UN panel going ahead

8 July 2010 02:49 am - 12     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The three member panel on Sri Lanka appointed by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will meet despite the protests opposite the UN office in Colombo, UN spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters in New York.

The United Nations meanwhile said it is closely monitoring developments in Colombo following the protests outside the world body’s offices, noting that it has received assurances of the safety and security of its staff from the Sri Lankan Government.

Hundreds of people took part in the protests, which were reportedly led by Housing Minister Wimal Weerawansa in response to the setting up of a UN advisory panel on human rights violations committed in the final stages of the conflict between the Government and the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), which ended in May 2009.

According to UN spokesperson Farhan Haq, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s chief of staff, Vijay Nambiar, met with Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the UN, Palitha Kohona, who gave “full and clear” assurances of UN staff safety and security.

He added that Mr. Weerawansa himself said in a press conference that UN staff would be allowed to move in and out of the compound.

“We trust that the Government of Sri Lanka will honour the commitments made in ensuring the safety and security of our staff so that they can continue the vital work being carried out by the United Nations each day to help the people of Sri Lanka,” Mr. Haq told reporters in New York.

The UN Country Team (UNCT) confirmed that essential staff will return to normal work starting today.

“However, as there are some indications of demonstrators remaining outside the compound, the UNCT will assess whether all staff could return soon,” said the spokesperson. (Daily Mirror online)

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  Comments - 12

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  • Dinesh Thursday, 08 July 2010 05:24 AM

    Sri Lanka's normal conflict resolution tactics (fast unto death) now tested against internationals. This is hilarious!

    James De Soysa Thursday, 08 July 2010 05:57 AM

    if Sri lanka has real democracy why the govt is so scared about this UN investigation

    since they have blood on there hands they are guilty and now they are sending thugs to stop this investigation.

    suba Thursday, 08 July 2010 03:03 AM

    Wimal can organize a protest in front of the UN Headquarters. That's the best solution.

    Saliya Wickramasuriy Thursday, 08 July 2010 03:13 AM

    Sri Lanka's stupid diplomacy!!!

    Sarath Thursday, 08 July 2010 03:14 AM

    Did Wimal expect the UN to kneel down and cancel the panel? What an idiot!

    Tharaka Chanaka Thursday, 08 July 2010 03:56 AM

    A slap in the face for Wimal

    Faqi Thursday, 08 July 2010 06:24 AM

    James De Soysa - a sensible comment. I applaud you for that.

    silsamadan Thursday, 08 July 2010 03:57 AM

    The panel should go ahead and find out who are the culprits,
    and then take necesesary action.If we are a member in the UN, we have to go by the rules of UN.

    Padikaramaduwa, G Thursday, 08 July 2010 06:27 AM

    Why not appoint similar advisory pannels on Afganistan, Iraq, Palastine, Vietnam, Cambodia, Tibet, Sudan and Koea (North and South)?

    jana Thursday, 08 July 2010 04:38 AM

    I think Wimal has to sort the housing issues at the domestic level instead of going into international politics!

    praveem Thursday, 08 July 2010 04:43 AM

    well done SIR go ahead, entire world with you...

    Murshid Idroos Thursday, 08 July 2010 05:01 AM

    Not only protests, we should temporarily suspend our membership. we should even be prepared to eat grass to protect our soveriegnity. Soveriegnity comes first and development second.


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