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Posts Tagged ‘Diplomacy’

By BBC News

British and French foreign ministers in Sri Lanka have urged the government to halt its military offensive against Tamil Tiger rebels in the north.

UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband said the call was not aimed at saving the Tamil rebel leader but the lives of thousands of civilians trapped.

Correspondents say the government is unlikely to agree to a truce.

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By CNN News

The Sri Lankan army overran two Tamil Tiger rebel positions in the country’s north on Tuesday, the military reported on its Web site.

Recently captured rebel weapons stacked up in the former Tamil stronghold of Kilinochchi.

The rebels “suffered double blows, losing two heavily fortified defense positions as … troops made predawn incursions at identified terror strong points located south of Valayanmadam today,” the Ministry of Defense said.

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By BBC News

The US military is “deeply saddened” by the outcome of its raid in southern Iraq in which two people were killed, a senior US officer has said.

Colonel Richard Francey, expressed his condolences for “a terrible tragedy” that took place in Kut on Sunday.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki denounced the operation as a crime and a violation of the security pact governing the US presence in Iraq.

The US says the raid was approved by Iraqi officials, as the pact requires.

Iraq has detained two of its army commanders who allegedly authorised the operation without the knowledge of officials.

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By The United Nations Department of Public Information

Representatives of four non-governmental organizations today called on the United Nations to speak out on the situation in northern Sri Lanka and urged the Security Council to take up the matter under the concept of “responsibility to protect”.

Speaking at a Headquarters press conference where they discussed the situation in and around the “no-fire zone” in northern Sri Lanka -– where Government forces are poised to overrun positions held by rebel fighters of the Liberation of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) -– were Joseph Cornelius Donnelly of Caritas Internationalis; Anna Neistat of Human Rights Watch; Robert Templer of the International Crisis Group; and Nimmi Gowrinathan of Operation USA. James Traub of the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect was available to answer questions. The press conference was sponsored by the Permanent Mission of Denmark to the United Nations.

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By The Huffington Post

Last night, on a cool clear night lit by floodlights, a Boeing 747 touched down in Dover, Delaware. In a solemn 20-minute-long ceremony, a team wearing white gloves and camouflage fatigues carried a flag-draped casket off the plane. The casket carried the remains of Staff Sgt Phillip Myers, who was killed when an improvised explosive device exploded in Helmand province. This ceremony, with its media witnesses, ended an 18-year ban on covering the return of fallen U.S. service members.

President Obama is to be commended for ending the ban and for increasing the emphasis on diplomatic and civilian approaches to the war in Afghanistan. But wielding the American military is so expensive and complex it remains to be seen how much of a shift from the status quo Obama can accomplish.

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By Philippine National Red Cross

Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) Senator Richard J. Gordon today appealed to the Abu Sayaff to spare the lives of the three workers of International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

The appeal was made a few minutes before the deadline set by the abductors to behead the hostages.

“We appeal to the government and the Abu Sayaff to be patient – as we have been appealing for the past two months – as we continue to exhaust all peaceful and diplomatic efforts to secure the safe and immediate release of our colleagues,” Gordon said.

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By Frieda Berrigan, Foreign Policy in Focus

Good news is in short supply. The economy remains bleak. The war in Iraq entered its seventh year last week, and violence reaches new pinnacles in Afghanistan. But there is one bright light amid all this gloom. Real progress is being made to ban cluster munitions. These are canisters of different sizes that release hundreds of bomblets on detonation, scattering deadly devices over an area as large as several football fields.

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