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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2702

UN Secretary-General Says Urgent Need To Resolve Sri Lankan Conflict

United Nations, 24 February, (Asiantribune.com): Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told reporters Monday there is an "urgent need" to bring the Sri Lanka conflict to an end "without further unnecessary loss of civilian life and destruction of Sri Lankan society."

Excerpts from the press briefing follow:

:Question: Human Rights Watch has said that 2,000 civilians have been killed in Sri Lanka since the beginning of the year. I know that the Tamil Tigers have written a letter to the EU, to the UN and others, offering a ceasefire but not to lay down their arms. Before, you said that you weren’t calling for a ceasefire because it wasn’t on the Security Council’s agenda. Now, having heard hopefully from Mr. [John] Holmes, what do you think should happen in Sri Lanka at this time?

UN Secretary-General: (Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs) Holmes had a very good visit to Sri Lanka. He had meetings with many senior government officials, including President [Mahinda] Rajapaksa. The UN deplores the increasing casualties among civilians trapped in the intense fighting between the government and the LTTE [Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam] over the last several days and would strongly support a suspension of fighting for the purpose of allowing safe passage of the civilian population trying to flee the conflict.

There is an urgent need to bring this conflict to an end without any
further unnecessary loss of civilian life and destruction of Sri Lankan society. The United Nations renews its call on all sides to pursue serious efforts toward political discussion to achieve an orderly end to the conflict.

- Asian Tribune -

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