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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 79

Military operations to target LTTE and not Tamils

[b]Military operations to target LTTE and not Tamils - President Mahinda[/b]

[b]Colombo, 27 April, ( [/b]President Mahinda Rajapakse briefed the Cabinet Day before yesterday and yesterday on the latest developments following the suicide bomb attack at the Army Headquarters. At both the Special Cabinet meetings he emphasized that the military operations were to target the LTTE positions which were firing on the Sri Lankan forces. He said that the Sri Lankan armed forces only were reacting to the attacks launched by the LTTE.

In particular, he repeatedly stated that instructions have been given to protect civilian lives. He told the Cabinet: "It is not the intention of the Security Forces to target the civilian non-combatants anywhere. This is not a war against the Tamil community," he said. "It is the duty of the government to protect Tamil civilians wherever they may be - north south, east or west. My duty is to protect my citizens whether they be Sinhalese,Tamils, Muslims, Borahs, Burghers, Parsees etc. "

A Cabinet Minister told the "Asian Tribune" that the President had taken great pains in his address to the nation to calm communal passions after the suicide bomber targeted the Army Commander. He has made an appeal to the Sinhalese community in particular not to fall prey to the LTTE tactic of provoking the Sinhalese to attack Tamils. The air strikes against the LTTE positions are also a move to allay the fears of all communities that he is ready to fight LTTE terrorism while protecting the Tamil community whereverthey may be.

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