Colombo: A top UN official began a key
visit to Sri Lanka on Wednesday to take stock of the political
reconciliation process and human rights situation in the
The two-day visit of B. Lynn Pascoe, the Under-
Secretary-General for Political Affairs, is focused on issues
covered in the joint statement issued by United Nations
Secretary-General Ban Kid-moon and President Mahinda Rajapaksa
in May 2009, including political reconciliation, the return
and resettlement of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), and
For the past few months, Ban has been in the process
of finding experts for an advisory panel that will counsel him
on accountability issues that arise with regards to alleged
human rights abuses that took place in the months leading to
the government defeating the LTTE in May 2009.
Pascoe held meetings with President Rajapaksa,
Minister of External Affairs G.L. Peiris, and Attorney General
Mohan Peiris. He is scheduled to meet with Ranil
Wickremasinghe, the leader of the Opposition.
The top UN official visited areas around Mullaitivu
town in the north, close to where the last battles in the
ethnic conflict were waged in May 2009 .
People who fled their homes during the armed conflict
are now being resettled there with assistance from the
government, the UN agencies and non-governmental
Pascoe was also briefed on progress as well as
difficulties in the resettlement process in the district, home
today to a resettled population of more than 40,00, a UN
At a health clinic in the village of Vattapallai,
Pascoe met with a group of mothers with young children who had
been resettled to the area three months ago.
"The United Nations is doing everything it can to help
you get back to a normal life now that this tragic war is
over, he assured the women.
Pascoe also visited a cooperative store where food
rations supplied through the United Nations are distributed to
the resettled populations in northern Sri Lanka.
Pascoe is also set to meet with senior government
officials, representatives of opposition and minority parties,
including Tamil and Muslim leaders, civil society, media and
members of the diplomatic corps.