UN envoy Lynn Pascoe insists on early release of IDPs
[TamilNet, Friday, 18 September 2009, 16:36 GMT]
Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Lynn Pascoe who met Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapakse Friday to present the letter from UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon outlining the concerns of the international community on the situation of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and other related matters, said that he had raised the issue of the early release of the IDPs and their freedom of movement with the President, sources in Colombo said. "It is frustrating to live in such conditions and therefore the people should be allowed to return to their original homes at the earliest. The security concerns of the government are understandable but at the same time the people must also be taken into serious consideration", Mr. Pascoe said.
Meanwhile, it is reported that the United Nations expressed concern Friday about the agreement reached in May between its General Secretary Ban Ki-moon and President Mahinda Rajapakse regarding the resettlement of the IDPs commenting that it did not see any anticipated progress through the agreement.
The visiting UN envoy further said that among the various issues that he discussed with the President the early release of the IDPs and their freedom inside the camp took precedence, the sources added.
The other matters of importance that Lynn Pascoe was concerned about were the well-being of the two Sri Lankan UN employees now under detention for alleged links with Liberation Tigers and Mr. James Elder, Communications Chief of the United Nations International Children's Emergency Funds (UNICEF), being expelled from Sri Lanka, according to the sources.