UN chief Ban, Lanka FM discuss 'critical' priorities

United Nations, PTI | Updated : 14 February 2015, 02:43 PM

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Sri Lanka’s foreign minister Mangala Samaraweera have discussed “critical” priorities for the island nation, particularly human rights, accountability and reconciliation as the UN chief expressed support for the new government.

Ban met with the Sri Lankan minister here yesterday and discussed cooperation between the UN and the new government in the South Asian country.

A readout of the Secretary-General’s meeting with Samaraweera said Ban expressed his support and encouragement to the new government in its important efforts in the first 100 days.

Samaraweera and Ban “addressed critical priorities for Sri Lanka, including especially human rights, accountability and reconciliation,” it said.

Ban also noted the UN’s peacebuilding programmes and affirmed continuous support of the world organisation to Sri Lanka and its people.

Samaraweera is on his first visit to the UN and the US after President Maithripala Sirisena’s government took office last month after a big victory over decimating Mahinda Rajapaksa’s regime who had vehemently resisted cooperation with the UN-mandated probe into alleged war crimes committed towards the end of Sri Lanka’s nearly three decade-long civil war.

Sirisena has pledged to work with the UN and promised national reconciliation with the Tamil minority.

Before arriving in New York, Samaraweera had also visited Washington where he met US Secretary of State John Kerry.

Samaraweera is seeking to win a postponement of the Sri Lanka report at the UN human rights body in March. 

First Published: Saturday, February 14, 2015 02:42 PM
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