UN High Commissioner visits Kilinochchi

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 26 July 2006, 09:06 GMT]
António Guterres, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), on Wednesday visited Kilinochchi, the de facto administration centre of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) administered Tamil territories and met with LTTE's Political Head, S. P. Thamilchelvan and M. Pavarasan, the Director of UN and NGO affairs of the Tamil administration, LTTE officials in Kilnochchi said.

The UNHCR High Commissioner, who arrived in Kilinochchi at 1:10 p.m. in a Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) helicopter, was received by S. Thangan, the LTTE Deputy Political Head and the Director of LTTE's Peace Secretariat, S. Puleedevan.

Talking to reporters after the meeting at LTTE's Peace Secretariat, Mr. António Guterres, said there were open and frank discussions and a common mutual understanding with regards to the Tamils concern of the resettlement of the Internally Displaced People.

"We need to do more than just assisting the IDPs. We need to create confidence building meassures. This is also an important area of discussions with the Government in Colombo."

"We need to promote solutions to enable resettlement of IPDs. We need to ensure human rights of the internally displaced people. I know this is an area of great concern for the LTTE."

Asked about UNHCR's stand on High Security Zones, Guterres said there were questions to be resolved with regards to the insecurity for the population, in a sensible end, and other important areas.

"This, of course, not just based on words, it must be based on acts."

The UNHCR has provided an excellent service to the people in need for a long time, the LTTE Politicla Head, said addressing the reporters after the meeting.

He said that the Tigers had explained the ground situtation prevailing in the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) controlled areas amidst increased killings by the Sri Lankan armed forces.

"Upto 800 civilians have been killed within a short period of time by the terror campaign launched by the Sri Lankan forces," the LTTE Political Head said.

He also said that the LTTE has brought the issue of embargo being imposed by Colombo.

Sri Lanka ranks fifth, next to Liberia, in the list of IDPs of major concern throughout the world, according to UNHCR's January 2005 statistics.

A former Portuguese prime minister (1996 - 2000), António Guterres, heads one of the world's principal humanitarian agencies, the UNHCR which has 6,500 staff members currently work in over 100 countries providing protection and assistance to 20.8 million refugees.


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