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Ban Ki-moon calls for immediate halt to the fighting in Sri Lanka

[Hindu, Friday, 6 March 2009 13:41 No Comment]

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has strongly deplored the mounting civilian death toll in areas of fighting between Sri Lankan forces and Tamil rebels, and called for an immediate halt to the fighting.

 

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported yesterday that conditions of people confined in the war zone in the northern Vanni region deteriorated last month.

 

The conflict zone has shrank from 300 square kilometres to nearly 58 square kilometres in February, with many civilians- the UN puts their numbers between 100,000 and 200,000 taking refuge in a new 14-square kilometres ‘no-fire zone.’

 

In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Ban repeated his call to the Sri Lankan Government and the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to "suspend hostilities for the purposes of allowing civilians to leave the conflict zone, and allow immediate humanitarian access to them."

[Full Coverage]

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