UN calls for pause in Sri Lanka's civil war

A UN human rights official called Tuesday for a pause in Sri Lanka's civil war and urged the Tamil Tiger rebels to allow tens of thousands of trapped civilians to flee the fighting. The civilians are in a precarious position because they are huddled in a narrow "no-fire" zone on the island's northeast coast where the rebels are holed up after a series of military defeats at the hands of government troops. More than 100,000 civilians are trapped and their lives are more at risk now that the rebels - the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam - have been pushed into the zone, said Walter Kaelin, the representative of U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the human rights of internally displaced persons.