Question: Can you provide details on today’s UN meeting on Sri Lanka?
Answer: Concerned parties, including the UK, France, and the US, held an informal meeting today at the UN regarding the situation in Sri Lanka. Ambassador Susan Rice attended the meeting for the United States. Ambassador Rice used the opportunity to underscore the grave concern of the U.S. with the situation in Sri Lanka.
The United States is deeply concerned by the continued unacceptably high levels of civilian casualties. We have repeatedly urged the LTTE to lay down its arms and allow the civilians trapped in the safe zone to leave. The Government of Sri Lanka should abide by its April 27 commitments to end major combat operations, and the use of heavy weapons which could cause heavy civilian casualties.
We have also urged both sides to exercise maximum restraint to protect the lives of civilians, and allow humanitarian access for the United Nations and International Committee of the Red Cross to deliver food and medicine and evacuate the wounded.