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Sri Lanka's International Backers Try to Salvage Crumbling Cease Fire

Sri Lanka's international financial backers have met with the country's president to try to salvage the 2002 cease fire between the government and Tamil Tiger rebels.

Envoys from the United States, European Union, Norway and Japan met with President Mahinda Rajapakse Monday in Colombo to express their concern over the escalating violence that has claimed hundreds of lives this year.

The diplomats discussed the need for an immediate halt to the bloodshed. They also discussed the humanitarian crisis in the northern Jaffna peninsula, which is cut off from the rest of the country following battles between the two sides.

Meanwhile, the foreign cease fire monitoring mission says it is temporarily retreating to Colombo because neither the government nor the rebels are allowing its monitors access to the battlefield in northern Jaffna peninsula.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.