UNDP closes regional office, not country office in Sri Lanka: UN

19:55, July 09, 2010      

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The Office of the UN Resident Coordinator in Sri Lanka clarified on Friday that the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has closed regional office, not the country office in Sri Lanka.

"The Office of the United Nations Resident/Humanitarian Coordinator in Sri Lanka wishes to clarify that the UNDP country office in Sri Lanka is not closing. It is only the Colombo office of UNDP's Regional Center for Asia and the Pacific, which provides policy advice and services for countries throughout Asia and the Pacific, which is closing," said the office in a statement.

All UNDP programs for Sri Lanka will continue, as will the vital work of the other agencies throughout Sri Lanka, the statement added.

The clarification came after UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon decided to close down the UNDP Regional Center in Colombo and recall the United Nations Resident Coordinator, Neil Buhne, to New York for consultations.

A UN spokesman in New York announced Thursday that Ban finds it unacceptable that the Sri Lankan authorities have failed to prevent the disruption of the normal functioning of the United Nations offices in Colombo as a result of unruly protests organized and led by a cabinet minister of the government.

Ban's decision came as Engineering Services Minister Wimal Weerawansa sat in protest opposite the UN compound in Colombo on a death fast.

He demands the disbanding of an advisory panel appointed by the UN secretary-general on alleged war crimes during the last stages of the military conflict with Tamil Tiger rebels.

Weerawansa is also the leader of the National Freedom Front, a government ally whose activists have been demonstrating near the UN offices since Tuesday.

Source: Xinhua


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