Saturday, April 18, 2009

Sri Lanka rejects UN truce appeal

Sri Lanka has rejected a fresh appeal by the UN to give civilians more time to leave a safe zone in the north-east, the defence secretary says.

Only a few hundred civilians used the two-day unilateral government truce with Tamil Tiger rebels to escape.

Between 50,000 and 100,000 civilians are still thought to be trapped in the zone - about 20 sq km (8 sq miles) of coastal area in Mullaitivu district.

Security forces are in what they say is a final push to defeat the rebels.

The government's decision to reject the UN appeal came after a meeting between Vijay Nambiar, chief of staff of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and senior government officials in Colombo this week.

>> Full Story: BBC