UN chief blasts killings of Sri Lankan Red Cross workers

UNITED NATIONS, June 4, 2007 (AFP) – UN chief Ban Ki-moon condemns the killings of two Red Cross employees in Sri Lanka and demands a thorough police investigation, his office said Monday.

“The Secretary General condemns the brutal killings of two workers of the Sri Lankan Red Cross and … demands a thorough investigation by the police,” a UN statement said.

Ban, who is on his way to Spain for an official visit, said he was “deeply concerned” about the security of civilians and aid workers in Sri Lanka and “reminds all parties in the country that aid workers have a right to protection at all times.”

Gunmen claiming to be police abducted and shot dead the two Red Cross staffers barely a week after the country pledged greater security for aid workers, the Red Cross said Sunday.

The Geneva-based charity said the bullet-riddled bodies of S. Shanmungaligam and K. Chandramohan were discovered late Saturday in the central town of Ratnapura, hours after they were abducted from the main railway station in Colombo. They were killed in the worst attack against aid workers in Sri Lanka since the massacre of 17 French charity workers in August.