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Sri Lanka: Young child among 7 killed while fleeing fighting; UN urges end to conflict

A young child was among seven Sri Lankan displaced persons who died today when their boat capsized while they were fleeing fighting between Government troops and the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the east of the island, the United Nations said, repeating calls for both sides to protect civilians and end the conflict.

UN demands protection for Sri Lankan civilians under fire from deadly shelling

The top United Nations official in strife-torn Sri Lanka has called on both sides in the conflict to urgently protect civilians in Vaharai in the east of the island, after five days of deadly shelling that has killed an unknown number, left dozens wounded and forced thousands to flee their homes.

UN-backed relief convoy reaches 40,000 Sri Lankans cut off for past month by fighting

A humanitarian convoy of 84 trucks organized with United Nations help has brought in food, fuel and medical supplies to 40,000 displaced Sri Lankans cut off for the past month by fighting between the Government and Tamil separatists in the north-east of the strife-torn Indian Ocean island.

UN adviser finds Sri Lanka’s children ‘at risk from all sides’ in the bloody conflict

Elements of Sri Lanka’s security forces are helping a breakaway rebel group abduct children to fight the separatist Tamil Tigers, while the rebels themselves continue to use child soldiers in their conflict against the Government, a United Nations adviser has said after a 10-day assessment mission to the strife-torn country.

Sri Lanka: Annan stresses ‘urgent need’ to end spiralling violence, return to talks

With the deadly conflict between Sri Lanka’s Government and Tamil Tiger separatists escalating dramatically this week, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today emphasized the “urgent need” to end the spiralling violence and called on both sides to immediately return to the peace process.

Sri Lanka: UN official calls on all sides to protect civilians after deadly army shelling

The top United Nations relief official today called on all sides in the conflict between the Sri Lankan Government and Tamil separatist rebels to protect civilians after an army artillery bombardment yesterday hit a school sheltering 1,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs), killing at least 23 people and wounding 135 others.

Sri Lanka: UN rights chief hails probe into extrajudicial killings but voices concerns

The top United Nations human rights official today welcomed Sri Lanka's establishment of a commission of inquiry into extrajudicial killings and disappearances, but expressed concern that shortcomings in the national legal system could hamper its effectiveness.

Sri Lanka: UN agencies gear up to help tens of thousands of flood victims

With an estimated 333,000 Sri Lankans affected by floods, landslides and displacement, United Nations agencies are gearing up to help the Government in its relief efforts.

Sri Lanka: food and fuel shortages hit north after renewed fighting, UNICEF reports

The 600,000 inhabitants of Sri Lanka’s Jaffna Peninsula, already buffeted by decades of conflict, are now facing food and fuel shortages as a result of a recent upsurge in fighting between Tamil separatists and Government forces, with many businesses closed due to security concerns, according to the latest update from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

UN relief officials say they need better access in war-torn areas in Sri Lanka

While supporting the Sri Lankan government’s relief efforts for some 204,000 people currently displaced in the north and east, who have fled their homes as a result of the escalating violence, the United Nations’ top emergency relief official said today there are serious concerns about lack of access to some areas, especially in the Tamil north.