Washington: Indicating that the US would not let the innocent civilians reportedly being killed in the ongoing war between Sri Lankan forces and LTTE, President Barack Obama has asked Colombo to “seek a peace that is secure and lasting”.
“Sri Lanka must seek a peace that is secure and lasting, and grounded in respect for all of its citizens,” Obama said reading out from a prepared statement on the White House lawns minutes before he left for Arizona on Wednesday afternoon.
This is for the first time that Obama has directly addressed the media on the issue of Sri Lanka, indicating that the humanitarian crisis in the island nation has suddenly caught the attention of his administration.
“More civilian casualties and inadequate care for those caught in resettlement camps will only make it more difficult to achieve the peace that the people of Sri Lanka deserve,” Obama said.
The Obama administration in past few months has been calling for devolution of power in Sri Lanka and urging Colombo to come out with a political settlement.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton herself made a telephone call to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa last month expressing her concern over the current humanitarian situation in the country.
As the reports of grave humanitarian crisis started coming in from the conflict zones of Sri Lanka revealing the gravity of the situation on the ground, the United States along with France and Britain have come out openly against Colombo, accusing it of violating the commitment it made on 27 April that it would stop shelling and use of heavy weapons.
The statement coming from Obama himself, only indicates that America is now seriously taking the humanitarian crisis and would not keep quite if the crisis further aggravates.
“Now is the time, I believe, to put aside some of the political issues that are involved and to put the lives of the men and women and children, who are innocently caught in the crossfire — to put them first,” Obama said.