The Colombo government has rejected a ceasefire offer by Tamil Tiger rebels. Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse said there was no need for a truce as the military was about to defeat the separatists.
UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs John Holmes addressing a press conference
Visiting UN humanitarian chief John Holmes appealed to both sides to stop the violence, saying that recent fighting had taken "a terrible toll" on civilians. The United Nations estimates that around 50,000 civilians are caught in the country's northern war zone. According to the UN, nearly 6,500 civilians have been killed in the fighting over the past three months. The European Union, the US and the Group of Eight nations have also called for a ceasefire in Sri Lanka.