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Two ministers fail in cease-fire effort

April 30, 2009 at 12:30 PM

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, April 30 (UPI) -- The French and British foreign ministers say they have failed to negotiate a cease-fire in Sri Lanka.

Bernard Kouchner of France and David Miliband of Britain said they were unable to convince Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa to reach an agreement with rebel leaders, The Times of London said Thursday.

Kouchner and Miliband had been attempting to bring about a cease-fire agreement to help protect citizens living in parts of Sri Lanka that are occupied by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

The United Nations estimates 50,000 non-combatants are living in areas exposed to violence between government and rebel forces.

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