The UN Security Council demanded Wednesday that Tamil Tiger rebels in Sri Lanka stop fighting and allow tens of thousands of civilians being used as human shields to leave the war zone. It also called on the government to stop firing heavy weapons.
The council press statement - which is not legally binding - expressed grave concern at the worsening humanitarian crisis in northeast Sri Lanka where the Tamil Tigers, known as the LTTE, have been pushed into a tiny coastal area by government forces.
It called on the government to help trapped civilians evacuate and allow for the urgent delivery of humanitarian aid.
The council also urged the government to cooperate with the United Nations, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and other international organizations in providing access to the hundreds of thousands of people displaced by the fighting as soon as they leave the conflict zone. The government has so far refused to do so.