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UN Secretary General arrives in Sri Lanka

UNITED Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has arrived in Sri Lanka amid celebrations of defeating the Tamil Tiger rebels, government officials said today.

Ban arrived at midnight local time yesterday and would meet Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse tomorrow.

Sri Lankan foreign minister Rohitha Bogollagama was at the airport to receive the UN chief and his 40-member delegation.

Sri Lanka had been resisting UN calls for a pause in fighting with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) before the government troops launched their final onslaught on the rebels in the northern Mullaittivu district.

The UN focus is now on the humanitarian relief effort of the Sri Lankan government in providing relief to over 260,000 Tamil minority civilians now accommodated in welfare camps.

Ban would visit the northern town of Vavuniya for an inspection of the camps, officials said.

Sri Lanka's over-30-year-old battle with the LTTE came to a conclusion early this week with all the 15,000-sq-km rebel territory having been recaptured and almost all the LTTE leaders killed.


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