The United Nations is exploring provision of “a broad package of technical and financial assistance” to the Northern Province at the request of the Province’s Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran.
Stating this at a daily press briefing at his office in the U.S. on Friday, Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for the Secretary General, said the proposed package was to “bolster citizen confidence in the peace process,” according to the U.N.’s official website which has published the transcript of the briefing.
He was replying to a question on reports in sections of the media about the U.N. Peace-building Fund considering funding “a purely national accountability mechanism” in Sri Lanka.
The spokesperson explained that initiatives aimed at advancing the process of reconciliation in Sri Lanka — by resettlement of internally displaced persons (IDP); national reconciliation; strengthening human rights mechanism and ending impunity — were being discussed for support by the Fund.
Pointing out that the U.N. support was always based on “inclusive and participatory consultations with all key stakeholders,” Mr. Dujarric said that $1 million had been dispersed to support resettlement and integration initiatives for IDPs in the Northern and Eastern Provinces where the Sri Lankan government returned lands.
To a question on the nature of accountability mechanism, national or international, the spokesperson replied that the U.N. was awaiting a report and recommendations of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights. (The Hindu)