United Nations, Nov 11: Concerned over the escalation of violence in Sri Lanka, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has emphasised the "urgent need" to end the spiralling conflict and called on both sides to immediately return to the peace process.
"The Secretary-General is increasingly disturbed by the
mounting loss of life in Sri Lanka''s long-standing conflict.
He deplores the many civilian casualties caused by the ongoing
hostilities between government forces and the Liberation
Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)," Annan''s spokesman told
"He (Annan) emphasises the urgent need to bring an end to
the spiral of violence. The bloodshed is making it ever more
difficult to heal the deep divisions in the country. He calls
on the parties to make every effort to return to the peace
process as soon as possible," he added.
Annan''s comments came after an Army artillery bombardment
on Wednesday hit a school sheltering 1,000 Internally
Displaced Persons (IDPs), killing at least 23 people and
wounding 135 others. This attack prompted Under-Secretary
General for Humanitarian Affairs Jan Egeland to call on both
sides to ensure the protection of civilians under all
The scene of the bombardment is a narrow peninsula in
eastern Sri Lanka controlled by the tigers, hosting 30,000
idps who left their homes in Trincomalee province due to the
fighting in August.