HEAD OF UNITED NATIONS REFUGEE AGENCY PROMISES FURTHER ASSISTANCE TO SRI LANKA
Posted on September 17th, 2009

By Walter Jayawardhana

Antonio Gutteres, head of the United Nation’s Refugee Agency promised Sri Lanka that the agency would further help the island nation in the process of caring and resettling the Internally Displaced Tamil civilians in the North.

The United Nation’s High Commissioner for Refugees did this pledge when Sri Lanka’s Minister of Disaster Management and human Rights ,Mahinda Samarasinghe met him for discussions in Geneva, Samarasinghe said.

Gutteres, who is also a former Prime Minister of Portugal was briefed by the Sri Lankan Minister on the progress about the Internally DisplaceD Persons welfare camps and the resettlement of them, September 16.

During the discussions Samarasinghe made a request for further assistance for the IDP camps. The government is fast de-mining the former settlements of the IDP’s to make them safer places to live. Since the manual demining formerly undertook was slower than mechanized demining Sri Lanka is introducing mechanical de-miners after importing such machinery from Croatia and Australia.

The High Commissioner for Refugees Antonia Gueteres made positive responses for pleas for further assisatance and said the UN Agency would continue to help Sri Lanka.

Samarasinghe also had detailed discussions with the President of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on the promotion and protection of the Internally Displaced Persons in Sri Lanka and steps the President of Sri Lanka is taking to promote and protect human rights in the country. Samarasinghe said the President had very positive responses towards Sri Lanka.

Samarasinghe also had some time to spend in discussions with the ambassador for Egypt, who is the current President of the Non Aligned Movement in pursuing for common aims and success.

Samarasinghe said since he had the first opportunity of addressing the UN human Rights Council Sri Lanka had a full house present to listen to country’s concerns.

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