Video: UN is relieved that the fighting is over in Sri Lanka (John Holmes)

View the entire briefing (Real Media, 55 minutes)

United Nations, New York, 18 May 2009 - The United Nations, according to the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator John Holmes, is relieved that the fighting is over in Sri Lanka.

The government of Sri Lanka on Monday declared an end to the conflict after it said it had killed the leader of the Tamil Tigers and took control of the entire country for the first time since 1983.

Mr. Holmes expresses the hope that all the civilians are out of the conflict zone and are heading towards safety.

But the United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator says it's hard to be absolutely sure about that his office is still trying to verify the situation of the civilians.

Mr. Holmes says this poses major challenges in terms of providing shelter, basic services, food, clean water and medical services to the displaced people.

He identifies family reunion as another issue that needs to be addressed for the old residents of the camps and the new arrivals.

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