UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (L) looks on with Sri Lanka's Minister of Foreign Affairs Mangala Samaraweera after delivering a lecture on "sustainable peace" in Colombo on September 2, 2016. / AFP / LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI
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U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon Friday urged Sri Lanka to speed up returning land to war-battered minority Tamils and reduce the army's presence in their areas to help reconciliation after decades of ethnic bloodshed.The U.N. Secretary-General said he welcomed some symbolic steps taken by the new government to ensure reconciliation, but there should be more momentum to ensure lasting peace, seven years after the 37-year civil war ended.Ban said Friday that the U.N. too learnt lessons from Sri Lanka's conflict.Tamils had accused the U.N. of failing to protect civilians during the fighting while the then government in Colombo accused the world body of interference.
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