| GEO World|
| Sri Lanka rejects ceasefire pleas|
| Updated at: 1340 PST, Thursday, May 14, 2009|
COLOMBO: Sri Lanka rejected international calls to halt its final offensive against Tamil rebels on Thursday, hours after the United Nations Security Council called for civilian lives to be spared.
Human rights groups and foreign governments, including the United States, have become increasingly vocal in their calls for a ceasefire to allow trapped non-combatants to escape, but Colombo remained unmoved.
"We are not going to succumb to international pressure to stop the offensive," said Media Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena, who argued that Sri Lanka was being unfairly targeted. "In Pakistan and Afghanistan there are similar conflicts but no one is asking them to have a peace agreement or a ceasefire," Abeywardena told reporters. "There is no international pressure there," he added. "Why only target us?"