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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 104

Bogollagama requests United Nations to join in Sri Lanka government plan to uplift the condition of secured eastern people

By Walter Jayawardhana

New York, 14 March, (Asiantribune.com): Calling the re-development plan introduced by the Government of Sri Lanka to the nation’s Eastern Province a model for post conflict peace building the island nation’s foreign Minister called on the United Nations to join in complementing the effort to up lift the people who were secured from the LTTE , when he met UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon in New York. Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama who met with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon at the UN Headquarters in New York Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama who met with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon at the UN Headquarters in New York

Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama who met with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon at the UN Headquarters in New York today (13 March 2007), called on the international community including the UN to join in complementing the Sri Lanka Government’s efforts in uplifting the economic standards of the people of the Eastern Province, where considerable areas had recently been secured from the LTTE. He said the re-development of the Eastern province in Sri Lanka could serve as a model for post-conflict peace building and development, Sri Lanka’s Permanent Mission in New York said in a statement.

Minister Bogollagama who arrived in New York March 12, was spending the next day meeting with the Secretary-General, Ms. Ann Veneman, Executive Director, UNICEF and Mr. Kemal Dervis, UNDP Administrator as well as other senior UN officials.

“Minister Bogollagama also thanked the Secretary-General for the very prompt statement he issued when a group of Ambassadors in Sri Lanka who travelled to Batticaloa on a humanitarian mission last month, came under LTTE mortar fire. He said the LTTE must understand that they cannot hinder the efforts of the Government, as well as the international donor community, in providing relief to the people”, the statement further said..

Briefing the Secretary-General on efforts currently under way in Sri Lanka to find a political settlement to the present conflict, the Minister detailed the painstaking process that had been pursued over the past 13 months by President Mahinda Rajapaksa with the aim of seeking a “southern consensus”. He noted that very soon, after considering the views of all stakeholders, the Government would find a political resolution to the current conflict, the statement added.

The UN Secretary-General who recalled that he had known and met with President Mahinda Rajapaksa on several occasions, and had also hosted him while the Foreign Minister of South Korea, said he had deep personal respect for President Rajapaksa and came to appreciate the daunting challenges Sri Lanka faces.

“Discussing issues concerning human rights in Sri Lanka, the Minister apprised the Secretary-General of the tangible measures taken by the Government of Sri Lanka over the past few months to improve the human rights situation in the country. These included both the investigation of alleged instances of violations and leaving no room for such incidents in the future. The Minister said the Sri Lanka Government will remain responsible and accountable in this area.

“The Foreign Minister also called upon the international community to support Sri Lanka’s efforts to deal with LTTE as a terrorist organization and assist in curbing LTTE fund raising and arms procurement.

“Secretary-General also complimented Sri Lanka for maintaining a strong working relationship with the UN, especially in the reform of the United Nations where the country’s representation plays a very productive role. He looked forward to continued constructive engagement between Sri Lanka and the UN in the future,”the statement said.

Minister Bogollagama was accompanied to the meeting by Dr. Palitha Kohona, Secretary Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Prasad Kariyawasam, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN in New York and other officials. The Secretary-General was accompanied by Mr. Vijay Nambiar, Chef de Cabinet, Ms. Angela Kane, Assistant-Secretary-General for Political Affairs and other UN officials.

- Asian Tribune -

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