Death threats force NGO staff from meeting UN official in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Monday, 18 February 2008, 17:00 GMT]
A section of representatives of the Jaffna District Non-governmental Organizations Federation (NGOF) walked-out Monday from a meeting at NGOF office in Jaffna in protest against the NGOF for not meeting the United Nations Development (UNDP) Residence Representative in Sri Lanka, Mr. Neil Buhne, on his official visit to Jaffna Friday, sources in Jaffna said. The representatives of Jaffna District NGOF and other Civil Society Organizations (CSO) in Jaffna peninsula had avoided meeting the UNDP Coordinator due to continuous death threats issued by Sri Lanka Army (SLA) and SLA-backed paramilitaries, the sources added.

A group of religious representatives, led by the Bishop of Jaffna, Rt. Rev. Thomas Soundarnayagam, was the only party which met Mr. Niel Buhne Friday at Jaffna Bishop House.

The NGOF representatives who staged the walk-out pointed out that the leadership and responsible officials of the NGOF have failed to make use of the opportunity to present first hand information related to the continuing human rights violation in Jaffna peninsula to the UNDP official.

Mr. Niel Buhne met the representatives and officials of UNDP local branches in Jaffna peninsula besides visiting sites where UNDP was at work in projects of Infrastructure road constructions.

Heated discussions took place Monday in the Jaffna District NGOF office located on Temple Road, Nalloor in Jaffna where the protestors and officials tried to defuse the internal differences, the sources said.

 

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