Brown calls for end to Sri Lanka conflict

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Saturday, May 16th, 2009
Gordon Brown and Mahinda Rajapaksa

Mahinda Rajapaksa and Gordon Brown

British Prime Minister Minister Gordon Brown has warned Sri Lanka to be aware as "there will be consequences for its actions", as its military has taken control of the island's entire coastline.

In doing so it has cut off any sea escape for Tamil Tiger leaders trapped in a tiny slice of remaining rebel territory.

Downing Street has said that Prime Minister Gordon Brown has made several calls to President Mahinda Rajapaksa to make clear his concerns about the need for an end to violence and help for civilians.

The president has declared that the civil war will be ended by his soldiers amid mounting fears for the fate of tens of thousands of civilians cornered, with rebels, in a tiny strip of land.

Up to 8,000 are estimated to have been killed in the fighting this year.

"Sri Lanka stands on the brink. We have called repeatedly for the violence to cease," Mr Brown said.

"The humanitarian agencies must be granted access to civilians caught in the crossfire of a dreadful conflict. We are backing UN efforts to secure an orderly end to the conflict. The LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) must lay down its arms and allow civilians to leave.

"Sri Lanka must understand that there will be consequences for its actions."

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