**Sri Lankan President Calls for Reconciliation**
Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena pledged Wednesday to pursue national reconciliation in a country still divided by a decades-long civil war that ended nearly six years ago.
He spoke in Colombo at an Independence Day ceremony that paid respect to all those killed in the 26-year war that pitted government forces against rebels seeking an independent state for Sri Lanka's Tamil minority.
"The biggest challenge today is to unite the hearts of the people of the north and south through a national reconciliation process," Mr. Sirisena said.
The president was elected last month, defeating former leader Mahinda Rajapaska, whose government rejected an international investigation into allegations of possible war crimes during the conflict.
Government troops killed as many as 40,000 Tamil civilians during the offensive that ended the war in 2009, according to a United Nations report. The U.N. has said the total death toll during the war could be as high as 100,000 people.
**EU Official Calls for Immediate Truce in Ukraine**
The European Union's foreign policy chief has called for an immediate truce in eastern Ukraine, where fresh fighting has killed three people, according to officials.
Witnesses saw at least three bodies outside a hospital that was hit by shells in the rebel-held city of Donetsk on Wednesday.
In a statement, the EU's Federica Mogherini said the "fighting, provoked by the continued separatist offensive, notably around Debaltseve, is causing great human suffering and undermines all efforts aimed at a political solution."
"The shelling of civilians, wherever it happens, is a grave violation of international humanitarian law. Artillery should immediately be withdrawn from residential areas," she continued.
Mogherini called for the establishment of a "local temporary truce for a minimum of three days, taking immediate effect."
Fighting has raged in the self-declared separatist regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, especially around the Ukrainian-controlled town of Debaltseve, since the rebels launched a new offensive late last month and peace talks in Belarus between the two sides collapsed Saturday.