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Post-conflict rehabilitation :

UN, Sri Lanka to harness international support

Sri Lanka and the United Nations are set to interact closely in generating international support for rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts during the post-conflict phase.

Disaster Management and Human Rights Minister, Mahinda Samarasinghe following talks with visiting UN Humanitarian Affairs Chief Sir John Holmes yesterday said the two parties had discussed ways of generating international aid for the cause.

As a result, Sri Lanka would be meeting the donor community next week to seek their support in raising funds to develop conflict affected areas and community livelihood programs for the displaced, the Minister added.

The UN envoy had promised to look into the possibilities of releasing aid from the UN Emergency Relief Fund to expedite relief work for the conflict affected people, he added.

According to sources, the efforts to free civilians trapped in the ‘Safe Zone’ too had come in for high praise from the visiting UN envoy. The Daily News also has learnt that he has made a request to allow two UN representatives to access the conflict area.

Referring to the request, Minister Samarasinghe said the matter had been discussed yesterday where he had conveyed that the Government was not against such a visit but had to address relevant security risks and logistical problems prior to such a trip.

Sir John Holmes during his three day visit is expected to meet top Government officials and to visit Vavuniya to meet the displaced civilians and witness the relief efforts.

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