Statement by G8 Foreign Ministers on Sri Lanka

(No. 111 - April 25, 2009) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today joined his G8 colleagues in issuing the following statement:

"We, the Foreign Ministers of the G8, express our deep concern about the mass civilian casualties and deteriorating humanitarian situation in Northern Sri Lanka.

"The plight of the civilians still trapped by the fighting and who remain at extreme risk from the ongoing hostilities is our primary concern. The UN estimates that tens of thousands of civilians remain caught in the conflict area. We are deeply concerned at reports that civilians who have been injured are unable to move to safety. Strongly condemning the use of civilians as human shields by the LTTE, the killing of civilians and terrorism in all its manifestations, we call all parties to take all necessary action to avoid further civilian casualties. We support the decision by the UNSG to dispatch a UN humanitarian team to the no-fire zone.

"It is time for the conflict to end now. The G8 Foreign Ministers support all relevant international efforts to bring about such an end and will keep on monitoring closely the situation in Sri Lanka."

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