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Derana News 21 04 2009 End of War

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UN welcomes civilian rescue from the war-zone in Sri Lanka The United Nations Secretary-General ban Ki-moon today welcomed the mass rescue of tens of thousands of trapped civilians in Sri Lankas war-torn northeastern coastal area. The spokesperson for the UN Chief at the noon press briefing today said the Secretary-General, while welcoming the news of civilians escape into government controlled areas, remains deeply concerned about the circumstances of the civilians that remain in the conflict zone and the potential for large-scale casualties. The UN Chief again deplored the continued use of heavy weapons in the vicinity of civilians, and the use of force by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in preventing the departure of civilians from the conflict zone. The Secretary-General said that it is now imperative for UN staff to be allowed into the conflict zone to facilitate relief operations and the evacuation of civilians. Humanitarian agencies must be allowed to assess needs and bring in adequate relief supplies. They must also be allowed to have full access to screening centers and any other reception points for those escaping the conflict zone. It is also important to ensure the sustainable resettlement of these internally displaced persons (IDPs) as soon as possible, he added.
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