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UN Sec-Gen urges dialogue to halt violence in Sri Lanka


United Nations : UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has strongly condemned the attacks which occurred in Sri Lanka Wednesday, 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 Tuesday.

Mr Ban also strongly condemned Tuesday’s bombing in the Lebanese capital of Beirut which reportedly claimed the lives of at least three civilians and wounded at least 20 others.

A diplomatic vehicle from the United States Embassy was impacted in the attack.

“The Secretary-General deplores this act of terror and extends his sympathies to the families of those killed and inured,” according to a statement issued by his spokesperson.

“It is imperative that the Lebanese authorities find the perpetrators of this cowardly crime and bring them to justice.”