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UN On Alert

Jul 3, 2010 2:59:46 PM - thesundayleader.lk

By Raisa Wickrematunge

The United Nations office in Sri Lanka Friday said they would be on “alert”  following NFF MP Wimal Weerawansa’s statement to the media on Wednesday last week calling on the public to surround the UN offices in Colombo and hold its workers hostage.

Referring to a statement made by the UN Spokesman Farhan Haq in New York,  UN Resident Coordinator for Sri Lanka, Neil Buhne added that the UN would always work to ensure the safety of their staff.

Buhne collaborating a statement made by UN spokesman Farhan Haq said UN security officials were looking into the accuracy of the statement made by Wimal Weerawansa.

He said that the UN in New York had already contacted the Sri Lankan government, who had brushed aside Weerawansa’s comments insisting they were merely “individual opinion,” and not to be taken seriously.

Meanwhile, UNP Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya condemned Weerawansa’s “cavalier” statement.

“When a senior government Minister urges the public to take to acts such as taking United Nations officials hostage…. it is tantamount to condoning, if not instigating terrorism,” Jayasuriya said. He called on the government to take an official stance on the statement to prevent Sri Lanka being “pushed further into the fold of global black sheep.”

On Wednesday, Weerawansa made a public call asking people to surround the UN office in Colombo and keep the staff there hostage until UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon dissolved the three member advisory panel he has appointed to look into possible war crimes in Sri Lanka.

Weerawansa had pointed out that it could lead to “leaders and war heroes” being presented before an international justice court.

Ban Ki-Moon has insisted he is well within his rights to have done what he did and saw no reason for the government’s angry response to the appointment.