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Brahimi rules out broader role for UN

The UN Secretary General's Special Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi yesterday ruled out a broader role for the UN in future in the Sri Lankan Peace Process, curtly brushing aside wide spread speculation that the UN was going to replace peace facilitator Norway.

Brahimi who is here on a special invitation by President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga to review the current state of the peace process was speaking to a group of reporters at Colombo Hilton last afternoon, before his departure to New York.

He said: "There is no question of that. Nobody asked us. We haven't offered. So I'm not looking for a job," in response to the question whether the UN has been asked to replace Norway.

He observed it was time to review the ceasefire which has become a bit 'tricky' after the assassination of Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar.

Wrapping up his four day mission to showcase UN's interest to pay special attention to the Sri Lankan issue, the special envoy said he met several stakeholders in the peace process to take in their version of concerns and the Prime Minister, the Opposition Leader and political party leaders during his stay here.

Noting that it was sad the peace process has been stalled for a long time the special envoy stressed that parties involved in the peace process must strive to take the dimension of human rights into account.

He reiterated he sees no special role for the UN before or after the election and commended the UN's satisfaction over the current role played by the Norway as the facilitator. "Norway is doing a good job under difficult conditions," Brahimi commented.

The special envoy is to report back what he learned here to the UN Secretary General on his return to New York.

Asked if there will be further developments after his feedback to UN Chief he said that he 'hoped not'.

Brahimi said he was requested by the Secretary general to extend his tour in the region and pay a visit to Sri Lanka to take stock of the ground situation with regard to the Peace Process, especially after the assassination of former Foreign Minister.

This was in response to a request by the President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga.



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