UN top official discusses civilian welfare, human rights in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 07 August 2007, 17:07 GMT]
United Nations, Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Relief Co-ordination, John Holmes, arrived in Jaffna Tuesday morning and held a conference in Jaffna Public Library Auditorium at 10.30 a.m, led by Jaffna Government Agent, K. Ganesh. Several government officials, representatives of local and International Non-government organizations, Rights officials, Douglas Devananda, head of Eelam People's Democratic Party (EPDP) and top officers of Sri Lanka Army (SLA) participated in the two hour long conference.

Mr. John Holmes arrived at Palaali air base Tuesday morning, and was flown to Jaffna Alfred Duraiappa Stadium in a military helicopter. From there he was taken to the Jaffna Public Library, heavily escorted, sources in Jaffna said.

Conference attendees discussed the current situation in Jaffna peninsula, issues related to easing restrictions in bringing essential food items to the peninsula, building infrastructure essential to the well-being of the peninsula residents, creating an atmosphere of normalcy, and the steps to be taken to ensure the supply of food and other essentials in the event of a war breaking in Jaffna peninsula.

However, a government official who attended the meeting said, as the conference was held in the presence of a Sri Lanka minister and top military officers, officials and representatives were reluctant to express true sentiments regarding issues related to human rights violations including extra judiciary killings, abductions, forced disappearances.

He added, however, that key issues were dealt with due discretion.

Several representatives and officials of UN organs in Jaffna, UNICHR, UNDP, UNICEF along with ICRC, and Human Rights Commission aslo participated in the conference.

All main roads in Jaffna town, including Hospital Road, were closed for public use when the conference took place.

The representatives of NGO, humanitarian organizations and government officials meeting the top UN official in person is a significant event under the present circumstances in Jaffna peninsula where a breakout of war appears imminent, civil society activists in the peninsula said.

No details are available on whether Mr. Holmes took part in any meeting with the SLA high command at Pallali military air base before the Jaffna meeting.


Chronology:

 

Latest 15 Reports
14.10.19 23:48   Photo
Tamil parties in North-East stipulate ‘acid test’ terms to SL presidential candidates
13.10.19 22:15   Photo
SL Governor's latest land grab poses danger to archaeological traces of Eezham Tamils
12.10.19 22:23   Photo
Monks step up campaign against Muslims, want to carve out Sinhala colony in Ampaa'rai
11.10.19 22:07   Photo
Vote for Self-Determination, reject major candidates for more effective boycott
10.10.19 23:31   Photo
SL Police intensifies restrictions on Saiva devotees at disputed ‘chaitya’ hilltop in East
09.10.19 20:17  
Indian Coast Guard trespassed into waters off Jaffna, 18 fishers detained since 03 October
08.10.19 18:43  
Divisional Secretary, TNA MPs must act to release Chegnchoalai lands: civil activist
07.10.19 23:12   Photo
Heinous act by HRCSL: former orphans of Chegnchoalai on the brink of losing lands
06.10.19 12:21  
EPDP joins Jaffna protest against desecration of Neeraaviyadi temple
05.10.19 22:06  
Families inheriting lands from parents refused of land registration in Moothoor East
04.10.19 21:50  
SL Archaeology, Police continue to disturb Tamils’ right to worship at Vedukku-naa'ri hilltop
03.10.19 19:16  
Raghavan plans to distribute uncultivatable lands to Tamils to compensate for loss of fertile lands
02.10.19 22:28   Photo
No place for human rights in China’s white paper for future world
01.10.19 18:26  
Genocidal Sri Lanka hits back at UN, claims it passed ‘litmus test’ on human rights in 2019
30.09.19 20:49  
SL military, police, traders, exert pressure on civil authorities in Mannaar to alienate lands
 
Find this article at:
http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=22950