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Proxy Battle Between Government And UN

Jul 10, 2010 3:15:49 PM - thesundayleader.lk

T he UN protest has become a proxy battle with the UN issuing misleading statements and the government being accused of direct involvement in agitations.

A misleading UN statement implied that the closure of the UNDP Regional Centre was linked to the protest on Bauddhaloka Mawatha. “(The Secretary General) has also decided that the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Regional Centre in Colombo will be closed,” said the Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon. However, a senior UNDP official said “The office is on Independence Avenue and they’ve been closing for a year. It has no connection to the UN protest.”
At the same time, opposition MPs accused the government of direct involvement in the UN protests.

“We saw a minister of government surround the UN office. They closed the gates and started a protest,” said UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekera in parliament on Wednesday.

That Minister, Wimal Weerawansa, has since publicly resigned his Ministry, though the resignation has not been accepted according to the Presidential Secretariat. He declared a death fast until the UN Panel is withdrawn. However, following President Mahinda Rajapaksa visiting him last evening, Weerawansa ended his fast.

The UN meanwhile is determined to proceed with the Expert Panel appointed to probe possible war crimes in Sri Lanka.

On June 30 UN Spokesman Farhan Haq said they had been reassured that Minister Wimal Weerawansa’s call to protest was his “individual opinion”. However, the Defence Secretary allegedly ordered all policemen to stand down. “Withdraw all policemen from that place straightaway without leaving a single officer,” he said, in a phone conversation subsequently leaked to the media.