Ban Ki-moon urges dialogue to halt violence in Sri Lanka following latest attacks

16 January 2008
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has strongly condemned the attacks which occurred in Sri Lanka today, killing and injuring dozens – including children – and coinciding with the formal end of a truce between the Government and Tamil rebels.

“The only way to stop further violence in Sri Lanka is through dialogue,” Mr. Ban said in a statement issued by his spokesperson.

He also urged the parties concerned “to undertake genuine efforts to achieve a peaceful negotiated solution.”

Earlier this month, Mr. Ban had expressed his concern with the Government’s decision to end the 2002 Ceasefire Agreement that halted a decades-long conflict with the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

The announcement also sparked concern from High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour, who called on both parties to abide by their obligations under international law to protect civilians.

“An intensification of hostilities will likely have a devastating effect on the human rights of many Sri Lankans from all communities,” Ms. Arbour said in a statement issued yesterday.


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