In Sri Lanka, It’s Business as Usual for UN

    Citizens protest against the United Nations panel investigating possible war crimes committed at the end of the 25-year civil war in Sri Lanka. Photo by: indi.ca / CC BY indi.caCC BY

    The United Nations’ humanitarian operations in Sri Lanka will continue despite the closure of one of its offices in Colombo, according to the U.N.’s top official in the country.

    As reported by Devex, the international organization shut down its U.N. Development Program regional office in Colombo following protests against a panel set up by the world body to investigate whether war crimes were committed during the final months of the country’s 25-year war.

    “Just to be clear, there is nothing that is being closed down that affects Sri Lanka and our activities in this country,” U.N. Resident Coordinator Neil Buhne told AlertNet July 9, the fourth day of protests.

    “The U.N. is doing its best to continue its programming because we don’t want to have any impact on the programs that we do together with the government, which benefit hundreds of thousands of people around the island,” he added.

    Buhne confirmed that U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon requested that he return to New York for consultations. Ban said the protests were unwarranted.

    About the author

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      Eliza Villarino

      Eliza Villarino currently manages one of today’s leading publications on humanitarian aid, global health and international development, the weekly GDB. At Devex, she has helped grow a global newsroom, with talented journalists from major development hubs such as Washington, D.C, London and Brussels. She regularly writes about innovations in global development.