The Group of Eight industrialized nations demanded Saturday that the warring factions in Sri Lanka take all necessary action to prevent further civilian casualties.
The G-8 foreign ministers said they were deeply concerned about the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the country and the "mass civilian casualties" that have resulted. They condemned the rebels for using civilians as human shields.
"It is time for the conflict to end now," said a statement released by current G-8 president Italy.
The United Nations estimates that some 50,000 civilians are caught in Sri Lanka's northern war zone, where the military has pushed forward with its offensive to destroy the Tamil Tiger rebels. The rebels have warned they face starvation.