UN humanitarian chief to visit Sri Lanka next week

08:16, November 13, 2009      

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The United Nations humanitarian chief will undertake a three-day mission to Sri Lanka next week, a UN spokesperson announced on Thursday.

The Nov. 17-19 visit will be the fourth this year for UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator John Holmes, who previously traveled there in February, April and May, Marie Okabe, the deputy spokesperson for the UN secretary-general, told a news briefing here.

The United Nations has been closely monitoring the situation in Sri Lanka, where more than 270,000 people were staying in closed camps after hostilities between the military and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) ended in May, UN officials said.

In recent months, senior UN humanitarian and human rights officials have voiced concerns over the safety of these internally displaced persons (IDPs), which according to recent estimates by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) now number about 163,000.

Source: Xinhua
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