UN chief calls for restraint as violence in Sri Lanka escalates

10:48, January 21, 2010      

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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon voiced his concern on Wednesday about the growing violence in the lead-up to the presidential election in Sri Lanka, according the spokesperson's office.

Ban appealed to all parties in Sri Lanka and their supporters " to show restraint and refrain from violence, to adhere to the electoral laws and rules, and to avoid provocative acts throughout the election period and its aftermath."

Over the past week four people have been killed in campaign- related violence. Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse has ordered increased security ahead of the Jan. 26 elections as violence continues to escalate.

"The peaceful conduct of the first post-conflict national election is of the highest importance for long-term peace and reconciliation in Sri Lanka," said Ban.

The United Nations hopes the elections will be the first step in reconciliation after a bloody 25-year civil war between the Sinhalese government and the Tamil rebel group.

Source: Xinhua
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