World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Violence ebbs in Sri Lanka but tensions persist

Violence ebbs in Sri Lanka but tensions still persist – UN agency

Violence in Sri Lanka has ebbed since the Government and the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) last week agreed to hold new talks, but scores of people continue leaving the southern part of the country for India, the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) reported today.

While clashes in the northeast are reported to have fallen significantly amid generally improved security, UNHCR field offices in Sri Lanka report that “tensions remain high in many areas; that perceived harassment of civilians by security forces continues; and that some population movement persists,” agency spokesman Ron Redmond told reporters in Geneva today.

Over the past two weeks, Tamils from Sri Lanka continued to leave for southern India, with 120 arriving even after the announcement that the parties will resume talks. Meanwhile, displaced persons are not returning to their homes.

“A 'wait and see' attitude seems to prevail among the newly displaced communities in Sri Lanka's northeast,” Mr. Redmond said.

In mid-February, the parties will hold their first direct talks since April, 2003. Welcoming that announcement earlier this month, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan urged both sides to strictly uphold the ceasefire.

“To advance the peace process, it will be important to put an end to the escalating violence in the north and east,” he said through a spokesman. “The people of Sri Lanka deserve a new hope that peace could be in reach.”

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Gordon Campbell: Zimbabwe - Meet The New Bosses

At 75, Mnangagwa is not exactly what you’d call a new broom. As many observers have pointed out, his track record has been one of unswerving dedication to Mugabe ever since the days of anti-colonial insurgency... To these guys, things had to change in Zimbabwe, so that things could remain the same. More>>


Gordon Campbell: Is This Guy The World’s Most Dangerous Thirtysomething?

Saudi Arabia has long been regarded as a pillar of stability in the Middle East, and is the essential caterer to the West’s fossil fuel needs. It is also the country that gave us Osama Bin Laden, al Qaeda, and 15 of the 19 terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks... More>>


Non-Binding Postal Vote: Australia Says Yes To Same Sex Marriage

Binoy Kampmark: Out of 150 federal seats, 133 registered affirmative totals in returning their response to the question “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”. More>>


Bonn Climate Change Conference: Protecting Health In Small Island States

The vision is that, by 2030, all Small Island Developing States will have health systems that are resilient to climate change and countries around the world will be reducing their carbon emissions both to protect the most vulnerable from climate risks and deliver large health benefits in carbon-emitting countries. More>>


  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC