Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Obama urges action to avert Sri Lanka catastrophe

Wed May 13, 2009 8:50pm EDT

The International Committee of the Red Cross, for days unable to ferry out wounded and deliver aid by boat because of fighting, said a 31-year-old local staff member and his mother were killed by a shell.

Analysts and diplomats said the end of voting in India's month-long election on Wednesday was likely to usher in an all-out attack by Sri Lanka to wipe out the Tigers and bring a conventional end to a the war.

Sri Lanka's war has become a delicate election issue for India's ruling Congress party in the swing state of Tamil Nadu, home to 60 million Tamils across the Palk Strait where the LTTE was incubated and still commands support.

In Paris, two Tamils on hunger strike were taken to a hospital on Wednesday after some 400 people blocked traffic to protest the killing of civilians, police said.

The men had been on hunger strike for more than a month, lying in a tent in central Paris surrounded by round-the-clock rallies and speeches by expatriate Tamil protesters.

(Reporting by Louis Charbonneau in New York, C. Bryson Hull and Shihar Aneez in Colombo; Additional reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Paris newsroom; Writing by Cynthia Osterman; Editing by Peter Cooney)

Reference Reuters

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