April 4, 2009 (AFP) – Sri Lankan troops advancing on the last remaining pockets of rebel resistance killed at least 111 Tamil Tigers in separate ground and sea clashes on Saturday, the military said. His visit to Sri Lanka came as UN chief Ban Ki-moon again urged Tamil rebel leaders to allow trapped civilians to move freely out of the conflict area.
“The secretary general calls upon the LTTE leadership to allow civilians to leave the conflict area of their own free will,” said a statement issued by UN spokeswoman Michele Montas in New York.
“The severe restrictions of the LTTE on their freedom of movement violate international law.”
The UN head also reminded the Colombo government “of its responsibility to protect civilians, and to avoid the use of heavy weapons in areas where there are civilians, as promised.”
He said the Sri Lankan government “should receive and treat displaced persons in accordance with international law, and work closely with the United Nations in meeting the protection and physical needs of displaced persons.”
At the height of their power in the mid-1990s, the Tigers controlled more than a third of the total land mass of Sri Lanka as they pushe