On Sri Lanka, UN Speak of Siege, Calls Cease-Fire Unrealistic, Only Private Diplomacy

[ Inner City Press ]

As military action recommences in northern Sri Lanka, the UN’s top humanitarian John Holmes on Wednesday repeated government assurances that it would be in “siege mode.” Inner City Press asked Holmes, given his estimate of 100,000 civilians trapped in 17 square kilometers, if the UN is asking for a cease-fire. Holmes said that “a cease-fire is not available, we are trying to achieve something realistic.” Video here, from Minute 23:14. Holmes acknowledged that UN staff members — who he pointed out are “local” or “Sri Lankan national” staff — are held without freedom of movement in the camps set up by the government.

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