The "operational role of the UNHCR in Sri Lanka would be phased down" said the UN Hugh Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres on Wednesday, despite the ongoing displacement of 'resettled' Tamil IDPs.
"UNHCR will continue to be committed to supporting voluntary repatriation of some of the refugees of Sri Lanka from India, as well as with the resettlement of the remainder of the internally displaced in their places of origin".
Guterres cited "many of the reasons that were elaborated upon in the Ambassador's [Ravinatha Aryasinha] statement" as to why the operations were being wound down.
Addressing the Executive Committee of the UNHCR, Aryasinha had claimed:
"In contrast to the considerable difficulty and gloom in the humanitarian crises that continue to engulf many parts of the world today, Sri Lanka’s recent achievements provides confidence and hope".
"It lends credence to the position that even the most severe and insurmountable of challenges could be overcome with the political commitment and dedication of the concerned country, and the requisite support provided by the international community. He said Sri Lanka remains ready to share its experience and best practices in post-conflict resettlement and rehabilitation with the international community, and looked forward to strengthening the ongoing cooperation between the UNHCR and member states".
The Sri Lankan government has expressed concern over a recent Memorandum of understanding, signed between the US Embassy in Colombo and the Trincomalee Urban Council, to establish an ‘American Corner’, a public information centre.
A Sri Lankan military soldier is suspected to have perpetrated the rape of a 7 year old girl in Nedunkeni, Vavuniya, reports Uthayan.
The incident led to a protest by local Tamils, demanding that the culprit be arrested.
Sri Lanka's Public Relations and Public Affairs Minister, Mervyn Silva, has decided to launch a hotline for public complaints, reports Colombo Page. The hotline would allow the user to choose their language of choice,