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Derana News 11 05 2009 End of War

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British Foreign Secretary David Miliband today said that he was appalled by reports that hundreds of Sri Lankan civilians were killed over the weekend in what the U.N. has described as a bloodbath. I am appalled by reports that came out of Sri Lanka over the weekend of mass civilian casualties, he told reporters ahead of a U.N. Security Council meeting on unrelated matters. Miliband also raised doubts about whether Colombo could be trusted at the moment to use a $1.9 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund appropriately. In the latest and largest reported assault on civilians trapped in the war zone, hundreds of people were reported killed on Sunday and Monday in artillery barrages that struck the narrow strip of territory that separatist rebels control. A U.N. spokesman in Sri Lanka said more than 100 children had been killed in the weekend bloodbath as the government tries to wipe out the last remnants of Tigers. The stakes could not be higher for either Sri Lanka, which does not want its impending victory in the 25-year-war snatched away, or the Tigers, who have vowed no surrender despite facing overwhelming numbers, force and odds. Miliband said that he had already spoken with Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama about the reported deaths and intended to speak with him again later on Monday. Miliband and French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner will host a meeting on Monday of concerned U.N. delegations and non-governmental organizations active on the ground at which they hope to increase pressure on Colombo to protect civilians and allow journalists and aid workers into the conflict zone. Our message is a simple one, which is that the killing must stop, he said. The civilians ... trapped in the zone, up to 50,000 in an area of just 3 square kilometers (1.6 square miles) are the victims of what at the moment is a war without witness.
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