Sunday, April 26, 2009

UN Security Council under fresh pressure to place Lanka on its agenda

Mendaka Abeysekera, US Correspondent

After the UN document, which claimed that at least 6,432 civilians have been killed in intense fighting over the past three months and 13,946 were wounded leaked to diplomatic missions this week, human rights organizations and several Security Council members have been pressing the Security Council to add the Sri Lankan Crisis to the their formal agenda.

Sri Lankan diplomatic officials in the US confirmed the danger that the Lankan issue will be taken up in the Security Council agenda in case the humanitarian crisis in the north deepens.

He also told Lakbimanews, "The next two weeks will be critical as far as the Sri Lankan government's status is concerned with the UN Security Council". Due to heavy civilian causalities the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Mexico, Austria, Costa Rica and Croatia have already stated that they want to discuss the Sri Lankan issue and have it included in the Security Council agenda.

During informal discussions on Wednesday, most of the Security Council member countries were concerned over the humanitarian crisis prevailing in Sri Lanka.

On Friday, the Security Council urged Sri Lanka to cooperate with a U.N. humanitarian mission that wants to visit the conflict zone in northern Sri Lanka. "We underlined today the immediate and pressing priority of addressing the grave humanitarian situation in northeastern Sri Lanka," said Mexican U.N. Ambassador Claude Heller, the current president of the Security Council. "The members of the Security Council also called on the government of Sri Lanka to extend all the necessary support to the U.N. mission to allow the U.N. and the ICRC access to all sites where displaced persons are being registered" Heller said after a council meeting on Friday.

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