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Sri Lanka on standby for 'final push'

By Nick Paton Walsh

Updated on 19 April 2009

Sri Lanka's troops are on standby for a final push against separatist Tamil Tiger rebels, the Sri Lankan defence minister has told Nick Paton Walsh .

This comes after the UK's Foreign Secretary David Miliband repeated his call for an immediate ceasefire saying he's "gravely concerned" about the situation in Sri Lanka.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has also sent his special representative, former Defence Secretary Des Browne, to the United Nations in New York for urgent talks.

Aid agencies are warning of a worsening humanitarian situation on the island, where an estimated 150,000 civilians are trapped in the north where government troops are fighting Tamil Tiger rebels.

Children are worst affected and lack of food and medicine means many are severely malnourished.

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