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Sri Lanka: Armed Conflict

Volume 488: debated on Tuesday 24 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to his Sri Lankan counterpart regarding the reports of high civilian casualties in the ongoing operations in the north of the country. (253348)

I made it clear in my written ministerial statement of 21 January 2009, Official Report, column 29WS, that the Government are deeply concerned about the humanitarian situation in northern Sri Lanka and the growing number of internally displaced persons.

In that statement, and in subsequent discussions with the Sri Lankan President and Foreign Minister, I have urged repeatedly for the Sri Lankan Government to call an immediate humanitarian ceasefire so that civilians have the opportunity to move away from the conflict area and humanitarian assistance can be safely delivered.