Colombo plans to close UN offices in NorthEast
[TamilNet, Monday, 06 December 2010, 13:35 GMT]
Sri Lanka Government has directed the United Nations officials to close the UNICEF, UNHCR offices in Ki'linochchi district in the North, and Trincomalee in the East before the end of this year, and to move the administrative functions to offices located outside NorthEast, civil society sources in Jaffna said. The sources fear that Colombo's action is part of its longer term strategy to rid of all NGO offices in the NorthEast.
During the period of intense war in Vanni, the UN Office functioning inside Vanni was moved south to Vavuniya, outside the areas of combat. However, after the war ended Colombo refused to allow the UN officials to reopen in the previously operated premises.
UNICEF has administrative control over four schools in Pa'lai and Ki'linochchi areas. UNICEF will maintain its functions working from its Jaffna offices, sources said.
World Food Program continues to distribute rations in Vanni area.
Civil sources said the UN offices are gradually reducing the working staff to comply with Colombo's plan of getting rid of all UN offices from Jaffna, Vanuniyaa, and Batticaloa districts by the end of 2011.