The Sri Lankan government has called a temporary halt to fighting against the Tamil Tigers.
It said that is to allow tens of thousands of trapped civilians to escape from the so called no-fire zone on the island’s northeast coast where the separatists are making their last stand. The United Nations and witnesses say the rebels are holding around 100,000 people as human shields. The international community has also urged the Sri Lankan military not to fire into the no-fire zone. Sri Lanka’s president said the ceasefire will last through to Tuesday over the country’s New Year. The government announcement – which included a call for the Tigers to surrender – came just after tens of thousands of Tamils marched through central London in the latest in a series of demonstrations throughout Europe demanding a ceasefire. Sri Lankan troops have encircled the remnants of the Tamil Tiger force and appear close to ending Asia’s longest-running civil war.