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UN secretary-general begins Sri Lanka visit

by August 31, 2016 General

Press Trust of India  |  Colombo

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United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today began his second visit to the country since 2009, when the Sri Lankan troops defeated the Tamil Tigers and came under close UN scrutiny for its warcrimes accountability.

He was received at the Bandaranaike International Airport here by Deputy Foreign Minister Harsha de Silva.

The UN chief, who is on a three-day visit, will first meet Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe before the Premierleaves for Singaporelate tonight, officials said.

Tomorrow, Ban would call on President Maithripala Sirisena and visit the southern city of Galle. And on Friday, he will visit the camps of persons displaced by the conflict in the northern district of Jaffna, also a former LTTE bastion.

This is Moon’s second visit to Sri Lankain seven years.

He visited the country days after the Sri Lankan troops defeated the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and ended the nearly 30-year separatist campaign in May 2009.

Since that visit, Lanka came under close UN scrutiny for its warcrimes accountability during the war with the LTTE.

It triggered an internal probe into UN’s conduct during the final stages of the war during which the top world body estimated that nearly 40,000 civilians were killed.

Sri Lankadismissed the figure as “excessive” but the UN human rights council passed three consecutive resolutions since 2012 demanding accountability for warcrimes blamed on both the government troops and the LTTE.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)