Sri Lanka responsible for the safety of UN staff in the country

Apr 28, New York: The United Nations reminded Sri Lanka today that as a host country it has a responsibility to protect the UN staff and the assets in the country.

Responding to questions regarding the protests planned in Sri Lanka on May 1 against the Experts Panel report, Farhan Haq, the Deputy Spokesperson to the UN Secretary-General said the UN trusts the Sri Lankan government to assure the safety of the UN Staff.

“In light of the demonstrations in July 2010, it would be unacceptable if the authorities failed to prevent any disruption of the normal functioning of the UN offices in Sri Lanka as a result of unruly protests,” the Spokesperson said.

Haq said that as the host country, the government has responsibilities towards UN personnel and assets, so as to ensure continuation of the vital work of the Organization without any hindrance or threats to the security of its personnel or facilities.

“The United Nations has reminded the Government of its responsibility and trusts that this will be done,” he added.

A Sri Lankan government minster today said that the government is to organize a protest campaign, both locally and internationally, against the report by the Panel of Experts appointed by the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Sri Lanka.

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