The Nordic Foreign Ministers welcome the statement by the Co Chairs (Norway, EU, Japan and USA) 3 February 2009 on the situation in Sri Lanka.
The Ministers jointly expressed their grave concern for the humanitarian crisis now taking place in Sri Lanka, where up to a quarter million people are trapped in the fire line, with unacceptable civilian casualties. They reiterated their call on the LTTE and the Government of Sri Lanka to uphold international, humanitarian law.
A temporary no fire period is needed urgently to allow for sick and wounded to be evacuated and humanitarian aid to be transported in to the conflict area. Key humanitarian principles must be respected.
Civilians must be allowed to leave the conflict zone, humanitarian aid must be allowed in to reach the population now in dire need and the safety of aid and medical workers, including those representing ICRC and the UN must be ensured. It is key that those who come out from the conflict zone are treated in accordance with international standards and that the UN and ICRC are given a central role in their reception.
The Nordic Ministers also call on the parties to the conflict to take immediate steps to stop the human suffering, and to ensure an inclusive dialogue to agree on a political settlement so that lasting peace and reconciliation can be achieved.