Tigers urge SLA surrender

[TamilNet, Friday, 19 May 2000, 17:44 GMT]
The Liberation Tigers Friday appealed to the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers in the Jaffna peninsula to surrender "to avoid a bloodbath." The LTTE said in a statement from its London offices that soldiers who lay down their arms "will be treated with dignity and honour" and handed over to the custody of the International Committee of the Red Cross "within 24 hours".

Following is the full text of the press release:

"As a genuine endeavour to avoid the continuing bloodbath and to bring an end to the escalating violence and war, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has made a fervent appeal today to thousands of Sri Lankan soldiers entrapped in the Jaffna peninsula to lay down arms and surrender. The LTTE has pledged that those who lay down arms will be treated with dignity and honour and handed over to the protection of the International Committee of the Red Cross within 24 hours.

"The call for surrender is being announced by loud speakers at different battlefronts in the Jaffna theatre of war and also by the Voice of Tigers radio. Explaining the precarious nature of their predicament, the LTTE has been impressing upon the government soldiers that their vital supply lines are cut and their lives are in grave danger. They are being told that the Tamil Tigers want to avoid the human tragedy of heavy casualties of innocent Sinhala youth who are being manipulated and forced to fight a futile war to promote the political ambitions of the chauvinistic elites in Colombo. The LTTE has also given a week's ultimatum for the Sri Lankan troops to lay down arms and surrender.

"In the meantime the LTTE is also making consistent appeals to the Tamil civilian masses to move to safe areas from battle zones allocating specific locations in Valigamam West and Vadamarachi division of the Jaffna peninsula."

 

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