VATICAN CITY: Pope Benedict XVI has encouraged Sri Lankan authorities and citizens to step up efforts for reconciliation in the country, where a 25-year civil war ended just months ago. The pontiff on Wednesday praised the authorities’ efforts in aiding the return home of families that had been displaced in the conflict, which ended in May, and said those efforts should be increased. He asked all Sri Lankan citizens to engage in a “fast pacification, in the full respect of human rights.” He also asked the international community to offer humanitarian and economic assistance to the country. Sri Lanka’s victory over the Tamil Tigers ended their campaign to create an independent state for ethnic minority Tamils.