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Sri Lanka: Madhu cease-fire negotiations

Briefing notes

Sri Lanka: Madhu cease-fire negotiations

30 November 1999

With the help of local religious groups, UNHCR is now negotiating a local cease-fire in northern Sri Lanka's Madhu area to enable displaced people to return to their villages to the north of the Vavuniya- Mannar road.

UNHCR on Sunday managed to deliver an aid convoy to Madhu after crossing the front line between government forces and Tamil Tiger rebels. Food and shelter material were delivered to 10,000 people who sought refuge in the Madhu church complex. This was the first time aid reached Madhu since November 21 when intensified fighting in the area left 40 civilians dead. UNHCR subsequently withdrew from the area but we have now negotiated limited humanitarian access to Madhu in talks with both the Sri Lankan authorities and LTTE rebels.