Sri Lankan minister continues fast over UN probe

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka  — A Sri Lankan Cabinet minister continued a hunger strike for a second day Friday to demand the UN halt its investigation into alleged wartime abuses, despite the world body's decision to recall its top Colombo-based official and shut its regional office.

In New York, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon again called on the Sri Lankan government "to take urgent action to normalize conditions" around the UN offices, UN associate spokesman Farhan Haq said.

The protest is seen as a reaction to Ban's appointment of a panel of experts to assess how well Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapaksa has followed up on commitments to reconciliation and human rights accountability that were made when the secretary-general visited in May 2009.