Press Statement
Robert Wood
Acting Department Spokesman, Bureau of Public Affairs, Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
April 13, 2009


Representatives of the Tokyo Co-Chairs (U.S., European Union, Norway, and Japan) convened a second conference call this morning to discuss the humanitarian situation in northern Sri Lanka. Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Richard Boucher participated for the United States.

Co-Chair members discussed the humanitarian situation and concern for the safety of more than a hundred thousand people trapped by the conflict between government forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in a narrow strip of land in northern Sri Lanka. The Co-Chairs welcomed the 48-hour halt to military operations announced by the Sri Lankan government on April 12 and are looking for the civilians to be released and for the fighting to be ended without further bloodshed. The Co-Chairs urge both sides to facilitate the immediate shipment of urgently needed food and medicine, and facilitate the immediate evacuation of the sick and wounded. The Co-Chairs reiterated their call for the Tamil Tigers to permit freedom of movement for the civilians trapped in the conflict zone. The Co-Chairs remain in close contact and will continue their discussions of the situation in Sri Lanka.

The conversation took place during a conference call initiated by the State Department.



PRN: 2009/323