilians who are fleeing the war-zone.

Addressing a press conference here, Mukherjee said, "We have no sympathy for the terrorists, but every sympathy for the civilians."

Talking about the evacuation process going on in the island-country, he said that there were unconfirmed reports of the exact number of civilians who are still trapped in the conflict zone.

"The Sri Lankan authorities were saying that the number was between 10,000 and 15,000. However, UN observers have put the figure at between 30,000 and 40,000," he said.

Stating that over 58,600 civilians have come out from the conflict zone this morning, Mukherjee said it proves that the Sri Lanklan authorities were responding to India's appeal.

Mukherjee also informed that India has been asking Colombo not take any action without considering "the interest of the international community."

He said that India has already requested the Sri Lanka Government to extend the period of the cessation of hostilities.

"We did not use the term ceasefire; what we said was that there should be a pause to enable the civilians to go to safer zones," he said.

Mukherjee said that he has told the Lankan Government to make certain that relief materials sent by the United Nations and several countries including India should be distributed through the International Red Cross. (ANI)

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