UN Secretary General Ban ki-moon says the Sri Lankan government has re-affirmed its commitment to allow IDPs to return to their homes by January next year and he will monitor very closely how the government will implement its commitments.
“In coordination with Member States, I will continue to closely follow up on the implementation of the government's commitments both personally and through my senior officials. This includes outstanding issues related to the freedom of movement and the return of IDPs, human rights accountability and political reconciliation,” the UN Chief said.
“We had an extensive discussion with the Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and Defence Secretary who were also present in the meeting. They were the key people in managing this situation. I made three points clearly again, which I did during my visit, and which was repeated and urged again during Mr. Pascoe's visit earlier this month. First, that all IDPs should be resettled, as they had promised, by the end of January. There should be extra measures taken, particularly during this monsoon season, because their suffering will be much, much more serious during this wet season. They should immediately begin to reach out to minority ethnic groups, including Tamils. Then, I emphasized the importance of instituting immediately this judiciary accountability process for violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law. Those were three points, and they committed that they will do as we have agreed. But we have to have a close watch and monitor this process,” said the Secretary General Ban ki-moon to the media.
He also spoke about incident which took place on the weekend where two children were shot and wounded following a confrontation between IDPs and the Sri Lankan security forces in the Menik Farms camps.