Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka: UN convoy tries again to reach Vanni civilians

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COLOMBO, 17 October 2008: The United Nations says that a second attempt will be made this morning to send a convoy of food to civilians displaced behind the lines of confrontation in Sri Lanka's north. The 50-truck World Food Programme (WFP) convoy was forced back yesterday afternoon after a dangerously close exchange of heavy fire across the A9 route into the Vanni.

The UN says that it has received renewed assurances from both parties to the conflict that the convoy would be able to proceed this morning unhindered.

The 50-truck and nine support vehicle operation is carrying 750 metric tonnes of food for the estimated 230,000 civilians forced from their homes by fighting. It is the second convoy in as many weeks, and is part of an ongoing operation to supply humanitarian aid to civilians moving to avoid fighting between the Government of Sri Lanka forces and the LTTE.

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United Nations
Office of the Resident / Humanitarian Coordinator
Colombo, Sri Lanka