Annan expresses concern over Lanka violence
Annan has appealed to both the government and Tamil Tigers to attend next week's peace talks in Geneva.india Updated: Apr 13, 2006 08:44 IST
Expressing concern over the escalating violence in Sri Lanka, United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan has appealed to both the government and the Tamil Tigers to attend next week's peace talks in Geneva.
"Annan believes it is of utmost importance to find ways to implement the ceasefire agreement, start re-building trust and lay the foundations for a lasting peace," a UN spokesman told reporters on Wednesday.
The talks, facilitated by Norway, will be held on April 19-21.
At least 16 people were killed and another 50 injured in a bomb blast at a vegetable market in Sri Lanka's north- eastern port town of Trincomalee on Wednesday and raised serious doubts over the upcoming peace talks.
Annan's appeal came as a senior UN official in the island saying that the latest killings could threaten humanitarian operations to those most in need.
Echoing Annan's concerns, the UN Resident Co-ordinator in Sri Lanka said the latest killings, which included the deaths of two aid workers, "potentially threaten humanitarian operations in the most vulnerable areas affected by the tsunami and the conflict".
Violence has continued in Sri Lanka despite a ceasefire agreement of February 2002 aimed at ending two decades of fighting between the Government and separatist forces that has claimed some 60,000 lives.