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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 105

UN accused of “shielding LTTE’s criminal actions” in Sri Lanka

H. L. D. Mahindapala

Sri Lankan Foreign Minister, Rohitha Bogollagama summoned Jeff Taft Dick, Representative and Director of World Food Programme and Acting Resident Humanitarian Coordinator yesterday and ticked him off for attempting to “shield the LTTE’s criminal actions” in Sri Lanka.

This is the latest development in the on-going saga of LTTE abducting two UN staffers. S. P. Tamilselvan, head of the Political Wing of the LTTE, had told UN that they had released one worker but the release of the other is under “review”. The LTTE had abducted the two UN workers accusing them of releasing the internally displaced persons (IDPs) who were being used as human shields by the LTTE.

Bogollagama expressed concern on the abduction and detention of the two UN workers by the LTTE and told Dick that UN action in

1) not informing the Government of Sri Lanka until April 27, 2007 that the Tamil Tigers had abducted two UN staffers; and

2) falsely stating that the UN worerkers were “arrested” when they were abducted by the Tamil Tigers

was “unacceptable”. He told Dick that UN action made it “unable” for the Sri Lankan government “to discharge its obligation under 1994 UN Convention on the safety of UN and Associated Personnel to which Sri Lanka is a party.”

He also expressed surprise that the abduction of the UN workers had not been told to the UN Secretary-General. This is revealed in the statement made by the spokesperson of the UN Secretary-General in New York on April 20, 2007.

Dick informed Bogollagama that Tamilselvan had said that the LTTE is “reviewing” the release of the other worker abducted and detained by the LTTE.

Dick also expressed regret for using the wrong terminology in classifying the “abduction” as an “arrest”. He added that he would convey the concerns of the Sri Lankan government to the UN.

- Asian Tribune -

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