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UN chief to seek national reconciliation in SL

world Updated: May 22, 2009 21:37 IST

Ahead of UN chief Ban Ki Moon's visit here, his top aide on Friday asked Sri Lanka to begin the process of national reconciliation by accommodating "legitimate" Tamil grievances.

UN Secretary General Ban who is scheduled to arrive here tonight will discuss the condition of nearly 300,000 ethnic Tamil civilians displaced by the war and urge Colombo to check ethnic divisions, said his chief of staff Vijay Nambiar.

"The process of national reconciliation, we feel, must be all-inclusive so that it can fully address the legitimate aspirations of the Tamils as well as other minorities," Nambiar said.

"It is important that victory becomes a victory for all Sri Lankans." The Lankan government now needs to hold talks with Tamil leaders to address their genuine demands.

Ban said before his departure that he is pained by "the plight of people trapped by fighting and living in terror and grave hardship."

Nambiar, told reporters here that the UN chief would tour the Manik Farm area in the northern district of Vavuniya, where most of the people displaced by the recent fighting are housed.

Ban is slated to meet President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama.