The government stripped Norway of its peace-broker role after Tamil protesters attacked the Sri Lankan embassy in Oslo.
Stian Lysberg Solum/Scanpix/Reuters
As the Sri Lankan government began a two-day cease-fire with the Tamil Tiger rebels Monday, the UN urged the rebels – now cornered in a 5-1/2 square-mile zone – to allow civilians to leave the area. (Click here to see a map of the region.)
The United Nations says more than 100,000 civilians are still trapped in the conflict area, and last week warned of a "bloodbath" if they are not evacuated. The government says it has nearly wiped out the Liberation Tigers for Tamil Eelam (LTTE) as a conventional military force, after a grueling, 14-month campaign that saw fierce trench warfare.
Xinhua and the Indo-Asian News Service reported that the cease-fire was mostly holding Monday, save for two rebel attacks. Rebels killed one soldier and wounded another in a mortar attack, and a rebel sniper also killed one soldier.