Sri Lanka Restarts Airstrikes, Bars Diplomat

Swedish foreign minister refused entry days before trip
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 28, 2009 8:40 AM CDT
Sri Lanka Restarts Airstrikes, Bars Diplomat
Ethnic Tamil civilians are seen outside their tents at a camp for the displaced in Vavuniya, Sri Lanka, on Sunday.   (AP Photo)

The Sri Lankan army bombarded the tiny coastal strip where ethnic Tamil rebels are mounting their last stand, the Guardian reports—a day after the government said it would end airstrikes. Tens of thousands of civilians are trapped in the region. The eruption comes as Sweden’s foreign minister, scheduled to visit to push for a ceasefire, was inexplicably refused entry today, the AP adds.

More than 6,500 civilians have died this year as the 26-year civil war moves into what could be its final stage, and international organizations have accused both sides of failing to protect the citizens in the war zone. The Swedish minister, although flabbergasted at the refusal, nevertheless encouraged his British and French counterparts to visit Sri Lanka: “The humanitarian situation is very serious.” (Read more Sri Lanka stories.)

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