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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2673

Commonwealth Chief slams civilian killings as callous terrorism

Neville de Silva - Diplomatic Editor, Asian Tribune

London June 16 (asiantribune.com): The Commonwealth Secretary General yesterday slammed the killing of over 60 civilians in a bus in north central Sri Lanka as a "callous act of terrorism."

The bus ran over a landmine resulting in over 60 deaths and injuring some 40 others in one of the worst incidents in the last four years.

The Sri Lanka Government blamed the LTTE for the incident and later launched bombing raids in Tiger-held areas as what was described as an act of "deterrance".

"I am horrified at this senseless loss of civilian life, including children travelling to school. This appalling incident is the latest in a series of violent events which have taken place since the 2002 ceasefire signed by the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). It highlights the fact that innocent civilians from both sides of the conflict who continue to suffer the most in this longstanding conflict."

"I extend my profound sympathies to all those families and communities affected by this callous act of terrorism, and by other recent attacks that have taken human life."

"Sri Lanka is a valued member of the Commonwealth family of nations. We all all bound by our belief in the principle and practice of democracy," the secretary general said.

Mr McKinnon also expressed Commonwealth solidarity with all those who are striving to promote dialogue, reconciliation and mutual respect among the people of Sri Lanka.

- Asian Tribune -

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