UN rebukes LTTE for insulting Lankan flag
Colombo, August 16, 2005|18:36 IST
The United Nations has protested to the LTTE about an incident in which, about 60 people stormed into its office in Kilinochchi on Monday, and forcibly brought down the UN flag then flying at half-mast in honour of the slain Sri Lankan Foreign Minister, Lakshman Kadirgamar.
"These regrettable incidents took place after UN staff refused to comply with the group's demand that the flag not be flown at half-mast," said Maguel Bermeo, UN Humanitarian and Resident Coordinator in Sri Lanka, in a press release issued on Tuesday.
"The United Nations condemns these kinds of incidents in the strongest possible terms. We are here to serve the needs of all the people of Sri Lanka and we expect that the UN staff and property should be respected if we are able to fulfil our mission," Bermeo said.
The UN compound in Kilinochchi houses the offices of UNICEF, UNDP and UNHCR.
Bermeo has sent a protest note to the LTTE as the incident happened in an LTTE-controlled area. He has requested that the LTTE ensure that such incidents do not occur again. The Government of Sri Lanka has been informed about the incident as well as the protest note to the LTTE.