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 Post subject: Sri Lanka to probe sex charges on UN peacekeepers in Haiti
 Post Posted: Sun Nov 04, 2007 11:04 am 
Sri Lanka to probe sex charges on UN peacekeepers in Haiti

The government vowed to take disciplinary action against the Sri Lanka peace keepers who are to be sent home following allegations of sexual abuse of Haitian women, which include paying for sex with underage girls. 110 of the Sri Lankan contingent including three officers are expected to arrive in Sri Lanka Sunday for disciplinary measures and possible prosecution at national level.

Sunday, November 04, 2007
@ Agencies


The government yesterday vowed to take disciplinary action against the Sri Lanka peace keepers who are to be sent home following allegations of sexual abuse of Haitian women, which include paying for sex with underage girls.

The Defence Ministry yesterday announced that the government in close consultation with the UN, will undertake “all appropriate disciplinary actions and prosecutions against Sri Lankan military personnel who have been implicated in alleged misconduct and sexual abuse while serving the United Nations Stabilizer Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH)”.

The Defence Ministry in a statement said the accused Sri Lankan military personnel were recalled to facilitate investigations following the receipt of the preliminary report of the office if Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) in Haiti and consultations received from Sri Lankan authorities.

A total of 950 Sri Lankan peacekeepers are currently serving the MINUSTAH. One hundred and ten peacekeepers of the Sri Lankan contingent, implicated in the alleged misconduct are expected to arrive in Sri Lanka Sunday for disciplinary measures and possible prosecution at national level.

Meanwhile the United Nations yesterday announced the repatriation of 108 Sri Lankan peacekeepers serving with the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) on disciplinary grounds. The move comes in response to allegations which are “of a transactional sex nature,” the Secretary-General’s spokesperson Michele Montas told reporters, adding that “there is a question of some underage girls.” “The United Nations and Sri Lanka take this matter very seriously and reiterate their shared commitment to both the Secretary-General’s zero-tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse and to best practices in peacekeeping,” she said in a statement.

The Sri Lankan government has also decided to repatriate the battalion’s second in command and two company commanders in the wake of the charges. Sri Lanka also sent its own investigative team which included four senior officers, a female brigadier, a doctor and a lawyer to the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, and they were also involved in the preliminary inquiries.

“The United Nations and the Sri Lankan Government deeply regret any sexual exploitation and abuse that has occurred, despite their efforts to ensure the highest standards of conduct and discipline,” the statement added.


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