Thursday, May 14, 2009

Obama: Sri Lanka must end warfare

(AP) WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama scolded both sides of Sri Lanka's quarter-century-old civil war on Wednesday, demanding that the government stop shelling hospitals and that Tamil Tiger rebels cease using civilian shields.

Before leaving the White House to deliver a commencement speech in Arizona, Obama told reporters that the situation on the south Asian island could turn from a humanitarian crisis to a full-blown catastrophe. He strongly urged both sides to take steps to alleviate suffering.

"Tens of thousands of innocent civilians are trapped between the warring government forces and the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka with no means of escape, little access to food, water, shelter and medicine," Obama said on the White House's South Lawn. "This has led to widespread suffering and the loss of hundreds, if not thousands of lives."

>> Full Story: AP