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Friday, 22 May 2009

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UNSG arrives today

United Nations Secretary General Ban ki Moon will arrives today on the invitation of President Mahinda Rajapaksa on a two day visit and will hold talks with the President and senior UN officials on the current situation in the country especially about hundreds of thousands of Internally Displaced Persons of the North being provided with shelter, food and other relief services by the government.

President Rajapaksa will brief the UN Secretary General and discuss the needs of the IDPs as well as the current situation in the country with the defeat of the LTTE after more than 25 years of continued bloodshed and sabotage inflicted vital economic centres and public property by the terrorists, senior official sources said yesterday.

President Rajapaksa had kept Secretary General Ban ki Moon informed of the situation during important times of the armed conflict with the terrorist group.

While officials of some foreign governments and lesser UN officials had made unorthodox comments about the situation of civilians in the North the Secretary General had expressed his concerns and was prepared to assist Sri Lanka in its efforts bring back normalcy to the beleaguered people of the country.

President Rajapaksa during his visit to Jordan to attend the World Economic Forum had telephoned Ban ki Moon and apprised him of the situation of the country.

On May 10, the UN pledged 71 million US dollars - about rupees 8 billion as aid for the welfare and rehabilitation of the IDPs to be disbursed through the UNICEF, UNHCR and other UN agencies working in the country.

The UN News Centre in a release said Tuesday (19) quoted Secretary General Ban ki Moon saying “The task now facing the people of Sri Lanka is immense and requires all hands” and UN agencies are stepping up their efforts to assist the hundreds of thousand of people displaced by the conflict.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) estimates that there are 220,000 who have already reached the IDP camps and it is believed that another 40,000 – 60,000 people are on their way to the sites.”

Ban ki Moon will visit the IDP camps in the Vanni and Vakarai and will meet President Mahinda Rajapaksa in Kandy and will field a press conference after the meeting with the President, Foreign Ministry officials said.

*************

** UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon from the Republic of Korea had 37 years of national and international service.

** He was the Minister for Foreign Trade of his country.

** During his long tenure of public service he was posted to New Delhi, Washington DC and held several high positions.

** He received his bachelor’s degree in international relations from Seoul National University in 1970.

 

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