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News


No fresh visa for UN spokesman

The Sri Lanka Foreign Ministry summoned the Acting United Nation’s Resident Representative in Colombo Amin Awad on Tuesday and strongly protested against the undiplomatic behaviour of its spokesman here Gordon Weiss, over his remarks to the international media on Monday that Northern Sri Lanka had become a bloodbath due to large scale killing of civilians.
Weiss might not be expelled because of the sensitive situation the country is in, informed sources said.

They however said instead of expelling him they would refrain from renewing his visa, which is due for renewal soon.
Foreign Secretary Dr Palitha Kohona, himself a former top UN official, heading its Treaty Division was quoted as saying that the government took serious offence at the uncalled for remarks by Weiss.

“It is not the role of the UN officer to say anything in public to embarrass the host government,” Kohona was quoted by the AFP as stating.

Diplomats said there are clear cut rules for UN officers functioning in any country and any complaints they may have about the host nation has to be taken up through the proper channels.

Two weeks ago Sri Lanka similarly found fault with UN Resident Representative Neil Buhne for leaking unauthenticated statistics to a group of selected Western embassies in Colombo about Lankan army fire killing more than 6000 Tamil civilians and injuring more than double that number. The statistics had been obtained from some government doctors working in the NFZ controlled by the LTTE.

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