UN condemns attack on aid workers in Sri Lanka

May 22, 2006 (AFP) – A United Nations agency Monday condemned the bombing of international aid agencies in Sri Lanka and said it was appalled by the continuing “despicable attacks”. The UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Sri Lanka said grenade attacks on three non-governmental organisations in the Trincomalee district Sunday injured one international staff member and two civilians.

“We strongly condemn these attacks which undermine the ability of the humanitarian community to freely conduct operations, and which instill fear into the thousands of men, women and children to whom we provide relief and assistance,” a statement said.

“These attacks must be investigated and the perpetrators brought to justice,” it said.

The government of Sri Lanka and all parties to the conflict must ensure the protection and safety of all humanitarian aid organisations working in the country, the UN said.

“All parties must urgently halt the current escalation of violence which is affecting innocent civilians, and work urgently towards a peaceful solution to the current impasse,” the statement said. Continuing violence has claimed the lives of least 510 people in the island’s trou